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1. Gyeongbokgung Palace
Gyeongbokgung Palace arguably the most beautiful and remains the grandest of all five palaces is also called “Northern Palace” because it is the furthest north when compared to the neighbouring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeongheegung (Western Palace).
The name of the palace, Gyeongbokgung, translates in English as “Palace of Shining Happiness.” The premises were destroyed by fire at the time of Japanese occupation from 1592-1598. However, all of the palace’s 7,700 rooms were later restored under the leadership of Heungseondaewongun during the reign of King Gojong.
The National Palace Museum of Korea is located south of Heungnyemun Gate, and the National Folk Museum is located east within Hyangwonjeong.
Free Guided Tour Start from in front of the information centre at Heungnyemun Gate (흥례문).
– Duration: About 1 hr-1 hr 30 min
– Time: English: 11:00, 13:30, 15:30 / Japanese: 10:00, 12:30, 14:30 / Chinese: 10:30, 12:30, 14:00, 16:00
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00. Closed on Tuesday
Admission Fees : Adult 3,000 KRW / Child 1,500 KRW
How to Get to Gyeongbokgung Palace
By Subway: Gyeongbokgung Station Line 3 – Exit 5 (Google Map)
2. Royal Guard Changing Ceremony
The Royal Guard changing ceremony started in 1459 during the Joseon Dynasty. After extensive research from historical records, the ceremony has been reenacted since 1996 allowing visitors a rare insight of this traditional royal palace ceremony.
The ceremony takes part at Gwanghwamun Gate, the entrance of Gyeongbokgung Palace where the king rules the country.
Royal Guard Changing Ceremony Time – Every hour starting from 1000 & ends at 1600. Closed on Tuesday.
How to Get to Gyeongbokgung Palace
By Subway: Gyeongbokgung Station Line 3 – Exit 5
It is all about fashion and skincare in Myeongdong, Seoul’s most prominent shopping district. If it’s the variety that you’re after, there’s no better place to shop than Myeong-dong where you’ll find everything from internationally-recognized name brands to unique items.
Myeongdong also houses a variety of family restaurants, fast food, plus Korean, Western and Japanese dining options. Many restaurants in Myeongdong specialize in pork cutlet (donkas) and kalguksu (thick noodles).
Not to forget, Myeongdong is the best place to shop for famous Korean Cosmetic brands such as Etude House, Skin Food, Laneige, The Face Shop, Missha!
Opening Hours: 10 am to 10 pm every day
How to Get to Myeongdong
By Subway: Myeongdong Station Line 4 – Exit 5, 6, 7, or 8 (Google Map)
4. N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower is a communication and observation tower located on Mt. Namsan. The tower has been a symbol of Seoul since it first opened to the public in 1980
From the top, the tower offers great panoramic views of the city. Visitors can enjoy its cultural space with various performances, movies, exhibitions as well as upscale restaurants and snack bars.
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Opening Hours : Sunday-Friday: 10:00-23:00 / Saturday: 10:00-24:00
By Subway & Bus
Chungmuro Station Line 3 or 4 – Exit 2. Take Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus No. 2 or 5 (in front of Daehan Cinema) to N Seoul Tower. (Google Map)
By Subway & Cable Car
Myeongdong Station Line 4 – 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.
Check the map – http://www.seoultower.co.kr/en/visit/cablecar
Fare: Round-trip – 8,500 won / One-way – 6,000 won
Cable Car Opening Hours: 10:00~22:30
5. Bukchon Hanok Village
Situated between by two palaces, Gyeongbokgung to the west and Changdeokgung to the east, this village has the largest cluster of privately owned traditional Korean wooden homes or hanok in Seoul.
The Bukchon area is a traditional residential area in Seoul that boasts 600 years of history. Its location reflects the views of neo-Confucianism, regarding the world and nature, during the Joseon Dynasty.
Hanok architecture places great emphasis on the topographical features of the land on which it is built. Structural arrangements, layouts, and other spatial aesthetics are major concerns here, as are the styles of the buildings themselves.
