14 Cool Things to Do in Seoul

Seoul is a one-of-a-kind destination with plenty to offer, from excellent food to amazing shopping, fascinating culture to modern attractions. You’ll never be short of something fun and interesting to do in Seoul. But if you haven’t got unlimited time, where do you go and what do you choose?

Try looking at this list of 14 Seoul favorites, with activities for everyone. Seoul is one of the unmissable highlights of Korea, so make the most of your visit by checking out these highlights.

14 Cool Things to Do in Seoul 1

1) Watch the Guards at the Gyeongbokgung Palace

The changing of the guard’s ceremony at the Gyeongbokgung Palace is a fine spectacle. Or you can catch the Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on-Duty Performance. There should be one performance on the hour, every hour, apart from on Tuesdays. You can also play at being a guard at the same palace. You can wear a gatekeeper costume and get your pictures taken – it’s free!

2) Go Up Mount Namsan

Mount Namsan is best visited by taking a cable car to the very top. You can walk up, but it’s 237 meters up and it can take some time if you’re not in great shape. The cable car is very quick and you’ll get amazing views over the city from the cable car station, or you can continue upwards to the observatory at the very top.

3) Cuddle with the Kitties at a Cat Café

Seoul was one of the first places to start this lovely trend – the cat café. Sit and enjoy a coffee or a cake alongside the furry felines, in neighborhoods like Myeongdong.

4) Go Shopping Around Myeongdong

If you love shopping, and you’re keen to stock up on makeup and cosmetics, you’ll love this area in Seoul. Myeongdong is full of cosmetics stores, selling all the popular brands in the country. You’ll find plenty of offers and some great free samples.

5) Eat Some Amazing Street Food

Don’t pass up the chance to indulge in some wonderful street eats, from seaweed rice rolls to chicken barbecue skewers, rice cakes, and curry. You’ll find plenty of places all over the city selling delicacies at very small cost.

6) Take a Walk Around Bukchon Hanok Village

The Seoul Bukchon Hanok Village is a really interesting place, and one of the highlights of the cultural side of the city. It is a “village” of traditional hanok dwellings, which were constructed in the Joseon Dynasty, which are still inhabited today. The residential neighborhood is located in-between the Changdeokgung Palace and the Gyeongbokgung Palace, which are in the center of the city.

7) Act Like a Real K-Pop Star at SMTOWN@coexartium

If you love K-Pop or you’re just intrigued by the whole idea, head to the SMTOWN@coexartium where you can buy goodies, see performances, and even sing your own songs and record your own videos.

8) Shop For Original Souvenirs at Insadong

When you want to buy some interesting traditional souvenirs to take home, head to Insadong, which is the main shopping street for traditional goods. There is one main street and little alleyways leading off it, with lots of small stores selling a range of interesting things.

9) Go to a Tea House

You can’t miss the experience of a traditional teahouse when you are visiting Seoul. Find a hanok teahouse where you can sample some homemade brews and enjoy a relaxing, traditional atmosphere.

10) Take in an Exhibition at Dongdaemun Design Plaza

The Dongdaemun Design Plaza is the place to go for exhibits and shows that focus on the design industry. There are many traveling exhibitions that open at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, so check out what is on when you are there.

11) Go Shopping Underground

The underground shopping malls in Seoul are great for picking up some serious bargains, and shopping in heated or air-conditioned comfort depending on the season. There is a huge underground network of shops and alleyways, so you’ll be able to spend hours here browsing or buying.

12) Chill Out at Cheonggyecheon Stream

The Cheonggyecheon Stream is a shady, cool place where you can paddle in the fresh water. The stream actually runs more than 10 kilometers, but you can just rest beside it.

13) Check Out Namdaemun Market

Close to Myeongdong, the bustling Namdaemun Market sells a wide variety of traditional items as well as cosmetics, food, and clothes. You’ll find lots of interesting things here, and it’s a good place to browse for souvenirs to take home.


14) Chill Out at a Café in Garosu-gil

You’ll never be far from an inviting café in Seoul, especially when you go to the area of Garosu-gil, where there are cafes, tea houses, restaurants, and other special places. You can visit a few or just spend some hours relaxing in one.

If you are planning an Asian travel adventure, check out the PhuketOn travel blog. Find information and inspiration on travel in Korea, Cambodia, Japan, Thailand, Laos, and more at PhuketOn.

Photo credits: Mario Sánchez Prada and Christian Senger via Flickr

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