“South Korea” is the country that whenever you hear its name, K-Pop, K-Drama and things like that cross your mind because of their worldwide popularity and craziness. K-Pop has made South Korea is famous on another level. However, at the same time, it has become one of the most underrated countries in the world in terms of natural beauty and culture.
If you are planning your trip to South Korea, this article will be helpful for visitors who want to explore South Korea. Here are the 13 best places to visit in Seoul: Popular attractions and fun activities that people should do when they travel in Seoul.
Everland is the largest amusement park in South Korea, located in Yongin. It is approximately one hour away from Seoul by car. Everland has many rides and attractions for all ages, including a water park called Caribbean Bay and a zoo with 1,000 animals from 80 different species.
It also has a 4D cinema in which riders can experience their favourite movies based on animated characters like Snoopy and Hello Kitty. It’s highly recommended to visit this area if you’re travelling to Seoul with children. It’s also worth noting that several annual festivals such as Tulip, Rose, and Summer Water happens in Everland.
Even if you’re not a fan of scary rides, this is an excellent destination for couples and families.
- Address: Gyeonggi-do, Yongin-si, Cheoin-gu, Pogog-eup, Everland-ro, 199 South Korea
- Entry Fee: Adults, ₩52,000; Children, ₩41,000
- Nearest Station: Jeondae-Everland (Yongin EverLine, Exit 3).
2. Lotte World
Over 7 million people a year visit Lotte World, the world’s largest indoor theme park. Daily parades and performances are inspired by seasonal festivals such as the Rio Samba Carnival and the Happy Christmas Party. At the same time, a variety of indoor and outdoor rides keep guests entertained throughout the day.
Additional attractions include an ice rink, an elevated monorail system, a folk museum, and a plethora of shopping. By visiting on a weekday, you can avoid crowds and long lines. Also, be sure to pick up a map at the entrance to help you navigate the complex’s many levels.
- Address: 240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Nearest Station: Jamsil (Line 2, 8; Exit 4)
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3. N Seoul Tower
The N SEOUL TOWER, which has become a symbol of Seoul, was built at the highest point in the city to provide a panoramic view of the city’s most beautiful images. Furthermore, Korea’s first general radio wave tower, built in 1969, broadcasts television and radio throughout the metropolitan area.
The N SEOUL TOWER houses transmission antennas for KBS, MBC, SBS TV and FM, and PBC, TBS, CBS, and BBS FM. This transmission tower receives broadcasts from 48 per cent of the country’s audio population. Because of the living nature of Namsan, the N SEOUL TOWER has served as a resting place for Seoul residents and a tourist attraction for foreign visitors since it opened to the public in 1980.
It has evolved into a form of ‘light art’ that combines various media art with an unusual cultural art experience, thanks to the latest LED technology lighting that constantly changes colours and patterns. When visiting here, please take the Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus (numbers 02 and 04), but take a cable car ride for the best view.
- Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Cable car boarding station: 15 minutes from Myeongdong (Line 4, Exit 3). Walk down the street on the right side of the Pacific Hotel, and it will be easily noticeable.
4. Hanbok Experience
If you visit Seoul, you must see the royal palaces. Traditional roof tiles supported by wooden pillars stand gracefully among the skyscraper jungle, reminding us all of Korea’s long history. Why not dress as the royal family did hundreds of years ago while you’re on the same grounds?
You can rent a hanbok for four hours for between ₩ 13,000 and ₩15,000 at various shops throughout Seoul. While this may seem like a steep price, those dressed in hanboks are granted free admission to Seoul’s four major palaces: Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, and Changgyeonggung. Furthermore, the vibrant clothing will make for memorable photographs.
5. Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok is a historically significant Korean traditional village in Seoul, between Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeok Palace, and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The traditional village is made up of numerous alleys and hanok.
It has been preserved to demonstrate a 600-year-old urban environment. It is now used as a traditional culture centre and hanok restaurant, allowing visitors to experience the vibe of the Joseon Dynasty. Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Seoul.
- Address: Jongno-gu, Gahoe-dong, Seoul, South Korea
- Entry Fee: FREE
- Nearby Station: Anguk Station (Line 3, Exit 1 or 2)
6. Gyeongbokgung Palace
The courtyard of Gyeongbokgung Palace is well-lit. Despite the shadows of uncertain tourists, you are reminded of the palace’s grandeur. Gyeongbokgung, also known as the ‘Northern Palace,’ is the largest and most well-known five palaces.
While a visit to such a popular destination may lack uniqueness, it is important to remember that the 1395 structure is also one of the most representative of the Joseon Dynasty. Seeing the sky reflected around Gyeonghoeru Palace, particularly on a clear blue day, can serve as a reminder of why specific popular destinations remain so popular.
- Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Entry fee: Adults ₩ 3,000, Youths ₩ 1,500.
