Seoul, South Korea, is a huge city with many things to do.

An immediate glance and you’ll probably notice that shopping and dining are two of Seoul’s most prominent features.

But after a little more research and wandering around, you’ll notice that there’s a rich history (Seoul has been a settlement for over 2,000 years), mountains and parks, countless neighborhoods and a fascinating Korean culture.

The list of top things to do in Seoul could go on and on, that’s why I thought instead of trying to tackle every attraction the city has to offer, I’d just cover 25 of the most amazing things I think there are to do in this entertaining and delicious city!

Let’s get started…

Are you looking a hotel in Seoul? My wife and I booked our accommodation here*.

Gyeongbukgung Palace
Gyeongbukgung Palace

1. Gyeongbukgung Palace

One of Seoul’s most renowned historical attractions and most visited sites in the city is the Gyeongbukgung Palace. It was one of the main palaces during the Korean Joseon Dynasty, originally constructed at the very end of the 14th century. Unfortunately, the palace was destroyed during the Japanese invasion in the 1500’s, but it was rebuilt and remodeled some 200 years ago.

The palace grounds are HUGE – it’s like a park in and of itself. You can browse through all sorts of interesting building and also check out the gardens. My favorite place in the Gyeongbukgung Palace was the courtyard filled with all the clay pots used to store fermented chili pastes and kimchi!

Located in central Seoul, very close to touristy areas like Insadong, the palace is very easy to get to.

Entrance: 3,000 Won ($2.63)
Hours: 9 am – 6 pm from Wednesday – Monday, closed on Tuesdays
How to get there: Take the Subway to Gyeongbokgung Station and Exit #5

Bukchon Hanok Village
Things to do in Seoul – Bukchon Hanok Village

2. Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul, located adjacent to the Gyeongbukgung Palace, is one of the most interesting things to do in Seoul. Exploring the streets and checking out the Korean traditional homes was a lot fun. Within the village there are also a few homes that have opened their doors as guest houses – not the cheapest, but looked like a great experience.

After getting a map at the tourist information center within the village, I followed the main walking route, stopping at a series of viewpoints. In the main areas of the village there are nice little restaurants and boutique shops. I had a great time walking around the antique village while sampling Korean touristy street food. It really reminded me of the Chengyang village in China.

Entrance: Free
Hours: I’d go anywhere from 10 am until about 6 pm
How to get there: You can either walk from the palace or take the subway to Anguk Staion and Exit #1 or #2 – then walk 5 minutes north.

Jogyesa Buddhist Temple
Jogyesa Buddhist Temple

3. Jogyesa Buddhist Temple

Located in the middle of Seoul’s business high rise buildings district is the Jogyesa Korean Buddhist temple. It’s almost always buzzing with locals and tourists streaming in and out. The temple is a Zen Buddhist temple, though it reminded me of the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple in Colombo.

Undoubtedly, one of the coolest things about visiting the temple was the ancient trees on the compound – apparently over 500 years old. Strung up on the trees were banners and paper steamers made from brightly colored paper. It was a pretty cool site to see!

Entrance : Free
Hours: Open around the clock
How to get there: Get off the subway at Jonggak Station and Exit #2

Things to do in Seoul
Suwon’s Hwaseong Fortress

4. Suwon’s Hwaseong Fortress

About an hour and a half from Seoul, Suwon’s Hwaseong Fortress makes a great day trip. Built in the 18th century, the Korean castle is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of South Korea’s most important historical sites.

When I went, I saw nearly the entire fortess, and it took me about 2.5 hours once I was there. If you want to see the entire palace, the walls and gates and the fortress museum, it will likely take 3 – 4 hours to see everything. I’d highly recommend the Hwaseong Fortess if you have a day to spare on your trip to South Korea.

Entrance : 1,500 Won ($1.32) for palace and 1,000 Won ($0.88) for fortress walls, Package ticket is 3,500 Won ($3.07) and includes both options plus museum ticket
Hours: Open 9 am – 6 pm
How to Get There: You can actually take the Seoul Subway to Suwon station and Exit #5. Then you have to get in a local bus #11, #13, #36, or #39 and take it for about 10 minutes to the gates of the fortress.

