Are you planning a trip to Seoul and wondering how much time you need to see the best sights? Whether you have just one day, three days, or five days, there are plenty of must-see attractions to fill your itinerary. From historical palaces and temples to modern shopping districts and delicious food, Seoul has something for everyone. So, let’s plan your perfect Seoul itinerary!
Recommended Tours & Tickets
In general, the best months to travel to South Korea are in the months of Spring and Fall. The best time to travel to Seoul is April, May & June and September, October & November. The weather generally stays dry and sunny and comfortable for traveling around.
The best time to travel to Seoul is around Spring. If you are planning though, you can research about the weather, upcoming events and festivals, and activities to make the most out of your trip.
The minimum time required to see around Seoul is three to four days. You can visit the top-most attractions of the city including Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namsan Tower, Myeongdong and Gangnam streets. To visit the city with more depth and visit around seoul it will take around 7 to 10 days.
Being the capital of the nation, Seoul airport is connected to most of the biggest cities around the world by air and it is also connected to all the metro cities in South Korea by road and trains. For travelling within Seoul as a traveler you can either transport via metro or tourist buses as well as cabs. There are 22 subway lines across cities. Travelling through the metro becomes more efficient if you have a travel pass.
24 Hours in Seoul: A 1-Day Itinerary
If you are making a one-day trip to Seoul it is advised to visit one or two parts of the city to devour the enjoyment fully. You can choose from many different Seoul one-day itineraries depending on your personal preferences as well as the landmarks and activities you want to explore.
You can always choose Incheon which is located near the airport as well. If you have few hours in your hand, you can explore Chinatown, Wolmido Park Songwon-dol fairy-tale village and lastly, have a great meal in any of the cafes and restaurants.
After that, before you head out take a stroll at Jayu Park. These places are underrated and if you have visited Seoul before, this can be a fun-filled Seoul one-day trip. If you are visiting the beautiful city for the first time, you should keep Gyeongbukgong palace, namsan tower, and the Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo shrine in your list.
You can purchase a palace pass for visiting these four epic palaces. You may also aspire to visit the Changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony in Deoksugung Palace around 11:00 AM. Finish your day with a visit to Unhyeongung and Bukchon Hanok Village.
Three days are a reasonable amount of time for visiting most of the attractions in Seoul. For a 3-day Seoul itinerary, you can visit the ancient palaces, beautiful markets, parks, national museum and experience the food culture of Korea. Here’s how to see most of the important places in Seoul in 3 days.
Day-1: Traditional Royal Palaces and Shrine:
No matter what the duration of your trip is, you can never miss the four traditional royal palaces around Seoul. The first destination of your trip will be Gyeongbokgung Palace, a traditional Joseon Dynasty architecture with over 300 buildings.
Then, head towards Jogyesa temple. After visiting that, you can head over to Bukchon Hanok village to visit Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine. If you can round up these places within 4:00pm, your next and the last stop for the day will be the National Palace Museum.
Day-2: Visiting the Landmarks:
The second of your trip will be more relaxed and you must explore the markets along with visiting the famous Namsan Tower. Start your day by hiking the Namsan hill and go to the peak of the legendary Namsan tower which is the second highest point of Seoul. The view from there is unmatchable and you can not miss it on your trip.
After visiting the tower, explore the Namdaemun market and Namsangol Hanok village. Namdaemun is the oldest market in Seoul where you will get everything from street food to clothes, and accessories. It is located just beside the “great south gate”.
Day-3: Fun-filled Last Day:
Spend your last day in Seoul, with all the fun activities and by visiting the Bongeunsa temple, Lotte world, Olympic Park. On the last day in Seoul go to the southern part of the city and start your day by visiting the Buddhist temple, bongeunsa located in Samseong-dong. From there, go to Lotte World, and visit the indoor theme park and the outdoor magic garden, the korean museum, the folk garden, and the shopping complexes.
Sample Seoul Itinerary for 5-days
Five days is a good time for having a great trip in and around Seoul with more rest and at a slower pace. For the first few days, you can get to Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namjung Tower, and the national museum. Explore the city and go through the 5-day itinerary to create one that is more suited to your preferred activities and schedules.
