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36 Hours in Seoul, South Korea

36 Hours in Seoul, South Korea

TripBlog
May 26, 20214,3850

Going to Seoul? Looking for information on all the amazing temples and things to do there? Have only 36 hours to see it all? Then this is what you've been looking for. Here is your guide to spending 36 hours in Seoul!

Contents

Staying in Seoul
Getting to and From The Airport
After landing at the Seoul Incheon International Airport, you can use the following modes of transportation.
Take the bus.
Take the Airport Railroad All Stop Train
Travel by AREX- Airport Railroad Express
What to Eat
1. Kimchi
2. Bibimbap
3. Chimaek
4. Gogigui
5. Tosokchon
Must See in Seoul
1. Bukchon Hanok Village
2. Gyeongbokgung
3. Namsan Seoul Tower
4. Cheonggyecheon Stream
5. Gwanghwamun Square
Where to Shop in Seoul
1. Myeongdong
2. Dongdaemun Market
3. Hongdae
4. Itaewon
5. Starfield COEX Mall

Staying in Seoul

Seoul is safe to visit and can be the hiker’s and back-packers haven to explore. Need a budgeted hostel to stay in? Try the Urban Art Stay pub. It has the right price and plenty of options in things to do in Seoul. There’s also the Dongdaemun Market shopping area and lots of Seoul food around you nearby since the place is located a short walk from the Seoul Tower and the Cheonggyecheon Stream.

If that is not an option and you need a budget hotel, then opt for the Roadhouse Hongdae Shinchon situated close by to the landmarks like the Seoul tower and prime neighborhoods of Seoul. You will get a no-nonsense clean room, private bathroom, flat screen TV and perhaps a room with a balcony having the best Seoul skyline views.

When you wish to make a booking at best in luxury at the Forbes ‘The Shilla Seoul’ for its impeccable service, gourmet cuisines and food and the pick-up/drop facility offered.

36 Hours in Seoul, South Korea

Getting to and From The Airport

After landing at the Seoul Incheon International Airport, you can use the following modes of transportation.

Take the bus.

Airport shuttles connect you to most parts of Seoul and its landmark things to do in Seoul. Use the ticket booths at the Arrival gates on the first floor to buy your tickets. Bus trips cost 12 USD or 13,000 won, and the frequency is half-hourly. Your journey should take an hour and ten minutes.

Take the Airport Railroad All Stop Train

The All Stop Train is the most cost-effective transportation option at about US$4, or 4,250 won. It makes 12 stops on the way from the airport to its terminus in Seoul. The All Stop Train is quite popular as passengers can transfer to the Seoul subway system at 8 different stations. If you plan to use this service, get yourself an M-Pass transportation card at one of the airport convenience stores or the Tourism Centre before your depart. All Stop Trains depart every 10 minutes and the journey to Seoul takes about an hour.

Travel by AREX- Airport Railroad Express

The AREX is the fastest non-stop train and takes you to the Seoul Station within 45 minutes. It costs 7.50USD or a little more than 8,000 won.

What to Eat

The foodie’s paradise is among the things to do in Seoul. It offers typical Seoul food from street vendors who are very popular in Seoul. Beware of the spice and customize your tolerance levels while choosing your food options available near the Seoul tower. Let’s introduce you to some of the best local fares that are typical in Korean food and found across the Seoul skyline.

1. Kimchi

The lovely must-have Korean pickled dish is part of the Seoul food and eaten along with the rice and other dishes. Kimchi is normally made from cabbage leaves, Korean radish or cucumbers fermented in spices and reputed to have healthy pro-biotic effects on your gut due to its fermentation process. Have you heard of Seoul's Kimchi Museum? Well, visit it and try this food that is available for free when you order a meal at most Korean markets and restaurants.

2. Bibimbap

The healthy bibimbap from the list of Seoul food lends itself to many toppings. It is typically rice tossed in gochujang-chilli paste and spices with diced vegetables, beef or octopus and then topped with a half-fried bull’s eye egg atop of it. You can find the popular bibimbap creations adorning the menus of the small street-food vendors and the gourmet restaurants near the Seoul tower as well. The must-try variant is the Jeonju bibimbap made excellently at Grandma Yu’s Bibimbap.

3. Chimaek

This is typically Korean beer and fried chicken popular globally as typical Seoul food. The word Chimaek stems from the Korean word’s chi-cken and maek-ju beer. The Chimaek duet would typically cost you 20,000 won and is best tried at any restaurant or street vendor. The best is at Oksang Dalbit and the ever-crowded Han Chu Korean Fried Chicken and Beer.