- Nearby station: Gyeongbokgung Palace (Line 3, Exit 5)
7. Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace, the best preserved of all the palaces, is the preferred palace of the Joseon princes and a personal favourite of Seoul residents. Though it is small and quiet, Changdeokgung makes an impression due to its natural integration into the surrounding landscape.
Changdeokgung’s Secret Garden awes even the most jaded of visitors. Initially reserved for the king alone, the garden’s waters reflect the hues of the surrounding pavilions. If you’re fortunate enough to visit Korea in the spring or autumn, keep an eye out for the Moonlight Tour.
- Address: 99 Yulgok-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Entry fee: Adults ₩3,000, Youths ₩1,500.
- Nearby station: Anguk (Line 3)
Gangnam is the place to be for social gatherings and events. Before PSY’s Gangnam style took over, locals had been gathering here since its inception as a popular area among Koreans with an affinity towards fun times in their spare time!
- Entry Fee: FREE
- Nearby Station: Gangnam (Line 2, Exit 10 or 11)
9. Gwangjang Market
Gwangjang Market, The oldest traditional market in Seoul was established over 100 years ago. You’ll find a variety of fresh food here, and if you’re feeling too queasy at the thought, then I’m sorry because this is where most people go for their stomachs’ sake!
- Address: 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 4(sa)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Entry Fee: FREE Nearby stations: Jongno 5-ga Station (Line 1, Exit 8) or Euljiro 4-ga Station (Lines 2 or 5, Exit4)
Myeong-Dong, the best part about this area is all the street food vendors. If you’re looking for branded clothes and mid-range restaurants, then head over to Cheongdamdong Avenue! There’s no shortage of places in Central Seoul that cater exclusively to your taste buds with authentic Korean cuisine on every corner – perfect if spice isn’t an issue either 😉
- Admission Fee: FREE
- Nearest station: Myeongdong (Line 4, Exit 6).
11. Ewha Women’s University
Ewha Women’s University, it is the first Korean women’s educational institution, founded in 1986. A popular shopping area surrounds it as well. Although the shops here aren’t exactly large shopping malls, there are many small shops where you can find ready-made clothes, shoes, and cosmetics. Since most of the buyers are students, the prices are significantly lower than they would otherwise be.
- Address: 52 Ewhayeodae-gil, Daehyeon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Entrance Fee: FREE
- Nearest Station: Ewha Woman’s University Station (Line 2, Exit 2 or 3)
Hongdae, the centre of Seoul’s youth culture is the self-expression of many students. There are a lot of creative shops and a place for soothing food. It would be best to go here on Saturday; the free market in Hongdae comes to life on Saturday. This market is self-expression for young students who make handicrafts. It would be great to see from close up and feel a different picture.
- Entry Fee: FREE
- Nearby Station: Hongik University (Line 2, Exit 9)
13. A Day tour to Nami Island
Nami Island is a half-moon-shaped island in the middle of the Han River in Chuncheon. This place became the last tomb of General Nami. General Nami was a historical figure of the Jason dynasty. The famous WINTER SONATA (a Korean television series) was filmed, becoming a big hit throughout Asia and beyond.
How to get to Nami Island:
Arrive at Gapyeong Station via train. From the station, walk or take a cab to the ferry wharf, where you can purchase tickets to the island. Additionally, you can travel by bus. Take a shuttle bus from Insadong (near Tapgol Park’s West Gate) or the Sungnyemun Square Bus Stop in front of Namdaemun Market.
The bus departs at 9:30 am. The roundtrip fare is ₩ 15,00.
By emailing email@example.com or calling +82-2-753-1247, you can reserve a bus seat.
Entrance Fee for the ferry to Nami Island: ₩13,000.
Choosing the right place to stay:
There are three central backpacking districts in Seoul: Jongno, Myeongdong, and Hongdae. Which location is the best? Your financial situation determines it. Almost all of the major tourist attractions are located in the area as mentioned above, so it depends on which places you want to visit first—some of which are listed below.
Myeongdong. It is known as Seoul City’s University Area. It serves as Seoul’s central shopping district, connecting boutiques and department stores. It is close to Myeongdong Shopping Street and Namdaemun Market. If you enjoy shopping, you should come here. You are free to shop with all of your heart.
Hongdae-Sinchon. This vibrant neighbourhood is home to live cafés and clubs, art markets, and gourmet restaurants, making it a popular hangout for local youth as well as an intriguing place to explore. These one-of-a-kind locations, combined with the cultural events, street performances, and festivals here, make Hongdae a hive of activity and excitement. It is close to Hongik Mural Street, Hongik University Street, and Ehwa Women’s University. Stay here if you’re a foodie.
Jongno. The main historical and cultural centre of Seoul. Around Jongno, there are numerous historical temples, shrines, and traditional palaces. Jongno is home to four of the city’s five most significant monuments. Bukchon Hanok Village, Gwangjang Market, and Insa-dong are all nearby. If this is your first visit to Seoul, you should stay here. There are numerous tourist attractions within walking distance.
