Top 20 Things You Must Do in Seoul

Since so many parts of Seoul are so appealing and you may be wondering about where to visit and what to do (especially if you’re only here for a few days), here are our recommendations for building your bucket list for Seoul.

From popular and hip placesย to hidden local spots, we hope you visit these must-go places and haveย unforgettable experiences make amazing new memories. Now let’s hit the road!

1. Feel the sublime Korea through a palace tour

The royal palaces from the Josun dynasty are some of the best spots to get a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Korea. In Seoul, there are five grand palaces โ€“ Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, Gyeonghuigung andย Changgyeonggung. If you’d like toย take a guided tour to some of these beautiful royal palaces, click the image below. ๐Ÿ˜‰

seoul-palace-guided-tourYou can also rent Korean traditional clothes โ€“’Hanbok‘ โ€“ near the palaces and enter them for free. Renting a hanbok is available here.hanbok-rental-experience-thumbnailRead more:ย Travel Review & Tips: Renting a Hanbok at 3355 Shop near Gyeongbokgung

2. Take in sweeping views from Seoul’s iconic landmark

Being a tourist in my home countryโœŒ๏ธ

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Nย Seoul Towerย at the summitย of Namsan mountain is ranked as the top sightseeing spot in the capital. You can see an overview of Seoul from all angles at the towelโ€™s observatory!

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The night view of Seoul from N Seoul Towerย is romantically beautiful. For example, thereย are the bridges over the Han River at night that shine like diamond bracelets. Theย towerย is a spot you can’t leave out if you’re a couple, as you can install a lock amongst the existing thousands, in hopes of having an eternal love.ย n-seoul-tower

3. Savor a local food sceneย in Noryangjin Fish Market

If you want to see the liveliness of the local people in Seoul, head over toย Noryangjin fish market. It’s a wholesale market/eatery where you can buy and try fresh seafood and fish and some of the exotic local dishes like ‘hoe (raw fish)’. Evenย if you donโ€™t buy anything here, the entire market itself gives aย great local experience for travelers and tourists.

Get fresh fish sliced into hoe and take it home, or go into the sit-in restaurantsย where theyย will cook and then serve them as a meal out of fresh seafood to you.

Read more:ย Insiderโ€™s Guide to Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul

4. Burn, Baby, Burn -Drink & Party in clubs until the sunrise

Seoul is a city where you can enjoy the ultimate nightlife experience as most of the clubs and bars open until the sunrise. Plus, there are also after-hours clubs for those who are just not ready to go home yet even when the sun’s up.

๊ตฟ์ด๋‹ค ๐Ÿ’— #์„œ์—ฐx์„œ์šธ

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Hongdae is a popular area of choice for young clubbers and college/university students. Club NB2,ย Cocoon, and Vera are some of the most well-known ones.

Read more: Dance Till You Die at Best Clubs in Hongdae

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Gangnam is another main clubbing district and you will find clubbers here in their mid-20’s or more. Clubย Octagonย is one of the best clubs around, featured with a state of the art sound system and plays electronic, trance, house and techno.

Read more: Seoul Nightlife Guide: Best Clubs in Gangnam

5. Take a stroll along Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon is a 10-kilometer stream that runs across central Seoul. The area once used be packed with stores and suffered from a heavy traffic but the city of Seoul removed the highway and restored Cheonggyecheon stream. Today, the stream offers both city-dwellers and foreign visitors a peaceful oasis in the city.

6. Go native at Korean Folk Village

Get a glimpse of how Korean people lived in the past by visiting a Korean folk village. You will be able to see the Korean traditional housings and talented actors and actresses are hired to play the roles of people from the past to give visitors an authentic feel.

Instead of merely seeing the displays of ancient artifacts in museums, you can take part in various hands-on programs and watch performances, so try a visit to Korean Folk Village.folk-village-suwonSign up for this private tour if you would like to navigate this folk village and aย historical fortress, which is designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, in one day. Click here to book your trip.

7.ย Shop till you drop!

Shopping is something you must not miss while you are in Korea. There are numerous places to shop in Seoul from underground shopping complexes in subway stations to elegant shops in department stores.

Myeong-dong is one of the most popular shopping areas as almost all of the famous brands in Korea are placed there, making shopping very convenient.

Dongdaemun is famous for reasonably priced items and has several shopping complexes built in the area, providing young and casual style clothes for young people and tourists.