Day-1 in Seoul
On the first day, you can visit the not famous three to four famous landmarks of the city that showcase the Korea traddition as well as the vibe of the modern city. In the morning you can head out to the Gyeongjong Palace, one of the five palaces built in the Joseon era. Then, in the afternoon after lunch, you can visit the National Museum of Korea. In the evening you can go shopping and experience street food in the Myeong-dong district.
Day-2 in Seoul
On the second day, you can visit the famous landmark of the city, Namsan Tower. The tower is on Namsan peak, which is 270 metre tall, and it will take you about 30 minutes to hike the trail. The Namsan peak provides the best view of the city and is a spot you can’t miss.
After visiting Namsan tower, you can visit Hongdae and Sinchan to find a young crowd, great restaurants, cafes, street performers and you will feel the K-pop vibe there.
Day-3 in Seoul
Go on a trip to Suwon and you will be able to visit Hwaseong Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The fort was built in Joseon dynasty by king Jeonjo in the honor of his father, Prince Sado. Suwon is just a 30-minute train ride from Seoul and it’s well-worth the trip. At night. At night you can enjoy drinking, clubbing or fine dining in the Itaewon area.
Day-4 in Seoul
The destination for day four is more traditional and just around the village. You can visit the Bukchon Hanok village, which is a traditional village in Seoul showcasing museums, and architecture from the Joseon Dynasty. The village is located on a hill in Gyedong-gil and is surrounded by Gyeongbok Palace, Changbok Palace, and Jongmyo Royal Shrine.
The village showcases a 600-year-old living environment, and you can enjoy walking down the alleys and experiencing the traditional way of living and visiting the UNESCO site Changbok Palace. End your day by visiting art galleries and museums in Insadong.
Day-5 in Seoul
The fifth day of your trip should be spent visiting some historical monuments like the war memorial of Korea as well as the Seoul Tower in the evening for a stunning panoramic view. The historical monument of Korea is located in Yongsan-dong and the museum exhibits a plethora of memorabilia of the military history of South Korea. Also, for a fun afternoon, you can make a trip to Lotte World, a theme park popular among kids and adults.
It’s the most important Joseon dynasty palace of the four remarkable palaces in Seoul. It is located in the Gwanghwamun square. This is the living history of the Joseon dynasty. Gyeongbokgung palace was built by King Taejo in 1935. GYeongbokgung palace is a hereditary site for any visitors to explore old culture and the museum exhibits a lot of JOseon dynasty artefacts as well as costumes. You can get guided-tours from tourist guides.
N seoul tower is the first tower in Seoul to incorporate an observatory to a phone tower. Namsan Seoul tower has been an incredible landmark for the past 40 years. Namsan tower is a must-visit place as it provides a wide-spread night and daylight view of the whole city. And, on a clear day you can also see North Korea overlooking the Seoul skyline.
Bukchon Hanok village is a 600-year-old village where the architecture has remained intact from the Joseon era. The village is located in Jongno in Seoul. The village has a picturesque neighbourhood and has a few traditional skill transmitter houses where artisans of local arts live. You can enjoy an evening walk visiting the neighbourhood and then head over to Changbok palace. And, then finish your visit to Bukchon Hanok with a hearty traditional meal or barbecue.
Korean BBQ is quite different from American barbecue both in taste, preparation, and how it is presented in restaurants. Rather than a dry rub Korean barbeque places use marinade to give succulent and sweet taste to meats like pork. Most Korean barbecue restaurants provide barbecue grills on each table, where eaters or waiters upon request cook the meat. The experience is quite unique and is worth giving a try.
Myeongdong is one of the most famous shopping streets in South Korea and for tourists, it is a great place to experience local snacks and shop Korean local products including apparel, and daily essentials. Myeongdong shopping street is a fashion street where Korean fashion fans can have a wonderful time.
The night market in the street is vibrant and colourful with vendors. Some of the most famous stores that you may checkout for souvenirs or finding cute items are Daiso, Artbox for potteries and home decor, O’sulloc for Korean tea.
Also, if you are enthusiastic about widely recognized K-beauty brands you can check out the stores like Olive Young, Laniege, Etude House, Skinfood. There are also numerous shopping malls to check out like M Square, Noon Square, LotteYoung Plaza.
