Seoul is a city full of life, culture and exciting things to do. From shopping, food, history to nightlife, this vibrant city has it all! To get a good taste of what Seoul has to offer, start with the following popular and fun activities on your visit -these are the top 10 things to do in Seoul.
Top 10 Things to Do in Seoul
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1) Travel back in time at Bukchon Hanok Village.
A stroll around Bukchon Hanok Village takes you back 600 years to the Joseon Dynasty. Once home to the nation’s nobility, this ancient village preserves over 900 hanoks (traditional Korean wooden houses) to showcase the long history and rich culture of Korea. In the area, you’ll find enchanting alleys and historic architectures that provide a glimpse into the Korean past.
2) Visit Gyeongbokgung.
Not too far from Bukchon Hanok Village is Korea’s most famous royal palace, Gyeongbokgung. Built during the Joseon Dynastry, the palace was originally constructed in the late 1300s, but was destroyed by fire in 1500s during the Japanese invasion. Only until 300 years later, it was reconstructed.
The palace is huge, with 300 buildings and nearly 6000 rooms in total!! It will take you a whole day to tour the entire palace. You can tour on your own, or alternatively join an English tour (offered 3 times a day) to explore the beauty of Korean architecture and the daily life of the royal family. While at the palace, do not miss the chance to witness the changing of the guard ceremony!
3) Try Korean royal palace cuisine and eat like a king.
To complete your palace tour, you gotta try Korean royal cuisine (Gungjung Eumsik) and experience the finest delicacies reserved for the Kings and Queens! The course meal features a wide assortment of dishes that are not only delicious but also healthy and well balanced. A few restaurants offer this exquisite cuisine, including Korea House (10, Toegye-ro 36gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, 04626, Korea), and Bongraeheon Restaurant (426 Oebalsan-dong, Gangseo-gu, Seoul), at Mayfield Hotel & Resort.
4) Go on a shopping spree.
Seoul is a shopping paradise! You can find all sorts of things, from skincare products, clothing, accessories to stationery supplies. Some of the most popular areas include Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Hongdae, Edae, Sinsadong, and Insadong. For a more detailed guide on these shopping district, check out this post.
5) Go café hopping.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a great cup of coffee, or just want to take an Instagram worthy shot, there are plenty of options all over Seoul. Why not recharge your energy in between shopping at the Hello Kitty café? Have some fun with adorable meercats? Or drink from a toilet-shaped mug at the poop-themed café?
6) Try Korean BBQ.
You cannot leave the city without trying Korean BBQ. With a grill built into the center of the table, you get to cook the meat right in front of you, build your own lettuce wraps, and enjoy an array of side dishes! Wangbijib (2F, 25-6 Chungmuro 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul) provides top quality beef at affordable prices. If you love pork belly, check out Palsaek Samgyeopsal (1-65 Dongsung-Dong, Jongno-Gu, Seoul) which offers 8 different flavours for you to taste.
7) Explore the future and innovation at Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
At Dongdaemun, it is hard to not notice the spaceship-like Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). Designed by the world-renowned architect, Zaha Hadid, this gigantic architecture has many curving walls, all covered with micro-perforated aluminum panels to give the structure a futuristic look. At night, it reflects the LED lights to create an even more dramatic visual effect. No wonder this place was the most instagram-tagged location in Korea in 2015!
8) See art comes to life at Trick Eye Museum.
Interact with the paintings and become part of the masterpieces! At Trick Eye Museum, you will see how art comes alive through optical illusion. A visit to the Trick Eye Museum will make you realize that museum can be experiential and fun-filled as well!
9) Take a cable car to N Seoul Tower.
To enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the city, visit the N Seoul Tower. The iconic landmark, sitting atop Namsan Mountain at 236m, overlooks Namsan Park and the entire city from the observation deck. You can either take a cable car up the mountain or hike your way up to the tower. It’s a trip suited for both day and night!
10) Get a unique view from the Seoul Sky.
Another great place to enjoy a 360-degree view of the city is at the Seoul Sky, the world’s third highest observation deck. This new attraction just opened in April 2017 and can be found on the upper floors (117-123) at Seoul’s tallest building, Lotte World Tower. Here, you are guaranteed to a surreal view of the cityscape. Don’t forget to head over to 118th floor if you get a chance. The glass-floored platform will make you feel as if you’re suspending in mid-air!
When you visit Seoul, be sure to check out the above activities. These 10 things are sure to make you fall in love with Seoul!
Getting Around Seoul
I recommend getting around Seoul using the subway which is extensive and easy to navigate. You can download a subway map from the Seoul Metro website.
This post is written by Cat Lin, a Canada-based travel and food writer. She loves adventure travel and enjoys sampling the local cuisine while visiting foreign countries. You can follow her stories at For Two, Please.
Here is a 2 day Seoul itinerary to make the most of your visit. While you are in Seoul why not sign up for a DMZ tour for a peak into North Korea?
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The trick eye museum seem like an exciting place, I have seem pics of people posing here. Looks very creative.
Gokul Raj recently posted…How to deal with Post Travel Depression
wow–looks amazing! Seoul’s never really been on my radar before, but it sounds like there’s a ton I’d love to do there! My kids would be all over the trick eye museum 🙂
Very drawn to the food options here. The idea of trying a royal menu is pretty cool, but I suspect I’d probably seek out the poop themed cafe first…
I visited Seoul a few years ago on a layover. Such a great city. Hope to make it back and spend more than 24 hours.
Alexa Meisler recently posted…Why Montreal, Canada Is An Awesome Getaway
Seoul looks absolutely amazing. It’s hard to find something not to like. That trick eye museum looks like a riot!
I’m not planning to visit Seoul in the nearest future, but I enjoyed the virtual journey thanks to your post. Thanks a lot!