Planning to visit South Korea? Wondering what to do when you visit?
South Korea especially Seoul is a perfect fusion of modern and traditional. You might find yourself surrounded by modern buildings and structures, yet you are also in the middle of a vast palace. There are so many things this city has to offer.
Below is a list of the 15 best things to do in South Korea:
1. Tour Around Seoul
There are so many great places to visit in Seoul and if you want to see a lot of them, a city tour is the best activity for you!
From palaces to museums, to the most visited tourist attractions in Seoul, take it at your own pace by going in on a Seoul Sightseeing Tour bus. It is a Hop-on, hop-off bus that goes to key tourist attractions in Seoul. You can choose the place you want to visit and just go down to the designated stop.
Use the buses found beside Dongdaemun Design Plaza exit 1 and tour around Seoul in true tourist fashion – thru a double-decker bus!
Direction: Use the subway and go to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park station exit 1 and look for the buses parked beside Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
2. Eat Korean food
Korean food is an authentic cuisine that you must try while you are in Seoul. South Korea is best known for Korean BBQ, gamjatang, samgyupsal, samgyetang, kalbi and a whole lot more. Most restaurants would give you a hearty serving of side dishes called banchan. Kimchi is the most popular food staple in South Korea so don’t miss it.
Note: Most Korean food is spicy! If spicy is not your thing, before ordering in a restaurant, you can request to make the dish not too spicy. You can try to say or show them this:
|Don’t make it too spicy, please||ahn maep-gae hae-ju-se-yo||안맵게해주세요|
Price: In most restaurants, food would normally cost about 6k to 20k Korean won per serving which is good for 1-2 person.
I will be posting restaurant reviews and food recommendations in an upcoming post so watch out for that!
3. Go to Namsan Tower
A very distinct tower situated in the 2nd highest point in Seoul, the Namsan tower is a broadcasting tower that doubles as an observatory and has become a notable landmark of Seoul.
At the top of the tower is an observatory that will let you see a 360-degree view of Seoul. You can even try to find your country thru powerful telescopes available at the observatory. JK miss thing! Well, they designed the observatory with names of countries and how far it is from Seoul.
Many K-dramas have been shot in N Tower including You Who Came From the Stars starring Kim Soo-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun and Legends of the Blue Sea starring Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji-hyun. This place is also famous for the love locks. The view at night can be very romantic for lovers.
– Address(English): 105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea
– Address(Korean): 서울시 용산구 남산공원길 105
How To Get There
Take Namsan Tour Bus No. 02 and 05 at Exit 2 of Chungmuro Station (Subway Line 3 and 4)
Take Namsan Tour Bus No. 02, 03 and 05 at Exit 6 of Dongguk Univ. Station (Subway Line No. 3, Exit 6)
Take Namsan Tour Bus 05 at Exit 3 of Myeong-dong Station (Subway Line 4)
Take Namsan Tour Bus 03 at Exit 2 of Hangangjin Station or Exit 4 of Itaewon Station(Subway Line No. 6)
Price: cable car is 8,500 won and observatory is 10,000 won.
4. Experience a Winter Holiday
No need for Queen Elsa, you can have a winter holiday in South Korea! During December to February, experience frolicking in the snow or wakeboarding and skateboarding. Even if you do not engage in those extreme sports, just being in the snow resort makes the trip unique and a wonderful experience.
Direction: Many Ski resorts are located in the province of Kangwondo in Gyeonggi-do. Be sure to make a reservation prior to going to the snow resorts.
Price: Prices range from 60k to 300kwon for tour, rentals or amenities depending on which you prefer.
5. Go to Nami Island (남이섬 종합휴양지)
Nami Island is a half-moon shaped island and the filming location of Winter Sonata, a K-drama that was very popular in the Philippines back in the 2000’s. What a better way to relive the sweet moments of Jun and Janice by going to the island itself!
This two did….
Address: 1, Namisum-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
강원도 춘천시 남산면 남이섬길 1
Head to Gapyeong Station either by AREX or regular Metro subway. Then take the shuttle bus from Gapyeong Station to go to Nami Island.
Price: 10,000 won (8,000 if discounted) for ticket entrance to the Island and roundtrip ferry ride.
6. Visit famous K-drama filming locations
K-dramas are so popular in the Philippines nowadays and dramas like Goblin, Legends of the Blue Sea and Descendants of the Sun has inspired so many to create their own parodies. If you’re in South Korea, it’s the perfect opportunity to visit those shooting locations and probably be fun to recreate those scenes or just snap a selfie.
This pic shows my friend and she recreated a scene in Scarlet Heart when we went to Baekje Cultural Land….
Who knows, you might even snag your own oppa while you are in South Korea!
Price: Most shooting locations are free of charge but some would charge an entrance fee especially in palaces and cultural places ranging from 1,000 won to 10,000 won.
7. Visit Everland (에버랜드)
Everland is like Disneyland- Korean version. It is open all year-long and attracts a lot of visitors with various rides, themed areas, and a wildlife park. Perfect for families and groups to enjoy.