War Memorial and Museum
War Memorial and Museum

5. War Memorial and Museum

I wasn’t actually even planning to visit, but the War Memorial and Museum turned out to be one of the pretty cool things to do in Seoul. At the entrance there’s a number of statues and memorials in remembrance of South Korea’s biggest wars. Inside the building are exhibits of tactics and weapon displays.

What I enjoyed most was the outdoor section that showcases a bunch of tanks, planes, helicopters, and giant missiles. You can even climb in and check out a number of the vehicles.

Entrance : Free
Hours: 9 am – 6 pm and closed on Monday
How to get there: Get off the subway at Samgakji Station and Exit #12

Things to do in Seoul
N Seoul Tower

6. N Seoul Tower

Central Seoul revolves around the N Seoul Tower that sits at the top of the Namsan mountain. It is a communications tower that is open as an observation and entertainment tower as well. Going to the top offers the opportunity to get one of the best overall views of the city of Seoul, somewhat like the Menara KL Tower.

Many people who go to the N Seoul Tower take a cable car up the to the peak of the mountain and pay to go up to the top of the tower. It has also become famous to go to the tower and lock a padlock from the fence as a symbol of love – one of the most romantic things to do in Seoul!

Entrance : 9,000 Won ($7.90)
Hours: 10 am – 10:30 pm
How to get there: Walk from Myeongdong Station (more info here)

Myeongdong Shopping
Myeongdong Shopping in Seoul, South Korea

7. Myeongdong Shopping

Shopaholics will rejoice when they head to Myeongdong – it’s one of Seoul’s busiest and most shopper insane areas of town.

From the latest Korean cosmetics and fahion to the brightest neon colored sneakers, there’s all kinds of stores in this outdoor mall. Along with trendy expensive stuff, in the afternoon hours, street shopping stalls also set up shop. If shopping is not your thing, don’t worry, there’s a massive selection of restaurants, street food stalls, towering ice cream cones, and snacks everywhere you look.

As an area that swells to millions of shoppers and walkers daily, you’ll have a good time even if you just want to people watch! If you love to shop, spending time browsing through Myeongdong will be one of your favorite things to do in Seoull!

Hours: Many of the businesses are open from 11 am – 10 pm but things are most busy in the later afternoon and evening
How to get there: Take the Subway to Myeongdong Station

Seoul attractions

8. Insadong

One of Seoul’s most touristy areas of town is known as Insadong. If you’re looking for Korean souvenirs to bring back, this is a great place, but kind of expensive place to buy things. There’s also plenty of food options, like delicious mandu, and lots of Korean street food snacks.

Form Insadong, it’s a breeze to walk to other places around Seoul such as the Gyeongbukgung Palace and the Bukchon Hanok village (mentioned above).

Tip: If you’re looking for a good South Korean food restaurant, go back into one of the alleyways off of Insadong a little ways – the prices are cheaper.

Hours: Open 10 am – 6 pm or so
How to get there: Take the subway to Anguk Station and Exit #6

Namdaemun Market
Namdaemun Market

9. Namdaemun Market

Located in the central area of Seoul is one of the city’s largest and oldest markets – the Namdaemun Market. This is Seoul in its most thrilling local flavor. There’s a downstairs section where you can get all kinds of imported things, including imported liqueur and things like Skippy peanut butter and GNC supplements.

When I went in the middle of the day, the market was hopping with tons of people (as usual) and you could buy all kinds of local Korean made necessities – clothing, some foods, electronics and so on. I bought a few bags of toasted seaweed to eat with rice and kimchi.

Hours: Open almost around the clock, but go during daytime hours, closed on Sunday
How to get there: Take the subway to Hoehyeon Station and Exit #5

10. Dongdaemun

Yet another wild Seoul shopping destination, Dongdaemun is not really a single market, but rather an entire area that is dedicated to shopping. It’s an entire commercial area where you can find just about everything imaginable for sale.

The thing about shopping in Seoul is that even though I’m not much of a shopper, there are still so many other things to do at shopping destinations besides shop. There’s always lots of food and interesting things to observe.

Hours: Basically around the clock you’ll be able to shop, including the night owl shopping center
How to get there: Get off the subway at Dongdaemun Station and Exit #8, #9

Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea
Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea

11. International Itaewon

One of the international melting pots of Seoul is Itaewon, some areas even look like Cairo. There are lots of international restaurants, stores, bars and clubs. If you’re in the mood for a delicious shawarma, head on over to Itaewon where you’ll have a nice selection.

