It is 2019 (Happy New Year!) and what a way to start the year by coming up with a list of the 50 Best Things To Do In Seoul & South Korea Travel Guide. This guide is a list of the best things and highly recommended activities to do in your visit to Seoul. So let’s get this party started!
Special note: Some of these recommendations have affiliate links on them which may or may not provide us with a small amount of commission with no extra cost to you.
- Tour around Seoul via Seoul Sightseeing Tour Bus – the most efficient and cost-effective way to tour around Seoul is via the Seoul Sightseeing Tour bus. It is a
hop-on hop-offbus which enables you to tour and go down on your preferred destination and hop-on to the next tour bus. If you want to have a glimpse of the whole city in just about a few hours, this tour is for you. Get discounted tickets here…
2. Eat Korean food – No trip is complete without tasting Korean food. Some of the most sumptuous meals are
3. Climb up the Namsan Tower – Namsan Tower is the 2nd highest point in Seoul. It is a broadcasting tower that sits on top of the Nam Mountain and has been converted into a major tourist destination. You can see the whole city with a
4. Watch the Changing of the Guards Ceremony – this ceremony is very simple and traditional yet it is quite a unique experience only in South Korea. The Palace guards, when changing posts, march to the beat of the drums and trumpets. The famous one is held in Gyeungbukgung Palace which is the largest Palace among the five in Seoul.
5. 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. Click here for more info about winter activities
6. Visit Nami Island, Petit France
7. Visit Kdrama filming locations – Kdrama fans (like me) would love to visit the filming locations of our fave Kdrama and I have compiled a list for you. Click to the see the list.
8. Have fun at Everland – Everland is the largest theme park in South Korea. It is open all year-long and a perfect day tour for families and groups to enjoy. Read about my trip to Everland
9. 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!
10. Ride the subway – the Korean Metro is considered to be one of the most efficient subway
11. Wear a hanbok – Hanbok is the national costume of South Korea. To have an authentic experience, try wearing one and strut all the way to the palaces. Remember, you get a free entrance to all palaces just by wearing a Hanbok.
12. Visit the Gyeungbukgung Palace – Gyeongbukgung Palace is one of the most iconic landmarks in 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
13. Kpop the house down – Kpop has taken the world by storm. Legendary groups such as BTS, EXO, Black Pink, Momoland, (insert your bias here) and even Psy, all hail from South Korea. It is called Hallyu or Korean wave and a lot of visitors are awestruck by this phenomenon. You can visit SM Town, find entertainment agencies, walk the Kpop road, and watch concerts to really enhance your full Kpop experience.
14. Catch festivals – 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, Yeouido Cherry Blossom festival, Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival, Lotus Lantern Festival, Boryeong Mud Festival, Goyang Flower Festival and so much more.
15. 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.
16. Relax at the Han River – 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.
17. Shop in Myeongdong – Myeongdong is the most famous shopping district in Seoul. This is a smorgasbord of everything from make-up to clothes to street food. I also listed the top 25 best things to do in Myeongdong click here
18. Visit a dog café – Do you like dogs? I certainly do and Hongdae is where you can find the quirkiest cafes and probably the most popular in Seoul, South Korea are dog cafes. Dog cafes have become enormously popular among tourist and locals alike. Want to see more dogs? Click here
20. Catch the Cherry Blossoms – spring is the perfect time of the year where most parts of South Korea are covered with white and pink flowers and festivals are held for these gorgeous blooms. There are two main festivals in Seoul namely: the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival and the Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival. Read more about these festivals
21. Visit the National Museum of Korea – I am kind of a museum enthusiast so whenever I go on trips abroad, I always want to include a trip to a museum. This is a perfect place to get to know the history of South Korea and they have a massive collection of relics from the Joseon Dynasty to a full-sized pagoda and so much more.
22. Visit a local market – Whichever local market you would choose to go, it is guaranteed that you can find something affordable and delicious. Go to Gwangjang market for affordable delicious street food. Nandaemun for souvenirs and accessories. Visit Dongdaemun for budget-friendly and fashionable goods.
