Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, is a vibrant and dynamic destination that offers a perfect blend of ancient traditions and modern attractions. With its rich history, cultural heritage, and breathtaking landscapes, Seoul is a city that has something to offer to every traveler.

From exploring historic sites and palaces to indulging in delicious street food and shopping in bustling markets, there is no shortage of things to do and see in this bustling metropolis. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a virtual tour of Seoul and highlight the top 20 things to experience during your visit.

Top 20 Things to Experience in Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea’s capital city, is a vibrant and diverse metropolis that offers a wide range of attractions and activities. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, shopping, or outdoor adventures, Seoul has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the best things to do in Seoul, providing you with a comprehensive overview of the city’s top attractions and hidden gems.

1. Exploring Gyeongbokgung Palace

 Gyeongbokgung Palace

[Gyeongbokgung Palace], built in 1385, was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty in northern Seoul. It is the largest and most iconic of the Five Grand Palaces and is considered a symbol of the city. The palace complex is home to several historic buildings, including the [National Folk Museum] and the [Korean War Memorial].

Visitors can explore the palace grounds, admire the traditional architecture, and even rent traditional Korean clothing to truly immerse themselves in the culture. Don’t miss the daily changing of the guard ceremony, a colorful and lively display of Korean tradition. With its picturesque surroundings and rich history, Gyeongbokgung Palace is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Seoul.

2. Walking Tour of Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village

Experience the charm of traditional Korean architecture in the historic [Bukchon Hanok Village]. This picturesque neighborhood is home to hundreds of traditional hanok houses, which date back to the Joseon dynasty.

Take a stroll through the narrow alleys and admire the beautifully preserved houses, each with its unique design. You can even rent traditional Korean clothing, known as hanbok, to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere.

There are also many cultural workshops and traditional tea houses where you can learn about Korean traditions and indulge in a relaxing cup of tea. With its quaint streets and traditional charm, Bukchon Hanok Village offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city and provides a glimpse into Korea’s rich cultural heritage.

3. Enjoying the Views from N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

[N Seoul Tower], also known as Namsan Tower, is a must-visit attraction in Seoul. Located atop Namsan Mountain, this iconic landmark offers breathtaking panoramic views of the cityscape. Here are some highlights of visiting N Seoul Tower:

Take a ride on the [cable car] to reach the top of the mountain and enjoy the scenic journey.

Admire the beautiful scenery from the observation deck and capture memorable photos of Seoul’s skyline.

Visit the roof terrace, a popular spot for couples to attach padlocks as a symbol of their love.

Explore the [digital observatory] and learn more about the history and culture of Seoul.

Don’t miss the [N Seoul Tower Light Show] at night, a mesmerizing display of lights and colors.

Whether you visit during the day or at night, a trip to N Seoul Tower is the perfect way to experience the beauty of Seoul from above.

4. Shopping Spree in Myeongdong

 Spree in Myeongdong

Myeongdong is a bustling shopping district in Seoul that offers a wide range of shopping options, from high-end luxury brands to affordable street fashion. Here are some highlights of shopping in Myeongdong:

Explore the [shopping malls] and department stores, such as Lotte Department Store and Shinsegae Department Store, which offer a wide range of international and local brands.

Discover the vibrant street markets and night markets, where you can find trendy clothing, accessories, cosmetics, and street food.

Indulge in a variety of Korean street food, such as [tteokbokki] (spicy rice cakes), [bibimbap] (mixed rice), and [hotteok] (sweet pancakes).

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Myeongdong at night, with its neon lights and bustling crowds.

Don’t forget to visit the [YG Entertainment] and [SM Entertainment] stores, where you can find merchandise from popular K-pop artists.

Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast or a food lover, Myeongdong is a shopping paradise that should not be missed during your visit to Seoul.

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5. Experiencing Traditional Korean Tea Ceremony

 Traditional Korean Tea Ceremony

Immerse yourself in Korean culture by experiencing a traditional tea ceremony. The tea ceremony is an important part of Korean culture and is known for its focus on mindfulness and tranquility. Here are some highlights of experiencing a traditional Korean tea ceremony:

Dress in traditional Korean clothing, known as hanbok, to fully immerse yourself in the cultural experience.