The war memorial of Korea is located on the previous Korean army base where there are outdoor & indoor exhibitions of military history in Korea. The war memorial is located in Yong-sang dong, and it was first opened in 1994.
The four above ground and two underground rooms exhibit a vast collection of memorabilia and items from the Korean military. The black marble monuments in the building were built to pay gratitude to martyrs and veterans of the Korean War, Vietnam war. It’s a great place to know about the political history of South Korea.
If you are visiting Seoul, Korea there are a few foods that you can’t really miss. Some of them are unbelievably delicious with real pungent flavours and you mustn’t forget about the unforgettable delicacies. Seoul has traditional Japanese bbq places to upscale cafes, as well as fine dining options.
Some of the food items you should never miss on a Seoul trip are gamjatang (potato and pork stew), banchan in any meal, gogigui (grilled meat & seafood), kimchi stew, naengmyeon, and samgyetang (chicken stew) for main dishes. For Korean street food the must-try items are tteokbokki, dakkgochi, twigim, oden and hotteok. Here are the top places to visit for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in Seoul.
From traditional Korean breakfasts to decadent Western breakfast, you can find all kinds of places in Seoul. Some of the top recommended places for visiting are Egg Drop for pocket-friendly easy meals, the Skyfarm for an exquisite breakfast, and Fave Bakery on Yeonmadeong to start your day with freshly baked pastries and bread.
The local restaurants for authentic Korean foods are not hard to find. And, upon visiting Seoul you will find a lot of authentic restaurants in like Na Jjeong-sun Halmae Jjukkumi which is a great option for spicy foods, like spicy octopus or Jjukumi, noodles, and other traditional foods.
Han Chu is another restaurant in Seoul, to try traditional Korean fried chicken and beer. Another place to visit for traditional restaurants is Yeontabal BBQ Restaurant where you will get to eat Korean charcoal BBQ. Another traditional restaurant with a 120-year-old tradition is Imun Seolnongtang, where you will get phenomenal ox-bone soup.
Gwangjang Market: This is one of the oldest and traditional markets of Seoul where you will find the most scrumptious traditional street foods.
In the Gwangjang market, you will see an array of vendors selling street foods, and some of the must-eats on this street are mung bean pancakes, fried dumplings, boribap( rice and barley with veggies), kalguksu( knife-cut noodles), and spicy rice cakes. You can grab your breakfast or mid-day snacks from here.
Namdaemun Market: Namdaemun Market is one of the busiest markets located near the South Gate. This is a perfect place to stop by in the evening for shopping and grabbing snacks. You will find three alleys with food vendors there: Galchi Jorim, Kalguksu Alley, a street food alley selling staples and favourite street foods of Seoul.
Hope the detailed information provided here helps you map out your Seoul itinerary. Seoul is a beautiful city with cool hangout places, traditional landmarks but at the same time a city with booming hip-hop artists. Seoul is a great city to start your Korea tour as it gives you the glimpse of history, culture, and future advances simultaneously.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many days is enough in Seoul?
While you can certainly see some of the highlights of Seoul in just a few days, we recommend spending at least 5-7 days in the city to really get a feel for its culture, history, and cuisine. This itinerary covers a week in Seoul, with plenty of time to explore the city’s neighborhoods, museums, and markets.
How long should I travel in Seoul?
A 7-day itinerary is a great amount of time to explore Seoul and its surrounding areas. This will give you enough time to see all the major sights, try the delicious food, and even take a day trip to nearby attractions.
Which part of Seoul is best to stay?
It really depends on your preferences and what you want to do in Seoul. Some popular neighborhoods for tourists include Myeong-dong for shopping and nightlife, Gangnam for upscale shopping and dining, and Hongdae for its youthful and artsy vibe. It’s also worth considering staying near a subway station for easy access to all parts of the city.
What time of year is best for Seoul?
The best time to visit Seoul is during the spring (April to June) or autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and comfortable. Summer (July to August) can be hot and humid, while winter (December to February) can be very cold with occasional snow.
Is Seoul cheap for tourists?
Seoul can be affordable for tourists if you plan your trip carefully. There are plenty of budget-friendly accommodations, street food options, and free or low-cost attractions to visit. With a little research and planning, you can enjoy a great trip to Seoul without breaking the bank.