Seoul is the heart of the city of South Korea. The city is full of surprises each time I visit. I have been to Seoul for 3 times since 2014. There is always new places for me to explore and things to do,see and eat. I have compiled the places to explore when you are planning to visit Seoul.
Check out the places to do in your first visit to the city!
1. Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워)
Namsan Seoul Tower is one of the must-visit tourism spot if you are a first-timer to Seoul, Korea. The top of the tower is at almost 480m above sea level, including Namsan Mountain (243m) and the tower’s own height (236.7m). It is also one of the tallest towers in the Orient. It is best to go during evening time to catch the sunset. There are quite a number of instagram-worthy places to shot #ootd too.
Individual Admission Ticket
– Observatory: Adults 10,000 won / Children 8,000 won
– Ssentoy Museum & Showroom: Adults 8,000 kr won / Children 8,000 kr won
– Hello Kitty Island: Adults 8,000 won / Children 7,000 won
Address: 105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 용산구 남산공원길 105 (용산동2가)
* Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
* Operating hours are subject to change depending on weather or business schedules.
Website: http://www.nseoultower.co.kr/eng/ How To Get There:
Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus
1. Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus No. 02
– Take the bus from the closest subway station: Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, 4), Exit 2 (in front of Daehan Cinema) or Dongguk University Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
2. Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus No. 03
– Take the bus from the closest subway station: Seoul Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 4), Exit 9, Itaewon Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 4 or Hangangjin Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 2.
3. Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus No. 05
– Take the bus from the closest subway station: Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 3 or Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2 (in front of Daehan Cinema).
2. Gyeongbokgung Palace
Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the must-visit attraction places for tourist because of its long history. Gyeongbokgung was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Gyeongbokgung (경복궁), which means “palace greatly blessed by Heaven,” was built in the heart of Seoul surrounded by Mount Bugaksan and Mount Namsan.
Read more about it on my full post with the photos taken around the place.
Address: 161, Sajik-ro Jongno-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Website: www.royalpalace.go.kr How To Get There:
By subway: Take the exit 5 of Gyeongbokgung Station or Exit 3 of Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3)
3. Bukchon Hanok Village
“Bukchon” refers to ‘northern village” came about as the neighborhood lies north of two significant Seoul landmarks, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno. The place is currently occupied with cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants, tea houses and also residential houses.Thus, you will see signages to remind tourists to keep their volume down to avoid disturbance.
Fun Fact : Do you know that it is a short walking distance from Gyeongbokgung Palace? Read more about it here.
Address: 37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울특별시 종로구 계동길 37 (계동)
Tel: +82 2 3707 8388
Operating Hours: 24 Hours All Day
Website: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=561382 How To Get There:
Exit 2 of Anguk Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No. 3) and walk straight for about 5 minutes and you will reach Buckchon Hanok Village.
4. Nami Island
Nami Island is known with the tree-lined roads that gives an instagram-worthy picturesque shot! We took quite a bit of time to take the shot below because there are people everywhere. We waited patiently for people to walk away and finally I got it!
Here’s a mandatory shot, which I love it:
Gangchon Rail Park is also one of the tourist attraction where tourists can pedal along old railroad tracks while enjoying the scenery around it. The rail bike course takes approximately 50 minutes. You will arrive at the transfer station and take a Romantic Train ride for 20 minutes. So, basically you will be riding from Gangchon station (abolished station) to Gimyuheong Station. Read the full post here.
6. Garden of Morning Calm Garden ( 아침고요수목원)
Garden of Morning Calm is a 30,000㎡ garden and has been a popular tourist spot in recent year. The garden is open year-round with different festival according to different season. It is ideal photography for families, couples and photo shooting. The garden houses about 5,000 kinds of plants and flowers are in bloom from March to November. The displays changes throughout the year.
(a) Spring: Spring Garden Festival
(b) Summer: Festival of Roses, Hydrangeas and Roses of Sharon
(c)Autumn: Festival of Chrysanthemums and Autumnal Tints
(d) Winter: Lighting Festival
Adults: 9,000 won
Teenagers: 6,500 won
Children: 5,500 won
Adults: Weekdays 8,000 won
Teenagers: Weekdays 5,500 won
Children: Weekdays 4,500 won
Address: 432, Sumogwon-ro, Sang-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 가평군 상면 수목원로 432 (상면)
Sunday –Friday 11:00AM – 9:00PM | Saturday 11:00AM – 11:00PM
Do note that opening hours change according to seasons.