23. Shop in an underground shopping complex – The Metro subway is a major part of everyday life in South Korea and most of these subways have a connecting underground complex where people can shop for anything. From make-up to clothes to home items, these underground shopping haven have evolved to become a major shopping experience for both locals and tourist alike. Some of the biggest ones are the COEX Underground Shopping Complex, Myeongdong station, Gangnam station, Anyang station and Bupyeong station in Incheon.
24. Visit the largest IKEA in the world – The largest IKEA in the world is here in Seoul, South Korea and if you are a fan of Scandinavian designs and furniture, prep yourselves for 59,000 square meters of IKEA. You could easily spend a day browsing through thousands of choices for couches, recliners, kitchen wares, lamps, etc. Once you get hungry, head to the cafeteria which could seat thousands. Try their kimchi rice and fried chicken and their desserts are sumptuous.
25. Enjoy the rides at Lotte World – Lotte World is the largest indoor theme park in South Korea located in Jamsil station near Gangnam. They have a year-round ice-skating rink, amazing rides indoors and an extended island in Seokchon Lake for outdoor rides. Perfect for families and groups.
26. Visit a
27. Visit the Bukchon Hanok Village – This is a major tourist spot where you can see
28. Visit the magical Harry Potter theme café in Seoul – a Harry Potter themed café has recently opened in Hongdae. Relive the magical moments of Harry’s world through the King’s cross café. This 5-floor themed café would be a treat for fans of the boy who lived. Read my review on this café…
29. Be amazed by the War Museum of Korea – this museum is massive as it showcases a collection of vehicles, tanks, airplanes, weaponry, all related to the Korean war. The museum was established to commemorate the patriotic endeavors of those who have sacrificed their lives to help the country during the war.
30. Shop at Insadong – This is a famous shopping district for traditional items in Seoul. From artworks to souvenir items, the choices are endless. It is also lined with cafés and specialty shops. Visit Ssamziegil, a multi-floored shopping complex filled with cute specialty items right in the middle of Insadong.
31. Buy clothes at Dongdaemun market – Dongdaemun market is a local market where a variety of affordable items can be purchased. From souvenirs to shirts, shoes, bags, etc. It is also near the fashion malls where you can see the latest trends and even buy in wholesale prices.
32. Relax at the Chenggyecheon stream – It is an 11km modern stream, right in the heart of Jongno, Seoul and connects to Hangang River. It was covered before with an elevated highway and was restored in 2003 and has become a refreshing site for locals and tourists alike. The Seoul Lantern Festival is annually held there and the stream is also decorated during holiday season.
33. Have a seafood galore at Noryangjin Fish Market – just next to Seoul station, the Noryanjin Fish market is one of the largest sea food markets in South Korea. About 200 to 300 tons of marine life are traded there every day. Have a feast of the freshest caught and have them cooked right in front of your eyes at nearby restaurants.
34. Have a taste of Korean snacks – In Korea, life is fast-paced and so is the fad for the latest Korean snacks. Some time ago, there was a buzz for honey butter almond and it was sold out everywhere. Then came the rise of matcha and green tea flavored concoctions. What would be the next, we never know but all of them are delicious. Korean snacks can be purchased in groceries, convenience stores and there’s a store called Lala Mart in Myeongdong that sells all types of snacks.
35. Visit the 1 Million Dance studio – this dance studio is so popular in Seoul and in Youtube. They have worked with popular Korean entertainment agencies such as SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment and worked with artists like Girls Generation, 2NE1, Twice, Jesse, Suzy, amongst others. Their website is www.1milliondance.com for more information.
36. Catch Kpop idols at the KBS Studios – There’s a music show called Music Bank held every Friday and fans line up early in the morning to catch a glimpse of Kpop idols entering the KBS studios. Fans armed with the most powerful cameras camp out at the gates and Kpop idols starts arriving around 6:30am onwards. BTS, Twice, Got7, SHinee, Girls Generation, etc. , almost everyone has been in this show so fans really flock to this site.
37. Do the Running Man Thematic Experience – Running Man is probably the longest running variety show in Korean tv that started in 2010. The show centered on accomplishing missions or tasks for guests and the mc’s.You can now experience playing the games just like in the tv show with the Running Man Thematic Experience by Klook. Click to see the details.