Itaewon is also home to more Seoul street shopping that often includes fake designer goods. You can also shop at the main stores that offer more authentic products.

How to get there: Take the subway to Itaewon Station

Hongdae (Hongik University)
Hongdae (Hongik University)

12. Hongdae (Hongik University)

Another popular area of Seoul is near Hongik University, known as Hongdae for short. The area is a pleasant part of town that is great for walking, dining, and yes, shopping some more. The streets are lined with lots of stores and also a fabulous array of restaurants – some of them cheaper to cater to the students.

Hongdae also happens to be one of Seoul’s biggest nightlife destinations. Some of the city’s biggest bars and craziest nightclubs are located in the area. One of the fun things to do in Seoul is go to the monthly Hongdae Club Day on the last Friday of each month.

If you’re looking for a good Korean barbecue restaurant, try out New Vally Restaurant in Hongdae.

How to get there: Take the subway to Hongik University station

Things to do in Seoul, South Korea
Lotte Mart

13. Lotte Mart

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things to do in any city is visit a supermarket to just walk around and see all the different things available for sale. I also love outdoor markets, but indoor supermarkets are also very interesting.

Going to Lotte Mart in Seoul has to be one of the coolest grocery stores in the world. There is lots of food and lots of food samples. I was tempted to drop a ton of cash, but had to hold back to stick to my budget. Any kind of Korean food goods are available at Seoul’s Lotte Mart.

Hours: 9 am – midnight
How to Get There: There are a number of locations around Seoul

Lotte World - Seoul, South Korea
Lotte World – Seoul, South Korea

14. Lotte World

Lotte World is a magical Korean amusement park that is one of the biggest indoor parks in the world! They also have an outdoor section known as Magic Island. Step inside and you’ll be transported into a world of thrilling rides and adventurous activities.

If you are looking for one of the most exciting things to do in Seoul, take a day to set loose and have fun at Lotte World!

Entrance: Check out their site for more information
Hours: 9:30 am – 10 pm Monday through Thursday, 9:30 am – 11 pm Friday through Sunday
How to get there: Get off the subway at Jamsil Station and there are lots of signs from there

Seoul Children's Park
Seoul Children’s Park

15. Seoul Children’s Park

I didn’t know what to expect when I showed up at Seoul’s Children’s Park – and at first I wasn’t all that thrilled. However, after walking around for a while, I realized it’s a giant green park area with not just cool things for kids, but for just about everyone.

From amusement rides to playgrounds and even a free zoo, Children’s Park is a great place to spend a lazy afternoon in Seoul. I got to see my first ever polar bear at the zoo within the park!

Phil House, the hotel where I stayed while in Seoul, is located just a 5 minute walk from Children’s Park.

Entrance: Free
Hours: Open 5 am – 10 pm, but the zoo is only open 10 am – 5 pm
How to Get There: Take the Subway to Children’s Park Station and Exit #1 or to Achasan Station and follow signs

Han River in Seoul, South Korea
Han River Walking / Riding

16. Han River Walking / Riding

The Han River is one of Korea’s largest, and it goes right through the center of Seoul. Along the banks of the river, throughout most of the city, is a lovely recreational area set aside for exercising and sports.

Away from the boisterous highway, you can rent a bicycle and slowly pedal up and down the river or go for a lengthy ride on the track that goes for over 40 kilometers. If biking is not your thing, you may want to check out a Seoul night tour for views of the river at night or even a Han river boat cruise.

Cost: 3,000 Won ($2.63) per hour to rent a bike
Hours: Day hours

Walking along the Cheonggyecheon Stream
Walking along the Cheonggyecheon Stream

17. Walk along the Cheonggyecheon Stream

In an effort to renew the greenness in a seemingly endless city sprawl in central Seoul, the Cheonggyecheon stream and recreational area was created. It’s a long 8.4 kilometers where you can stroll along the stream and play in the outdoors – even though you’re in the middle of Seoul.

When I was in Seoul, I used the Cheonggyecheon park a number of times just to get from place to place without having to walk along the traffic on the road.

