10 Places Must Visit in Seoul

1. Myeongdong

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It is all about fashion, fashion & fashion in Myeongdong, Seoul’s primary & most famous shopping district. If it’s variety that you’re after, there’s no better place to shop than Myeong-dong where you’ll find everything from internationally-recognized name brands to unique items.

Myeongdong also houses a variety of family restaurants, fast food, plus Korean, Western and Japanese dining options. Many restaurants in Myeongdong specialize in pork cutlet (donkas) and kalguksu (thick noodles).

Not to forget, Myeongdong is the place where everyone shops for famous Korean Cosmetic brands such as Etude House, Skin Food, Laneige, The Face Shop, Missha!

Opening Hours
10am to 10pm everyday

Getting there By Subway
Exit 5, 6, 7, or 8 – Myeongdong Station Line 4

2. Namsan  Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower located on Mt. Namsan offers great panoramic views of the city, and has been a symbol of Seoul since it first opened to the public in 1980.

Not only the tower was recently undergone a major remodeling, but also a new name following a complete makeover. It is now a true cultural space with various performances, movies, exhibitions as well as upscale restaurants and snack bars.

Opening Hours
Sunday-Thursday Observatory: 10:00-23:00 Restaurant: 11:00-23:00 Teddy Bear Museum: 10:00-22:00 (Last entry: 21:00)

Friday-Saturday Observatory: 10:00-24:00 Restaurants (n.GRILL/Hancook): 11:00-23:00 The place dining: 11:00-24:00 (Last seating: 23:00) Teddy Bear Museum: 10:00-22:00

Getting there

By Subway & Bus
Exit 2 – Chungmuro Station Line 3 or 4. Then take Bus 2 (08:00-24:00/5min intervals) or Bus 5 (07:30-23:50/15min intervals) to N Seoul Tower.
Exit 4 – Itaewon Station Line 6. Then take Bus 3 (08:00-23:00/10min intervals) to N Seoul Tower.

By Subway & Cable Car
Exit 3 – Myeongdong Station Line 4. Take the wide road next to 7 Eleven convenience store, then walk straight to the left of Pacific Hotel & keep walking up in the direction of Mt. Namsan where the cable car platform is situated.

Fare: Round-trip – 6,300 won / One-way – 4,800 won

Cable Car Opening Hours: 10:00~22:30 

 

3. Dongdaemun 

Dongdaemun

Dongdaemun is Korea’s largest wholesale and retail shopping district has 26 shopping malls, 30,000 specialty shops, and 50,000 manufacturers. Opening from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. except Monday & some public holidays, you can literally shop all night !!

The fabric and clothing here are of the latest fashion trends in the world. Inventory is imported and exported in real time, making Dongdaemun a must-visit for fashion enthusiastic.

Opening Hours
Tuesday to Saturday – 10.30am to 5.00am
Sunday – 10.30am to 11.00pm
Closed on Monday & some public holidays.

Getting there By SubwayExit 8 or 9 – Dongdaemun Station Line 1 or Line 4

 

4. Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace-960

The Royal Palace is situated in the heart of Seoul, South Korea and it is accessible by subway. It occupies an area of almost 700 thousand square metres and was built in the Joseon Dynasty back in 1395. It was destroyed two times over the years because of foreign invasion and occupation and has been rebuilt and restored by 2010. The Korean name of the Palace means ” Palace greatly blessed by Heaven” and it was inhabited by the Royal family. The Palace compound is huge and is composed of many different structures for various purposes. I was most impressed with the Geunjeongjeon (throne hall) near the entrance where officials of different ranks would queue up along two lines of stone markers on the left and right of the open court signifying seniority during ceremonies, declarations and audience with the King. Attraction number 4, Gangnyeongjeon and Gyotaejeon, i.e. King’s and Queen’s quarter as well as number 12, Gyeonghoeru, a two storey pavilion sitting on a pond for royal banquets and entertainment are also worth checking out. I was extremely lucky because when I arrived at the main gate, there was a change of guards in traditional and brightly coloured uniforms which added a touch of humanity to the solemn structures behind the walls. I was told it was done on the hour during the day. The temperature during my visit was -7 degrees centigrade and as it is a vast span of land with lots of open space, make sure you wear enough warm clothings. It may be a better idea though to visit at warmer times. Please note that the Palace also closes for one day during the week, so check with your hotel before you make your trip.

Admission Fees
Adults (ages 19-64) 3,000 won / Group 2,400 won (10 or more people) Youths (ages 7-18) 1,500 won / Group 1,200 won (10 or more people) Age 6 and under – FREE.

Opening Hours
March to October 09:00-18:00 / November to February 09:00-17:00.
Closed on Tuesday

Getting there By Subway
Exit 5 – Gyeongbokgung Station Line 3

 

5. Changdeokgung (창덕궁 소극장) 

 Changdeokgung Palace was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbukgung Palace in 1405. The buildings have remained largely intact over six centuries and served as a backdrop for the last chapters of the Joseon period (1392-1910).

Korea’s last emperor Sunjong passed away on these grounds in 1926, and it’s commonly known that members of royal descendants lived in Nakseonjae, a cluster of unpainted palace buildings well into the late ‘80s.

The palace had a great influence on the development of Korean architecture, garden and landscape planning, and related arts, for many centuries. It reflects sophisticated architectural values, harmonized with beautiful surroundings.

