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What to do in Seoul: 8 unmissable experiences in the South Korean capital

In this guide, we will explore what to do in Seoul with eight unmissable experiences that reveal the rich history and vibrant energy of this dynamic city. During our first trip to Korea in 2023, Seoul was the last city we visited in the country, following a three-week trip that also included Japan.

This trip was part of a comprehensive itinerary through Japan and South Korea. As we are passionate about different Asian cultures, we were delighted by the diversity we found in each country. South Korea was no exception, from the most traditional aspects of the culture to the modernity that characterizes the country, including its unique cuisine. These elements are reasons that will bring us back. In Seoul, the captivating capital of South Korea, tradition blends with modernity, creating a fascinating fusion of culture, cuisine, and innovation.

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Where to Stay in Seoul

For a memorable stay in Seoul, it’s important to choose the right neighborhood. During our trip, we opted to stay in the Myeongdong neighborhood, as according to The Broke Backpacker, it’s the coolest area to stay. We chose the Ibis Ambassador Myeongdong, located in Myeongdong, known for its vibrant energy, variety of shops, restaurants, and lively nightlife. Our choice of the Ibis Ambassador Myeongdong was driven not only by its welcoming atmosphere but also by its central location, which allowed us to explore what to do in Seoul easily.

8 Unmissable Experiences in Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace, a must-see in the list of things to do in Seoul

Visiting the majestic Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest and most iconic of Seoul’s five grand palaces, has to be on the list of things to do in Seoul. Explore its magnificent halls, picturesque gardens, and traditional architecture, immersing yourself in Korea’s royal heritage.

Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village, a must-see in the list of things to do in Seoul

Get lost in the picturesque streets of Bukchon Hanok Village, a neighborhood filled with beautifully preserved Hanok houses. Immerse yourself in the timeless elegance of Korean architecture in this charming historic enclave.

Jogyesa Buddhist Temple

Jogyesa Buddhist Temple, a must-see in the list of things to do in Seoul

Find serenity at the Jogyesa Buddhist Temple, one of Seoul’s main Buddhist temples. Discover its architectural beauty and feel the peace that emanates from this sacred site. We visited the temple during a special celebration in May, and the entire place was covered with thousands of colorful paper lanterns.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a must-see in the list of things to do in Seoul

Marvel at the innovative design of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, an iconic landmark that celebrates Korean creativity. Explore art exhibitions and design shops that reflect Seoul’s vibrant spirit.

Myeongdong Night Market

Myeongdong Night Market, a must-see in the list of what to do in Seoul

Explore the Myeongdong Night Market, where you’ll find a variety of shops and street food stalls. Experience the hustle and bustle of urban life at this popular destination.

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market, a must-see in the list of what to do in Seoul

Discover the vibrant Gwangjang Market, known for its diversity of food stalls and traditional Korean products.

Starfield Library in Gangnam

Starfield Library, a must-see in the list of what to do in Seoul

Visit the Starfield Library in Gangnam, a literary paradise that combines culture, art, and architecture in a stunning environment.

Savor Korean BBQ and Fried Chicken

Korean BBQ, a must-see in the list of what to do in Seoul

For us, gastronomy is always a pillar of our travels, so these experiences had to be on the list of what to do in Seoul. Enjoy authentic flavors of Korean cuisine at local restaurants and street stalls throughout the city. Follow the rule that if there are many locals at a spot, it’s likely to be good. Especially Korean BBQ accompanied by soju is a unique experience.

Additional Tips on What to Do in Seoul

Besides the mentioned experiences, here are five additional tips for visiting Seoul:

  • Visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ): A visit to the Demilitarized Zone between South Korea and North Korea offers a unique perspective on the region’s history and geopolitics. Guided tours are available to explore this highly restricted area.
  • T-Money Card: We always used the metro to get around Seoul. Getting a T-Money card makes traveling on Seoul’s public transportation easier. This rechargeable card can be purchased at convenience stores and loaded with cash, and it can be used on buses, subways, taxis, and even some stores and vending machines.
  • Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing comprehensive travel insurance before visiting Seoul. This can provide peace of mind in case of medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost luggage.
  • eSIM: Consider getting an eSIM card for your phone before traveling to Seoul. This will facilitate internet connectivity and communication during your stay in the city.
  • GPS Navigation: Remember that Google Maps might not work as well in Seoul as in other places. Other navigation apps, like Naver Map, might be more useful for getting around the city.

Seoul is a city that captivates visitors with its rich culture, fascinating history, and contagious energy. From historic palaces to bustling markets, this vibrant city offers a multitude of memorable experiences. Get ready to explore the city’s wonders and discover all this exciting city has to offer.

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Activities at Seoul

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