How to Get There:
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
Admission + Rides]
– One-day Ticket: Adults 54,000 won / Teenagers 46,000 won / Children & Seniors 43,000 won
– Night Ticket (after 17:00): Adults 45,000 won / Teenagers 39,000 won / Children & Seniors 36,000 won
Special discounts offered for groups.
8. Eat Korean Street Food
A trip to South Korea would not be complete without eating Korean street food! Everywhere you go you will see stalls and stores that sell them and it’s very convenient that you can find almost everything in one place – Myeongdong!
Location: Use the subway and go to Myeongdong Station line 4 exit 5.
Prices: Prices range from 500 won to 10,000 won depending on your choice.
9. Ride The Subway
Seoul is said to have one of the best (if not the best) subway system in the world and it is very convenient for locals and tourists alike. Almost all of Seoul is interconnected via the subway.
TIP: Download the Seoul Subway app to guide you in navigating your way to your destination using the subway.
Price: Fare is about 1,250 to 1,300 won and would have additional increments after 30 minutes.
Bonus tip: If transferring from subway to bus or bus to subway within 30 minutes, there is no charge.
10. Wear a Hanbok
Hanbok is the traditional dress of South Korea and if you go to tourist spots like Gyeongbukgung Palace and Insadong, you would find a lot of people wearing them.
TIP: If you are wearing a hanbok, you get to enter the palaces for FREE. So if you plan to do this, make sure to rent your hanbok first and then proceed to the palaces. You can find shops near the palaces that rent out hanbok for a limited time.
Price: Price range from Free to 10,000won and up. Some would charge even more if you include hair and make-up and other accessories.
11. Visit Gyeongbukgung Palace
Gyeongbukgung Palace is one of the most iconic landmarks of Seoul. It is located at the Northern end of Seoul’s main boulevard Sejongro and very close to the Blue House (the President’s residence). It was built in the 1300’s and is now standing in the middle of modern buildings which makes it exquisite. It is like the perfect mix of traditional and modern. Don’t miss the Changing of the Guards ceremony which features men in ornate costumes.
How to Get There:
Take the subway and get off at Gyeongbukgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and Exit 5.
Or Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and Exit 1.
Take Bus No. 1020, 7025,109, 171, 172, 601 or 606 and get off at Gyeongbukgung Palace Bus Stop.
Take Jongno Bus No. 11 and get off at National Folk Musem of Korea Bus Stop. 마을버스 종로11
Price: 3,000 won
12. Go to K-pop Town
If you are a fan of K-pop, visiting Gangnam is a must on your list. Who could forget the famous “Gangnam Style” song of Psy, right? This district of Seoul houses entertainment agencies like SM Entertainment, JYP, FNC and much more. So there is a probability that you might see your K-pop idols in this area.
I will also have a post about popular K-pop sites so watch out for that!
13. Catch one of the festivals (or all of them!)
South Korea has a lot of festivals and events so you are in luck if you are in town during these festivals. Some notable events are the Seoul Lantern Festival, Cherry Blossom festival, Lotus Lantern Festival, Boryeong Mud Festival, Goyang Flower Festival and so much more.
I was even able to attend a Pikachui Festival! So cute!
Price: Most festivals are FREE. Some may require you to travel outside of Seoul so plan ahead.
14. Party in Itaewon
Itaewon is an international hub where you can find a lot of hotels, restaurants, shops catered for foreigners. At night, Itaewon becomes the biggest party central where locals and foreigners mingle.
How to get to Itaewon:
Take the subway and go to Itaewon station line 6 exit 4 or 5 and explore the area from there.
15. Relax in Hangang River Park (한강공원)
Spend a lazy day just people watching or stroll in a park at Hangang River park. It is a people’s park created in the 1980’s mainly for the public to have a place for sports and relaxation.
How to get to Hangang River Park:
– Ttukseom district: Exit #2 or 3 of Ttukseom Resort station (Seoul Subway Line 7).
– Gwangnaru district: From exit #1 of Cheonho station (Seoul Subway Line 5 & 8), walk 20 min.
– Yeouido District: Exit #2 or 3 of Yeouinaru station (Seoul Subway Line 5).
– Yanghwa district: From exit #4 of Dangsan station (Seoul Subway Line 2), walk 10 min.
Be sure to check out some, if not all of these 15 best things to do in Seoul, South Korea:
1] Tour Around Seoul using Seoul Sightseeing Tour Bus
2] Eat Korean food
3] Go to Namsan Tower
4] Experience a Winter holiday
5] Go to Nami Island
6] Visit famous K-drama filming locations
7] Visit Everland
8] Eat Korean street food
9] Ride the subway
10] Wear a Hanbok
11] Go to Gyeunbukgung Palace
12] Go to K-pop Town
13] Catch all the festivals
14] Party in Itaewon
15] Relax at Hangang River Park
There you have it! I hope that you do at least one if not all these 15 best things when you visit South Korea. Which one will you do? Comment in the section below!