Build Your Itinerary: Attractions & Top Things to Do in Seoul
How best to enjoy your Korea trip? Consider adding this all-in-one tour to your list of things to do in Seoul!
You can get access to the top attractions when you purchase a Discover Seoul Pass. Check out the list of the sites that you can visit and the price of the pass here.
If you’re planning a 3-Day, 5-Day, 7-Day, or 2-Week Seoul itinerary, below we’ve listed some samples that may help.
Our Picks: Top Things to Do in Seoul
I only had four things in mind when I was planning my first solo trip to Seoul: eat street food in Myeongdong, experience winter in Korea, nurse a broken heart, and visit accessible Strong Woman Do Bong Soon shooting locations. My list of things to do clearly wasn’t much. Except for Hangang Park, I didn’t really get the chance to visit a lot of attractions that are popular in the capital. On the one hand, I’d say this was fine. I was able achieve my own Seoul travel goals, get away, and actually cultivate my fondness for Korean culture. But towards the end of my trip, I kind of wished I had a more productive itinerary that included many of the top things do in Seoul. It was a good first visit, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that I had to return soon for more.
So I did. On my second trip to Korea, I did come back for the megacity that I missed out on. But I wanted to cover as much real estate as possible during my 14-day trip, so I also went to Daejeon, Daegu, and Busan via the Korail Pass. This meant that I had to limit my Seoul itinerary (5 days only) and include only the most popular attractions in Korea’s capital. Here’s the list of things to do in Seoul that I came up with for me and my friends:
1. Rent a hanbok and tour Gyeongbokgung.**
Gyeongbokgung is a top-notch attraction in Seoul that first-time visitors will definitely enjoy. This iconic and expansive palace that’s built in the Joseon era showcases Korean royal culture, facilities, and ornaments that make it a very interesting attraction to visit. The space is huge, and the backdrop of Seoraksan (mountain) wonderfully delights. Most visitors include Gyeongbok Palace into their list of things to do in Seoul to see the following unique and traditional performances that are held daily (except Tuesdays):
9:30am and 1:3pm: Gatekeeper Military Training
10am and 2pm: Changing of the Guards Ceremony (수문장)
11am and 1pm: Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on-Duty Performance
Gyeongbokgung address: 161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Gyeongbokgung operating hours: 9am-6pm daily. Closed on Tuesdays.
Ideal time spent in this Seoul attraction: 1.5 hours
You can up your visit to Gyeongbokgung by wearing the Korean traditional costume! Rent a hanbok here for only ₱365 or $7, give or take. If you do, you’ll get free admission to this attraction in Seoul! (This automatically applies if you visit with a hanbok on during the day.)
You may also add a professional photoshoot into your things to do in Seoul. This is perfect if you’re traveling solo or with friends who take bad photos. 😉Check the rates of the photoshoot here.
2. Explore Namsangol Hanok Village**
Namsangol Hanok Village (남산골한옥마을) is a traditional culture and arts village in Seoul. Here you’ll find furniture pieces, clothing, and household tools that date back to pre-modern Korea.
If you’re looking for an interactive way to learn about the country’s history and traditional way of living, this should definitely be in your list of things to do in Seoul.
Admission at Namsangol Hanok Village is free. If you visit on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, you may be able to catch a traditional performance. (We were able to watch a fun taekwondo show and exhibition in the afternoon!)
Namsangol Hanok Village address: 28 Toegye-ro 34-gil, Pil-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Namsangol Hanok Village operating hours: 9am-9pm daily. Closed on Mondays.
Ideal time spent in this Seoul attraction: 1 hour
If you’re planning to visit Namsangol Hanok Village, Gyeongbok Palace, and N Seoul Tower, you may also consider booking the following guided Seoul tour, which includes a free lunch, free hanbok rental, and air-conditioned transfer service (no pick-hotel ups and drop-offs):
3. Ride the cable car to N Seoul Tower/Namsan Park.
4. Go up the N Seoul Tower observatory and have dinner at N Burger.**
If you’ll have N Seoul Tower in your list of things do in Seoul, we recommend for you to visit at 4pm so you can take photos of this attraction in Seoul during the day and night. To see spectacular views of the capital, you can also book your N Seoul Tower Observatory tickets for only ₱465 or $9 each, if not discounted. (We got the combo package that includes the N Seoul Tower Observatory admission and dinner voucher for N Burger. It was worth it!)
N Seoul Tower address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2ga-dong, Yongsan-gu
N Seoul Tower operating hours: 10am-11pm
Ideal time spent in this Seoul attraction: 2.5 hours for the cable car, observatory, and dinner
If you’re looking for a more fancy restaurant to try in N Seoul Tower, you can also consider booking this restaurant.
