Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. It is also the largest metropolis in the country. The population of the city is nearly 10 million and it is regarded as one of the topmost tourist destinations of the country. It is economically strong and was till 2014, it was the 4th largest metropolitan economy. Tourists come to this part from different corners of the world for enjoying the specialty of the city which is unique in many different aspects.
The tourists’ attractions are quite diverse and you will find your time worth it in Seoul. It is highly recommended to spare a good one week to see around all the top attractions of the city. Seoul has got numerous attractions and compiling the top 10 is a tough ask. However, the list we have shared below is quite reliable with the top 10 things to do in Seoul, South Korea.
10 Best Things to do in Seoul, South Korea
If you are in Seoul, South Korea as a tourist then your tour is not complete until you visit the maximum of the below-given things to do in the city:
Bukchon Hanok Village
This is a very unique and special place in Seoul and it stands as the top tourist attraction on our list as well. The literal meaning of this traditional Korean village is ‘north village’. It is because the village is located on the northern side of the Cheonggye Stream. The real specialty of this village is that it has traditional hanok houses. The locality is very cute where people are still living. A lot of hanoks there are also used as shopping centers, guest houses, restaurants, and cultural houses.
You could visit many of these hanoks there to immerse yourself within it and enjoy the Korean culture. Tourists there are advised by the experts to stop first at the Tourist Information Center which is located right inside the village. You could pick up the map from there and can go on a wonderful walking tour of the village. The map will ensure that you don’t miss any of the major points of the vicinity. If you are coming by metro then you could also get a map free of cost from the Angok Station. To make your time wonderful there with brilliant photographs, try to go in there in the traditional hanbok attire. A lot of people in there would be wearing the same dress.
This is a place which is not only beautiful but also has a rich history behind it. It was constructed for the Joseon Dynasty in 1495 but over the years, it went through several destructions which were because of the Japanese invasions. The latest reconstruction of the place was completed in 2007. From the original construction, the renovated version is quite apart but it is still a unique thing to experience in Seoul. The best thing to do here is to have a walk around that palace. If we go into the more specific activities then witnessing the changing of the guard ceremony is awesome.
It is conducted twice a day where the first one is at 10 AM and the second one at 2 PM. Tuesday is the only exception here. For witnessing this sensational ceremony, you must come in one of the special traditional hanboks. It is a Korean attire that signifies the historical Korean traditions which is full in different color and shapes. You will see everyone wearing this special dress there and knowing about it in advance is a must. It wouldn’t matter much if you don’t have that information in advance. You could also get hanbok on rent from the stores next to the palace. You will enjoy this experience and wouldn’t find yourself out of place while in the traditional hanbok in the palace.
It is one of the great places in Seoul where you are not supposed to pay for any gate ticket. It is home to five beacons along with a wall whose history dates back to 1392. It is Mount Namsan now that has a beautiful park and quite a few other sites for tourists including a library, aquarium, and gorgeous walking trails. The majority of the people come to this place for the striking panoramic views of the capital city. The octagon-shaped building is there which boasts some splendid vistas of Seoul. This is free of cost experience.
If you are willing to spend a few bucks then get to the viewpoint of the N Seoul Tower. This would be a showstopper experience of Namsan Park. The majority of tourists have got some really good things to say about the view from the height of 1574 feet. Once you are on the sky deck then you really cannot afford to miss the countless padlocks tied to the fence. This is a place where couples come and lock them as a symbol of eternal love. If you are there with your partner then make sure to bring along your lock. If you feel hungry then don’t forget to try the rotating French restaurant which is on the top floor of the tower.
Bukhansan National Park
This spot is in northern Seoul but you could easily access it through the public transportation of the capital. The park covers a total area of 30 square miles. It has some beautiful forestry valleys, towering granite peaks, and long hiking trails throughout the park. The place also has as many as 100 historic Buddhist temples along with the cells of the monks as well. Bukansanseong Fortress is a must-see attraction of the national park. It was built in 1711 which was used as a refuge in emergencies for the kings.
The historical significance and the natural setting combine to make this park so special and a must-visit for tourists in Seoul. As per the Guinness World Records, the place has the most tourist per square foot as compared with any other destination in the world. If the panoramic vistas are your thing then you must trek towards the Baegundae peak which is one of the best treks in the park. The top will provide you breathtaking views of Seoul and even beyond. Some of the visitors of the trek have warned that this particular hike is not for the fainthearted. It requires endurance, strength, and proper hiking footwear.
If you are a foodie and wandering in Seoul to find the best food then the Gwanjang Market is the place to go. Even if you are not a foodie then still you must visit this market. It is one of the largest and the oldest traditional markets that you will ever find in Seoul. It is primarily known for its street food market where you will be able to find all types of Korean dishes, especially snacks. Trying the local food is a must and your tour will be incomplete without this.
The highly recommended food item here is the Tteokboki, which is a spicy and sweet rice cake. Mayak Gimbap is another sensational item which is the seaweed rolls. Once you are done with it then the Makgeolli, the rice wine would help in washing down the entire stuff that you ate earlier. The vibes that you will experience in this market will be great. Even if you are not trying the food, you will still have your time worth it. You may find good beverages along with a range of other continental and global food items. The place is highly recommended for tourists of all ages and both genders.
