Are you among the fanatics of K-pop? Do you find yourself drawn to Koreanovelas and Korean fashion? That’s not really surprising considering the popularity of this culture in many parts of the world, which is why we’re putting this blog together for you to get to know it better.
Seoul is South Korea’s capital and largest city. With more than 10 million people living in the city, it is considered a megacity and the country’s centre of culture, politics, and economy. Arguably, it is also the best destination in South Korea that is packed with sights to visit such as traditional markets, royal palaces, and high-end shopping districts. Not to mention, it has mouth-watering food and Soju, which is already becoming a popular drink in many parts of the world.
What makes Seoul really worth your time is that it is a ‘24-hour city’—meaning, you can get whatever you want at any time, day or night. Whether it is temple hopping, tea-sipping, gallery-hopping, drinking in a tent bar, or partying and karaoke-ing, the city definitely has something for you that is far from ordinary.
So, without further ado, here are the top things you should do to feed fun to your soul in Seoul.
In case you don’t know, the Bukchon Hanok Village is an excellent photo spot for visitors. Right here, you can find some traditional hanok houses that go back to the Joseon Dynasty. Best of all, people still live in these houses. If you don’t have much time to go around Seoul, coming here can help save time because it is situated in the heart of the city between Changdeokgung Palace and Gyeongbokgung Palace, two other famous spots here. And if you stand at the top of the hill, you’ll have sweeping views of modern buildings in the distance.
Have you ever noticed how smooth and glass-like the Korean skin is? Aside from their cool climate and genetics, one thing they owe it to is their cosmetic products. Even the oppas have their secret skin regimen, I’m sure. So Myeongdong is the cosmetic heaven not only for Koreans but also for tourists and ex-pats because it is home to the most famous Korean cosmetic brands. Unlike big cosmetic brand boutiques, this place lets you have samples of products if you just go around and work your legs. Plus, there are numerous ‘buy one, get one’ promos here.
The Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the historical sites to visit in Seoul, which was built in 1495 for the Joseon Dynasty. Though it already has much partial destruction as a result of the Japanese invasions, it remains to be a top destination for tourists. Reconstruction finished in 2007, so what you see here is actually a replica of the original palace. While here, make sure to catch the Changing of the Guards ceremony, which is from 10 AM to 2 PM daily except on Tuesdays. This ceremony marks the changing of the guards on duty at the palace.
After witnessing the ceremony mentioned above, you can experience wearing a gatekeeper costume at the Sumunjangcheong Building, which is located behind the Gwanghwamun Gate. The dress represents historical Korean ideas, forms, and customs that are shown in the material’s colours and shapes. Once you have it on, go can go around in it as you visit the palaces without looking out of place. Best of all, it’s free of charge. So don’t miss the chance.
Just from the name itself, you’d know that something really fun awaits in Everland. It’s a theme park that’s quite unique and is the country’s largest outdoor theme park with five zones of adventure and rides. The place is home to Korea’s only safari and the world’s steepest wooden roller coaster! So, if you’re not afraid of heights or if you are up for an adrenaline-rushing super-ride, then, you’ve got to try the roller coaster. If not, the rest of the zones and attractions definitely have something that you’ll love.
Sampling street food is probably one of the best parts of visiting a new place. Seoul’s street food is something you shouldn’t pass up. Though variations of some of the dishes are available in different countries, nothing really beats authentic food, yeah? So try their tteokbokki or spicy rice cakes, kimbap or seaweed rice rolls, hotteok or sweet pancakes, and their classic chicken skewers.
The Namsan Seoul Tower was built in 1969 to broadcast TV and radio signals but has now been opened to the public with fabulous views of the city. While here, make sure to go to the Namsan Pavilion where you can get to watch cultural performances. It’s best to check their website to find schedules of performances.
Just a tip though—visit the tower on weekdays to avoid huge crowds. The weekends are always packed with visitors with lines that seem endless.
The Namdaemun Market is the favourite market of the locals, though it’s not the trendiest. Still, it is the oldest and most traditional one. If you’re thinking about bringing home souvenirs, this is the perfect place to see because the items are cheaper here. There is also a variety of products from food supplies to electronics, as well as a maze of shops and stalls to explore. A tip would be to come here at 11 AM when people are scrambling to taste some of the treats and finding the best deals. And if that doesn’t convince you, the market covers 66,000 square metres with 10,000 retailers, vendors, and wholesalers.
Seoul never runs out of adventure places for both locals and visitors. Make sure to visit Lotte World, the world’s largest indoor amusement park. It combines an indoor theme park and an outdoor amusement park with a large shopping complex and a hotel surrounding it. So, if you have kids, take them here, and they’ll surely have a great time. The place is actually for both children and adults.
We know how Seoul is the place for everything cute. Even their restaurants are cute and with themes. If classic coffee shops bore you, then, the themed cafes here will definitely wake your senses up not just from the coffee but from the decors and styles.
Try the Ddo-Ong Café, a poop-themed café. It’s really not bad and gross because it’s actually cute! You’ll be entertained by their decorations, including squat toilets and pooping dolls. Imagine eating your spaghetti straight from a miniature toilet bowl!
Want to become a princess while enjoying your coffee? The Princess Diary café offers you the chance to dress up in gorgeous dresses and have coffee as princesses in their respective areas. And if you love cats, there is also a cat café where you can pet their cats while enjoying your food.
Ever watched those mukbang video challenges on Youtube, especially those of Korean fire noodles? You can find the hottest and spiciest noodles in Seoul, so don’t pass up on trying the fire noodle challenge. No need to go to fancy restaurants. Just find the nearest convenience store and get their fire noodles. You can just sit there and enjoy it. However, make sure to have some milk within reach as water just won’t ‘put out the fire’.
Indeed, coming to Seoul is one of the best excursions one can ever have. Who knows, you may even spot an Oppa here and never want to leave the city?