The vibrant city of Seoul in South Korea is a metropolis that’s brimming with action. There is so much to do and see there that you’ll never be able to see it all. Unless you pack up and move there, which isn’t a bad idea either.
You’ll definitely want to visit popular tourist destinations like Insadong, where you can check out art galleries, eat temple food while watching a traditional performance, and scoop up amazing souvenirs to take back home with you. You’ll also want to take the subway to Lotte World for a Korean version of Disney World. Plus, there are museums that will help round out your experience. And the palaces! You can’t miss those either. The most famous of them all, Gyeongbokgung Palace, has two museums on-site too.
The DMZ tour is also another popular thing for tourists, and honestly if you’ve got the time to do it, you shouldn’t skip the chance to visit. You’ll need to take a long bus ride for it, but most hotels can set you up for a tour if you ask the concierge.
While these touristy things are incredible and you should make time for them, if you stick to just those things, you’ll miss out on a whole other side of Seoul that you’ve simply got to see. Here are some other things you should make time to do and see while you’re in Seoul.
1. Go for norebang
Korean karaoke rooms, called norebang, are amazingly fun. You get your own private and comfortably outfitted room with a state-of-the-art sound system. This singing room allows you and your crew to sing songs, order plenty of Hite or Cass (Korea’s domestic beers), and have an absolute blast. They have them everywhere so just pick a place that looks good and go.
2. Take line 2 for a view
The line 2 subway will give you the most impressive view of the Han River. You can also get out at Dangsan and walk out exit 3 to walk across the walkway and take selfies to your heart’s content.
3. Seoul Children’s Park
Most people that visit Seoul for a trip don’t know about this awesome place. You could spend the entire day here and still not do it all. It’s free to get in too. You’ll find a zoo and a stunning botanical garden. There’s also an amusement park. You only have to pay for rides or any food purchases that you make, making this a fantastic way to stay entertained even if you’re low on funds.
4. Food, drinks, and nightlife
Go out like the Koreans do. Start at one place, like a Korean barbecue where you can grill your meats right in the center of your own table. Make sure you wash it down with plenty of soju, an alcoholic beverage akin to vodka. Then, amble on to the next place. Often, fried chicken joints are an inevitable stop where you and your friends will get spicy crispy fried chicken and a pitcher of beer. Want to dance or do the bar scene? Itaewon practically caters to foreigners, while Hongdae gives you more of that college set. Either place is great for a fun night out with plenty of restaurants, bars, and clubs to fill your night!
5. Go shopping
Seoul is one of the fashion capitals of the world. Look at the way the women here style themselves and in a few months, you’ll see the trend take hold in the states. It’s an excellent place to shop. You’ll see plenty of malls filled with sparkly stores that will tempt you to spend. But one place you have to look is underground. Take the subway to the Gangnam Terminal where you’ll find the Goto Mall. Or head to Yeungdeungpo or Jamsil for more underground shopping madness. There are gobs of trendy clothes, shoes, jewelry and more, and the prices are outstanding. Hopefully, you’ve brought an expandable suitcase to take all your goodies home with you. If not, you can find one in one of these underground malls for super cheap.
If you do these things and get in some time at the many other touristy stops you can make, you’ll get the best taste of Seoul. It’s impossible to do it all so plan wisely and you’re experience in this majestic city will be truly unforgettable.