If you are into history then this is an excellent place for you. In this place, you will find statues of multiple notable figures of Korea. Those statues exist in the backdrop of the beautiful Bukhansan National Park and the Gyeongbukgung Palace. Underneath the statues placed at the square, you will also find a small museum which is dedicated to Admiral Yi Sun-Shin and King Sejong. This museum will be worth your time and you shouldn’t miss it at all.
There is a replica placed there of an old navy vessel of Korea which offers tourists a magnificent experience. A great thing about the museum is that it is free of cost and you will require less than an hour to have a look around it. If you are willing to spend $20 there then get on a hop-on and hop-off tour of Seoul. The tour will include stops at Gangnam City and the palaces. The value for money will be too good for what you will be able to see all around the place. Photography at this place is always excellent and you will cherish these memories for a long time to come.
Jogyesa Temple is located right in the heart of Seoul city which makes it quite easy to access and also closer to various other attractions of the city. Through this place, you will get a peek into Korean Buddhism. This temple means a lot to the Korean people and this is one tourist attraction of Seoul, South Korea that has local and global visitors. The temple is the head temple associated with the Jogye Order of Buddhism. The temple host many Buddhist events that includes a very charming lantern festival as well. It is celebrated on the birthday of Buddha which is in May.
You will be typically impressed with the intricate architecture which will completely blow you all away with its beauty and class. The halls of the temple are quite peaceful which offers a highly tranquil space for stepping away from all the busy crowds of the downtown. If you are here and want to further enhance your day then you must also visit the Gilsanga temple.
It is on the north side of the Jogyesa temple and will take about 20-mins walk. You will soon realize that why is it worth visiting this temple. Another great thing about the place is their meditation hall. The visitors to the place are also allowed to meditate there at any time of their convenience. The entry to the temple is free but it is advised to the visitors of any faith to come in and make a small donation as well.
Lotte World is a very happening theme park which is located in central Seoul. It is one of the largest indoor theme parks in the world and it offers a great way of entertainment for the entire family and individuals as well. You need to have one full day to get your money worth it. It has multiple thrilling rides including an ice-skating rink, laser shows, films, and lively parades as well. You will also have an opportunity to visit an onsite folk museum that shows miniature villages along with the multiple artifacts which are believed to be more than 5000 years old.
Entry ticket for the theme park varies depending on the time of entry. You will then get free access to the folk museum of the park along with the Adventure and Magic Island. The park is suitable for people of all ages where everyone will have something specific for their liking. This is a place where you will be thoroughly entertained and you will be clicking a lot of photographs here as well. The theme park is open daily from morning till night and its location in the center of the city makes it easily accessible. The place is highly recommended for a visit and it will make your day so special.
Shopping is a must thing if you are in Seoul. The place offers visitors the opportunity to buy a lot of stuff rather than just a few souvenirs. Myeong-Dong is the most popular area for shopping in Seoul. You can find everything ranging from the top of line Korean cosmetic products to garments for everyone including shoes. Cosmetic products are especially famous here with all of the brands that are globally known such as Tony Moly, Misha, Skinfood and Nature Republic, etc.
There are multiple retail stores here including family restaurants offering Korean, Japanese, and Western dining options. You may also find banks and hair salons here. If you are not much into shopping then still, visiting this street is highly recommended for various other things. The first and foremost reason is that the place is a considerable part of Korean life.
You will not find any better place than this one to see the Korean culture in real action. The restaurants and street food here also make this place so special. The local dishes found here are the best. A lot of people come to this street purely for enjoying Korean delicious cuisine.
‘Gangnam’ sounds like a very familiar name. Isn’t it? This is all thanks to the PSY and the Gangnam style song which became world-famous. The inspiration of that song was this district where people are trendy, fashionable, and love to give a certain “air”. This fashionable district is located quite close to the River Han and the meaning of its name is ‘south of the river’.
There is a point at the Gangnam Station where you will find people dancing to the viral song while they get projected on the big screen. The Gangnam district comes with a very high price tag including some upscale shopping centers, nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. If you are here and looking only for a quiet space then you could go to the nearby Bongeunsa Buddhist Temple.
Video Credit:Mark Wiens
It is an oasis of calamity and tranquility which promises to give you an extremely wonderful time. For a little variation, you may also consider visiting the beautiful Samneung Park for the sake of some relaxation and good enjoyment as well. Don’t forget to click some pictures here which you will cherish and enjoy for a very long time to come.
The city of Seoul is regarded as a place of pop culture, bustling markets, and modern skyscrapers. It is a very lively place and you will hardly experience any kind of boredom in the city if you are there for a good few days. It is not just about the top 10 attraction in Seoul that makes it special but this city itself is one of the topmost tourist attractions of the world. Once you are in Seoul then your potential list of visiting top attractions would just get longer and longer. Therefore, the best idea is to trust the carefully crafted list above which covers the top 10 things to do while you are in Seoul, South Korea as a tourist.
You will surely spend your time more enjoyably and easily, visit most of the places you need and will not regret it in any way. Because, we have already sorted out many things for you here on this list.
You can also read 10 Best Things to Do in Bangkok, Thailand in the Asia category.