4. Gogigui

Barbecued meat anyone? Gogiguior meat roast is as popular as the Korean Kimchi among the toppers of Seoul food. The Gogigui can be made of beef, chicken or pork and can be grilled on gas tops or the built-in charcoal grills on the tables of the restaurants serving it. Both the marinated and the version of un-marinated are popular. Heard some strange names to select your meats from? They are probably the spicy marinated fine-slices of beef or pork called bulgogi or the marinated rib portions of pork or beef called galbi. Typically expect to spend 30,000 won on the meat dish which is expensive in Korea. The dishes are best eaten at the WooSung Galbi or the Yeontabal BBQ Restaurant. While you may have to wait a bit since you need two orders for every cut of meat, the pork rind at WooSung is a perfect starter dish that costs 13,000 won/order.

5. Tosokchon

Okay, Tosokchon is one of the best restaurants to try the two traditional dishes of pajeon and samgye-tang. The samgye-tang is the ginseng chicken spicy soup that is made from a whole young chicken stuffed with Korean rice and boiled with the ginseng, garlic, jujube fruits, ginger, vinegar, and other condiments. The pajeon is similar to the pancakes made with batter mixed with any meat drawn from pork, beef, octopus, shrimp, squid, vegetables, etc and scallions. Both the varieties of regular and black chicken samgye-tang offered here are finger-licking good and could cost you 15,000 won/dish. The restaurant is located at Gyeongbokgung.

Must See in Seoul

There is plenty to see and things to do in Seoul. So, let us tell you about what you cannot afford to miss out on instead.

Bukchon Hanok Village is a traditional and older area with 400 traditional Korean hanok houses set in sylvan surroundings between the areas of Changdeokgung and Gyeongbokgung. You can step into the traditional time frame of Korean and do a self-guided walking tour very different from the skyscraper lined Seoul skyline. Chat up the friendly locals while browsing through the tiny shops with antiques, handcrafted items, souvenirs, and perhaps sip on a hot tea from the traditional teahouses. Visiting this place is one of the things to do in Seoul.

36 Hours in Seoul, South Korea

2. Gyeongbokgung

The Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest of the five Seoul palaces. The National Folk Museum of Korea lies on its premises, and if you wear their easily rentable ‘hanbok’ traditional dress, you are rewarded with free admission! The large complex is located at #161, Sajik-ro in Jongno at #1234, Jongno-gu in Seoul 110-050. Call 82*2*3700*3900 or visit their website.

36 Hours in Seoul, South Korea

3. Namsan Seoul Tower

The N Seoul tower atop the famous Namsan Mountain stands 236 m high and provides you with the most refreshing view of the surroundings during daytime and of the illuminated beckoning Seoul skyline at nighttime’s. This second-highest viewpoint in Seoul also has a Seoul tower gallery where locks with thrown away keys keep loving couples together as they swear allegiance to each other. The Seoul Tower is located at #105, Namsangongwon-gil in Yongsan #2 ga-dong in Yongsan-gu of Seoul 140-022. You can call them on 82*2*3455*9277 or visit their website.

36 Hours in Seoul, South Korea

4. Cheonggyecheon Stream

The 10 km long Cheonggyecheon Stream runs through Seoul city, and its banks form the best areas for public festivities and exhibitions across the Seoul skyline. If you are lucky to have planned your visit on Buddha’s birthday, Christmas or any other holiday you can watch the stream come alive with festive lights, arrangements of sculpture and art pieces and a generally pervasive festive air. The stream flows past the information centre at Cheonggyecheon-ro on Sinseol-dong in Jongno-gu of Seoul 130-110. Contact them on 82*2*2290*7111.

36 Hours in Seoul, South Korea

5. Gwanghwamun Square

The Gwanghwamun Square stands proud as a sentinel to the Seoul skyline leading Gwanghwamun Gate of the Gyeongbokgung Palace. This square is dedicated to King Sejong The Great, whose statue is installed there. The great king is credited with the invention of the Hangul alphabet of Korea besides other inventions whose sculpted images adorn the square.

36 Hours in Seoul, South Korea

Where to Shop in Seoul

Seoul’s popular shopping areas are among the foremost things to do in Seoul and are family-friendly too, with a variety of entertainment options like museums, aquariums, theatres, theme parks, and art galleries just a stone’s throw away. Apart from the malls and department stores, you have a wide choice in on-street sales near the Seoul tower.

It tests your bargaining skills. It provides you with the absolute best goods in household linen, clothing, electronic goods, leather items and more. The streets are also vibrant with the best in Seoul food and flash sales, music concerts, fashion shows, cultural festivities, and art exhibitions that happen quite regularly in them. Let’s explore the top shopping areas in Seoul.

