According to Lonely Planet, Seoul is one of the Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2017 and the metropolis is the only Asian city that has made it into the list. This destination where luxury travelers stay the longest is also favored by budget travelers. Cheap airfare, affordable accommodation, discount coupons specially for tourists, cheap, delicious food, and Hanbok fitting for free. Who can resist all of that?
So what can you do in Seoul? Whether you’re into mouth-watering food, K-pop, or cultural activities, Seoul has it all for you. Here’s a list of 8 awesome things you can do there.
1. Play at the world’s biggest indoor theme park
A colossal theme park that attracts around 6 million people each year, Lotte World is a perfect getaway for families, especially during the school holidays. Regardless of any weather, visitors are welcomed to the theme park all year round, which means you can still go on that ride even when it rains or snows. People visit Lotte World mainly for its fun rides, with a mix of attractions for thrill-seekers and the less adventurous. Plus, the theme park offers discounts to children and any entries after 4pm.
The Gyro Drop that involves a steep fall from an altitude of 70 meters and the Gyro Swing, a ride of which players get to feel what it’s like to be spinning inside of a tornado, are two of the park’s best and most popular rides. If these rides are too overwhelming for you, there are alternatives to having fun without the need of a rush of blood.
Ice-skating and bowling at Magic Island are also awesome! Also, don’t forget to pay the Folk Museum a visit. It’ll take you back to 5,000 years of Korean history.
Opening hours: 9:30am – 10:00pm
2. Take an educational visit to the Seoul Museum of Art
During your visit to Seoul, visit the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), located close to the Jeongdong Theater and Nanta Theater. Known to have hosted many great art exhibitions such as the ones of Chagall, Picasso, Van Gogh, and many other beautiful collections, the Seoul Museum of Art is only available to visitors every first and third Tuesday of its working months. No admission fee is required to enter the museum.
Opening hours: March – October (10:00am – 8:00pm), November – February (Weekdays: 10:00am – 8:00pm) / Weekends and national holidays: 10:00am – 6:00pm)
3. Watch the “changing of the guards” ceremony at the Gwanghwamun Gate
The Gwanghwamun Gate (which is Gyeongbokgung’s main gate) is where tourists go to watch the “changing of the guards” ceremony. You must be wondering what kind of a ceremony that is. Basically, it’s a tradition similar to the one at the Buckingham Palace, which involves a 45-minute British pageantry, happening at 11:30am from April till the end of July and on alternate days throughout the year.
It’s highly recommended to tourists as it’s rather rare to watch a traditional event like it in the middle of a modern city like Seoul. Besides, it’s absolutely a great way to witness a part of the Korean royal culture.
Performance hours: 11:00am – 11:40am / 2:00pm – 2:40pm / 3:30pm – 4:30pm (closed on Mondays or during bad weathers)
4. Go where the locals go for food hunting
When you’re hungry, go where your tummy takes you. Keep calm and go food hunting! In Seoul, you’ll never be hungry as there are tons of delicious food out there for you to indulge. From the fanciest to the humblest, Seoul offers foodies a wide array of local cuisine for their tongues to taste.
Care for some Kimchi? It’s not the only food the Koreans are proud of. There are many other mouth-watering street food in Seoul for you to discover such as Teokbokki (Spicy Rice Cake), Hotteok (Dessert Pancake), Kimbap (Seaweed Rice Rolls), Mandu (Dumplings), and Jeon (Pancake). To find some of these wonderful snacks, go to Gwangjang Market. Read Top 8 Korean Halal Street Food for a Seoul-ful Trip.
Best time to explore: Anytime
5. Shop till you drop
Are you excited for shopping? Koreans love shopping as much as you do, too. You’ll definitely enjoy a whole load of shopping discounts there! If you didn’t know this, shopaholics in Seoul don’t just shop in big, fancy malls. They also shop underground.
Yes, there’s such a thing as underground shopping in Seoul and if you’re wondering what it’s like, go to the Jonggak Underground Mall, Express Terminal Underground Center, Yeongdeungpo Underground Mall, Jamsil Underground Shopping Center, and Gangnam Underground Shopping Center.
As quirky as it sounds, these underground shopping spots are a haven to shoppers who are on the hunt for the latest electronic goods, jewellery, apparels, and shoes. Looking for gifts and souvenirs to take home for your friends and family? Then take a stroll around these areas to hunt for the best bargains!
Shopping hours: 10am – 10pm
6. Sip local tea in traditional Korean tea houses
Are you the cultural version of Alice in Wonderland’s ‘Mad Hatter’ — who’s looking for the best tea sipping experience in South Korea? Then Seoul’s the perfect destination for you! In a city where traditional meets modern, Seoul offers a vast of authentic teahouses to satisfy your lust for tea.
Visit Bukchon and Insadong to experience Korea’s traditional tea culture. There you’ll find several teahouses that’ll impress you with their unique interior and exterior designs. Sit at Cha Masinuen Tteul teahouse, where you can calmly sip a cup of healthy tea while looking at the mountains outside the window — or dine in Ji Dae Bang teahouse where you can learn the art of making tea.
For those coming during warmer months, the Dawon teahouse is the perfect spot for your teatime. Did you know that Dawon is one of the oldest teahouses in Seoul and has been serving tea lovers for about 30 years?
Best time to visit: Anytime
7. Dance like PSY (and do the Gangnam style)
When you’re in an uber-trendy city like Seoul, keep calm and do the Gangnam dance just outside of the Gangnam Station Exit 5. Not just you but all those who are there for the same reason will be doing the Gangnam-style dance as a tribute to one of the hottest songs on Youtube, ‘Gangnam Style’ by PSY. You can even record yourself dancing once you get on stage. Catchy song, good exercise, and a memorable experience. Why not?
Best time to visit: Anytime
8. Explore local nature at Samneung Park while you go back in history
In the middle of the busy district of Samseong, take a retreat to Samneung Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site where you can learn about Korea’s local culture and rich history as you walk on the park’s verdant grass. There you’ll see the tombs of King Jungjong, King Seongjong, and Queen Jeonghyeon from the Joseon Dynasty. In 1592, the tombs were defaced but were then restored after the Japanese invasion.
Visiting hours: Tuesday – Sunday (9am – 6pm) from March – October / Tuesday – Sunday (9am-5pm) from November – February
What do you think of this list? If you’re up for K-pop and these 8 fun activities, we’ll help you fly there now to explore them (and much more!). Visit www.traveloka.com now.