15 ideas of things to do when it’s your first time to go to Seoul (or even when it’s not your first)!
Seoul is one of my dream travel destinations and I was just so ecstatic that finally, after a year of planning, I have set foot there!
I’m so in love with Seoul and South Korea as a whole that I have decided to make a South Korea series with 5 posts of everything related to my holiday there. It is just but right that the first one would be a travel post. Let me take you there with my photos and round up the things I did there. Also, I know a lot of you want to visit the amazing Seoul so these would be great ideas for you!
1. Binge on real Korean food and enjoy the street food
The first thing I love about the country? The food! They have really good food that you won’t go hungry there. I totally loved this Dakgalbi (spicy stir fried chicken) which we even had in Chuncheon-si, Gangwondo as it was the known dish in the area.
Street food is also a must try whenever you’re in Seoul. Most of our meals in between shopping consisted of street food and they are really good. This stall is known for being in a popular Korean drama (Weightlifting Fairy) and they had the best tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) I have tried so far.
2. Kfashion shopping in Hongdae
Hongdae is known for being the center of Kfashion. Known Korean fashion shops are in the area and we were just so lucky that our hotel was just in Hongdae making me close to the shops of my favorite Korean fashion brands. Yes, that meant a lot of shopping during my stay there.
3. Kbeauty shopping in Myeongdong
If Hongdae is for Korean fashion then Myeongdong is for Korean beauty. Myeongdong is filled with Korean beauty brand shops. You’ll get to see a shop of each brand in every corner there which is very useful. I love kbeauty so much and a whole day of shopping there wasn’t enough for me!
4. Experience the Korean culture by wearing a hanbok in Gyeongbokgung Palace
One thing you should do while you’re in a different country is to immerse yourself into their culture and we did this by renting hanbok to wear in Gyeongbokgung Palace. Getting to wear a hanbok has been in my bucket list and I’m so glad I got to tick that off. Plus you get free admission to the palace if you’re wearing a hanbok, isn’t that amazing? Yay! I got to hit two goals there!
5. Get your hair done by a legit Korean hairdresser and stylist
When you say South Korea, one of the first things that go into your mind is great hair. So we made sure to take a trip to a hairstylist to get our hair done. My friend and I got our hair done in The Days Salon and were so lucky to have our hair done by one of their best stylists who is also known to be a stylist to some celebrities and influencers. This was also the reason why I have braved to chop off my hair and got them see through fringes.
6. Go café hopping!
I love going to cafés and coffee shops. Our morning coffee runs or end of the day coffee trips should be one of my favorite parts in my days there. You could see different kinds of coffee shops everywhere there with a lot of varieties. I will be making a separate post on the different cafés we’ve been to so just let me share 2 of my favorites, the Stylenanda Pink Pool Café and the &Gather Café.
7. Get amazed by the Seoul skyline from the Namsan Tower and the Seoul Sky
Seoul has a very beautiful skyline and getting to appreciate that while visiting famous spots like the N Seoul Tower and the Seoul Sky is something you must do.
It was a beautiful day when we went to Namsan!
The view isn’t really clear due to the foggy glass in Seoul Sky which isn’t giving justice to how beautiful Seoul is from up above.
8. Relax at different parks and lakes
There are also a lot of parks and lakes around Seoul. I love it that they still get to preserve nature while having awesome and futuristic architecture. Parks and lakes in Seoul are famous dating or family outing spots.
9. A kpop fan? Do various activities that are Kpop related.
I am a proud Korean pop fan so as we were in the land of Kpop, it was just right that we dedicated a day just for hallyu. So if you’re like me, you can do these too!
We visited different entertainment buildings, from SM to JYP which their new building is already way in Jamsil and to BigHit which took us a lot of time looking for. This wasn’t easy as they were really far from each other and we got exhausted from the transport but it was worth it as it was the homes to our favorite artists. (Fun fact: As we were walking to SM Entertainment, we had no idea we would be passing by FNC Entertainment as we were only following the map. We then sighted a few of the members of the boy group SF9. We didn’t even realize it until we got to SM Entertainment’s building! LOL!)