1. Myeongdong

The Myeongdong Market is the best of the prime shopping areas in South Korea with a large number of things to do in Seoul at the shopping malls, prime shopping outlets, department stores, and street-side food shops. Buy the inexpensive wares after honing your bargaining skills. Choose from the variety of skincare, cosmetic, and beauty products from international and local brands or search for a wardrobe makeover including handbags, clothes, accessories, shoes, jewelry and more from 1,000 outlets. The iconic landmarks in the area like the Myeongdong Nanta Theatre and the Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral add to the crowds. The physical address of the area is #83/9, Myeong-dong in Jung-gu of Seoul, which is normally open from 10 am- 10.30 pm.

36 Hours in Seoul, South Korea

2. Dongdaemun Market

Dongdaemun Market is the largest retail and wholesale shopping area in South Korea and is among the list of things to do in Seoul. With over 30,000 specialty shops, 26 shopping malls and over 50,000 manufacturers it earns its name for wares as diverse as office supplies, textiles, electronics, clothes, toys, shoes, leather goods, and jewelry.

Mukja Golmok in Dongdaemun Market is where you should head to for authentic Korean snacks and street food. There’s always a crowd and much happening well into the wee hours of the morning with fashion shows, late-night festivities, typical Korean dance performances and live music taking center stage after the sun dips into the Seoul skyline. The address is #6 Euljiro ga in Jung-gu of Seoul.

36 Hours in Seoul, South Korea

3. Hongdae

The Hongdae shopping area has the hipsters flocking to it and is among the list of things to do in Seoul. The Hongik University students, local youth, and those with a fetish for underground cultures, self-expression, and art find it a fascinating place to shop in and discover newer things to do in Seoul. The latest luxury goods outlets, expressive art galleries, modern fashion outlets, live-music bars and dance and tippling clubs are lining the area's avenues. It is a small wonder that the students and nightlife hunters flock here.

The ‘free market’ held on weekends at Hongdae lasts from 1 to 6 pm and sees huge crowds appreciative of the local art pieces on exhibition, paintings, craft-items, accessories, bed-linen, second-hand goods and even antiques at throw-away prices. The area is also known to have many cultural events, dance performances, literary exhibits, festival celebrations, and impromptu street performances. The official address for the shopping area is Hongdae in Mapo-gu of Seoul, and the outlets generally work between 9 in the mornings till the clock strikes midnight.

4. Itaewon

The Itaewon shopping area is among the list of things to do in Seoul. It is famed for its antiques and leather articles. You have more than a hundred shops selling imported brands of fashion clothing, leather goods like shoes, handbags, etc. and keepsakes, antiques, and souvenirs to take home with you. You can even use the many shops with tailoring services for personalization, fitting, and customizing your clothing.

And how can we forget the Seoul food? On offer are some of the best in international restaurants, bars with music and food and clubs where you can dance away your blues over food. And, all this happens best just behind and, in the Seoul’s, Special Tourism District of the street housing Seoul’s Hamilton Hotel. Itaewon area is officially located at Itaewon-dong in Seoul and boasts of a multi-fare cuisine from the world over including USA, France, Greece, Italy, Australia, India, Thailand, Pakistan, Mexico, and China.

36 Hours in Seoul, South Korea

5. Starfield COEX Mall

The Starfield COEX Mall is among the list of things to do in Seoul. It is one of the largest malls with a variety of wares from electronic items, beauty, housing, and fashion products, clothing, food and more from over 300 reputed brands. Bricklive is the kids favourite with LEGO packs and games. It’s ticketed entrance costing 5,000 won/adult and 10,000 won/child above the age of 1 year. You must also visit its unusual for a mall Starfield Library with 13m tall bookshelves stocking over 50,000 books! Another family experience you are bound to love is the COEX Aquarium with an exquisite marine wildlife collection of more than 650 species collected from across the oceans defining the Seoul skyline.

The mall is located at #513, Yeongdong-daero in Gangnam-gu area of Seoul and is open each day generally between 10.30 am-10 pm. Do you need more information about the timings of one of the shops? Call 82*2*6002*5300.

36 Hours in Seoul, South Korea

The city offers thrifty day-tour packages, places to stay in, great and varied items of Seoul food, fantastic opportunities ranging from museums, parks, war memorials, shopping areas and things to do in Seoul. The endearing Seoul skyline, iconic Seoul tower, bustling nightlife, ancient temples, and the welcoming culture is sure to take you back for more discoveries of Seoul. So, when is your trip to Seoul due? We hope you have the best time in scintillating Seoul.

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