South Korea has an authentic culture and history, making it unique. Therefore, visiting South Korea, especially the capital city of Seoul, to dive deeper into its culture is a must. So, what can you expect from Seoul? We have compiled a list of the best things to do in Seoul for your upcoming trip to South Korea.
What are the best things to do in Seoul?
- Explore Seoul Tower
- Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace
- Wander in the Bukchon Hanok Traditional Village
- Savor Korean Street Food in Gwangjang Market
- Hike to Jingwansa Temple, Bukhansan National Park
- Stroll around Itaewon
- Chill Out at Bongeunsa Temple
- Take Pictures at Gwanghwamun Gate
- Take a Walk along Cheonggyecheon
- Visit Changdeokgung Palace
Explore The N Seoul Tower
Whenever you type “Seoul” on Google, you will see the capital city’s landscape with this iconic tower. The N Seoul Tower is a communications and observation tower that you can visit to get scenic views of Seoul. Settled on the side of Mount Namsan, the N Seoul Tower has four observation decks, one of which has a rotating restaurant.
Besides those viewing decks, you can also explore some gift shops and dining restaurants. In addition to that, there is a new immersive media art exhibition called Inside Seoul, showcasing a virtual display of Seoul in a five-dimensional mapping created by 40 laser projectors. Interesting, right? Therefore, visiting the N Seoul Tower is one of the best things to do in Seoul.
Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace
Going to Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the most interesting things to do in Seoul. Why not? The palace is the largest of five grand palaces in Seoul, established during the Joseon Dynasty. In this palace, you can adore the architectural beauty of the Gyeongbokgung Palace and learn its history.
Not only do you get to see its magnificent palace, but you can also discover many other fun activities inside the palace grounds. You can find the National Folk Museum of Korea and the National Palace Museum of Korea, which are worth visiting during your visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace. You will have the chance to learn about Korean culture and history in these places.
Wander in the Bukchon Hanok Traditional Village
Do you want to enjoy the view of a tranquil traditional village in South Korea? Then, going to the Bukchon Hanok Traditional Village should be on your list of the best things to do in Seoul. Located precisely in the center of Seoul, you can find this narrow-street village between the Changdeokgung Palace and the Gyeongbokgung Palace.
This village is really popular among tourists. Whenever you set foot in this place, you will feel like you are returning to the past. This preserved district hosts several traditional Korean houses called hanoks. Although most of the hanoks are private houses, some hanoks are open for tourists as guesthouses, museums, and bed-and-breakfasts.
Savor Korean Street Food in Gwangjang Market
Gwangjang Market is popular as the best street food market in Seoul. You can find rows of food stalls offering delicious Korean food such as bibimbap, bindaetteok, sundae, gimpang, tteokbokki, and various kinds of noodles. Many people say that the food is affordable. So, why do not you try out and taste as much Korean street food as possible for yourself?
Moreover, most of the stalls in this market provide small chairs where you can dine. It is typical to get this kind of experience while visiting South Korea, so it is best for you to try to adapt and act like a local. In addition to food, you can also find some stores selling household items and clothes in the market.
Hike to Jingwansa Temple, Bukhansan National Park
Do you want to explore the natural beauty of Seoul? Seoul has it all. Probably, exploring the Bukhansan National Park is one of the best things to do in Seoul when it comes to nature. The highlight of this national park is the Jingwansa Temple. It is an ancient temple complex where you can learn more about Buddhism and temple life.
The temple grows most of its food from its own farm. Moreover, you can also stay at this temple by joining its temple stay program, including an overnight visit. It is a truly authentic experience that you can get to experience while you are visiting South Korea. In addition, if you love hiking, the Jingwansa Temple is surrounded by hiking trails stretching through the mountains.
Stroll around Itaewon
Itaewon is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Seoul. This place is famous for its pedestrian streets, full of cafes, restaurants, shops, and other entertainment businesses. It is the perfect place to give you the real feel of Korean retail culture for a short time. Therefore, you should put this activity into your list of things to do in Seoul.
Furthermore, in this bustling neighborhood, you can find some street performers and food carts that enliven the vibe. If you are hungry, stop by restaurants delivering many kinds of international food on the pedestrian-only Gyeongnidan Street. Or you can also explore Itaewon Antique Furniture Street, where many antique shops offer unique gifts and souvenirs.
Chill Out at Bongeunsa Temple
First opened in 794, the Bongeunsa Temple is one of many Buddhist temples in Seoul that you must visit. The temple comprises a complex of multiple shrines and buildings. You can visit it easily because it is centrally situated in the exciting Gangnam area.
You can find a peaceful atmosphere when you are inside the complex of this temple. Therefore, many people come to Bongeunsa Temple to wind down and take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Moreover, you can also join the temple’s program to experience the daily life of being a monk for a few hours. It is one of the unique things to do in Seoul that you must try.
Take Pictures at Gwanghwamun Gate
Another iconic landmark of Seoul, besides the N Seoul Tower, is the Gwanghwamun Gate. The gate is the main and largest gate to Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung Palace. The gate has very authentic South Korean architecture and style. This gate has undergone several renovations and was reconstructed with original materials using traditional building techniques and tools.
As a result, you can see the magnificent gate standing stunningly, which looks very good to post on your Instagram. Therefore, many people come to this place to take pictures of the magnificent gate. Besides that, you can also enjoy the ceremony of the guard changing at this gate. This tradition has been performed since 1469 and happens every day at 10 am and 2 pm except Tuesdays.
Take a Walk along Cheonggyecheon
Do you want to chill out during the afternoon in Seoul? Walking along Cheonggyecheon is one of the relaxing things to do in Seoul. Cheonggyecheoun is a natural creek flowing through central Seoul. The creek underwent a revitalization project and has become an outdoor recreation area since its opening in 2005.
Now, Cheonggyecheon looks very beautiful, and many people come to this area to enjoy the view and spend their time only walking along the creek. Moreover, there are even walking, biking, and hiking trails in this creek. Some spectacular festivals are also held here, like Seoul Lantern Festival, which runs every November.
Visit Changdeokgung Palace
Last but not least, the last best thing to do in Seoul that you must put on your bucket list is visit Changdeokgung Palace. Why should you not miss out on this place? The stunning palace complex is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites and is the best-maintained palace out of Seoul’s five remaining Joseon palaces.
Besides the palace and some government buildings, you can also enjoy the breathtaking views of the secret garden. There are landscaped lawns, a lotus pond, and ornate pavilions for you to enjoy. It is such a tranquil place you must visit during your stay in Seoul.
So, how do you find the list of the best things to do in Seoul, South Korea, above? Are you interested in going to Seoul and exploring the city firsthand? Worry not! JoinMyTrip has a lot of upcoming trips to South Korea, where you can discover. Guided by experienced TripLeaders, you will get the best and most meaningful experience during your stay in South Korea. Check out our trips to South Korea now!