10+ Exciting Things To Do In Seoul South Korea

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Ready for an adventure? Check out this Seoul travel guide for the best things to do in Seoul, South Korea, and start planning your trip!

 

Visit Gyeongbokgung

I was surprised to learn that in Seoul, there are not only one but five major palaces. Among them, Gyeongbokgung is Korea’s largest and most important palace.

Hanbok Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul South Korea

When visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace, don’t miss the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony or the Ceremony of Guarding Gwanghwamun Gate. The events will happen almost every hour between 10 am and 4 pm at Gyeongbokgung Palace, every day except Tuesdays.

Performance Times

  • Royal Guard Changing Ceremony: 10:00, 14:00 / 20 minutes per ceremony
  • The ceremony of Guarding Gwanghwamun Gate: 11:00, 13:00 / 10 minutes per ceremony
    * Events may be canceled in the case of rain.

Seoul Korea Palace

Travel tips

 

Try Hanbok

There are many ways to get a glimpse of Korean culture, and one of them is wearing Hanbok and taking a stroll through Seoul.

Hanbok is traditional Korean attire for formal occasions such as festivals, celebrations, and ceremonies. You can find Hanbok rental shops in most tourist areas in Seoul city. 

Bukchon Hanok Village Seoul Korea travel guide

Is it okay for foreigners to wear Hanbok?

Yes. Korean love seeing foreign visitors in their national dress. It shows their culture and is encouraged by the Korean Tourism board. 

Free admission when wearing Hanbok: A bonus point of wearing Hanbok is that you can enter the Palaces in Seoul for free!

Here is the list of five palaces waiving admission fees for visitors wearing hanbok: 

  • Gyeongbokgung
  • Changdeokgung
  • Changgyeonggung
  • Deoksugung
  • Gyeonghuigung

Read more: My Hanbok experience in Seoul, South Korea

Rental places: Book your Hanbok rental in Seoul here.

Note: The structure of a Hanbok is much more complex than today’s modern clothing. So don’t hesitate to ask the seller to introduce and guide how to wear this costume.

 

Explore Bukchon Hanok Ancient Village

Located between Gyeongbokgung palaces and Changdeokgung Palace is a famous old village called Bukchon Hanok.

The village is home to more than 400 old houses that you often see in Korean historical dramas. The area has many lovely cafes, tranquil tea ceremonies, restaurants, and souvenir shops selling exquisite Korean handicrafts.

Bukchon village Seoul view

 

Be creative at Trickeye Museum Seoul.

Trickeye Museum is an interesting spot to visit in Seoul.

At Trickeye Museum, there are six areas with six attractive themes in many aspects such as fairy, love, wildlife theme, and adventure.

Using three spaces combining walls, ceilings, and the floor creates works of art capable of deceiving the eyes – the birthplace of many beautiful and impressive photos.

Trickeye Museum Seoul South Korea.

 

See the view from N Seoul Tower

Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2 (i) ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Located on Namsan Mountain, N Seoul Tower is the second-highest point in Seoul, with 236 meters. The tower offers breathtaking panoramic views of Seoul, especially at night when the city light up.

The tower is also a location where many couples leave a love lock to show their attachment and seal their romantic promises.

Seoul Tower South Korea

 

Try Korean Royal Cuisine

Suppose you’d like to experience authentic Royal Korean Cuisine visit Myeongdongjeong. Here, you can enjoy a traditional feast that was served to royalty in the Joseon dynasty.

 You can even dress up in traditional Korean royal clothes to complete the experience. 

Address: Seong Chang Building 1F (Parking lot beside Sejong Hotel), 299, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul

How to get there: On the subway, take Line 4 to Myeongdong Station Exit 10, then walk for 1 minute.

Opening Hours:

  • Monday-Sunday: 11:00-16:00
  • Monday-Sunday: 17:00-23:00

Kimchi

 

Visit Nami island

Located about 60 km from the capital, Nami Island is an ideal place to visit if you are a fan of Korean dramas.

The island has a unique semicircle, like a leaf boat standing out on the long river. In the center of the island, there is a lush green lawn of up to 260,000 square meters, surrounded by vegetation, including chestnut trees and birch trees. Also, Nami island has a zoo, botanical garden, and attractive entertainment area.

The island has its unique beauty every season, but the best time to visit Nami Island is autumn when the trees begin to change color.

Travel tips: I recommend taking a day tour that includes Nami Island, Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm, and Gangchon Rail Bike experience. 

Nami island Seoul Korea

 

Try street food

One of my favorite things to do in Seoul is to try street food! You don’t even have to pay a lot to eat in a fancy restaurant because the street food is already fulfilling. 