Read more:ย Insider Shopping Tips for Dongdaemun Market You Wonโ€™t Find Elsewhere!

Garosugil has risen as a trendy shopping area beelined with small boutique shops full of unique styles.

See more: Cheap Shopping Spree in Seoul

8. Taste the world in Itaewon district

Itaewon is a popular international neighborhood of Seoul where many residents and visitors of diverse cultures and countries . It is like a small global village of the world. There are many restaurants specializing in authentic traditional dishes of various countries. Zelen is a Bulgarian restaurant run by chef Mihal Spasov Ashminov, who rose to popularity after appearing in Korean cooking TV show “Take Care of My Refrigerator”. Check out this list of our top favorite spots in Itaewon and follow this link for a whole list of posts on places to dine in Itaewon as well!ย 

9. Head toย Insadong for Korea’s top traditional souvenirs

Good souvenirs show you to be a thoughtful and caring person toย others around you. Insadong is a street filled with shops selling Korean traditional items perfect as souvenirs.

From small items like a key chain to big ones like a piece of furniture, you can purchase almost anything.ย If something you want to buy is too expensive, don’t fret as it’s likely to be sold in another store for much cheaper.

์‚ฌ๊ฐ์‚ฌ๊ฐ ์•Œ์ฝฉ๋‹ฌ์ฝฉ ํ•˜ํ•˜ํ˜ธํ˜ธ ๋„ˆ์˜~ ์ฒดํ—˜ ์†Œ๋ฆฌ๊ฐ€~ ๋“ค๋ ค~ ์นœ๊ตฌ์™€ ์—ฐ์ธ ๋˜๋Š” ๊ฐ€์กฑ๊นŒ์ง€ ํ•จ๊ป˜ ํ•  ์ˆ˜ ์žˆ๋Š” ์ฆ๊ฑฐ์šด ์ด์ƒ‰ ์ฒดํ—˜! #์ˆ˜์ œ๋„์žฅ๋งŒ๋“ค๊ธฐ ์–ด๋– ์„ธ์š”? #์ธ์‚ฌ๋™๊ธฐ๋…ํ’ˆ #์ธ์‚ฌ๋™์ฒดํ—˜ #์ธ์‚ฌ๋™๊ณต๋ฐฉ #์ธ์‚ฌ๋™๋‹จ์ฒด #์ธ์‚ฌ๋™๋†€๊ฑฐ๋ฆฌ #์ธ์‚ฌ๋™์—์„œ #์ˆ˜์ œ๋„์žฅ #์ˆ˜์ œ๋„์žฅ๋งŒ๋“ค๊ธฐ์ฒดํ—˜ #์ข…๋กœ๋†€๊ฑฐ๋ฆฌ #์–ด๋ผ์—ฐ์ „๊ฐ #์–ด๋ผ์—ฐ์ „๊ฐ์ฒดํ—˜๊ด€ ๋ฌธ์˜ 02.722.8415

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insadong-stampOr insteadย of buying one, how about creating your own personalized Korean traditional style stamp at a workshop in Insadong? You can sign up for the stamp-making experience here.

Read more:ย Top 20 Things to Buy in Seoul to Take Home

10. Indulge in Koreanย street foods

You can easily find vendors selling street food in Korea. Korean street food has its own charm that canโ€™t be replaced by meals from a restaurant. We bet that street vendors selling local street foods will draw you to their food with its mouthwatering smell and look.

Gwangjang market is a famous place where you can enjoy classic local foods like mungbean pancake and sliced raw beef sashimi.

Street foods in Hongdae are trendy and experimental like their fashion style. You also don’t want to miss the Dongdaemun Market Street Tour!

Read more: Top 10 Street Food You Must Try in Myeongdong

11. Sweat it out at a Korean sauna,ย Jjimjilbang

A Jjimjilbang is a Korean sauna where you can go into rooms with high temperature and emit any impurities and detox your skin by sweating. There are many types of rooms: Red clay room, Ice room, Crystal room and so on.

However, before you enter, you are required to use a public bath in full nudity. But don’t worry! Public baths are very common in Korea and people couldn’t care less about how each other’s bodies look.ย Dragon Hill Spa is the most famous Jjimjilbang in Korea and theย discount ticketย is available here.dragon-hillRead more:ย Travel Review & Tips: Dragon Hill Spa (Korean Sauna)

12. Hike up the lush green Bukhansan National Park

You may think that Seoul is just a city that is high tech. Well, you’re half right. But the city also does offer greenery and natural landscapes.

