7 Things to See & Do in Seoul, South Korea

7 Things to See & Do in Seoul, South Korea

“must-visit palaces seoul”

“where to go shopping seoul”

“best street food seoul”

These are probably just some of the phrases you’ll be googling when planning that trip to South Korea. Here’s a list of 7 things to see and do in Seoul that I hope can make it a little easier for you.

1. Watch the Changing of the Guard at Changdeokgung and Gyeongbokgung Palaces

Seoul has five Joseon royal palaces and these two are the ones that you can’t miss. Each arguably the most beautiful, Gyeongbokgung is the primary palace while Chandeokgung is a UNESCO Heritage Site and home to Huwon or the “Secret Garden”. If you come at the right time, you can watch the changing of the guard as well.

CLICK HERE for more pictures and information.
Changdeokgung & Gyeongbokgung Palaces in Seoul, South Korea

Suggested Length of Visit: 1-3 hrs / Admission: 3,000 KRW per adult (each palace)

2. Get Lost in a Maze of Traditional Houses at Bukchon Hanok Village

As ultramodern as Seoul can be, it was nice to find a place like this right in the heart of the city. A maze of narrow alleyways and traditional Korean houses called hanoks, Bukchon Hanok Village will take you back in time and introduce you to a 600-yr old Seoul.

CLICK HERE for more pictures and information.
Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul, South Korea

Suggested Length of Visit: 1-2 hrs / Admission: FREE

3. Lock your Love and Climb to the Top of N Seoul Tower

When it comes to great views, this place towers over the competition. Standing 480 meters above sea level, N Seoul Tower is the best place to get bird’s eye views of the city. It’s also the only place where you can “lock your love” for all eternity. 😉

CLICK HERE for more pictures and information.
N Seoul Tower, Seoul, South Korea

Suggested Length of Visit: 1-1.5 hrs / Cost: 17,500 KRW including round trip cable car tickets

4. See the Future of Design at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)

This place is awesome. If you like design, any kind of design, then you need to put DDP in your itinerary. It’s like a museum, design supermarket, and space ship all rolled into one. I suggest devoting several hours there if you can, and be sure to come back at night when the building really comes to life.

CLICK HERE for more pictures and information.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul, South Korea

Suggested Length of Visit: 2-3 hrs / Admission: 4,000 KRW

5. Shop and Eat like there’s No Tomorrow in Insadong, Myeongdong, and Hongdae

Seoul is a shopaholic’s paradise. There are many shopping districts in the city but Insadong, Myeongdong, and Hongdae are three that you can’t miss. They each have their own unique personality. Insadong is known for its artsy-craftsy items, Myeongdong for its brand names and cosmetics, and Hongdae for its hip, college town vibe. All have great street food.

CLICK HERE for more pictures and information.
Insadong, Myeongdong, and Hongdae in Seoul, South Korea

The madness and magic that is Myeongdong

6. Laugh at a Cookin’ Nanta Show

If you’re looking to add a cultural show to your itinerary, then this is one to consider. Entertaining and raucously funny in parts, think of it as a slapstick Korean Stomp with food. There’s a Nanta theater in Myeongdong so you can pair it with an afternoon of shopping and dinner at the famed Myeongdong Kyoja (see below, Where to Eat).

It’s a good idea to purchase your tickets from their WEBSITE in advance. Click on the “discounts” button to check if they’re offering any promos. I got a 25% discount simply by posting a message on their Facebook page and showing them the screenshot.

Tickets start at 40,000 KRW. This was good enough and gave us great views of the show, though more expensive tickets bring you closer to the stage and make you available for some fun audience participation.

Tickets: At least 40,000 KRW per person

7. Climb Hwaseong Fortress Wall in Suwon

Located about an hour south of Seoul, Suwon Hwaseong Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great day trip if you have the time. A good place to do some light hiking, the fortress has a pretty interesting background story too.

CLICK HERE for more pictures and information.
Hwaseong Fortress, Suwon, South Korea

Suggested Length of Visit: 4-5 hrs / Admission: 1,000 KRW per adult

As always, this is by no means a comprehensive list but I do hope that it helps you plan your itinerary. We didn’t go but for people traveling with small children, the LOTTE WORLD and/or EVERLAND RESORT theme parks may be worth visiting as well.

If you’re looking for places to eat, then you can CLICK HERE for a list of 7 must-try restaurants in Seoul. Enjoy your trip!

For more Seoul travel tips, check out our First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Seoul, South Korea

The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Seoul, South Korea

JB Macatulad

JB Macatulad

JB is one half of Will Fly for Food and its chief itinerary maker.  He's the one to blame for all the crappy photos and verbal diarrhea on this blog.  Don't listen to him.
JB Macatulad

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Ed bonco at 7:17 pm

    Your site is very helpful and comprehensive. We are planning to visit korea to see snow for the first time. When is the best time to visit and see snow and yet the weather will be bearable specially for us who will be coming from a tropical country.

    Thank you.

  2. JB Macatulad at 8:51 pm

    Hi Ed, based on what I’ve read online, you’re not guaranteed to see snow in Seoul so you’re better off visiting a mountainous area like a ski resort. But if you’re only visiting Seoul, then January would probably be your best bet. Be prepared for bitingly cold weather though since it can get as low as -9° C in January. Hope that helps and enjoy your trip! 🙂

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