Eomuk fish cake Korean food

 

Have a fun day at Lotte World

Lotte World is the second most vibrant entertainment complex in South Korea, with the largest indoor entertainment area in the world.

It has an outdoor entertainment area called Magic Land, an artificial island connected to a bustling shopping center.

At Lotte World, you can also find a luxury hotel, the Museum of Korean Folk, a sports playground, a cinema, and many attractive entertainment spots.

Lotte World Seoul Korea

 

Visit DMZ

Are you looking to know more about the relationship between North and South Korea and the reality of the former? Then take a tour to the DMZ (the Korean Demilitarized Zone) to learn more. 

With the DMZ tour, you can explore the zone’s most important landmarks: Imjingak Park, the Unification Bridge, the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, and the Dorasan Train Station.

 

Explore at Namdaemun Market

Address: 21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Namchang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Namdaemun is Korea’s largest traditional market. Here, not only go sightseeing, but you can also find and buy the freshest fruits and vegetables, which are specialties of the land of kimchi.

The market is also the gateway for you to enter the world of Korean cuisine with delicious street food.

 

Go shopping at Myeongdong

Address: Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Myeongdong is one of the busiest shopping districts in Seoul. It’s the gateway to the world of fashion and cosmetics. You can find all the famous Korean cosmetic brands in Myeongdong, from Innisfree to Tony Moly and MISSHA.

I love getting lost in Myeongdong, trying products, and getting free samples. Myeongdong is also a famous place for theme cafes, notably Hello Kitty cafes, puppy coffee, and cats.

best things to do in Seoul South Korea shopping

 

Stroll around Seokchon Lake

Seokchon Lake is a highlight of the city, bringing natural color to the bustling town. Especially from March to April, you can experience the traditional Korean cherry blossom festival here.

In addition to watching cherry blossoms blooming, you can also enjoy the jubilant atmosphere of the festival and try interesting activities.

  1. The Royal Guard ceremony and the market look like things I’d love to do. I also think your photos are so lovely. They’re so vibrant and colorful, which is perfect! The DMZ tour looks like a winner, too!

  2. I would absolutely love to dress up in the Hanbok. I bet that makes for some amazing photos. Seoul is a place on my bucket list and I really hope I can go soon. The DMZ tour sounds like a must-do too!

  3. There are so many things to do/explore in Seoul. Would like to visit the city someday. I would especially like to visit DMZ, Nami Island. Also, Gyeongbokgung palace looks stunning!

  4. We raced around Seoul with a great guide for a day and managed to see many of these key sites. I am sure glad I was not wearing a Hanbok as we moved from site to site. That will be left for a return visit. We had less time to just sit and soak up the city vibe! And we are sorry we missed the panoramic view from the N Seoul Tower. Would be fun to visit when the cherry trees are in bloom at Seokchon Lake.

  5. I’ve visited Seoul twice and done some of the things in this list, such as the DMZ, wearing a hanbok, and visiting Nami Island. Would really love to go again and do the rest, especially trying the royal cuisine. Love Korean food.

  6. I haven’t visited Seoul till now. But, it seems like there are numerous interesting things to do and explore. I loved the idea of wearing Hanbok. It is quite interesting how one gets easy access to so many places if you wear the traditional Hanbok. Shopping and eating are my favourite things to do in a new city.

  7. Awwww. We miss Seoul. We were supposed to visit last year but the trip got canceled due to the pandemic. Trickeye Museum Seoul and Nami Island is actually part of our itinerary. Thank you for the tips.

  8. I haven’t been to Korea yet, but I would like to visit it one day. Seul is on the top of my list. Wearing Hanbok and taking a stroll through Seoul must be an amazing experience. I would love to learn as much as possible about reach Korean culture and traditions. Photos in Hanbok are fabulous. An old village called Bukchon Hanok seems to be perfect as well. It’s impressive that there are 400 old houses. Trickeye Museum Seoul also seems exciting with such a variety of themes in many aspects such as fairy, love, wildlife theme, and adventure. It’s truly comprehensive and full of great tips Seoul itinerary.

  9. For a start, Gyeongbokgung Palace looks beautiful and as you suggest Guard Changing Ceremonies in Palaces is what always draws large crowds and I wouldn’t like to miss it. There is so much I see one can do here. Street food, wearing local costumes, and getting photographed would be nice. Namdaemun Market & Seokchon Lake would certainly be a highlight for us.

  10. I have wanted to visit South Korea for the last few years, but could never make it. I am so fascinated to the city of Seoul, thanks to the popularity of K-dramas.

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