Being the capital of Korea, Seoul is truly a city that never sleeps. On my first visit to Seoul, I stayed for a whole week and I never got bored for a minute. There are just so many things that you can do. Lucky for me, I had local friends who showed me a lot about the ins and outs of this wonderfully crazy city. Because the choices are so abundant, it can sometimes be overwhelming. Have no stress! Let’s narrow down the choices. Here are 10 things you absolutely must do in Seoul Korea!
Note: There is one thing I didn’t get to check off the list in Seoul and that is doing the DMZ tour. Read about Max’s experience and tips on visiting the DeMilitarized Zone between North and South Korea here.
1. Visit a royal palace
There are five grand royal palaces in Seoul. Every one of them is majestic AF. The Gyeongbokgung palace is the biggest and arguably the most beautiful. Visitors can watch the royal guard changing ceremony in front of the main gate every hour between 10 am to 3 pm. It’s definitely not a sight to be missed. The Changdeokgung palace is also worthy of a visit. It is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal palaces of the Joseon dynasty and a recognized World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO.
2. Wear a hanbok
What better way to experience the traditional culture of Korea than trying on their traditional clothing? You can rent a hanbok in many places around the city. The prices can be very reasonable at 15,000 korean won for 4 hours. You will feel like a Korean princess/prince guaranteed. A big bonus? If you visit a royal palace while wearing a hanbok, you don’t have to pay entrance fee! Go frolic around in your hanbok and take some gorgeous photos!
Hanbok rental suggestion:Oneday Hanbok
3. Explore Bukchon Hanok Village
Another place to soak up some cultural historical goodness. Located near the royal palaces, the Bukchon Hanok Village is an area with hundreds of traditional Korean houses. They date back all the way to the Joseon Dynasty. Make this one of your back drop locations for your hanbok photoshoot. All your friends back home will definitely be jealous!
4. Shop in Myeongdong and get Korean cosmetics
Korea is famous for their beauty cosmetic industry, and this is where you can find all the goods. Check out the 7 Korean Beauty Products You Must Try for ideas of what to buy.
You cannot visit Seoul and go home empty handed. This city is shopping heaven. There are many places to shop in Seoul, the Myeongdong district is one of the most famous. Be dazzled by hundreds of stores selling the latest in Korean fashion, cosmetics and souvenirs.
5. Pigging out on delicious food
This had to be a whole other post in itself. There are seriously too much food to talk about! Head over to my post 10 Delicious Food To Eat in Seoul, Korea and be prepared to drool!
6. Check out an exhibition at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)
The DDP was said to be the most Instagram tagged location in Korea in the year 2015. It’s no surprise as it’s architecturally gorgeous! Located at the center of the Dongdaemun area, the DDP is a key venue for design-related shows and conferences, exhibitions, and other events and gatherings. In stark contrast to the traditional landmarks in Seoul, the DDP looks very futuristic. My first impression was that it looks like a giant spaceship. If you are lucky like I was, you will catch an amazing exhibition like the DDP LED Rose Garden.
7. Get scandalous at the Love Museum
Warning, this is not a place to take your kids. If you are traveling with a partner or with friends who are crazy enough, head to the Love Museum for some adult only fun. No it’s not a strip club! To quote the most eloquent of its descriptions, it’s “an unique art space that allows you to experience the fantastic magic between eroticism and art in an interesting way.” To give you more ideas, the section themes of the exhibition include, Erotic Garden, Fun & Sexy and Dream House. The scandalous schemes are set up for you to take pictures with. Don’t show these photos to your mother!
Tip* The Love Museum is located in the same building as the Trick Eye Museum, which is also an optical illusions exhibition. It is an alternative kid friendly option!
8. Have some fun in Lotte World
Ok, now for a fun place to take your whole family! Kids will especially love Lotte World. Kind of like a mini Disneyland, Lotte World is the largest indoor amusement park in the world! It has rides, an ice rink, parades, shops and so much more. When I went there around Halloween, the Magic Island was transformed into a zombie land. So much fun!
9. Check out the view on top of Namsan Seoul Tower
The Namsan Seoul Tower is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Seoul. It is located on Naman Mountain, which you can get up by cable car. The tower marks the highest point in Seoul. Enjoy a panoramic view of this beautiful city. Bring your camera!
10. Walk around Hangang park
I absolutely love this beautiful space of greenery in Seoul. Located along the Hangang river, the Hangang Park is a place where many Korean dramas and movies are filmed. My Korean friends told me that it’s the most popular date spot in Seoul. It’s not hard to see why as the park is even more gorgeous at night time. Lit up by lights from the city and modern public art displays, it looks like a dream!
I hope you fall in love with this amazing city as much as I did! What are your must-dos in Seoul? Tell me about it in the comments.
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