Learn about the different types of Korean tea and the art of tea preparation from a knowledgeable tea master.

Participate in the tea ceremony, where you will be guided through the proper etiquette and rituals of tea drinking.

Enjoy the serene and peaceful atmosphere of the tea room as you savor each sip of the carefully brewed tea.

Learn about the health benefits of Korean tea and its role in Korean history and culture.

The traditional Korean tea ceremony offers a unique opportunity to connect with Korean traditions and experience the art of tea in a peaceful and tranquil setting.

6. Hiking in Bukhansan National Park

Bukhansan National Park

Escape the bustling city and immerse yourself in nature by hiking in [Bukhansan National Park]. Located just outside of Seoul, this national park offers a variety of hiking trails for all levels of experience. Here are some highlights of hiking in Bukhansan National Park:

Explore the beautiful scenery and breathtaking views from the mountain peaks.

Choose from a variety of trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes, depending on your fitness level and preferences.

Discover the rich biodiversity of the park, which is home to numerous plant and animal species.

Visit historical sites, such as ancient temples and fortresses, that are nestled within the park.

Enjoy a picnic by the streams and waterfalls that can be found throughout the park.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking to enjoy the beauty of nature, Bukhansan National Park offers a peaceful and rejuvenating escape from the city.

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7. Discovering Art in Insadong


Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene of Seoul by visiting [Insadong]. This lively neighborhood is home to numerous galleries, art studios, and cultural institutions. Here are some highlights of discovering art in Insadong:

Visit interesting museums, such as the [Samsung Museum of Art] and [Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art], which showcase both traditional and contemporary Korean art.

Explore the numerous galleries and art studios that line the streets of Insadong, featuring a wide range of artistic styles and mediums.

Discover various cultural items, such as traditional Korean crafts, ceramics, and calligraphy sets, in specialty shops and boutiques.

Attend art exhibitions and cultural events that take place throughout the year, showcasing the works of both established and emerging artists.

Indulge in traditional Korean cuisine at the many restaurants and teahouses in the neighborhood, and experience the unique blend of art and gastronomy.

Insadong offers a vibrant and eclectic art scene that is sure to inspire and captivate art lovers of all kinds.

8. Tasting Street Food at Gwangjang Market

 Street Food at Gwangjang Market

Experience the bustling atmosphere and mouthwatering flavors of [Gwangjang Market], one of Seoul’s oldest and largest traditional markets. Here are some highlights of tasting street food at Gwangjang Market:

Sample a variety of Korean street food, such as [bindaetteok] (mung bean pancakes), [tteokbokki] (spicy rice cakes), and [bibimbap] (mixed rice).

Try unique dishes like [mayak gimbap] (seaweed rice rolls) and [yukhoe] (Korean beef tartare).

Enjoy the lively atmosphere of the market, with vendors calling out their specialties and locals bustling about.

Explore the other sections of the market, which offer a wide range of goods, including textiles, hanbok, and vintage clothing.

Don’t miss the opportunity to try [makgeolli] (traditional rice wine) and [soondae] (Korean blood sausage), popular street food options at Gwangjang Market.

Gwangjang Market is a food lover’s paradise, where you can indulge in delicious street food and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture.

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9. Relaxing in Banpo Hangang Park

Banpo Hangang Park

Escape the busy streets of Seoul and unwind in the peaceful surroundings of [Banpo Hangang Park]. Located along the banks of the Han River, this park offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling city. Here are some highlights of relaxing in Banpo Hangang Park:

Take a stroll along the riverside and enjoy the scenic views of the Han River and the surrounding landscape.

Picnic on the grassy areas or rent a bike and explore the park’s many cycling paths.

Admire the stunning Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain, which puts on a colorful water show every night.

Enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing, which are available along the river.

Visit the outdoor swimming pool and water park during the summer months for some refreshing fun.

Banpo Hangang Park offers a peaceful and idyllic setting where you can relax and recharge amidst nature’s beauty.

