One huge question that will haunt every traveler, including myself, except those who doesn’t bother to plan their trip, will come faced to faced with it, Mr. Where. Especially those who eagerly waited for their first time experience in their dream country or maybe after a couple times revisiting that country. “Where should I go?”, this question forever pop up into the mind whenever you are trying to plan your itinerary.
After 2 visits to Seoul, endless researches online, I thought that I’m now confident enough to write this article for people who are feeling lost at where they should visit when they are in Seoul. Here are some places which I would definitely recommend visiting, and even I myself would revisit again when I had the chance.
1. The Secret Garden
Hidden behind the walls of Changdeokgung Palace lies a 78 acre Huwon (후원) (widely known as Secret Garden), which is one of the main highlight of this palace.
It’s a little more than just a mere garden inside, there is a royal library, known as Gyujanggak that stood erected beside of a beautiful pond which the kings once used for fishing, royal quarters where the kings used to sleep in, and study rooms for the Prince that used for studying.
This garden was very well taken care of and protected as it accommodates more than 300 species of plants. Only accessible with a guided tour from the palace staff, you will need to make a reservation online if you planned to visit the Huwon as they only allow a number of visitors in per day. Book Here!
For more details and pictures, check out my previous post about it here.
To get here: Subway Line 3 (orange line), and get down at Anguk Station, exit 3. Go straight for 5 min.
Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Subway Line 1, 3 or 5), Exit 7. Go straight along Donhwamun–ro Street for 10min.
A great spot for a stroll to cool down and relax, Koreans usually come here together with friends or what they called a “dating place” among couples. Located in the heart of the city, just a couple of streets away from Gwanghwamun Square, this iconic stream stretched out approximately 5.8km all the way through Jongno-gu and Dongdaemun, like a portal from one area to another.
Every November, there will be a Seoul Lantern Festival which will be held here as well, displaying hundreds and maybe thousands of lanterns which latterly lights up the stream with grace.
In addition to that, Seoul city has also installed a couple of mobile charging stations beside the stream, benefiting from the water to generate electricity using water turbines for users to charge their phones on the charging platform, if you are nearby this stream, you might want to try it out and give your phone juice a little boost.
To get here: Gwanghwamun station, Line 5
I first know about Namsan Tower (a.k.a N. Seoul Tower) from the drama “Boys Over Flowers”. Never did I know that it could be that beautiful until I was there myself. If you are wondering, it has such a great romantic feeling that makes you want to be there with your other half. Surrounded by way too many couples, I would definitely say that this is one of the places that couples used to hang out a lot, of course not forgetting to padlock their love locks at the fences as well.
There are 2 ways to get to Namsan Tower, by cable car or hike up.
If you ought for a more relaxing way, take the cable car. But before that, you will need to take the Oreumi elevator up to the cable car station. Be prepared to line up when waiting for the cable car. Check out this blog for more directions to the Oreumi elevator and cable car.
Travelling cheap, seeking for a more challenging task and taking the cable car makes you feel like you’re missing some adventure? Hike or walk up. Let the beautiful sceneries entertain you, make you gasp in awe and takes your breath away. And while you reached the top, take a stop and see the sunset. Don’t forget to visit the observatory as well, it only takes like what, 3 ~ 5 seconds for the lift to reach the peak of the tower? Something that I don’t believe but it’s true. Blink your eyes and you reach the top! You don’t feel it too!
Insadong is well known as a center of cultural in this city. Why did I say that? Here, you can easily find traditional stuffs such as Hanbok, Korean traditional masks, calligraphy, teahouses, and more to be discovered, a one stop cultural center only in Insadong! So, if you are looking to hook up some Korean traditional souvenirs, this place will definitely please you a lot. Try to spot the HUGE calligraphy brush sculpture somewhere here as well.
Only in Insadong, you can find the famous 2 Starbucks installed with Korean signboards, instead of the world wide English signboards everywhere. Of couse there are other shops with Korean signboards too.
Ssam Jie Gil, which is supposedly a shopping complex, the tiny-sized shopping complex I would call it, where you could find handmade products made by talented shop owners. Nice place to bring parents!
Beside that, you can catch some street performances that will make you go gaga and keep you wanting to watch more.
To get there: Anguk Station, Line 3, Exit 6
5. Express Terminal underground shopping mall
The well known shopping district in Seoul might be Myeongdong or Dongdaemun, but neither did many know, there’s another secret place which I personally think it’s quite a good place for shopping, and guess what, the products are much cheaper as well, although you won’t be able to find those branded clothing around here, but the quality of the items are quite comparable to those selling in Hongdae or Ehwa area.
Ranging from bags, cloths, shoes, cosmetic and skin care products, and accessories etc, definitely worthwhile to check out when you visit Seoul!
Check out this blog for more detail information, it will makes you want to come to this place!
A well known shopping district in Seoul, especially among tourists, this place is filled with hundreds of shops and street vendors. Though I would not really come here for shopping, rather, I would definitely come here for window shopping!
In the night, you would see colorful signboards litted up brightly, streets packed with humans and the smell of food filled the air in Myeongdong. One thing I would definitely do here is to buy facial and cosmetic products!
To get here: Get off at Myeongdong Station (Line 4)
I’m still compiling the list so stay tuned.