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As the capital of South Korea, Seoul is a city of modern buildings, kpop culture and bustling markets brimming with various kinds of shops.
There are many places to visit in Seoul like visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace, exploring Hongik University Street etc. Hence a good plan for exploring and experiencing this city is very necessary. With 5 days in Seoul, you can discover major part of Seoul and enjoy your trip to the fullest.
In Seoul, you do not need to worry about the language barrier because most of the locals can speak a little bit English.
Now, let's have a look at the top things to do in Seoul.
Before starting your exciting trip, don't forget to get some South Korean won (KRW).
Banknotes usually include 1,000, 5, 000, 10,000 and 50,000 KRW, and coins are available in 10, 50, 100 and 500 won.
What should be highly recommended is that you could do the currency exchange in banks like KEB Hana Bank, Shinhan Bank and Woori Bank. These banks provide a good exchange rate as well as quality service.
Besides banks, there are also a number of money changers in downtown to stock Korean wons at Myeong-dong, Dongdaemum and Itaewon. Be careful with the exchange rate there.
Impressive buildings, unique architecture design and youth atmosphere, welcome to Ewha Womans University.
The most famous architecture in Ewha Womans University is theunderpass campus. Glass with steel valley is used on both side. The unique design attracts tourists for taking a nice photo.
[Location] 52, Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03760, South Korea
Hongik University Street
One of the things to do to in Seoul is to shopping at Hongik University street. You can get a chance to see many talented youngsters perform K-pop dance and singing along area.
There are many stores for you to wander around. You can find fashion clothing, cosmetics, trendy shoes, bags, local brands and cafes all around Hongik University street.
[Restaurant] What's more, there are many Korean Restaurants you can't miss on Hongik University street. One restaurant called Joahae Dakbal is famous for their boneless chicken claws. You can choose the scoville scale that you can accept and add some ingredients you like such as ramen, kimchi, etc.
[Location] 20, Hongik-ro 3-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul 04039, South Korea.
Day 1 route
The suggestion is that on day 1 you could have a little snap first after your check-in. Then visit Ewha Womans University at dawn for photo shooting. In the evening, go shopping and have dinner at Hongik University Street for your night tour.
Gyeongbokgung Palace was the first and largest of the royal palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty. Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace was at the heart of newly appointed capital of Seoul (then known as Hanyang) and represented the sovereignty of the Joseon Dynasty.
Now, Gyeongbokgung is definitely on top the list of best things to do in Seoul and one of the grandest structures in the city. The representation of Korean architecture.
[Ticket] The entry fee is 3,000 won for each person. However, Gyeongbokgung waive the entrance fee for those who wearing Hanbok.
[Location] 03045 161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
[Rent a Hanbok] One cool thing you cannot miss there is to try hanbok (traditional Korean costumes)! No trip to Gyeongbokgung would be complete without renting hanboks. There are many stores for renting hanbok around the palace, and choosing the right one can save your budget.
[Hanbok store] The Artist Hanbok
The artist Hanbok locates at 36 Jahamun-ro 10-gil, Tongui-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. The store rents hanbok for fair enough rate and they provides all types of hanbok for you to choose!
[Fee] 3,000 won/hour per person
Strolling through at Bukchon Hanok Village is one of the fun things to do in Seoul.
A trip to Bukchon Hanok provides an ideal cultural experience for travelers who want to delve deeper into Korea history. This ancient village preserves a 600-year-old urban settlement, whichprovides a rich insight into Joseon Dynasty traditions.
You can stroll through the village, immerse yourself in art and have a coffee break in those beautiful cafes.
[Location] Gye-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Seeing the "Art in City Project" and taking photos for the murals are unforgettable things to do in Seoul.
In 2006, the Ministry for Culture, Sports, and Tourism brought artists into an impoverished area of Naksan Hill to breath new life into the streets with art.
The Ihwa Mural Village is a vibrant and beautiful area. It worth an afternoon in cafe hopping. You will enjoy some outdoor art and installations and know more about the local history.
Suggest time: a 2-hour trip.
[Location] Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
As one of the largest traditional market in Korea, Dongdaemun Market would be the best choice for shopping, eating street food and having a night walk in the dynamic atmosphere after one-day trip.
When the sun goes down, a night market will appear from nowhere selling everything from clothing to cosmetics, from bags to accessories. The official name is Dongdaemun Market but local people call it the Yellow Tent Market.
[Location] Area of 279, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Day 2 Route
I recommend that you can go to the Gyeongbokgung Palace first in the morning to try hanbok - walk along the Bukchon Hanok Village - have an afternoon tea and take photos at Ihwa Mural Village - explore Dongdaemun Market for your night tour.
Hangang Park, beloved by local residents and office workers, offers many exciting events year-round. Festivals like the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring, the World Fireworks Festival in the Fall
Hangang park is full of surprises: the Water Light Square, Waterside Fountains, the Waterside Stage, Festival Land, the Piano Waterway, Waterfalls of Light, the Yacht Marina, and more. You could rent a bicycle there and bike around the park. Or go camping with your whole family and enjoy a picnic.
[Location] Banpo 2(i)-dong, Seoul, South Korea
The 63 Building, also known as the Hanhwa 63 City, is a skyscraper on Yeouido island. 63 building boasts stunning panoramic views of the Han River and the city of Seoul. Inside, you can find IMAX cinema, art gallery, performance hall and even a mini-aquarium.
[Reach the top of 63 Building] The art gallery 63 Sky Art is on the top floor of Building 63, in which you can appreciate the interesting art works and enjoy panoramic views of the Han River and the whole city Seoul.