10. Learning History at the War Memorial of Korea

the War Memorial of Korea

Pay homage to Korea’s rich military history at the [War Memorial of Korea]. This expansive museum showcases the history and sacrifices of the Korean War and pays tribute to the brave humans who fought for their country. Here are some highlights of learning history at the War Memorial of Korea:

Explore the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts, documents, and military equipment that depict the history of the Korean War.

Visit the outdoor exhibition area, which features a range of military vehicles, aircraft, and monuments.

Attend educational programs and events that provide insights into the Korean War and its impact on Korean society.

Take part in the daily reenactment of the changing of the guard ceremony, a symbolic display of military tradition.

Pay your respects at the memorial hall, which honors the fallen soldiers and offers a space for reflection and remembrance.

The War Memorial of Korea is a must-visit destination for history buffs and anyone interested in learning more about Korea’s military history.

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11. Enjoying Nightlife in Hongdae

Nightlife in Hongdae

Experience the vibrant and energetic nightlife of [Hongdae], a neighborhood known for its youthful and artistic atmosphere. Here are some highlights of enjoying the nightlife in Hongdae:

Explore the many bars, clubs, and live music venues that line the streets of Hongdae, offering a wide range of music genres and performances.

Watch street performances and buskers showcasing their talents in the Hongdae area.

Visit the [YG Entertainment] and [SM Entertainment] buildings, which are home to some of Korea’s biggest K-pop agencies.

Enjoy a night of karaoke, known as noraebang, and sing your heart out to your favorite K-pop songs.

Indulge in delicious street food from the food stalls and food trucks that operate late into the night.

Hongdae’s vibrant nightlife scene offers a unique and exhilarating experience, making it a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike.

12. Visiting the DMZ – A Journey to the Border

 the DMZ

Embark on a journey to the Demilitarized Zone, a heavily fortified border that separates North and South Korea. Here are some highlights of visiting the DMZ:

Take a guided tour to explore the various sites within the DMZ, including the [Third Tunnel of Aggression], the [Dora Observatory], and the [Joint Security Area].

Learn about the history and significance of the DMZ through informative exhibits and presentations.

Witness the tangible divide between the two Koreas and gain a deeper understanding of the ongoing conflict.

Listen to stories from veterans and experts who can provide firsthand accounts of life in the DMZ.

Experience the unique atmosphere of the DMZ and witness the tension and peace that coexist along the border.

Visiting the DMZ is a powerful and thought-provoking experience that offers a glimpse into the complex history and current state of affairs between North and South Korea.

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13. Watching a Performance at the National Theater of Korea

 the National Theater of Korea

Immerse yourself in Korean culture by watching a performance at the [National Theater of Korea]. This prestigious venue showcases a wide range of traditional and contemporary performances, including dance, music, and theater. Here are some highlights of watching a performance at the National Theater of Korea:

Enjoy traditional Korean music performances, such as [gugak] (traditional Korean music) and [samulnori] (traditional percussion music).

Experience the beauty and grace of traditional Korean dance performances, which often depict historical stories and myths.

Attend theatrical productions that combine traditional Korean storytelling with modern theatrical techniques.

Watch contemporary performances that push the boundaries of Korean performing arts and explore new artistic expressions.

Take part in workshops and educational programs that offer insights into Korean performing arts.

The National Theater of Korea is a cultural institution that celebrates and promotes Korean performing arts, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Korean culture and the arts.

14. Exploring the Coex Aquarium

the Coex Aquarium

Dive into the underwater world at the [Coex Aquarium], one of South Korea’s largest aquariums. Here are some highlights of exploring the Coex Aquarium:

Discover a wide variety of marine life, including colorful fish, corals, and playful penguins.

Walk through the underwater tunnel and get a 360-degree view of the aquatic animals swimming above you.

Learn about marine conservation and the importance of protecting our oceans through informative exhibits and interactive displays.

Attend feeding sessions and watch as the divers interact with the marine animals.

Visit the [Lotte World Tower] and [Lotte World Adventure Theme Park], which are located near the Coex Aquarium, for a full day of entertainment and adventure.

The Coex Aquarium offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages, making it a perfect destination for families and animal lovers.

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15. Taking a Day Trip to Nami Island

Nami Island

Escape the city and visit the picturesque [Nami Island], a small island located in Chuncheon, just outside of Seoul. Here are some highlights of taking a day trip to Nami Island:

Explore the beautiful landscapes and scenic trails of Nami Island, which is known for its stunning natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere.