Entrance: Free
Hours: Throughout the day
How to get there: You can walk there form a number of subway stations, it starts at City Hall Station

18. Hike in Seoul

One thing you’ll notice when you arrive in Seoul is that there are lots of hikers – especially riding the subway. You’ll know they are hikers as they are decked out in model perfect gore-tex jackets, North Face backpacks and mandatory trekking poles. Namsan is located right in the middle of Seoul, but there are also many other places to hike near the city.

Being a little too cold when I visited South Korea, I chickened out when it came to hiking on one of the beautiful mountains surrounding the city. However, if conditions would have been a little warmer, I would have loved to get out there hiking!

Gwangjang Market - Seoul, South Korea
Gwangjang Market – Seoul, South Korea

19. Gwangjang Market

Without doubt, if you like to eat, indulging in Korean street food at the Gwangjang Market will be one of the top things to do in Seoul. For myself, it was probably the coolest thing I did.

At first I though the market was just another market full of textiles, but finally reaching the avenue of street food turned the Gwangjang Market into an instant hit. There’s a countless amount of street stalls to choose from, and they all serve wonderful Korean food. The vendors are even extremely nice, calling to you to eat at their stall.

Click here to watch a video of the Gwangjang Market.

Hours: Get there for lunch – 11 am – 4 pm and come hungry
How to Get There: Jongno 5-ga Station and Exit #8

Noryangjin Fish Market
Noryangjin Fish Market

20. Noryangjin Fish Market

A little more organized than the fish market in Dar Es Salaam, Seoul’s Noryangjin Fisheries Market is a bedazzling display of the finest and freshest seafood. The seafood is kept so fresh in water that it sometimes looks like you’re in a pet store instead of a food market – isn’t that awesome!

Anyway, going to the fish market was one of the most memorable things to do in Seoul for myself, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone. After browsing the market, you can head to an upstairs restaurant and sit down for some fresh sashimi or seafood – just be warned that it can get rather expensive! Maybe next time I’ll just make myself a fresh poke bowl.

Hours: Open 24 hours, but great to go here around lunch time hours
How to Get There: Take the subway to Noryangjin Station and Exit #1

Garak Wholesale Food Market
Garak Wholesale Food Market

21. Garak Wholesale Food Market

Garak Market is the biggest and craziest distribution wholesale food market in Seoul. Food comes to this market from around the entire country to supply the city. It’s so big, that it actually just appears to be a bunch of warehouses. It’s quite a bit more organized than a market like Samrong or Long Bien.

There’s an entire section for fruit and an entire section dedicated just to the napa cabbage (cabbage used to make kimchi) – and they are humongous. I also found another really cool grocery store located at the Garak Market that was extremely busy but had some great food deals, if you’re looking to cook your own food.

Hours: Open around the clock, but it’s best to go between 6 pm – 9 pm for the auction
How to Get There: Get off the subway station at Garak Market Station, Exit #8 and walk for about 10 minutes to get to the entrance

Korean Street Food
Eating street food is one of the best things to do in Seoul!

22. Korean Street Food

One of the finest things to do in Seoul is to explore with your stomach. Just as eating street food is one of the best things to do in Bangkok, so it also is in Seoul!

Much of the street food in Seoul is made for on the go eaters who just have a few moments to grab a quick snack. The food is served piping hot and is pretty fresh, judging from everything I tried.

Just like Egyptian street food, there are lots of deep fried greasy treats and lots of meaty dishes as well. Try a tornado potato or a French fry encased hot dog.

Be sure to check out this Korean street food list of tastiest dishes!

Koran Ice Creams
Ice Cream Selections

23. Ice Cream Selections

Koreans really know how to make ice cream well, and not just fresh ice cream, but some of the best ice cream packages I’ve had are sold at convenience stores through Seoul. There are so many specialty delicious looking ice creams that it’s worth it just to try all of them.

I was a big fan of Korean Melona bars from when I was a child eating them in Hawaii, and they were just as good as I had remembered!

Coffee in Seoul
Coffee at a Coffee Shop

24. Coffee at a Coffee Shop

There’s an amazing amount of coffee shops in Seoul – I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many coffee shops per block as in Seoul, apart from the streets of Hanoi. Hongdae is a good area to chill out and sit down at a trendy high tech coffee shop, and almost all have wi-fi.