38. Do everything with the Discover Seoul Pass – The Discover Seoul Pass can let you visit 30 popular tourist spots for free within 24, 48 or 72 hours with additional discount for performances, duty free shops, and more even after the pass expires. Get the superb experience by taking advantage of this Klook offer
39. Sing your heart out in a noraebang – A noraebang is a karaoke/videoke room where you can sing your heart out. Enjoy it with friends and families or even as solo. There are now solo rooms for those who want to belt it out without handing the mic to anyone else.
40. Visit the DMZ – Do you want to go to North Korea? The DMZ or Demilitarized Zone tour is perfect for those who want to catch a glimpse of North Korea. It’s a tour that goes to the weapons-free border or the buffer zone between North and South Korea. Great accomplishments have been done lately to bring the peace process to the peninsula as the North Korea Leader Kim Jung Un and South Korean President Moon Jae In made a landmark historical meeting in the Panjumom, right in the DMZ. Avail a discounted package here…
41. Hike a mountain or trail – Koreans love nature and one of their beloved past times is to hike a mountain or trail. That’s why it’s so common to see passengers wearing hiking outfits with backpacks in the metro subway or buses. There are mountains and trails near Seoul, probably would take 1 to 2 hours travel to get there.
42. Discover Common Ground – Common Ground is a store complex made up of shipping containers. New and trendy mid-sized stores populate the complex and cute and artsy cafes and restaurants. During weekends, food trucks and weekend markets can give you gastronomic eating and shopping experience.
43. Try the 10-Step Korean Skin care routine – the 10-step Korean skin care routine has quite created a stir since Koreans are known for their great skin and white complexion. While you are visiting Seoul, it would be much easier to get those items essential to completing your skin care routine such as but not limited to: cleanser, cleansing oil, peeling gel, toning solution, serum, essence, galactomyces essence, night cream, eye cream and facial mask.
44. Drink soju and other Korean beverages – Soju is Korean vodka which is very popular among locals. You can also try a much lighter beverage called maekgolli or Korean rice wine. Are you worried you might get too drunk? Fear not, you are in South Korea and they also have a hangover drink. Pretty cool, right?
45. Watch a kpop concert – Kpop was born here in South Korea so you’d definitely have more chances to watch a kpop concert. It seems that a lot of people nowadays travel to different countries just to follow and watch their kpop idols like BTS and GOT7 perform in concerts.
46. Visit the 63 Building – The 63 Building is an iconic building in Seoul, South Korea. Its exterior is made of gold paneling and a standout among the rest, nestled in the middle of Han River. They have an aquarium, a shopping mall, an IMAX theater, and a whole lot more.
47. Get futuristic at Dongdaemun Design Plaza – Dongdaemun Design Plaza is a futuristic hub and the home of Seoul Fashion Week. In the exterior, it looks like a spaceship from outer space landed in Seoul. Marvel at the museum inside and attend important events or lounge in one of the cool cafés within the complex.
48. Get high at Lotte World Tower – Lotte World Tower is the highest building in Seoul at 123 floors. It is also the 5th tallest building in the world. Grab the chance to go the Seoul Sky at the 117th floor and get to see everything from a clear view deck.
49. Experience a Jump show – If you are into Asian Martial arts, comedy and acrobatics, or you just want to see how Koreans perform, this show is for you. The internationally acclaimed show is a marvel to enjoy for the whole family. Get discounts when you click here…
50. Look for BTS – Everywhere you look in Seoul, BTS is there. BTS or Bangtan boys is a 7-member boy group from South Korea made up of RM, Jin, Suga, J-hope, Jin, Jimin, V and Jungkook. Because they are so popular worldwide, a lot of fans want to see the places they have been to in Seoul. Trazy has the best package for those who want to travel to those places together with other huge BTS fans. Get more details here…
So there you have it, 50 of the best things to do in Seoul and South Korea. I hope this gave you an idea what to do when you are here in Seoul. Let me know in the comments sections which activity would you do?