South Korea, known as the Republic of Korea. What’s your perception of South Korea? K-pop? Korean BBQ? South Korea is a wonderful place that is embedded with different cultures such as music, food, or historical geographic position. Seoul is an international city and attracts millions of visitors to explore this amazing place.
When to go?
In my opinion, spring and autumn months are the most appropriate for visitors as the average temperature is really cool and sunny days all the time. In the springtime, most of the flowers are in bloom and green spaces are expanding, as well as the pink cherry blossoms. And in the autumn time, you can see the “color” is total turnover. Loads of orange and red maple leaves.
How to get to South Korea?
Incheon International Airport (ICN), which is one of the largest and primary airports located in Seoul. Also, there are several types of transport that connect between ICN and Seoul. The express train and all-stop train are the most popular one as the duration is really short and comfortable.
Express train heads to Seoul station directly from ICN Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The approximate time is 45 mins and 50 mins, running from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 respectively. For the fare, it costs 9,000 won and 7,000 won per adult and child respectively. (Remember! The first and last trains running from Terminal 2 are 05:15 and 22:40.)
All Stop Train
The duration of an all-stop train is similar to an express train. It takes around 60 to 70 mins depending on which terminal you are in. For the fare, it costs almost half of express train tickets, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 stations are 4,150 won and 4,750 won respectively.
In addition, visitors can buy a transportation card to make the rest of the journey more convenient. Travelers can use the subway and buses. Bear in mind, the price and service fee of the card is 500 won and non-refundable.
I know everyone is interested in knowing where is the best place to exchange the currency based on the exchange rate. Some visitors will exchange their currency in the airport as it is convenient and reduces the risk of counterfeit currency.
China Embassy Front fx Exchange
This currency exchange store is the most popular for visitors as the exchange rate is the best compared with other competitors. Plus, their reputation is quite good, so the return rate is very high year by year.
Address: 26 Myeongdong 2-gil, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Where to stay?
If it is the first time for you, I would recommend you book a hotel near the metro station. Myeongdon or Insadong could suit you with geographic advantages.
If you are a foodie or shopaholic, you should stay in Myeongdon during the journey. Myeongdong is concentrated on the best shopping districts and street food around Seoul. Moreover, you may feel comfortable if you are Chinese-spoken visitors.
Insafong is an excellent place to live unless you have got lots of time to spend during your long journey. Also, you can find out about the traditional tea house and something that other districts cannot provide for. The well-known landmark, Hanok Village, is also located here. If you love to visit the historic buildings, you cannot miss them!
Seoul Tower (N서울타워)
Seoul tower, the official name is YTN Seoul Tower. Namsam tower is another name for it, and the main purpose is an observation tower that provides people with a nice view with a 360-degrees view. Moreover, the big advantage of this tower also provides dining options and shops for visitors to enjoy every moment. Meanwhile, the bus is not the main mode of transportation that way to get to the spot. The cable car is an excellent experience to reach the tower if you are not afraid of the fear of heights. On the other hand, couples will love it as you can hang your unique love padlocks. If you forget to remember your own one, NO WORRIES! Just buy one from the shops next to you and drop a message between yours.
How to get to Seoul Tower?
- Bus: No. 02, 03 & 05.
- Namsan cable car
- Seoul City Tour Bus
Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)
Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the spots that you cannot miss in Seoul. It was built in 1395 and served the Joseon dynasty. Since the palace is the hottest spot around Seoul, you should avoid visiting and crashing with a crowd of people. In my own view, I would say if you reach the attraction around 9:30 am which could save you a bit, you could enjoy the ceremony of the gate opening the palace. If you are lucky, you could join the royal guard changing ceremony at 10 am as well. When you walk around the palace, it is integrated with several sights, including Deoksugung, the National Palace Museum, and the National Folk Museum.
(REMIND! The opening time varies in different seasons. Also, it opens 6 days a week except Tuesdays.)
- Adult: 3,000 won
- Ages below 18 years old: 1,500 won
- Integrated ticket: 10,000 won
How to get there?
- Subway: Gyeongbokgung Station Exit 5 or Gwanghwamun Station Exit 2
- Seoul city sightseeing bus
Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
If you are heading to Gyeongbokgung Palace, why not stop in front of Gwanghwamun Gate? This is the main gate and home of changing ceremony since 1469. Also, this gate is also the background for lots of Korean TV shows or some K-pop music. If you would like to “pilgrimage”, let’s do it.
Gwangjang Market (광장시장)
Gwangjang Market is one of the best traditional markets that you will ever miss in Seoul. This market is integrated with cuisine and clothing vendors. Especially for vintage clothing, it has become the main reason for teenagers to shop in this “paradise”.
