Have a plan to go to Seoul but still don’t know what to do? So I’ve sum up 15 fun things to do in Seoul. Let’s check it out! 😉
1. Shopping at Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Insadong, and Namdaemun Market
There are 4 famous markets in Seoul: Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Insadong, and Namdaemun. Each market has its own specialties.
If you want to buy cosmetics, you have to go to Myeongdong. Myeongdong is the heaven for Korean beauty and skin care products.
If you want to buy clothes or fashion things, you have to go to Dongdaemun. In Dongdaemun you’ll find a lot of malls. But don’t go to the mall, instead go to the market for the cheaper price.
Insadong is the market for you to buy souvenirs. So, Insadong is a must-visit if you go to Seoul. Because you’ll have to buy souvenirs, right?
Namdaemun is more like a traditional market. You’ll find houseware, fine art, etc in here. Namdaemun is also popular of its Ginseng Market. So, if you’re interested to buy Korean Ginseng, this is your place. You also will find Korean souvenirs here, and it’s cheaper than Insadong. But it doesn’t have so many choices like in Insadong.
- Myeongdong: [Subway]
Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exits 5, 6 & 7.
Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exits 5, 6, 7 & 8.
- Dongdaemun: Seoul Subway Line 2 Dongdaemun Stadium Station, or Line 1 or 4 Dongdaemun Station
- Insadong: [Subway]
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
Go 100m straight, then turn left.
- Namdaemun: [Subway]
Hoehyeon Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 5.
2. Buy cheap clothes at Ehwa Womans University and Hongdae
The first point above I mentioned about the most famous shopping places in Seoul. But actually if you want to buy cheap clothes you should go to Ehwa Womans University and Hongdae area. Both places are the area for youth people, especially college students, so that’s why they sell cheap stuffs which fit to students pockets 😛
Anyway, the view inside Ehwa Womans University and Hongik University Hongdae are so beautiful. No wonder, so many people said, Ehwa is the most prettiest university in Seoul. So, if you want to buy cheap clothes in both places, you also should go inside the university.
If you go to Hongdae at night, you can watch the show of street musicians. It’s really interesting to watch it. This place is full of young people, so lively, and bustling with noises. So many cafes, restaurants, bars, etc.
- Ehwa Womans University: Ewha Womans University Station (Subway Line 2)
- Hongdae: Hongik University Station (Subway Line 2), Exit 9
3. Watch Royal Guard Changing Ceremonies at Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwanghwamun Area, and Deoksugung Palace
Here you will feel like you live in the Kingdom of Korea, not only because the place is a Royal Palace, but moreover there’s a Royal Guard Changing Ceremonies. These ceremonies are held in some places in Seoul, such as in Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwanghwamun Area, and Deoksugung Palace. Below are the schedule of Royal Guard Changing Ceremonies at Gyeongbokgung Palace and Gwanghwamun Area.
– Sumunjang (Royal Guard) Changing Ceremony
10:00, 14:00 / 20 minutes per ceremony
– Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on-Duty Performance
11:00, 13:00 / 10 minutes per ceremony
– Sumungun (Gatekeeper) Military Training (outside Hyeopsaengmun Gate)
09:30, 13:30 / 15 minutes per ceremony
Below is the schedule of Royal Guard Changing Ceremony at Deoksugung Palace:
11:00-11:40 / 14:00-14:40 / 15:30-16:30 (excluding Mondays).
Anyway, don’t forget to take picture/selfie with the guard 😉
- Gyeongbokgung Palace: Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5.
- Gwanghwamun: Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2.
- Deoksugung Palace: City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2), Exit 2.
– Go straight 100m to arrive at Daehanmun Gate on the right.
4. Take a picture with the Huge Brown at LINE Friends Myeongdong
I am sure most of you have LINE as your chat app. You also absolutely familiar with Brown, Cony, Sally, and James. Yes, in Seoul they are available in their own cafes and stores. If you want to take picture with the Huge Brown, you have to go to LINE Friends in Myeongdong.
For additional information, there’s another LINE Store and Cafe which located in Garosu-gil. In this place, the Brown is not that huge. But since there’s a cafe here, you can also try some LINE characters’ desserts. It’s really cute desserts that you won’t to miss.