5. Spend half a day at Lotte World
Lotte World is the world’s largest indoor theme park (and one that’s very enchanting!). Popular rides in this attraction include the viking and merry-go-round. If you’ll buy tickets to Lotte World, make sure to include their 8pm night parade to your Seoul itinerary; the indoor fireworks display is superb!
Visiting Lotte World should definitely be in your list of things to do in Seoul if you want to feel like a kid again. Oh, and if you’ll visit this theme park with your date, you might want to wear Korean-style school uniforms. I noticed that it’s a thing among couples who visit Lotte World. (You can rent your own set of Korean uniform here.)
Lotte World Address: 240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Lotte World Operationg hours: Mon-Thurs at 9:30am-10pm and Fri-Sun at 9:30am-11pm
Ideal time spent in this Seoul attraction: 4 hours
If you’re thinking of visiting Nami Island, Lotte World, and Lotte World Tower, you may also book this money-saving tour that’ll let you enjoy all these attractions!
6. See more of Seoul’s skyline from Lotte World Tower.
If you’re doing #5 in your Seoul itinerary, it’s best to check out Lotte World Tower as well. Visit this attraction if you want to see Seoul in its full grandness (and if you dare stand on this elegant glass floor.)
You can get your Lotte World Tower Seoul Sky admission ticket here. If you’ll have both Lotte World and Lotte World Tower in your list of things to do in Seoul, you may book the combo package by clicking below.
Lotte World Tower address: Songpa-gu, Jamsil 6(yuk)-dong, Olympic-ro, 300
Lotte World Tower operating hours: 10:30am-10pm
Ideal time spent in this Seoul attraction: 1 hour
7. See the exhibitions at Leeum Samsung Museum of Art.**
Why have Leeum Samsung Museum of Art in your list of things to do in Seoul? This attraction has extensive displays of both antique and contemporary pieces of art. Here you’ll surely add to your learning of the country’s history and creativity. Furthermore, this attraction’s grounds (as photographed above) is a very Instagrammable one!
Leeum Samsung Museum of Art address: 60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Leeum Samsung Museum of Art operating hours: 10:30am-6pm daily. Closed on Mondays.
Ideal time spent in this attraction: 1.5 hours
We got automatic admission to this attraction through the 48-hour Discover Seoul Pass. You can book or check more details about this tourist card here.
8. Take snaps of Garosu-gil Road.
Garosu-gil Road in Sinsadong is a vibrant street in Seoul that’s lined with slender Gingko trees. It’s an upscale neighborhood that has many boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. During the fall season, the trees in Garosu-gil Road turn yellow, which makes the area a very Instagrammable place. You should definitely add this in your list of things to do in Seoul if you’ll be in town during this season! (Garosu-gil literally means “tree-lined streets”.)
Garosu-gil Road address: Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Ideal time spent in this Seoul attraction: 1.5 hours
If you’ll visit Garosu-gil Road, you can also opt to try this Korean BBQ restaurant in Gangnam for an authentic grilling experience! (Make sure to try the beef ribs!)
9. Experience the jjimjilbang culture at SeaLaLa.**
Hit the Korean baths and tubs for some relaxing time! To try out this popular local recreational activity, we went to SeaLaLa Water Park, which has a nice jjimjilbang. Since we purchased this Discover Seoul Pass, we got automatic (free) admission to this clean and modern Korean spa.
If you’re looking to add a jjimjilbang into your Seoul itinerary, you may also want to consider visiting Dragon Hill Spa, which is very popular among tourists. You can check the admission rates below.
SeaLaLa jjimjilbang address: 164 Mullae-ro, Mullae-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
SeaLaLa jjimjilbang operating hours: 24/7 for Korean spa facility
Ideal time spent in this Seoul attraction: 4 hours for the wet and dry sauna and jjimjilbang facilities
10. Catch a street performance or two at Hongdae.
If you want to visit a youthful spot to make your Seoul itinerary exciting, Hongdae is definitely the place. At Hongdae, we were able to catch various indie song and dance performances that really impressed. (Watching Hongdae street performances is free! Be there to show your love to budding Korean artists.)
You may also be able to spot your bias here. I heard idols usually frequent the place. (But don’t get your hopes high!)
How to get to Hongdae: Alight at Hongik Univ. Station and take Exit 9
Ideal time spent in this Seoul attraction: 2 hours for a meal, shopping, and performances
11. Night cap at Gyeongui Line Forest Park.
After doing #11 in our Seoul itinerary, we headed straight to the nearby Gyeongui Line Forest Park. Here we saw locals (families, friends, coworkers, and lovers!) having a picnic on the grass, getting some drinks at the pub, and strolling in the park looking like Korean drama leads. My friends were thankful that this was on our list of things to do in Seoul. Maybe you’d feel the same way too.