By Subway- Anguk Station Line 3 – Exit 2. Walk straight for about 300m. (Google Map)
6. Nami Island ( Winter Sonata )
For Korean Drama lovers, Nami Island is a place which does not require a further introduction as this is the birthplace of all the Korean Craze. This is one of the places where the famous international Korean Drama Winter Sonata was filmed. Hence to put it short, it is a must-visit for all Asian tourists!
Namiseom Island was formed as a result of the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam. It is a half-moon shaped (462,809㎡) isle, and on it is the grave of General Nami, who led a great victory against the rebels in the 13th year of the 7th king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejo (reign 1455 ~ 1468).
Admission Fees : Adults : 10,000 won / Children (ages 3-13) : 7,000 won
※ Round-trip ferry fare & tax included
Opening Hours: Daily 7:30 am to 9:30 pm
How to Get to Nami Island
1. By Subway + Taxi: Take the Subway to Sangbong Station Line 7. Transfer to Gyuongchun Line Train to Gapyeong Station (P134). From the station, take a taxi (approx KRW4,000 – KRW5,000 per way) to Nami Island.
2. ITX Train + Taxi: Take the Subway to Yongsan Station Line 1. At Yongshan Station you can buy ITX Train ticket at the counter to Gapyeong Station (You cant use T-Mobile card for this train). From Gapyeong, take a taxi (approx KRW4,000 – KRW5,000 per way) to Nami Island.
ITX train is faster than a subway to Nami Island as it has fewer stops however the price is higher at approx KRW5,000 per person per way. (Google Map)
7. Gwangjang Market
Gwangjang Market was the first permanent market in Korea selling local delicacy, silk, satin, and linen bed-sheet. The market continues to attract both locals and tourists as Gwangjang Market might be the best place to try all sorts of Korean street food.
There are plenty of food stalls in the market selling mainly Bindaetteok (mung bean pancake), bibimbap, gimbap, sundae (blood sausage), Tteokbokki and noodles.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 9.00 am to 10.00 pm
How to Get to Gwangjang Market
1. Subway: 5-ga Station (Line 1), Exit 8.
2. Subway: Euljiro 4-ga Station (Line 2 & 5), Exit 4. (Google Map)
Changdeokgung Palace was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbukgung Palace in 1405. The buildings have remained largely intact over six centuries and served as a backdrop for the last chapters of the Joseon period (1392-1910).
Korea’s last emperor Sunjong passed away on these grounds in 1926, and it’s commonly known that members of royal descendants lived in Nakseonjae, a cluster of unpainted palace buildings well into the late ‘80s.
The palace had a great influence on the development of Korean architecture, garden and landscape planning, and related arts, for many centuries. It reflects sophisticated architectural values, harmonized with beautiful surroundings.
Individuals: Adults (ages 19-64) 3,000 won/Children (ages 7-18) 1,500 won
Huwon Tour (Secret Garden area) – Adults (ages 19 and over) 8,000 won / Young adults 5,000 KRW / Children (ages 7-18) 2,500 won
Changdeokgung Palace & Huwon Course – Tuesday to Sunday 9.00am to 05.00pm. Closed on Monday.
How to Get to Changdeokgung Palace
Subway – Anguk Station (Line 3), Exit 3. Walk straight from the exit (towards east) for about 5-min to arrive at the palace entrance. (Google Map)
Hongdae is the epic centre of Seoul’s vibrant and youthful shopping and nightlife district. Many of Seoul’s idiosyncratic clubs that draw the younger set are clustered in the area.
With the prestigious Hongik University nearby, the area attracts bountiful students and visitors alike to shop, dine & club. There are plenty of clothing stalls and vintage shops can be found along the main passageway, Eo Ulmadang-gil.
By Subway – Hongik University Station Line 2 – Exit 9 (Google Map)
10. Ikseon-dong Hanok Village
Ikseon-dong’s Hanok Village was first established in 1920 and is well preserved. The area caught us by surprise as it isn’t an attraction typically recommended. However, we strongly recommend visiting this area.