- LINE Friends Myeongdong: Myeongdong Station Exit 6, walk straight, and turn left at Nature Republic
5. Watch the show of Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain
Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain is the longest bridge fountain in the world and is recognized by Guinness Book of World Records. Banpo Bridge is located in downtown Seoul over the Han River. If in the morning the fountain sparkles with the sun, then when in the night will turn into a fountain show with music and colors of the rainbow, which is bright, vibrant, and of course beautiful.
Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain operates every day from April to October, five times a day for 20 minutes from Monday to Thursday, six times on Friday and seven times on weekends. Below are the schedule of Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain:
April-June, September-October (Duration: 20 min)
Weekdays: 12:00, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
Weekends: 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
July-August (Duration: 20 min)
Weekdays: 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
Weekends: 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00, 21:30
- [Subway] Dongjak Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 1 or 2.
- [Bus] Take Bus 405 or 8340 and get off at Banpo Hangang Park.
6. Wear Hanbok at Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village, or Insadong
If you go to Korea, you have to try wearing Korean traditional clothes, named Hanbok. This applies for men and women. This is one of the fun things to do in Korea, strolling around tourist attractions by wearing Hanbok.
The tourist attractions in Seoul to wear Hanbok are Gyeongbokgung Palace (so it looks like the Korean Royal Prince and Princess), Bukchon Hanok Village, or Insadong. You can choose one of the three tourist attractions. When I was in Seoul last time, I tried it in Bukchon Hanok Village. There are so many Hanbok rental shops you can choose which located nearby the tourist attractions. Or you can also book the rental shop online. It’s easier than choosing on the spot.
Because those places are the tourist attractions, so if we go there by wearing Hanbok, it looks like we’re the real Korean. When I was in Bukchon Hanok Village with my Indonesian friends, wearing Hanbok, some tourists from Japan approached us to take picture with them, because they thought we’re all Koreans. LOL 😀
- Gyeongbokgung Palace: [Subway]
Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and Exit 5.
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and Exit 1.
- Bukchon Hanok Village:[Subway]
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 1 or 2.
– Go straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok Village.
- Insadong: [Subway]
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
Go 100m straight, then turn left.
7. Take picture in front of I.SEOUL.U Sign at Yeouido Hangang Park
I.SEOUL.U Sign is a sign or new brand name of Seoul. I.SEOUL.U means “Between people, there is Seoul”. The long explanation is, “Between “you” and “I,” among citizens, and among people all around the world… Seoul is at the center of all relationships. Seoul is a city where diverse nationalities and generations, mountains and rivers, ancient palaces and skyscrapers, and all disparate elements coexist in harmony.”
There are also some people who said I.SEOUL.U means I Heart U, or I Love U. I think this could be means I Love U, Seoul 😀
I.SEOUL.U Sign at Yeouido Hangang Park is the biggest sign in Seoul. This is one of the most photogenic place in Seoul. So, for those of you who really love Seoul, you have to go here and take a picture with it.
- I.SEOUL.U Sign: Yeouinaru Station (Subway Line 5), Exit 2 or 3
8. Visit COEX Mall, The Biggest Underground Mall in Asia
The biggest Underground Mall in Asia is COEX Mall which located in Samseong-dong, Seoul. It covers an area of 85,000 square meters with 250 stores. The Foodcourt is able to serve 1000 visitors at once. Not only that, in this mall there is an aquarium that contains thousands of fish and other marine inhabitants. It is the largest aquarium in Seoul.
In COEX Mall, there’s an Italian restaurant called “The Place”. The special menu here is the “Bomb Pizza”. “The Bomb” is actually a dough that is covered with alcohol and set alight in front of those who order it. The dome, which can either be black (squid ink) or pink, then erupts into flames, and after the “show” is finished or as the fire dies down it is then cut open with scissors. After the top is removed a gooey pizza is revealed inside. Not only the pizza we can eat, but the dough “Bomb” itself can be eaten. And it was tasteless, only the crispy taste.
- Samseong Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 5 or 6.
-Enter COEX Mall through the connecting passageway.Cheongdam station (Seoul Subway Line7), Exit 2.