Getting to Seoul from Incheon Airport:
(AREX) EXPRESS Train: Express railway from the airport is the fastest route. Express trains usually cost ₩ 14,800 adults and ₩6900 children. Travel time is 43 minutes. (This is a non-stop train)
AREX ALL STOP Train: The cheapest option, but keep in mind that it is not direct. This train has 12 stops before arriving at Seoul station so that it will take a little longer (travel time: 58 minutes), but you will only have to pay ₩ 4250
By bus from Incheon Airport:
If your hotel/hostel is near one of the city’s bus stops. The bus journey will be the most convenient for you, and you won’t have to change trains, which is especially important if you have bags or luggage. I like this method because it is difficult for me to move from one train to another with 20+ kilo bags behind me. Surprisingly, each of Seoul’s three central backpacking districts has its bus stop! Remember that the buses you need to take are labelled with the following numbers:
JONGNO: 6002 bus (at Gate 5B or 12A). Take the Jongno 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 bus, whichever is closest to your hostel/hotel. Last bus: 11:30 pm. Fare: ₩ 10,000.
HONGDAE: 6002 bus (at Gate 5B or 12A). Take a train to Hongik University Station. Last bus: 11:30 pm. Fare: ₩ 10,000.
MYEONGDONG: 6015 bus (at Gate 5B or 11B). Leave the train at Myeongdong Station. Last bus: 10:50 pm. Fare: ₩ 15,000.
How to Get Around in the City:
Seoul is a city that is worth walking around. The locals are very welcoming to tourists and can assure people that it is safe to walk everywhere. Most historical sites are close to each other and can be explored on foot if you stay in The Jongno area.
Otherwise, there is always a subway station nearby, and if you go a little further, there is nothing to worry about. Take the subway to get to your destination faster. Seoul’s extensive subway system is the world’s third-largest, with 14 lines running from the bottom of the city to the top. The subway map appears complicated at first, but once you understand it, it’s pretty simple.
Other FAQs about Korea:
Language: Korean. English is widely spoken as well. The majority of roads and businesses are labelled in both English and Korean.
Currency: South Korean Won (KRW, ₩). KRW 1000 is roughly USD 0.86, MYR 3.61
Transaction Method: The majority of establishments accept cash, debit, and credit cards.
T-Money: The most commonly used payment method for transportation is a T-Money card. It will save you ₩ 100 per journey, which isn’t much, but it is convenient because you won’t have to buy tickets every time. Another benefit of this card is its acceptance on trains and buses in several cities, including Seoul and Busan. To avoid unfavourable outcomes, keep the minimum balance on it.
Pocket wifi Rental and SIM Card:
South Korea has the world’s fastest internet connection! Many places offer free wifi, particularly fast-food restaurants and cafes. Assume you want to ensure that you are always connected to the Internet. In that case, you can pre-purchase a 4G SIM card or rent pocket wifi online.
There are numerous shops near the tourism counter where you can purchase a sim card reasonably. There are various prepaid plans available depending on how long you plan to stay in Korea. Packages are available for 5, 10, and 30 days.
Discover Seoul Pass :
The Discover Seoul Pass is a one-of-a-kind tourism pass that grants access to many incredible attractions throughout Seoul! The pass is the most convenient way for visitors to visit and explore Seoul’s major tourist attractions.
The Discover Seoul Pass is available in 24-, 48-, and 72-hour increments. Tourists can visit various attractions, including Korea’s four grand palaces, with just one card (Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, and Deoksugung). You’ll get discounts on additional services and attractions with the Discover Seoul Pass! The card also functions as a transit card (T-money).
Here are some tourist sites covered by Discover Seoul Pass:
- N Seoul Tower (Observatory)
- MBC WORLD
- Trickeye & Ice Museum
- Gyeongbokgung Palace
- Changdeokgung Palace
- Changgyeonggung Palace
Where to Shop in Seoul:
Places other than Myongdong and Hongde where shopping can be done are
Dongdaemun Market: Everything is fashionable, from the most recent fabrics to bridal gowns. The complex consists of 26 shopping malls spread across five blocks, is home to 50,000 unique manufacturers and 30,000 speciality shops. Although this area is best known for wholesale, retail is also thriving.
Nearby Station: Dongdaemun Stadium (Line 2, 4 or 5)
Insadong: It’s ideal if you’re looking for traditional souvenirs such as artworks, ceramics, or paper goods, or if you’re interested in visiting some of the region’s traditional tea houses. Consider visiting on a Sunday, when the road is closed to motorists.
Nearby station: Jonggak Station (Line 1, Exit 3)
There are tons of things to do in Seoul, from skydiving to trying local delicacies. You’ll be amazed at how many things this South Korean capital city has to offer. Everything from the culture and scenery to the shopping and entertainment will blow you away. I definitely encourage you to add it to your list of places to visit in the future.