Visit the [Garden of Morning Calm], a nearby botanical garden that showcases a wide variety of flowers and plants.

Enjoy outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and picnicking amidst the tranquil surroundings.

Experience the unique culture of Nami Island, which has its own distinct identity and charm.

Indulge in delicious local cuisine, such as dakgalbi (spicy stir-fried chicken) and makguksu (buckwheat noodles), at the island’s many restaurants and food stalls.

A day trip to Nami Island offers a refreshing escape from the city and a chance to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.

16. Experiencing the Lotus Lantern Festival

 Lotus Lantern Festival

Immerse yourself in the vibrant and colorful celebrations of the [Lotus Lantern Festival]. This annual event takes place in Seoul and marks the birthday of Buddha. Here are some highlights of experiencing the Lotus Lantern Festival:

Witness the grand lantern parade, where thousands of beautifully crafted lanterns are carried through the streets of Seoul.

Participate in lantern-making workshops and create your lantern to be part of the parade.

Enjoy traditional performances, such as [samulnori] (traditional percussion music) and [bukchum] (traditional drum dance).

Visit Buddhist temples and take part in Buddhist rituals and ceremonies.

Indulge in traditional Korean vegetarian cuisine, known as [temple food], which is served during the festival.

The Lotus Lantern Festival is a celebration of culture, spirituality, and community, offering a unique and immersive experience for visitors.

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17. Shopping at Dongdaemun Design Plaza

 Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Shop till you drop at the [Dongdaemun Design Plaza], a futuristic and innovative shopping complex in Seoul. Here are some highlights of shopping at Dongdaemun Design Plaza:

Explore the numerous shopping malls and specialty stores, which offer a wide range of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products.

Discover unique and independent designer boutiques, showcasing the latest trends and emerging fashion labels.

Visit the [Dongdaemun Night Market], an outdoor market that stays open until the early hours of the morning, offering a wide variety of street food, clothing, and accessories.

Attend fashion shows and exhibitions that showcase the works of both established and up-and-coming designers.

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Dongdaemun, with its neon lights, bustling crowds, and lively street performances.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza is a must-visit destination for fashion enthusiasts and anyone looking for the latest trends and unique shopping experiences.

18. Strolling Along Cheonggyecheon Stream

 Cheonggyecheon Stream

Take a stroll along the [Cheonggyecheon Stream], a waterway that runs through the heart of Seoul. Here are some highlights of strolling along Cheonggyecheon Stream:

Enjoy a peaceful walk along the stream’s banks and admire the beautiful landscapes and urban scenery.

Discover the various bridges, waterfalls, and fountains that are scattered along the stream.

Take part in seasonal events and festivals that are held along Cheonggyecheon, such as lantern festivals and cultural performances.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find tranquility amidst the serene surroundings of the stream.

Visit the Cheonggyecheon Museum, which provides insights into the history and significance of the stream.

Cheonggyecheon Stream offers a peaceful and scenic oasis in the heart of Seoul, providing a welcome respite from the busy city streets.

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19. Attending a Cooking Class on Korean Cuisine

 Cooking Class on Korean Cuisine

Immerse yourself in the flavors and techniques of [Korean cuisine] by attending a cooking class. Here are some highlights of attending a cooking class on Korean cuisine:

Learn how to prepare traditional Korean dishes, such as [bulgogi] (marinated beef), [bibimbap] (mixed rice), and [kimchi] (fermented vegetables).

Discover the unique ingredients and spices used in Korean cooking and their health benefits.

Participate in hands-on cooking demonstrations and learn about the proper techniques and methods of Korean cooking.

Taste the delicious dishes you have prepared and enjoy a traditional Korean meal.

Gain a deeper understanding of Korean culture and its culinary traditions through the guidance of experienced chefs.

Attending a cooking class on Korean cuisine offers a unique opportunity to learn about Korean culture and indulge in the flavors of traditional Korean dishes.