-Walk straight out of the exit for about 10~15 mins.
-Walk into ASEM Square that leads to COEX Mall.
9. Cafe Hopping in Seoul
Are you an Instagram addict? If so, I bet you won’t miss to do this activity, Cafe Hopping! To make your Instagram feeds pretty, you must put your prettiest picture at cute cafes in Seoul. There are so many cute cafes which are Instragammable in Seoul. Not only that, some of the cafes are also often used as a place for filming the K-drama. So, for those of you who love K-Drama, you won’t miss to visit the cafes where your favorite K-drama was shot. Anyway for your additional information, I’ve found an interesting tour on the internet for K-Drama Shooting Spots Tour in Seoul. The locations are in some places in Seoul, such as Bukchon Hanok Village, Insadong, N-Seoul Tower, and also Han River cruise.
Right before I went to Korea, I have listed four cafes that I wanted to visit in Seoul. Those four cafes are Miss Lee Cafe, LINE Store and Cafe, Dress Cafe, and Yellow Cafe. But because we had no time to visit all of the cafes, so I only went to one of them, Miss Lee Cafe. Miss Lee Cafe is truly an Instagrammable cafe in Seoul!
- Miss Lee Cafe: Nearby Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6
- LINE Store&Cafe: Sinsa Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 8. Walk straight and turn left after you pass Tous Les Jours Bakery, continue walk for around 5 minutes and you will find the cafe on your left side.
- Dress Cafe: Ehwa Womans University (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 1. Make a right at the next big intersection. The cafe is a few steps away from the corner. Go downstairs for the entrance.
- Yellow Cafe: Dongdaemun Station (Seoul Subway Line 1,4), Exit 8.
10. Feel the romance in Nami Island
Seoul is one of the romantic city. There are so many tourist attractions in Seoul that have romance nuance. To me, the most recommended place to enjoy the romance is in Nami Island. Especially if you go during Autumn or Winter with your partner, it will be more romantic. Nami Island is now famous because it was a shooting location of the famous K-Drama, Winter Sonata. Nami Island is located 63km from downtown Seoul.
- Nami Island: Take the shuttle bus from Gapyeong Station, then take Ferry or Zip Wire to Nami Island
11. Enjoy Seoul Cityscape
Who wanna take a picture with the background of Seoul city? Raise your hand!
If you want to enjoy Seoul cityscape you have to go to the highest place in Seoul. There are some places that you can visit to enjoy the cityscape: Haneul Park, N-Seoul Tower, and Mt. Bukhansan.
Haneul Park is one of five parks in World Cup Park. To reach Haneul Park, we must climb a staircase of 290 steps or take the winding hiking trail. The top of the park offers incredible views of Seoul. Haneul Park derives its name, which means ‘sky’ in Korean, from its status as the park with the highest elevation in the area.
N-Seoul Tower is located in mountainous area, Namsan Mountain (243m). It is famous of its love lock. To me, the love lock is just so-so, nothing special, but it’s really good to see Seoul cityscape from this place. We can go up to the Observatory room, then we will see the beautiful Seoul cityscape from the height of 480m above sea level.
Mt. Bukhansan is located in the north of Seoul. Bukhansan in English means, “Big Mountain in the North”. Mt. Bukhansan has several peaks, however the main peak is Baegunbong. If you stand up at this peak, Baegunbong, you’ll see the Seoul cityscape and Hangang River. Sounds cool, right? 😉 Then, there’s also another peak in Mt. Bukhansan which famous of its granite stone, named Insubong. Insubong is located more than 200m above sea level. If you have extra time, you have to go hiking in Mt.Bukhansan.
- Haneul Park: [Subway]
World Cup Stadium Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 1.
Cross the street and walk for 3- 5 min toward Mapo Agriculture-Fisheries Market.
At the right of the building, take the free shuttle (20 min interval).
- N-Seoul Tower: [Bus]
Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus
1. Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus No. 02
– Take the bus from the closest subway station: Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, 4), Exit 2 (in front of Daehan Cinema) or Dongguk University Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.2. Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus No. 03
– Take the bus from the closest subway station: Seoul Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 4), Exit 9, Itaewon Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 4 or Hangangjin Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 2.3. Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus No. 05
– Take the bus from the closest subway station: Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 3 or Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2 (in front of Daehan Cinema).[Cable Car]
Get off at Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4) and Exit 3.