One good way to experience this is by hiking along Bukhansan National Park,ย located in the northern part of Seoul. There are several courses to be hiking across, but most usually take about 4~5 hours to complete.

13. Take a tour to the dangerous divide, DMZ

Korea has been divided into South and North Korea since the Korean civil war in theย 1950s. At the border between South and North Korea, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was set to prevent any invasion and is currently controlled by dispatched UN soldiers. All visitors can not visit DMZ or JSA by themselves and they can only visit by booking a trip through tour packages.

Only through these tour packages, you can go to theย Dora observatory to see North Korean villages, the thirdย tunnel built by North Korean soldiers, and the joint security area Panmunjom.ย There are two types of tours available – the DMZ tour and the DMZ + JSA tour.dmz-tourjsa-tourdmz-jsa-tourRead more:ย 13 things you need to know before visiting the DMZ

14. Feel the adrenaline rush at the city’s 3 best amusement parks

There are 3 big amusement parks in or near Seoul โ€“ Lotte World, Everland, andย Seoul Land.

[ํฌ๋ฆฌ์Šค๋งˆ์Šค ๋ฏธ๋ผํด : ์ธ์ฆ์ƒท ์ด๋ฒคํŠธ ๋‹น์ฒจ์ž] โญ๏ธ์ด๋ฒˆ์ฃผ๋Š” ๋งค์ง์บ์Šฌ! ๋‹ค์Œ์ฃผ๋Š” ๋ฌด์Šจ ํ…Œ๋งˆ๊ฐ€ ๋ ๊นŒ์š”๐Ÿค— #ํฌ๋ฆฌ์Šค๋งˆ์Šค๋ฏธ๋ผํด #๋กฏ๋ฐ์›”๋“œํฌ๋ฆฌ์Šค๋งˆ์Šค ํ•ด์‹œํƒœ๊ทธ์™€ ํ•จ๊ป˜ ๋กฏ๋ฐ์›”๋“œ๋งŒ์˜ ์•„๋ฆ„๋‹ค์šด ํฌ๋ฆฌ์Šค๋งˆ์Šค ์ถ”์–ต์ด ๋‹ด๊ธด ์‚ฌ์ง„์„ ์˜ฌ๋ ค์ฃผ์„ธ์š”! ๋งค์ฃผ 3๋ช…์„ ๋ฝ‘์•„ ์˜ํ™”์˜ˆ๋งค๊ถŒ์„ ๋“œ๋ฆฝ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค! . . . #๋กฏ๋ฐ์›”๋“œ #์–ด๋“œ๋ฒค์ฒ˜ #๋กฏ์Šคํƒ€๊ทธ๋žจ #ํ…Œ๋งˆํŒŒํฌ #ํฌ๋ฆฌ์Šค๋งˆ์Šค #์ด๋ฒคํŠธ #lotteworld #adventure #themepark #christmas #festival #event

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Lotte World has aย direct connection to subway station (Jamsil Station) and is extremely easy to reach on the subway, which makes it a popular amusement parkย among teens and those in their 20’s.lotte-worldJust like Lotte World, Everland features plenty of rides, but it also offers a zoo, botanical garden and Everland is comparatively bigger in scale than Lotte World.

Since Everland is located about an hour away from Seoul, the best way to get there is to takeย a shuttle bus. To lessen the hassle, simply book a shuttle bus package online, which comes with an admission ticket at the discounted price. ๐Ÿ™‚everland-shuttle-ticket

If you would you like to visit Everland theme park, browse our collection of awesome deals on Everland!

Another amusement park in the city is Seoul Land. Since Seoul Land is designed to cater families with kids, you may find rides and attractions less thrilling than the ones in Lotte World or Everland.