Admission Fees
Regular Tour (Changdeokgung Palace)
Individuals: Adults (ages 19-64) 3,000 won/Children (ages 7-18) 1,500 won
Groups (10 or more people): Adults 2,400 won/Children 1,200 won
Huwon Tour (Secret Garden area)
Adults (ages 19 and over) 5,000 won/Children (ages 7-18) 2,500 won

Opening Hours for Bukchon Traditional Culture Center
Regular Tour (Changdeokgung Palace)
April–October: 09:00-18:30 / March & November: 09:00-17:30 / December–February: 09:00-17:00
Huwon Course (Guided Tour only)
April–October: 09:00-16:30 / March & November: 09:00-15:30 / December–February: 09:00-15:00

 

Getting there By Subway
Exit 3 – Anguk Station Line 3. Walk straight for 5min.

OR

Exit 7 – Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station Line 1, 3 or 5. Go straight along Donhwamun-ro Street for 10min.

 

6. Hongdae

The area surrounding Hongdae as it’s affectionately called, is the center of Korea’s youthful nightlife. Many of Seoul’s idiosyncratic clubs that draw the younger set are clustered in the area.

With Hongik University nearby, a prestigious school known for its leading arts and design programs, the area attracts students and visitors alike to shop & club. The highest concentration of clothing stalls and vintage shops can be found along the main passageway, Eo Ulmadang-gil, minutes away from the subway station.

And if you are a Hello Kitty Fan, there is more reasons for you to enjoy Hongdae as there is a Hello Kitty Cafe nearby the subway station where you can sip Hello Kitty Latte & indulge in Hello Kitty cakes & pastry. Definitely a must visit for Hello Kitty fans !!

 

Opening Hours
Every evening till late night

Getting there By Subway
Exit 6 – Hongik Univ. Station Line 2

7. Namdemun Market

shoppers_hunting_for_bargains_at_namdaemun_market_in_seoul

Namdaemun Market, located in the very center of Seoul, is the biggest traditional market in Korea selling clothes, daily miscellaneous goods, kitchenware and local and imported products. Most of the shops have their own factories and products themselves offering both wholesale and retail prices which enable visitors to purchase various shopping items at extremely low prices.

Foreign visitors to Namdaemun Market show different tastes: the Japanese are more into foods like gim (seaweed), gimchi, and ginseng, while the Chinese show interest in clothing and miscellaneous goods. On the other hand, most tourists from the West simply enjoy the ambience of the traditional market. Hours vary by store, so it’s advisable to plan in advance according to a shopping list before you start actual shopping.

 

8. Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon_Hanok_Village_840x467
Situated between by two palaces, Gyeongbokgung to the west and Changdeokgung to the east, this village has the largest cluster of privately owned traditional Korean wooden homes or hanok in Seoul.

The Bukchon area is a traditional residential area in Seoul that boasts 600 years of history. Its location reflects the views of neo-Confucianism, regarding the world and nature, during the Joseon Dynasty.

Hanok architecture places great emphasis on the topographical features of the land on which it is built. Structural arrangements, layouts, and other spatial aesthetics are major concerns here, as are the styles of the buildings themselves.

Opening Hours for Bukchon Traditional Culture Center
Mon~Fri (9:00 ~ 18:00) Sat~Sun (9:00 ~ 17:00)

Getting there By Subway

Exit 2 – Anguk Station Line 3. Walk straight for about 300m.

9. Nami Island ( Winter Sonata )

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For Korean Drama lovers, Nami Island is a place which does not requires further introduction as this is the birth place of all the Korean Craze. This is one of the place where the famous international Korean Drama Winter Sonata was filmed. Hence to put it short, it is a must visit for all Asian tourists!

Namiseom Island was formed as a result of the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam. It is a half moon shaped (462,809㎡) isle, and on it is the grave of General Nami, who led a great victory against the rebels in the 13th year of the 7th king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejo (reign 1455 ~ 1468).

Admission Fees
Adults : 8,000 won
Children (ages 3-13) : 4,000 won
Visitors coming after 18:00 (Dec – Mar), after 19:00 (Apr – Nov) : 4,000 won

※ Round-trip ferry fare & tax included

Opening Hours
Daily 7:30am to 9:30pm

Getting there By Subway + Train + Taxi
Exit Sangbong Station Line 7. Transfer to Gyeongchun Line Train to Gapyeong Station. Take a taxi to Gapyeong Wharf (Just say Nami Island to Driver will do. Taxi cost KRW3,000 to KRW4,000 per way)

 

10. Everland
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Operated by Samsung Group, Everland is South Korea’s largest theme park at 100 hectares. With 8.6 million visitors, it is ranked as the 4th most visited theme park in the world by offering 5 main Festivals and exciting entertainments all year around.

The park is home to over 40 heart-pounding rides and attractions. In addition to ‘Safari World’ featuring white tigers, tigers, lions and bears, ‘Herbivore Safari’ opened in April 2010, letting visitors get up close and personal with the safari’s giraffes, elephants, and ostriches.

Everland is also known for its gorgeous flower arrangements and beautiful gardens, which have been year-round fixtures since the Rose Festival in 1985.

Opening Hours
Sunday to Friday – 10am to 6pm
Saturday & Public Holidays – 10am to 7pm

Getting there By Subway & Bus
1. Exit 10 – Gangnam Station Line 2. Take bus 5002 to Everland. (Travel time: 50 min)
2. Exit 1 – Gangbyeon Station Line 2. Take bus 5800 to Everland. (Travel time: 50min)
3. Exit 2 or 3 – Sadang Station Lines 2 & 4. Take bus 1500-2 to Everland. (Travel time: 80 min)

 

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