Cheonggyecheon is a re-created river or stream that was once there before during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). It runs through downtown Seoul and had been covered over by roads for decades. It was restored in 2003 till present. The stream starts from Cheonggye Plaza and passes under a total off 22 bridges before flowing into the Hangang River. It was a pleasant walk along the stream especially for couples or even family. The best part it is open for public.
Address: 03187, 37 Mugyo-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea (Seorin-dong)
Website: https://www.sisul.or.kr/open_content/cheonggye/ How To Get There:
Line 1 City Hall Stn. Exit 4. Walk 5 minutes.
Line 2 Euljiro 1(il)-ga Stn. Exit 2 or 3. Walk 10 minutes.
Line 4 Dongdaemun Stn. Exit 6 or 8. Walk 5 minutes.
Myeong-dong is one of the popular shopping destinations for tourists. This shopping district is a shopping paradise for the ladies. Thousands of brands including skincare, cosmetics and fashions are available here. Shoppers will get to enjoy affordable and inexpensive products here with wider selections. Apart from that, there are many food stalls selling Korean snacks along the streets to check it out. And do check out Myth Jokbal outlet in Myeong-dong for Korean braised pig’s trotters.
Address:Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 중구 명동길 (명동1가)
Website: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264312 How To Get There:
Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exits 5, 6 & 7.
Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exits 5, 6, 7 & 8.
9. Dongdaemun Shopping Complex (동대문 종합시장•동대문 쇼핑타운)
While Myeong-dong is known as a beauty shopping paradise, Dongdaemun is known fashion apparels shopping district. There are wholesale malls located within a walking distance between one another. And the opening hours are extended till 5am. So,you can shop all night long here. However, do take note on the malls’ closing day and mostly are on Mondays. Be sure to check out the details before heading over to avoid disappointment.
Address: 266, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 종로 266 (종로6가)
Website: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SH/SH_EN_7_2_5_1.jsp How To Get There: Seoul Subway Line 2 Dongdaemun Stadium Station, or Line 1 or 4 Dongdaemun Station
Garosu-Gil is an area in Sinsa-dong,Gangnam-gu,Seoul. This area is known for its galleries, restaurants, bars,cafes, boutiques and art design bookshops. This hipster street has so much inspiration from architecture to fashion and many more.
Here are 5 reasons why you must visit this place when you are in Seoul. How To Get There: Take to Sinsa Station (Line3) and Exit 8 and walk straight before turning left to Garosu-Gil.
11. Gangnam Station Underground Shopping Center (강남역 지하도상가)
Another shopping district to explore if you are a shopaholic, which is the Gangnam Station Underground Shopping Center. The mall is located in Gangnam Station and the place is full of fashion trends. You will end up shopping for hours here. It is suitable for shoppers in their 20s to 30s.
Address: Underground, 396, Gangnam-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
서울시 강남구 강남대로 지하 396
Operating Hours: 10:00AM – 10:00PM
Website: http://www.sisul.or.kr/open_content/undershop/guide/gangnam/gangnam_station.jsp How To Get There: Gangnam Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, Sinbundang Line), Exit 1 or 12.
12. Ewha Womans University Ewha Womans University (이화여자대학교)
Ewha Womans University is also highly recommended for ladies because of the shopping districts and photography opportunities. This university was Korea’s first educational institute for women. There are quite a number of cafes and clothing stores in the area selling affordable and stylish fashions for young people. Their target customers are mostly students and tourists.
Address: 52 Ewhayeodae-gil, Sinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Website: https://www.ewha.ac.kr/mbs/ewhaen/ How To Get There: Ewha Womans University Station (Subway Line 2) – Exit 2 & 3 and walk for approximately 5 minutes
Another shopping district for young people to explore is Hongdae area. Hongdae is suitable for youngsters in 20s for its youthful and underground culture. There are unique cafes, clothing stores , clubs and art markets around the area. There are street performances and festivals held from time to time. It is quite fascinating to see street performances from all kinds of people along the street.Read up my post what are the 5 reasons to visit here.
Address: Hongik-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 마포구 홍익로 (서교동) How To Get There: Hongik University Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, Gyeongui-Jungang, AREX), Exit 8 or 9.