My previous post was about first timer basics about getting around South Korea, particularly Seoul. So you know the how-tos, what’s next?
Here are my TOP 25 recommended tourist spots to visit during your first time in Seoul (WINTER edition)
NOTE: For navigation instructions, download the VISIT KOREA APP.
It contains detailed instructions on how to get to your point of interest.
1. Go on a light hike at Namsan Tower – Also known as N Seoul Tower. This marks the highest point in Seoul. Sunset views are amazing here. You can take a cable car going up, but you can also opt to go on a light hike.
Namsan Tower gives you a better look at Seoul’s buildings.
This is what the trail looks like. It has moderate assaults and it is made of a concrete pavement. Come here during golden hour and get photos of natural warm tones.
Getting there: Myeongdong Station, Exit 7. Or take a cab from Seoul Station
2. Learn about Korea’s history at Gyeongbokgung Palace – This is the largest (and most famous) of 5 palaces built by ancient Koreans. Entrance fee is about KRW 3,000. On Saturdays, there are volunteer guides who tell you a more detailed description about this place.
Getting there: Gyeongbokgung Station, Exit 5
3. Go coffee shop hopping at Samcheongdong
Samcheongdong is a few minutes walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace. You will find a lot of interesting shops and cafes here. It is known as the coffee street. It is not near a train station so prepare to walk.
In Seoul, coffee shops are everywhere! And they get filled with people. Coffee is part of Koreans’ daily routine. You can get a cup of coffee for KRW 4,000. Samcheongdong’s coffee is quite expensive because it is a popular tourist area.
Getting there: Anguk Station, Exit 1
4. Check out traditional houses at Bukchon Hanok Village
This tourist area is also near Gyeongbokgung palace, alight at Anguk Station. It is composed of traditional houses and alleyways. You can opt to stay at one of the Bnbs here for that full traditional Korean homestay experience.
Getting there: Anguk Station, Exit 2
5. Shop for known brands at Apgujeong/Sinsa-dong
Gangnam is famous not only because of Psy’s song, but because it is heavily focused on wealth and high standard of living. High end brands can be found around this shopping area.
One of my favorite Korean Brands, 3CE by StyleNanda’s flagship store is here!!! Though price is slightly higher than other brands such as Etude House, Skinfood and Nature Republic.
Getting there: Sinsa station or Apgujeong Station Exit 2
6. Appreciate art and play games at Hongdae
Being one of the best art schools in Korea, Hongik University is best known for its youthful ambience. It is alive at night, filled with street performances, games and art displays. We tried playing this balloon game for KRW 5,000 (Php 200) and we ‘won’ a duck plushie!
Some students watching other students perform dance numbers in the street.
Art displays are everywhere! You can shop for “artsy/unique pieces” in the area. There are also restaurants that are affordable, because they cater mostly to students.
Getting there: Hongik University, Exit 2
7. Place a love lock
Getting there: Myeongdong Station, Exit 7 or 8 or take a cab from Seoul Station
8. Try different kinds of streetfood at Myeongdong
Korea is amazing because of its variety of street food to choose from. I literally wanted to try everything. From crepes to bbqs, to chicken, fish and even noodles. Name it and they have it. Take a break from your shopping and enjoy these unique delicacies.
During my 7 day stay in Seoul, I would always buy this spicy chiken with potatoes and would eat it inside our hotel room, alongside with Soju and Milkis.
The price range of streetfood is from KRW 1,000 – 3,000 (Php 40-120)
Getting there: Myeongdong Station Exit 6
9. Shop for unique pieces at Sincheon
This is one of the hottest shopping areas for young women in Seoul since it is located near Ewha Woman’s University. If you have the time, take a stroll around the area and you will see interesting shops that cater to mostly young women. There is also an area wherein they sell a lot of shoes.
Price range is from KRW 10,000 (Php 390) up.
Getting there: Ewha Woman’s University
10. Take photos of Ewha Woman’s University’s beautiful campus
Getting there: Ewha Woman’s University
11. Be a kid at heart at Everland
Our everland experience was bad because it snowed the night before and we found out that our tickets cannot be refunded. In short, we wasted money and time. It was too cold here, I wanted to stay indoors and near the provided heaters. Though you can still enjoy the park during winter, better check the weather before proceeding with your trip.
Everland offers packages with shuttle services. To know more about the prices, visit their official website. We paid 2,000 php roughly for the entrance fee.
COEX is Korea’s Largest underground shopping mall. Directions: Samsung Station, Exit 2
There is also an underground shopping mall in Hongdae.
13.Take a stroll and take beautiful photos at Haneul Park
Situated at the highest part, Haneul Park means “Sky Park” when translated in English. It is part of 5 parks around the World Cup Stadium Station.
Visitors are welcomed with scenic views of Seoul. During winter, the park boasts naturally beautiful warm tones, great for golden hour portraiture. You can take a leisurely stroll around the park. There are many resting areas and there is a shop that offers snacks and dessert.
This is the view atop Haneul Park.
Getting there: Take World Cup Stadium and then take a cab to Haneul Park (Quickest Way)