The problem is, Korean coffee is not what I’d call good. It happens to be way watered down and not nearly strong enough, but the coffee shops are still nice to sit in. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for better coffee in Seoul, you’ll have to go to either the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or Starbucks.

Korean Barbecue
Korean Barbecue in Seoul, South Korea

25. Korean Barbecue

It all eventually comes down to the food… and Seoul, South Korea, is literally a heaven on earth for foodies. During my entire visit, I was enthralled and confused at the same time, debating what to eat, and trying to eat as much South Korean food as possible. It was a lot of fun.

Korean barbecue is a great way to socialize while eating the choicest of delicious meat. You sit at a table with your own personal grill in front of you, order plates of meat, grill it right before your nose, and devour the meat with all the Korean side dishes and often leaves of lettuce and garlic.

Korean barbecue is one of the tastiest things to eat in Seoul, South Korea!

Hope you enjoyed these 25 suggestions for what to do in Seoul.

Things to do in Seoul

Are you looking for a great place to stay in Seoul?

I had a fantastic stay at Phil House, a modern guest house that’s super clean, friendly, and located in a local neighborhood (but just a 15 minute subway ride form Seoul center). I would highly recommend it!

Please leave me a comment if you have anything else to add to the list!

115 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Artem

    5 days ago

    Hey, nice post. I have recently been to “12. Hongdae (Hongik University)” and bumped into “Trickeye Museum”. Not typical touristic place! they have Augmented Reality tech applied to entertain people. Never visited anything like that:) Strongly recommended

  • Anon

    2 months ago

    Are there any beaches with beach walks? or any bridge walks?

    • TINA

      1 month ago

      There are beaches but they aren’t the type you probably expect. Most of them are rocky and they have lots of green stuff in it. I probably don’t recommend it.

  • Thomas

    7 months ago

    Great post! Have nice day ! 🙂 kyfjg

  • Tom

    8 months ago

    Thanks for all your help. This website has been our guide whilst we visited Seoul. Legend !

  • Mona

    9 months ago

    How do I go about renting bikes along the Han river? 😁

  • KG

    10 months ago

    Great write-up! thanks for the work. I’m headed to Seoul for work and spending a few days on my own touring. This was was VERY helpful!

  • Marianne

    10 months ago

    This is great – I am heading to Seoul in a couple of weeks, some great suggestions here thanks 🙂

  • Alexx

    12 months ago

    Hi, thanks for all the tips. I am going to Seoul next week for 4 days, I have been there before (I stayed at Phil’s as well – small world), but only for one night, on my way from New Zealand to Europe.

    • Mark Wiens

      12 months ago

      Hey Alexx, no problem, hop you have a great trip to Seoul, enjoy!

  • Tal

    1 year ago

    I’d definitely add following Seoul city wall to Naksan Park and then going down to see Ihwa Mural Village 🙂

  • Emili

    1 year ago

    Very useful guide!Thanks!

  • Dr. Ajit B. Bhusagare

    1 year ago

    I think u should add more about hiking, it’s awesome feeling to hike Seoraksan and Bukhansan mountain. Also Suwon fortress.

  • Lilmay

    1 year ago

    I really can’t stop watching you video! lol
    thanks for sharing 😀

  • Jesse

    1 year ago

    Amazing blog and thanks dear for sharing with us!

  • Kishor

    2 years ago

    I’m looking forward to the village visit and the food.

  • Trang

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark! Thanks for the blog! I’m in Seoul now for 5 days trying to explore the area. One request I would like to make for your future blogs is to include the color/number of the subway line when providing instructions on how to get there. This would be extremely helpful instead of trying to blindly look for the station names on the map. 😁

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Trang, great to hear you’re in Seoul, and thanks for the recommendation. That’s a great idea, will try to do that. Have a great trip.

  • Taiss Nowrouzi

    2 years ago

    Wow! Wish we could do all of these things but we have a 10 hour layover here before we head over to California. What to do in this short time?? Eat Korean BBQ and see the tower?

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Taiss, good to hear from you. Yah I think that’s a good idea, maybe just have a meal and see one attraction. Because the ride from the airport to Seoul center takes a bit over an hour each way. Have a great trip.