์ฌํฌ๋ฆผ์„ ๋ฐœ๋ผ์ฃผ๋Š” ์—„๋งˆ. ํ•˜๋ฃจ ์ข…์ผ ๋ถˆํ‰์—†์ด ์ค„์„  ์•„๋น . ํƒœ์œค์ด์˜ ํ–‰๋ณตํ•œ ๋ฏธ์†Œ๋Š” ๊ทธ๋Ÿฐ ๊นŒ๋‹ญ ์•„๋‹๊นŒ์š”? #ํ–‰๋ณต #ํ–‰๋ณตํ•ด #ํ–‰๋ณตํ•œ #๊ฐ€์กฑ #๊ฐ€์กฑ์Šคํƒ€๊ทธ๋žจ #๊ฐ€์กฑ์—ฌํ–‰ #์•„๋“ค #์•„๋“ค๋ฐ”๋ณด #์•„๋“ค๋ง˜ #์—„๋งˆ์™€์•„๋“ค #์•„๋น ์™€์•„๋“ค #์ฆ๊ฑฐ์›€ #์ฆ๊ฑฐ์šด #ํ•˜๋ฃจ #๋‚˜๋“ค์ด #๋ฐ์ผ๋ฆฌ #๋ฐ์ผ๋ฆฌ๊ทธ๋žจ #ํ‚ค์ฆˆ #ํ‚ค์ฆˆ์Šคํƒ€๊ทธ๋žจ #๋†€์ด๊ณต์› #๋†€์ด๋™์‚ฐ #์„œ์šธ๋žœ๋“œ #์†Œํ†ต #์†Œํ†ตํ•ด์š” #์†Œํ†ตํ™˜์˜

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However, for parents, it is a great amusement park to take your kids because the amusement park offers a variety of children-friendly rides and attractions, including a sledding hill during theย winter season.seoul-land

15. Revel in the merriment at ice skating rinks during winter!

When winter comes, there are various outdoorย ice skating rinksย for you and your friends and your familyย to beat the blues. From public outdoor ones to indoor ice skating rinks, the city of Seoul has plenty to offer, so go ahead and practice your skills at one of these places.

See more: Ice Skatingย Rinks in Seoul

16. Witness the feverish pink cherry blossoms in Yeouido

Spring is a romantic season, but what makes it more romantic is walking under cherry blossom trees.

Yeouidoย is the most popular destination where you can find a cherry tree-lined path, with millions of people visiting during the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Flower Festival in April.

It is also spectacular during night time as there will be fewer people and the cherry blossom flowers gleam dreamily under the street lights.

See more:ย South Korea’s Cherry Blossom Festivals.ย 

17. Relax with a picnic at 12 Han River Parks

The 12ย Han River Parksย are the perfect spots to sit back and chill out during the summer. There are plenty of hip and fun activities you can do at these parks, such as riding an electric scooter,ย wakeboarding,ย waterskiing, cruising through the city on theย Han River cruiseย and many more.

Delivery foods are another attractive point of this venue with theย menu of choice by most people being chicken with beer! You simply call any restaurant, order your food, tell them where you’re sitting and your food will be delivered right to you!

See more:ย 5 Must-Try Activities to Enjoy at the Han River in Korea

18. Overnight on one of the Korean Buddhist temples

Want to wind down and enjoy some healing time? You donโ€™t need to go out of Seoul to find your inner peace. You can sign up ย and take part in the temple stayย program within the city.

Through these programs, you will have the opportunity to learn basic temple manners and the way of life harmonized with nature through the guide of monks.

See more:ย Templestay Programs in Korea

19. Get a wholesome experience in the K-Pop capital

Try waiting in front of the buildings of big entertainment companies like YG, SM and JYP where you might spot your favorite stars. Or visit performance halls like K-live or SM artium where you can enjoy K-Pop hologram concerts featured by Big Bang, JYP and many more like this one anytime.

Win 2 tickets b4 leaving Kimchi Land… #KLive #Hologram #Concert #Seoul #BigBang #Special #cyan91

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See more: K-Pop or K-Drama experiences in Korea

Go and watch K-Pop concerts to take part in the famous “ttae-chang“, the crowd singing along with the singer. There are also lessons that teach you how to sing and dance like K-pop stars as well, like this one. Finally, your trip wouldn’t be complete without picking up some K-pop merchandise, so check out these stores to load up on some goods!ย 

20.ย Stay up all night in theย city that never sleeps

As Koreans love to play even at night, many shops and facilities are open for 24 hours. Usually, in crowded areas like Hongdae and Gangnam, cafes are open for 24 hours to give clubbers a place to rest.

Buses that start with the alphabet โ€˜Nโ€™ are night buses that runย during the night, providing convenience to Seoul citizens. If you’re hungry at around 1 or 2 am, run to any convenient store to pick up a bite to eat.

Read more: 10 Must-Try Korean Convenience Store Foodsbutton_main 2

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