If you are a foodie, you should take your chance to try the traditional food. Food culture can reflect how citizens love their countries and generations.
Bindaetteok, made of mung beans and glutinous rice. Usually, Koreans might put in some vegetables and pork to improve the flavors.
Tteokbokki, known as spicy rice cake, is combined with Korean spicy sauce and rice cake. This dish is one of the iconic street foods for locals and visitors. Also, Tteokbokki is becoming the most popular cuisine in Korean restaurants around the world.
Sannakji is a dish of live octopus that is served as a snack. Normally people will be accompanied by alcohol, like Soju. If you get a big heart, let’s do it! I’m not kidding, but this dish needs brave people to finish it.
How to get Gwangjang Market?
- Metro:Jongno-5 Station (Exit 8 or 9)
Address: 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 4(sa)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Ihwa mural village (이화 벽화마을)
Ihwa mural village, which is a residential area enriched with loads of art. The pretty artwork attracts crowds of photographers to take their memorable works. REMEMBER! It is not a normal tourist attraction and you need to keep your voice as low as possible. Also, just present politely and do not be afraid to say “Hello” to the neighborhood. Meanwhile, try to support the local stores to keep the areas sustainable.
How to get to Ihwa mural village?
- Metro: Hyehwa Station (Line 4, Exit 2)
Address: 49 Naksan 4-gil, Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Lotte World (롯데월드타워)
If you are visiting as a couple or family, Lotte World will fit your schedule. Lotte World is a theme park that includes indoor and outdoor activities to keep visitors comfortable playing in different weather. Before heading to play the games, you can store your belongings in their lockers, which are provided in 9 different spots.
After reading the map, you can imagine how large the Lotte World is. The whole theme park is combined with Lotte World Adventure and Magic Island. If you come as a family, just take a seat on the Lotte World Adventure rides to enjoy the moments.
Lotte World Adventure
Can you imagine how Lotte World can design an indoor theme park like this?
The Aeronaut Ballon
The Aeronaut Balloon is one of the iconic games in adventures. Visitors can take the balloon and look down around the colourful theme park.
If you get a strong heart, why not have a try at the French Revolution? They used the electrifying thrill of rotating 360 to 540 degrees. Before starting the rides, read the instructions carefully as some types of visitors suffer disks or heart patient cannot play.
Magic Island is a fully outdoor ride with existing facilities. In my opinion, it is a big difference compared to Lotte World Adventure.
A swing tree takes you to sit at the height of 4.5m and spin at the speed of 50km.
Load Nelson’s Armada
Do you want to ride a swan boat with your loved one? Just prepare for a cozy mood and get on the boat. (REMEMBER! Check the operating schedule before heading to the place.)
Lotte World Tower (롯데월드타워)
If you make use of your whole day in Lotte World, why not watch the evening view from Lotte World Tower? I recommend visitors arrive before sunset. Also, you can reserve a table to grab a drink in their lounge or cafe. If you are not fearful of heights, just take a lift to the 118th floor. It is the world’s highest indoor glass floor, which is recognised by the Korea record institute.
How to get Lotte World?
- Metro: Jamsil Station (Line 2 & 8, Exit 4)
- Park and Museum Pass (Day Pass): Adult 59000 won, Youth 52000 won, Child 47000 won, and baby 15000 won. Further information can be checked it out.
- Magic Pass Premium: Ride 5 for 47000 won, Ride 10 for 85000 won
Address: 240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Itaewon is one of the hottest spots for locals and visitors hanging out with their friends. You can imagine the whole area including a variety of foreign restaurants, bars, and markets. Here I would recommend some bars for you to have a chilling evening.
Cakeshop is one of the oldest clubs in Itaewon and only opens from Thursday to Saturday. It is quite attractive since they use dark red lighting and a wide music range. Also, they may invite some popular DJ to their events sometimes.
Address: 134 Itaewon-ro, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
If you are LGBT, NO WORRIES! Queen Bar welcomes gay people to attend the party. Most people are hot and sociable, which makes it easy to get into their culture. If you are straight, you can still visit but not laugh at them! Try to respect and treat themselves as normal people.
Address: South Korea, 서울특별시 용산구 이태원1동 우사단로12길 7
Seoul is an excellent city that you MUST travel to after COVID-19. Not only can K-pop support their travelling industry, but also their well-known theme park and architecture. Especially for their traditional food, it has become popular nowadays and is found worldwide in different restaurants. Moreover, the Lotte World is an iconic theme park that can improve our relationships with each other. On the other hand, Seoul is embedded with a wonderful nightlife experience in Iteawon, which is amazing for visitors. If you are over 18, why not grab a drink with your friends or go to clubbing? Anyway, hope you enjoy this article and give you an insight into Seoul.