[Aqua Planet 63] Aqua Planet 63 locates in 63 Square. Aqua Garden features various marine life and you don't want to miss the mermaid shows they offer there! Besides the mermaid shows, they also offer penguin show, sea lion show and so on. Check the schedule before you go there so that you can enjoy each show on time.
[Location] 07345 50 63-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Korea (Yeouido-dong, 63 building)
Myeong-dong, one of the most interesting neighborhoods and best things to do in Seoul, is the city consumerist heaven and loaded with massive department stores, fashion boutiques and cosmetics shops offering high-quality products at competitive prices.
When it gets dark, the night market filled with street snacks appears. Trying the snack along the side of the street is a good way to see Korean culture.
[Tea House Recommendation] O'sulloc Tea House Myeongdong located at 12, Myeongdong 7-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul 04534, South Korea. As a nice place for tea lovers, there are many types of ice cream, coffee, cakes, and even souvenirs you could buy home made by green tea. Don’t miss to try it when going to Myeongdong.
[Location] 04536 27 Myeong-dong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
[Transportation] Myeong-dong Station (subway line 4) exits 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Day 3 Route
You can go to Hangang Park on the morning and sit waterside, then walk to 63 building to start your adventure. When it gets dark, you can go to myeong-dong, try local snacks along the street and shop around the fantastic stores.
Lotte Duty Free
There are multiple locations for this chain, but the best and biggest one is the Lotte Duty Free located on two massive floors in the main Lotte Department Store in Myeongdong, hosting a killer range of luxury retailers, cosmetics and accessories.
You can find ecerything you want to buy including a wide range of brands and product like Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy, Kenzo, Donna Karan and Pedro Garcia. Other familiar brands include Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Tiffany & Co, and Bottega Veneta are easy to be found.
VIP cards are available for Korean locals and foreigners. US $2,000 worth of purchases within two years gets you a Silver Card, providing 5-10% discount on most items, and US $10,000 in purchases over five years gets you a Gold Card and 5-15% discount on most items. Making a purchase with a Visa card will get you a further 5-15% off items.
[Location] 30, Eulji-ro, 11F, Lotte Duty Free shop, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Shilla Duty Free
The Shilla is the next biggest duty free after Lotte.
VIP cards are also available for customers. There are 3 types of VIP cards. The basic card offers 5% discount with no requirements. The Silver Card offers 5-10% and is for customers who have Asiana mileage cards, or who have totaled US $400 worth of purchases in two years. The simplest way is to just sign up online with no restrictions. The Gold Card, however, is only offered to travelers who have totaled US $3,000 in three years, and gives you 5-15% off.
[Location] 249 Dongho-ro, Jangchung-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, Southe Korea
Namsan Seoul Tower was built in 1969 as Korea's first integrated transmission tower beaming television and radio broadcasts across the capital. Since opening to the public in 1980, it has become a much-loved Seoul landmark.
The cable car trip up to the bottom of N Seoul Tower is one of the must-try things before going up the N Seoul Tower. The adult ticket costs KRW8,500 and the child ticket costs KRW5,500.
A recent attraction for courting couples is "Locks of Love," thousands of padlocks attached to the fence by romantic Seoulites symbolizing their undying affection.
The best time to visit the N Seoul Tower should start from sunset till night, at which you can get the view that sun goes down and the city lights up. That is really a romantic moment.
[Ticket] 10,000 won for adults and 8,000 won for children.
[Location] 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Itaewon Station (subway line 6) exit 4, take bus No. 03 and get off at Namsan Seoul Tower
Chungmuro Station (subway line 3, 4) exit 2, take bus No. 02 or 05 and get off at Namsan Seoul Tower
Dongguk Univ. Station (subway line 3) exit 2, take bus No. 02 and get off at Namsan Seoul Tower
Day 4 Route
You could spend your daytime shopping at those duty-free shops, and then start your trip to N Seoul Tower one hour before dawn comes.
Day 5 Route
After 4-day trip in Seoul, a good relaxing day is very important. No specific route is advised on the 5th day but having a nice morning breakfast, buying some souvenirs around the hotel and departing from the city with a nice mood may be better.
H avenue Idae Shinchon
H avenue Idea Shinchon Hotel locates in the downtown of Seoul and have access to all the main attractions by subway. Rooms are clean and in elegant white to keep you in a nice mood.
You can have a good and free western breakfast there before starting your adventure in Seoul. The hotel daily provides pieces of bread (a toaster is available there), salad, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, bacon, Korean style fried rice with Kimchi, milk, juice, corn juice, cheese and so on.
If you book the hotel in advanced, you can have a great discount.
[Transportation] The hotel is near not only the bus stop and metro line 2 (Ehwa Stop) but also only 2.9km far from the city center, that is, by bus or even on foot. Don't forget to check the route on map first.
[Location] Shinchon Ro 152, Mapo-Gu, Sinchon, Seoul, South Korea, 04104
The luxurious rooms in DH Naissance Tourist Hotel are equipped with Whirlpool bathtub, stylers, air cleaner, large ledTV and Wi-Fi. There is also a Monster-pizza pub in New York style on the second floor.
Additionally, free breakfast and tour guide provided by the hotel make you enjoy the best service from them.
There are also many shopping streets and restaurants nearby.
[Transportation] It is 55km away from Incheon Airport and takes an hour by shuttle bus to get off at the hotel. Gimpo Airport is 20km away.
[Location] 39, Dongsomun-ro 20na-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, South Korea, 02845
[Map] Downloading a map like Google map and Naver map on your phone first may help you find the way better.
[Traffic card] There is always a convenience store call CU at the airport, you can buy one after your arrival. The traffic card is available for taking bus and metro.
[Best time to visit Seoul] The spring from March to May and the autumn from September to November are the best seasons to travel in Seoul.
To know more about South Korea attractions:
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