Be reminded of special events related to your favorite idols! Subway stations and bus stops are filled with celebrity related stuff like a dedication post to celebrate a certain idol’s birthday or just a random shout out to these celebrities.
If you don’t want to travel a lot to visit entertainment buildings, you can always visit celebrity related places like this café owned by EXO Kai’s sister to this restaurant owned by EXO Chanyeol’s dad and this Japanese restaurant owned by BTS Jin and his brother. There are also places that remind you of your favorite stars like the JYP Soul Cup Café which is situated in the JYP building and Laundry Pizza which is known to be a place where idol groups like BTS, Apink and IOI were taken photos of for their albums. Also, there is the SMTown Coex Artium for those who love SM Entertainment artists.
10. Appreciate creativity!
One of the things that impresses me with the people from South Korea is their creativity and you could see that all over Seoul.
Specific places that showcase these is Insadong which is known for the Ssamziegil a mall complex filled with crafty hanji paper and with beautiful mural lined walls.
The Ihwa Mural Village is a village which was deemed to be demolished years ago but the people made a project known to be the Art in the City. They invited over 70 artists to make paintings and murals around the neighborhood making it a great tourist spot.
The Apgujeong Graffiti Tunnel is a tunnel by the Han River known for its graffiti lined walls and is popular for being featured in a lot of music videos by different artists.
11. Release the inner child in you
Going to an amusement park is never an exception when you’re in South Korea. You will definitely enjoy your time relieving the moments you missed when you were still young.
Everland is the happiest place there and I felt like a little kid while I was there. There is also a zoo there which is great for family trips.
Lotte World is an indoor amusement park located in Jamsil which is great for all seasons! I wanted to try a lot of rides here which made me sad as we had other plans that day so we only had a limited time. On my next visit, we’ll sure spend more time there! Yet, I still got to try their famous carousel.
12. Strut your stuff at DDP
Fashion is something very vital in South Korea and you could see that around. People in South Korea are known for their distinct and creative fashion. I really love it as it is not only focused on the trends but also in comfort. One of the places where you can see a lot of inspirations is in Dongdaemun Design Plaza. It is a known landmark in Seoul as it is where fashion shows are held. You can even see a lot of models getting photographed there. It is just but right that you dress up when you go there.
13. Let out the bookworm in you at this huge library
Do you love reading? Then Starfield Library is the place for you! It is located at the center of COEX mall. It is a place where you can sit, relax and read a book!
14. Enjoy everything kyeopta (cute)…
I have a knack for cute stuff and everywhere I turn my head to, there is something cute. I tell you, if only I could get everything cute there, I would! Sadly, I had a baggage limit. These are taken at the Line Friends Store in Garosugil, aren’t they so cute?
15. Fulfill your kdrama dreams!
South Korea is also famous for their dramas and movies. One thing that most people who visit Seoul and South Korea do is to visit the different places where their favorite Korean dramas and movies were taken and filmed. Just like this area in Duksung Women’s University which is known to be where the main lead of the drama Goblin first met.
We even travelled outside Seoul to see some more of these popular filming sites. We went to the Gangchon Rail Bike Park and got to experience the rail bikes ourselves.
We visited Nami Island in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province which is the famous location of the drama Winter Sonata.
We were also at the very pretty Petite France in Gyeonggi Province. The place was so cute! I can totally live there! It is also known for being the filming site of the drama, My Love from the Star.
Lastly, the Garden of Morning Calm which is located in Gapyeong County. It is known to be a filming location to quite a few popular dramas. The light festival was just breathtaking.
I love being in South Korea so much that I didn’t want to leave the country. If you want to see more of my visit there, you can see it on my Instagram posts and highlights. Now, I’m already planning my next visit there next year! Isn’t that exciting?
Be pretty, be happy, be you! H~