  • Dyan

    2 years ago

    This is such a great list! Thanks for sharing some information on the hours and directions to get there, very helpful! I am planning to visit Korea this October, my friends said that Nami Island is a must-see during autumn season! 🙂

  • Nui Acain

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark, that’s very good information of 25 things to do in Seoul. You’re so kind to do all those free info. Thank you.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Nui, glad it’s helpful, thank you for reading.

  • Barrie

    2 years ago

    Great list of things to do in Seoul! I will add 1 more. If you are in the Hongdae area and want a fun day out come and try Seoul Segway Rental!

  • zafar

    2 years ago

    Great List ! i am going there next week and will try to catch all in my one week stay in seoul, but being a muslim i am little worried about what to eat where to eat in Korean food ,
    but overall this list hopefully going to help me to enjoy my whole week

  • JM Kayne

    2 years ago

    Hello Mark! Do you have recommended South Korean countryside sites?

    Thanks in advance! God Bless!
    JM Kayne |

  • Farazein

    2 years ago

    I’m excited to go to Seoul soon!! Thank you for the list 😀 It’s good info! 😀

  • Letty

    2 years ago

    I have a question about the Exits on subways….I’m planning on going in May for the very first time. And I see that you have…take subway to such a place and Exit #1 or 5 and such. I’m confused as to what that means exactly. If I stop at Gyeongbukgung , why do I need exit #5? Or does that mean something within the subway car itself? I’m terrified of getting lost. Hahaha Thank you for your explanation in advance.
    Letty ^^

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Letty, good to hear from you. At the subway station, there will be multiple exits depending on the side of the street you want to get out at. Normally there’s a station map, and you can just look and see where you need to go and then take that exit. You’ll be fine!

  • Laura

    2 years ago

    Great job thanks. I am Gere now, and after the second night-adjusting to a New day and Night time ready to explore it!!!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Laura, great to hear you’re in Seoul now, hope you have an amazing trip.

  • Johanna

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    Great list, I visited last year and am heading back this year. One thing to add would be a cooking class, my friend and I did one in Isadong with O’Ngo Food and I couldn’t have been happier. We made kimchi which they’ve perfected for visitors it only takes 24 hours to ferment (if your only doing a short trip I’d say make it early).

  • Youngwon

    2 years ago

    This is awesome! I’m Korean and currently searching information or idea about what to do in Seoul for my Australian friend coming to korea next week 🙂 Even though I’m ‘local Korean’, I always had no idea about exciting & fun plan for foreign friends..:( But now I have plenty of ideas! Every idea here sounds great. Thanks a lot!! 😀 And I hope you come to Korea again soon!

  • Doria

    2 years ago

    I have been living in Korea almost 10 years now. You definitely hit all the major hot spots but I would have liked to see you talk more about the all the national parks that are here and Namhanseong which just became a UNESCO Heritage Site. Also, what about Jeju?

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Doria, thank you very much. I’m hoping to return to South Korea again and visit more places!

  • :)

    2 years ago


  • Wendy

    2 years ago

    great list! we are going to Seoul at the end of Nov. just wanted to know if you can recommend any place(s) to see the foliage. close to the city if possible cos we’re only there for 4 days. don’t want to spend too much time traveling too far. thanks a bunch!!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Wendy, thank you very much, glad this is helpful. I haven’t personally been in Seoul during that season, but I think one of the more famous / popular places is the park around Namsan Tower. Hope you have a great trip!

  • Iris chin

    2 years ago

    Wonderful post. I am going in November, will follow the recommendations. Than you.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Thank you Iris, hope you have a great upcoming trip.

  • Ruby

    2 years ago

    Hi! Interesting list! I am planning for a Korea trip soon too. Do you have any recommendation on which area to stay that is more convenient? Have you been to the islands too? They have so many islands!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Ruby, good to hear you’ll be planning a trip to Korea soon. No, I haven’t been to any of the islands, but that’s on my list for the next time I visit South Korea. As for areas, it really depends on what kind of action you want to be in. Around Myeongdong is always good for shopping, or we stayed in Itaewon, which I really enjoyed – lots of food, an international scene, and shopping. And then also I really liked the Hongdae area. Hope you have an amazing trip.