Walk for about 15 minutes following the street on the right side of the Pacific Hotel. The cable car boarding place will be seen ahead.
- Mt.Bukhansan: [Subway]
Bukhansan National Park
Gireum Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 3.
Take Bus 110B or 143, and get off at the last bus stop.[Bukhansanseong Fortress]
Gupabal Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 1.
Take Bus 704 bound for Bukhansanseong Fortress (북한산성).
Get off at the Bukhansan Mountain entrance bus stop.[Dobong Area]
Mangwolsa Station (Seoul Subway Line 1)
Walk 10min to arrive at the Dobong management office of Bukhansan National Park.
12. Watch Parade at Everland Theme Park
Everland Theme Park is the biggest theme park in South Korea. Even though it’s not in Seoul, but since it’s really near to Seoul, so it can be reach easily from Seoul. Everland Theme Park is located in Yongin city, Gyeonggi-do province, South Korea. From Seoul, there’s a direct shuttle bus to Everland.
There are so many fun rides you can try in here. And even there are some parades that held in Everland, so it’s so much fun to be in Everland. At that time, around 8.30pm local time, I watched a cool parade, named Moonlight Parade in Everland. The theme is about 40th Anniversary of Everland. Most of the participants come from different kinds of countries, most of them are Westerns. They wore clothes that decorated with lamps and lights. The vehicles, and everything are also decorated with lamps and lights. It’s really super cool!!
Jeondae-Everland Station (Yongin EverLine), Exit 3.
– Take the shuttle bus to Everland (Operating hours 05:30-23:30).[Bus]
1) Sinnonhyeon, Gangnam, Yangjae Stations: Bus 5002
2) Pangyo, Segok-dong, Suseo, Songpa, Jamsil, Gangbyeon Stations: Bus 5700
3) Sadang, Nambu Terminal Stations (via Bundang and Gwangju): Bus 1500-2
4) Gangbyeon, Gangdong Stations (via Gwangju): Bus 1113
13. OOTD at Common Ground
Common Ground is an interesting big blue building and is the first Pop-Up container shopping mall in Korea. It is said as the biggest pop-up container shopping mall in the world, which contains 2 buildings: Street Market and Market Hall, and 3 floors in each buildings.
This place is the new landmark or hipster in Kondae area, around Konkuk University Station (Seoul Subway Line 2,7), which located in the eastern of Seoul. This place is the hot place for young people in Korea to see the exhibition, shopping, culinary, or just take pictures outside. Common Ground is famous of local people, but still new to foreigners. Maybe you have seen in Instagram, there are some people took #OOTD pictures here.
- Common Ground: [Subway]
Konkuk University Station (Seoul Subway Line 2 or 7), Exit 6.
Walk straight for 250m to arrive at destination.
14. Experience Sauna Jjimjilbang
Jjimjilbang is the Korean sauna, and also public bath which equipped with hot water pool, dry and wet sauna place, as well as various other facilities such as rest area, bed room, cafeteria, massage, facial, TV, computer / internet, and some even provide karaoke room, fitness, and free hotspot / wifi .
Jjimjilbang can be your alternative cheap accommodation, because most of it opens 24 hours. One of the most famous Jjimjilbang is Dragon Hill Spa Seoul. Sauna is one of Korean tradition, so many foreigners are usually interested to experience Korean sauna. The most interesting part of Jjimjilbang is we all have to be NAKED. But don’t worry, they will separate the room for men and women 😉
15. Taste Korean Foods
Going to Korea is not completed if you haven’t taste the Korean foods, such as Tteokbokki, Kimchi, Kimbap, Bibimbap, Samgyetang, etc. In Korea almost every day I ate tasty foods. Even though the average price was 8,000 – 10,000, but it’s worth it. The portion is big, side dish (Kimchi and vegetables) are free, mineral water is usually free, and it tastes so yummy. I think we spent so much money on food, but we’re all satisfied. 😀
So, if you go to Korea don’t be to stingy on foods. I bet you’ll be regret if you stingy on foods. LOL