20. Visiting Lotte World Adventure Theme Park

 Lotte World Adventure Theme Park

Experience the thrills and excitement of [Lotte World Adventure Theme Park], a major entertainment complex in Seoul. Here are some highlights of visiting Lotte World Adventure Theme Park:

Enjoy a wide variety of rides and attractions, including roller coasters, water rides, and virtual reality experiences.

Explore the indoor theme park, which offers rides and entertainment options regardless of the weather.

Visit the [Lotte World Aquarium], located within the theme park, and discover a wide range of marine life.

Watch live performances and shows, featuring talented performers and colorful costumes.

Indulge in delicious food and snacks at the numerous restaurants and food stalls throughout the park.

Lotte World Adventure Theme Park offers a fun-filled day of entertainment and excitement for visitors of all ages, making it a must-visit destination in Seoul.

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Experience the vibrant city of Seoul with our curated list of top 20 things to do! From exploring ancient palaces to indulging in street food and attending cultural festivals, Seoul offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveler.

Whether you are a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, there is something for everyone in this dynamic city. Have any questions or want to share your own Seoul adventures? Feel free to comment below and let’s keep the conversation going!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Time to Visit Seoul?

The best time to visit Seoul is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is mild and pleasant. These seasons also coincide with beautiful cherry blossoms and fall foliage displays.

How Can I Navigate Seoul’s Public Transportation?

Seoul’s public transportation system, including the subway and buses, is efficient and convenient. You can easily navigate the city using the [subway], [seoul station], and [taxi] services. Downloading a transportation app or obtaining a T-money card can make getting around even easier.

Are There Any Cultural Etiquette Tips I Should Know?

When visiting Seoul, it is important to be aware of and respect Korean cultural etiquette. Some tips include dressing modestly, removing your shoes when entering someone’s home or a temple, and using both hands when giving and receiving objects.

What Are Some Must-Try Foods in Seoul?

Seoul is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide variety of delicious dishes. Some must-try foods include [street food], [Korean cuisine], and the wide array of dishes available at [night markets] and local restaurants. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the famous Korean barbecue and [night market] street food.

Can I Visit the DMZ Without a Tour?

Visiting the DMZ without a tour is not possible, as access to the area is restricted. It is recommended to take a guided tour, which provides informative commentary and ensures your safety while visiting this historic and highly sensitive area.

How Many Days Are Recommended for Exploring Seoul?

To fully explore the city and experience the top attractions, it is recommended to spend at least 3-4 days in Seoul. This will allow you to visit the main highlights, immerse yourself in the culture, and have time for shopping and dining experiences.

What Are the Best Souvenirs to Bring Back from Seoul?

Things to do in Seoul South Korea, Seoul offers a wide range of unique souvenirs that make perfect mementos for your trip. Some popular options include traditional Korean crafts and textiles, [shopping malls], and [traditional clothing]. You can also find K-pop merchandise and Korean beauty products that make great gifts.

Is It Safe to Travel Alone in Seoul?

Things to do in Seoul South Korea, Seoul is generally considered a safe city for solo travelers. However, as with any destination, it is important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Follow basic safety precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas at night and keeping your belongings secure.

How Do I Stay Connected? Tips for Mobile and Internet in Seoul.

Things to do in Seoul South Korea, Staying connected in Seoul is easy, as the city offers excellent mobile and internet connectivity. You can purchase a SIM card or portable Wi-Fi device at the airport or various locations throughout the city. Public Wi-Fi is also widely available in hotels, cafes, and tourist areas.

What Are the Entry Requirements for South Korea?

Things to do in Seoul South Korea, For most travelers, a valid passport is required to enter South Korea. However, visa requirements vary depending on your country of citizenship. Please check with the South Korean embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date information.

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Passport Validity

At least 6 months from the date of entry

Visa Exemption

Some countries are granted visa-free entry for a limited period

Visa on Arrival

Available for certain nationalities

Tourist Visa

Required for longer stays and specific purposes of visitation

Any Tips for Budget Travelers in Seoul?

Things to do in Seoul South Korea, Seoul can be an affordable destination for budget travelers with some planning. Opt for affordable accommodations, such as guesthouses or hostels, and explore local markets and street food stalls for budget-friendly dining options. Utilize public transportation to save on travel costs.