  • Brooke of Passport Couture

    2 years ago

    Since I am not crazy about shopping, I would love to see the temples, village, and palace to experience the culture! I can’t wait to explore these great options in Seoul!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Good to hear that Brooke, there are plenty of options in Seoul. Have a great trip.

  • Dazzle Abria

    3 years ago

    Thank you for this list. So helpful! Now, Im ready for Korea in 3 days!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Glad it’s helpful, thank you for reading Dazzle.

  • Annie

    3 years ago

    I’m Korean and live in Korea and I must say, what a fantastic list! I’m impressed! 🙂 You hit all the great spots and it’s so great that you are sharing it with everyone who isn’t familiar with Korea. Hope you will visit Korea again!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Annie, great to hear from you, thank you very much, really appreciate it. I hope to visit Korea again in the future!

  • matt

    3 years ago

    fantastic list Mark! you truly read the best articles, and I always enjoy your YouTube videos. I went to Seoul for 5 days a while back and great my own video, of course it isn’t as good as yours but hopefully it includes some places you didn’t know about 🙂

    Good luck with all your incredible adventures,


    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Matt, good to hear from you, thank you, and also thanks for sharing your article, great job!

  • Liz

    3 years ago

    Another SUPER list, Mark! Thank you for this! 😉

  • Sugarsheet

    3 years ago

    Ohhh!! For coffees i agree most of them are too watered but it has changed a lot. There is a cafe called Anthracite which is really great in Hongdae and Equinoxe in Itaewon and Gangnam.
    As a Seoulite, i think your selection is very nice for travelers!!!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi, great to hear from you, thank you very much for the suggestions. Next time I’m in Seoul I will try!

  • Carlo

    3 years ago

    Thanks a lot for your review, it’s very useful, I’m gonna be in Seoul in a couple of days, and I will definitely use some of your tips!

  • Rea

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark! My husband and I are in Korea right now and literally ticking off all things to do and places to see that you have recommended. We went to the Gyongbokgung Palace ysterday, visited Myeondong and saw the food stalls in Gwangjang Market. Today we will visit the War Memorial then have a wonderful Korean food dinner tonight! Thanks for all the advise!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Rea, thank you very much and glad to hear that you’re enjoying Seoul. Hope you continue to have an amazing visit!

  • anna francesca

    4 years ago

    My friend and i will be going to korea this feb.b im afraid that we wont be able to visit all thes places you mentioned.. We’ll be staying inly for 7 days.. By the way, thanks for this blog..

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Anny, cool to hear that, hope you have a nice visit.

  • Diana

    4 years ago

    Hello thank you soon much for this site I’m going to visit Korea in Feb and I was researching all the things that I can do there …so this was very useful .

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Diana, you’re welcome, glad this is helpful. Hope you have a great upcoming trip.

  • Linda

    4 years ago

    Hi Mark, My husband is going on a business trip to korea. He has been there before and done a few touristy things but he and one of the other coworkers have a Saturday to tour. They are looking for activities. My husband is an active guy that has gone sky diving, scuba diving in caves and we have rode ultralights. He’s heavier now but still very active. Are there any activities that they can do that don’t center around food?

  • Tom

    4 years ago

    Hi there,

    I’m going to Seoul in April and I’m very excited.
    Thanks for the list. Of course I’m going to try the street food 🙂
    Great website by the way!

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Thank you so much Tom, hope you have a wonderful trip to Seoul!

  • zehra

    5 years ago

    i will travel later to korea with my friend i think we’re gonna stay1 month? yeah something like that…
    we’re from belgium and if we bring 20,000 euros for the trip.Would that be enough?
    and we going to stay in phil house
    EUR / USD:
    20.0000 EUR = 26.1592 USD

    USD / KRW:
    $ 26.1592 = 29797.6152 KRW

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hi Zehra, yes that should be plenty of money for a one month stay in Korea. Phil House is a great place to stay, I enjoyed it there!

  • Owen Lipsett

    5 years ago

    Awesome list Mark!!!

    One place to add: Seonyudo (a little island in the middle of the Han River) is a great place for a low key beer, finding a little quiet in the heart of the city, or a date. It’s very much a local’s place, so if you’re a tourist you’re likely to be the only one. (

    It’s easily accessible by foot via a 15 minute walk across a bridge from Hapjeong, the neighborhood next to Hongdae which has a lot of great little cafes too.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Owen, very cool, thanks a lot for sharing. When I have a chance to return will try to visit Seonyudo!