The living heritage evokes the nostalgia of old Korea while roaming the alleys often bring surprising discovery. The area offers a variety of artisan cafe, gastro pubs, family restaurants and creative retail shops.
If you are here, make sure to visit Dongbaek Yanggwajeom for its souffle pancake and Jung’s sandwich.
Opening Hours – Vary by shops. Usually from 9 am to 11 pm.
How to Get to Ikseon-dong’s Hanok Village
Subway – Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Line 5), Exit 4. Walk across the street into the alley. (Google Map)
11. Noryangjin Fish Market
Noryangjin Fish Market is one of South Korea’s biggest fish market trading approx 300 tonnes of marine products daily. The fish market sells a wide variety of seafood such as King Crab, Snow Scrab, abalone, octopus, clams, fish, sashimi. Many visitors will attempt to try Sannakji (live octopus sashimi) at the market.
The best part while visiting the market, you can buy fresh seafood and bring to the restaurant above on the 1st floor to be cook and served immediately. Do take note to bargain wisely and it might be better to choose the restaurant yourself instead of being recommended by the vendor. Also, ask properly for the cooking price to avoid any shocking bill.
The wholesale market opens almost 24 hours however visitor usually visit when the restaurant operates.
How to Get to Noryangjin Fish Market
Subway: Noryangjin Station (Line 1) – Exit 1. (Google Map)
One of the most memorable Seoul attractions and represents the focal point of Korean traditional culture and crafts. Stores in Insa-dong specialize in a wide variety of goods that can only be purchased or appreciated in Korea: hanbok (traditional clothing), Hanji (traditional paper), traditional teas, pottery, and folk crafts.
There are about 100 galleries in the area and you can see every example of traditional Korean fine art from paintings to sculptures. The teahouses and restaurants are the perfect compliments to the galleries.
Every Sunday from 10:00 – 22:00, some streets are blocked off from traffic and it becomes a cultural space. Stores set up booths outside and others set up shop (Korean candy merchants and fortune tellers.) There are traditional performances and exhibits as well.
How to Get to Insadong
By Subway (Google Map)
Exit 6 – Anguk Station Line 3. Walk straight 100m & turn left.
Exit 3 – Jonggak Station Line 1. Walk 300m straight, turn left. then 100m straight & veer left into Insa-dong alleyway.
13. Cheonggyecheon Stream
Cheonggyecheon stream was built since the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). It has been meticulously restored under Seoul’s urban renewal project.
The 11km stream starts from Cheonggye Plaza, a popular cultural arts venue, and passes under a total of 22 bridges before flowing into the Hangang (River), with many attractions along its length.
It is one of the favourite leisure spots for the locals in the evening.
How to Get to Cheonggyecheon Stream
Subway – Jongak Station (Station Line 1) -Exit 5. Walk 200 metres.
14. DDP White Rose Garden
The DDP Rose Garden started off as a temporary exhibition but gained popularity especially among couples. A total of 25,550 LED roses light up when nightfall creating an impressive stream of white roses.
The display began on National Liberation Day in 2015 as a celebration of the nation’s 70th year of independence. The number of roses on display corresponds to the number of days since liberation: 365 days multiplied by 70 years is equivalent to 25,550 roses.
How to Get to DDP White Rose Garden
By Subway: Dongdaemun History & Culture Park St Line 2,4,5 (Google Map)
Dongdaemun is Korea’s largest wholesale and retail shopping district has 26 shopping malls, 30,000 speciality shops, and 50,000 manufacturers. Opening from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. except for Monday & some public holidays, you can literally shop all night !!
The fabric and clothing here are of the latest fashion trends in the world. Inventory is imported and exported in real-time, making Dongdaemun a must-visit for fashion enthusiastic.
When you are visiting Dongdaemun you can also visit Heunginjimun. Heunginjimun was the east gate of the capital city of Seoul built-in 1398.
