16 Things To Do In Seoul
(Itinerary for 3 Days)
Have you ever heard of K-dramas? K-dramas are television series made in South Korea. They have become popular worldwide and are available on multiple streaming services, such as Viki and Netflix, with different language subtitles. Due to my sister’s influence, I recently starte watching K-dramas. So far, it has become a form of stress-reliever for me. I fell in love with the unique stories and the actors and actresses. Suddenly, I became fascinated with South Korea’s culture, food, language and pretty much anything Korean.
On the other hand, my sister has always been into Korean TV shows. She started watching K-dramas and variety shows when she was in High School. She also loves Korean food and snacks. For the longest time, she has been wanting to visit the country. So I decided, as a well-deserved graduation gift, to take her to her dream travel destination, *drum rolls* SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA! 😀
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How To Get Here?
Our first day was mainly our travel time. This was our travel itinerary.
6:30 AM Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
9:00 AM Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Travel time: 2h 30m
—————— 2 hour and 29 mins layover ——————
11:29 AM Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
4:15 PM+1 Incheon International Airport (ICN)
Travel time: 11h 46m
There are two airports in Seoul, the Incheon International Airport (ICN) and Gimpo International Airport (GMP). Gimpo is closer to Seoul, however, if you are flying from US airports ICN might be the best option for you. Either one offers convenient airport transfers anyways.
At The Airport
After a long flight, we finally landed in South Korea. First thing we did was we exchanged money. Their local currency is called South Korean Won.
$1.00 = 1,164.65 KRW (November 2019)
We also got our pocket wifi. This is something you can book in advance online, or get from their booths at the airport (first come, first serve basis). I recommend this if you don’t have international roaming services.
From the airport, we took the airport limousine to our hotel. This is the most convenient form of airport transfer whether you’re traveling solo or with a partner, without breaking the bank. I believe there’s two types, the Korean Airlines Limousines and the Airport Limousines. It costs from 10,000KRW-15,000KRW for one way. Book it in advance to save time!
Where To Stay?
ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Myeongdong
This is my sister’s first time in Seoul, but not mine. I did a lot of research on which area to stay. Like my previous visit, I’ve opted to stay in MYEONGDONG. Myeongdong is a fun and lively neighborhood. It has many shopping streets. At night, there are many street food stalls that are a must-try! I love this area so much, since you can find almost everything you need here. It is also a safe area.
For this trip, we chose to stay at ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Myeongdong. It is a hip 4-star hotel with a gym, sauna and a rooftop bar. I love the location of this hotel. In a few steps, you’ll be in the shopping area. There is a convenient store right next to it, and a pharmacy across from the hotel. It is also walking distance to the metro stations.
The staff were polite and very accommodating. The front desk agents checked us in as quickly as possible. The breakfast attendants were very attentive and efficient.
We decided to extend our stay, and the staff were very helpful. They accommodated us for one more night and even gave us the same rate. We had to extend our pocket wi-fi as well, and since the wi-fi company representative only spoke Korean, the front desk staff talked to them in behalf of me. I greatly appreciate their assistance, and I highly recommend this hotel.
This is our simple, yet comfortable and clean room. Book it through agoda, for a good deal!
Where To Go? What To Do?
1.Try the Street Food in Myeongdong
One of our goals for this trip, was to try as many street food as possible. On our first night, we went straight to the busy streets of Myeongdong. Here we tried some street food that we used to just see in the K-dramas. 😉 Trust me on this, if you are a little adventurous, a street food excursion is a must!
Here’s my guide!
2. Shop ‘Till You Drop In Myeongdong
There are a lot of retail stores in here. A LOT. From luxury retail shops to local skin care/cosmetic stores, to small stalls along the street, you can find literally anything here! It’s very easy to loose track of time once you step foot on this area.
3. Have Korean Fried Chicken (& Beer) For Dinner
Noona Holdak Myeongdong
For dinner, we wanted to try the famous KFC – Korean Fried Chicken. We didn’t really search for places in advance. We basically just Yelped it, and found this restaurant. The chicken was good, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best. The service was really good though. The place was jam packed, and we got lucky we didn’t have to wait that long to be seated.