  • Karl

    5 years ago

    Simple! and Clear! This is one of the best blog ever ! Great! 🙂

  • Z

    5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! I really need this as soon as I get a Visa! ^_^

    You 25 Things to Do might not be able to complete in 5 days so I just need to eliminate and prioritize. =)

    I will check ur Vietnam blogs too!

    Happy Travel!

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Z, thank you for checking this out and glad to hear that it’s helpful. Hope you have a great visit!

  • mark

    5 years ago

    omg that pork belly stuff! nom nom nom nom

  • Cam

    6 years ago

    I had no idea there was so much to do in Seoul!
    Would love to visit South Korea someday soon – it’s on the ever-expanding list that never seems to shrink 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Great Cam! I’m with you on the list that’s always expanding – even though we check things off, it still grows. If you guys have a chance to visit Seoul / South Korea, I know you’ll have a great time!

  • D.J. – The World of Deej

    6 years ago

    Such a shame…I missed more of this list than I saw during my time in Seoul. Oh well, just reasons to go back I guess…

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Thanks for checking this out D.J. It’s alright, Seoul will still be around!

  • Micamyx|Senyorita

    6 years ago

    I want to return to Seoul now! I did try my best to do as much in two days but there’s a lot to do 😀

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Yes, Seoul really is a huge city with so much to offer, hope you can go back to visit again!

  • Ruth of Tanama Tales

    6 years ago

    I have to admit I had no idea on what to do in Seoul. I believe this city is not given the attention it deserves.

  • Vicky

    6 years ago

    Great list! My boyfriend and I are starting our trip in Japan in September but we head to South Korea afterwards so this list is incredibly helpful!

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Glad to hear that Vicky and thanks for checking it out. Hope you have a wonderful trip!

  • sam

    6 years ago

    great list

    can you tell me if Bukchon Hanok Village is the same as –or located near-the Bukchon Cultural Centre. i wanted to go there but there seems to be no instructions on how to find it or no real helpful map directions. maybe you can help?


    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hi Sam,

      I think the cultural center is located within the Bukchon Hanok Village – here is some good information: . I didn’t actually go to the cultural center, so I can’t give you first hand advice but I’d say just go to the Bukchon Hanok Village and they have a nice tourist information center there where you can ask them further details. Hope you have a great time!

      Anyone else have any other recommendations?

  • Gerard ~ GQ trippin

    6 years ago

    Perfect. Heading to Seoul in 2 weeks. Street food is most definitely on the list. Thanks for this!

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Great to hear that Gerard – hope you have a great trip to Korea!

  • Naomi

    6 years ago

    I’m so glad that you wrote this list!! Seoul is highly underrated as a travel destination, in my opinion….so it’s great to see other travellers spreading the love 🙂

    I would definitely add a hike up Mount Inwangsan to the list – it’s a famous shamanist mountain right in the city on which, if you’re lucky, you can spot some shamanist rites taking place.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Great, thanks for another recommendation to this list! I agree with you, Seoul is a wonderful city to visit, and before going there I didn’t know much about it. I think possibly due to its location, not being on a real backpacking route, it doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves.

  • sully86

    6 years ago

    mark: awesome stuff as usual….

  • Ayngelina

    6 years ago

    It’s a dangerous thing to read your site right now, I never wanted to see Korea but you keep showing me cool things.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      It’s dangerous to read your site right now, in Hawaii too!!

    • Elle

      4 years ago

      Hi Angelina – Korea is among the most beautiful countries and the people among the nicest(no I’m not Korean).

  • Erica

    6 years ago

    This is the list I wish I had when I was there a couple years ago!
    I had no idea there was hiking so close to Seoul.

    Next time…!

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Cool Erica! Thank you for reading it! Do you have plans to go back to Seoul anytime soon?

  • Rachel

    6 years ago

    Great list! I like Changdeokgung (another palace) and its Secret Garden tour. The zoo at Seoul Grand Park is quite nice too.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Rachel! I didn’t have a chance to visit Changdeokgung… so thanks for adding it to this list! Good to know about the zoo too!