At that time, four large gates and four small gates were built in the fortress wall surrounding the city & were inscribed with the four letters of In (perfect virtue), Ui (justice), Ye (Civility) and Ji (Wisdom).
Opening Hours : Tuesday to Saturday – 10.30am to 5.00am / Sunday – 10.30am to 11.00pm
Closed on Monday & some public holidays.
How to Get to Dongdaemun
By Subway: Dongdaemun History & Culture Park St Line 2,4,5 (Google Map)
Operated by Samsung Group, Everland is South Korea’s largest theme park at 100 hectares. It is ranked as the 4th most visited theme park in the world by offering 5 main Festivals and exciting entertainments all year around.
The park is home to over 40 heart-pounding rides and attractions. In addition to ‘Safari World’ featuring white tigers, tigers, lions and bears, ‘Herbivore Safari’ opened in April 2010, letting visitors get up close and personal with the safari’s giraffes, elephants, and ostriches.
Everland is also known for its gorgeous flower arrangements and beautiful gardens, which have been year-round fixtures since the Rose Festival in 1985.
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Opening Hours – Sunday to Friday – 10am to 7pm / Saturday & Public Holidays – 10am to 8pm. Check the daily time on their website.
How to Get to Everland
By Subway & Bus – Jeondae-Everland Station (Yongin EverLine) – Exit 3. Take the free shuttle bus to Everland. (Google Map)
For More Info: Everland Official Website
17. Lotte World
Lotte World consists of the world’s largest indoor theme park (a Guinness World Record) which is open all year round, an outdoor amusement park called “Magic Island”, an artificial island inside a lake linked by monorail, shopping malls, a luxury hotel, a Korean folk museum, sports facilities, and movie theatres all in one place.
One of the major reasons tourists are attracted to Lotte World is the amusement rides. The Gyro Drop and Gyro Swing are the top pleasers– a steep drop with an altitude of 70 meters or taste the thrilling sensation of being inside a tornado.
The Flume Ride is a longboat with a high-altitude wave, and the Spanish Pirate Ship swings at an electrifying 75 degrees. Besides the excitement of these rides, Lotte World also contains a variety of parades and laser shows.
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Opening Hours – Daily 09:30-22:00
How to Get to Lotte World
By Subway – Jamsil Station (Line 2, 8) – Exit 4. (Google Map)
For More Info: Lotte World Official Website
18. South Korea Demilitarized Zone
The war between North and South Korea has not ended until today. Experience first hand at one of the world most dangerous border and find out how the demilitarized strip of land came about. Get a rare glimpse of North Korea from the Dora Observatory.
Book Online: South Korea Demilitarized Zone Half-Day Tour
Itaewon is choc-a-block with trendy bars, clubs, restaurants and shops selling everything from reproduction Korean furniture and tailored suits to jewellery and Korean pottery.
Seoul even designated Itaewon as its first ‘Special Tourism District,’ to highlight it as a destination for internationals to enjoy a diversity of culture, shopping, and entertainment experiences.
Opening Hours – Daily 10 am to late at night
How to Get to Itaewon
By Subway: Itaewon Station Line 6.
20. Seoraksan National Park (Mount Seorak)
Seoraksan is the highest mountain in the Taebaek mountain range in the Gangwon province in eastern South Korea. It is located in a national park near the city of Sokcho. After the Hallasan volcano on Jeju Island and Jirisan in the south, Seoraksan is the third highest mountain in South Korea.
The Daechongbong Peak of Seoraksan reaches 1,708 metres (5,603 feet). The Taebaek mountain chain is often considered the backbone of the Korean peninsula.
Book Online: Seoraksan National Park 1 Day Tour
Admission Fees – Free for the National Park
How to Get to Seoraksan National Park
By Bus – From Seoul Express Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take a bus to Sokcho (Travel time: approx. 2 hr 30 min).
Winter Ski & Snowboarding in Seoul
Planning to go for ski or snowboarding during winter when visiting Seoul? Here are some day tours package to make your trip easier.