Before we begin exploring Seoul, we went to the convenience store next to our hotel to buy T-money. We used this card throughout our stay here. We used the metro to go around the city.
4. Visit The Biggest Indoor Theme Park – Lotte World
On our first whole day, we decided to wake up very early. After having breakfast in our hotel, we decided to go to one of SK’s theme park, Lotte World.
Everything here was colorful! The staff were all so friendly. We loved the fact that wait time for each ride wasn’t that long. We enjoyed the rides both indoor and outdoor. There are different types of rides and attractions for all ages. We even watched a musical parade. In between rides and shows, we tried different Korean theme parks snacks. There were also various restaurants and an ice skating rink in here.
For the tickets, it might be better to buy it online in advance. We got our tickets for 55,000 KRW which is roughly $50.00. If you buy it online, it might be cheaper. I found cheaper tickets from Klook.com.
5. Visit the Dongdaemun Design Plaza
This is one of the newest landmark of Korean design industry. This modern architecture is worth a visit. When we went, we got lucky and watched a fashion show from a far. It was nice to see Hera Fashion Week.
In DDP, there is a Kakao Friends shop that you can visit. They sell a lot of cute merchandises, perfect for gifts!
6. Duty Free Shopping
In front of DDP, there are many duty free shops. The stores’ representatives are approachable and very helpful. There are many duty-free stores around Seoul, but since we were waiting for the sunset we just walked around the stores. They have good deals here, so don’t forget to bring your passport to shop tax-free.
7. Enjoy Korean Bingsu
After walking and shopping, you deserve a break. Try the authentic Korean bingsu. It is a shaved ice dessert with toppings. There are many cafes that sells bingsu. We tried it from Okrumong.
8. Watch The Sunset & Wait For The Roses To Light Up
The rose installation is beautiful, and even more so at night, with lights. Definitely instagram-worthy!
9. Have Korean BBQ For Dinner
For dinner, we went back to Myeongdong. We unexpectedly saw my boyfriend’s cousin and her friends. We joined them for dinner, and we had Korean BBQ. We love having Korean BBQ in California, and it is just right to try it here as well.
10. Visit A Palace & Watch The Changing Of The Guards
Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the largest palaces in South Korea. This beautiful palace is located in Northern Seoul. Be sure to visit and watch the changing of the guards.
11. Walk Around Bukchon Hanok Village
Make sure to wear your walking shoes, and get ready to hike up. Discover the beautiful Bukchon Hanok Village. This is a traditional village on the top of a hill. Be mindful as this is a residential area. Respect the residents. Appreciate the beauty of the traditional houses, without disturbing the residents here.
12. Have Lunch at Hongdae
One of our best meals during the trip.
13. Be Amused At The Trick Eye Museum
We had fun visiting this trick eye museum! It’s surprisingly amazing. Book your tickets in advance!
14. Visit a K-drama Shooting Location
15. Take The Cable Car to N Seoul Tower
16. Hanbok Experience
The traditional Korean attire are usually worn on celebrations, and ceremonies. We’ve been wanting to try this one. We chose to do it here in N Seoul Tower since we wanted to take photos indoor. They have a really nice set up here. Plus, this way we can do it even at night.
Book it in advance here.
BONUS*Korean Bbq For Dinner Round 2 (Why Not?)
Overall, we had an amazing time. I highly recommend all of the activities and the places that I’ve mentioned above. Seoul is a pretty safe city to explore for females. My sister and I didn’t have a hard time navigating around the city. We loved it here too much, we actually extended our stay.
Visiting South Korea will make you appreciate many things about their country aside from their K-dramas, such as their culture, food and the people.
You can do a lot, and visit many places in just two full days as long as you plan it correctly. Have more days in Seoul?
Here’s my suggested itinerary for Day 4!
Have one more day? I will post another post for Day 5 soon! 🙂