Gyeongui Line Forest Park address: 147-89 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Ideal time spent in this Seoul attraction: 1 hour
12. Head back to Myeongdong for some buys and bites.
My friends and I visited Myeongdong Food Market and devoured the huge potato snack called the Tornado Potato (photographed above). Other street food we tried in the area are odaeng or Korean fish cakes, cheese hotdog (basically like corn dog), and tteokbokki!
If you’re looking for bags, clothes, and cosmetics, Myeongdong should definitely be in your Seoul itinerary!
Myeongdong Street Food & Shopping Market: 27 Myeong-dong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
Ideal time spent in this Seoul attraction: 2 hours for shopping and streetfood crawl
In case streetfood won’t cut it, you may also go to this buffet restaurant in Myeongdong to have your huge fill!
13. Have juk or Korean porridge.
How many Korean dramas have you watched that featured the characters eating abalone porridge? I have a few in mind, so I made sure to try out this dish as part of my list of things to do in Seoul. (Boy, it’s so good.) The Abalone porridge may be a bit pricey (around ₱940 or $18), but it’s definitely a must-try food in Korea! You can book this restaurant if you also want to have juk or Korean porridge as part of your Seoul itinerary. (It’ll make for a perfect brunch meal.)
14. Feast on chimaek or Korean chicken and beer at Two Two Fried Chicken
For Korean Fried Chicken, I always go to Two Two Fried Chicken near Myeongdong Station. This restaurant chain makes really great boneless chicken! We’ve written about this greasy goodness in this article.
Two Two Fried Chicken near Myeongdong Station address: 20-1 Myeongdong 7-gil, Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Two Two Fried Chicken near Myeongdong Station operating hours: 10am-1:30am (times may vary)
If you want to try out something different, you can also visit this restaurant in Seoul that makes Korean oven-baked chicken!
15. Buy Souvenirs and Clothes at Ehwa Womans University Shopping Streets
Yep, it’s spelled WOMANS.
The shops and restaurants near Ehwa Womans University is heaven to those looking to buy trendy clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, and beauty products in Korea. If you zoom in on my photo above, you’ll see that the store sells super awesome shirts for just ₩12,000 or around ₱550 or $10.6!
Aside from being one of the best places to shop in Korea’s capital, you can add visting Ehwa Womans University into your list of things to do in Seoul for their nice and cheap restaurants!
Ehwa Womans University Shops: 52, Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
Ideal time spent in this Seoul attraction: 2.5 hours for shopping, touring, meals
**Items 1, 2, 4, 7, & 9 in this list of things to do in Seoul are marked to note that you can automatically get these experiences with the Discover Seoul Pass, which you can purchase here. If you’re looking for other tours and things to do in Seoul, click below.
Sample Itinerary & Other Things to Do in Seoul
Whether you’re putting together a Seoul itinerary for 5 days, 7 days, or even 2 weeks, you’ll surely get some inspiration from this nice Seoul travel video from Erwan Heussaff:
(Did this video get you hungry? I’m sorry.)
Moreover, you can check out these recommended Seoul itineraries from Korea Tourism Organization (most links direct to Instagram so you can get more ideas about the place!):
DAY 1: Seoul Itinerary
10am: Have brunch at Hapjeong-dong
11am: Shop in Hongdae (Hongik University Street)
2pm: See hallyu displays at Sangam Digital Media City (DMC)
3pm: Take a souvenir photo at Gyeongnidan-gil Road
5pm: Explore the vintage vibes of Usadan-ro Road
DAY 2: Seoul Itinerary
9am: Enjoy leisure and shopping at Lotte World and Lotte World Tower & Mall
1pm: Go for a stroll at Songpa Naru Park (Seokchonhosu Lake)
3pm: Enjoy shopping and tea time at Sinsa-dong Garosu-gil Road
6:30pm: Star in your own K-drama aboard E-land Cruise (Hangang River Cruise)
7:30pm: Enjoy the nightscape from Seoul 63 Square
DAY 3: Seoul Itinerary
Go Beyond Seoul: Attractions That You Shouldn't Miss
If you’re looking to explore places outside Seoul, why not add Nami Island and Everland to your list of things to do in Korea? You can easily check the package rates and book your transfers + tickets below.
When you start crafting your itinerary, you may want to consider spending time in Seoul’s famous neighborhoods, like Itaewon, Gangnam, and Myeongdong. Each one has its distinct character and vibe, and immersing in these areas will help you gain more experiences from your trip.
You may also just pick from the top things to do in Seoul (attractions and tourist spots). This is best if you’re a first-time traveler to Korea, want to explore all the landmarks, and/or have a limited time in the capital.
Wanna add the filming locations of ‘Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo’ into your list of things to do in Seoul? We’ve listed some information here: 10 Things Worth Revisiting in 'Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
Having a long layover at Incheon International Airport? Here’s how you can maximize your stay.
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