With more than 10 million people, South Korea is one of Asia’s liveliest and most significant cultural aesthetics. So you might ask, “What are the top tourist spots in Seoul?” Well, I’ve got you covered! Today, I’d like to take a journey to the “Land of the Morning Calm.” Below are the top six tourist attractions in Seoul that you must see during your visit there, especially if you’re short on time.
What are the top tourist spots in Seoul? Explore Burkchon Hanok Village
Top Tourist Spots in Seoul? Enrich your knowledge of history and culture! If you’re looking for a place which has that historically-enriched vibe, Burkchon Hanok Village is the place to be. Located north of Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno, it reflects the 600-year rule of the Joseon Dynasty. “Bukchon means “northern village,” and it still features hanok or traditional Korean houses.
You will definitely appreciate the breath-taking views in Burkchon like the panoramic view of Changdeokgung Palace, the upward alley in Gahoe-dong, and the stone steps in Samcheong-dong.
How To Get To Burkchon Hanok Village: Go to Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 1 or 2. Go straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok Village.
One of my favorite tourist spots in Seoul: Myeongdong
South Korea is known as the manufacturer of postmodern fashion. While everyone’s sporting their 2017 fashion, Korean fashion is probably in 2089. In fact, one of the most common answers, when I asked my friends “What are the top tourist spots in Seoul? What do we do when we get there?” was this: SHOP FOR CLOTHES!
The Myeongdong fashion street surges with four-story stacks of stores and restaurants serving Korean youths and tourists. If you’re looking for the place to find that perfect “pasalubong” for your family and friends, Myeongdong is surely one of the tourist attractions in Seoul that you must visit!
How To Get To Myeongdong: Go to Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exits 5, 6 & 7 or Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exits 5, 6, 7 & 8.
Located in the furthest north of the Gwanghwamun square, Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Korea. At the beginning of the Joseon Dynasty in 1395, it takes about 410,000 square meters of the small city and continues to provide breathtaking views of culture and architectural aesthetics.
The place provides baby carriage rentals and even lets you wear traditional Korean outfits which are definitely Instagram-worthy.
How To Get To Gyeongbokgung Palace: Go to Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and Exit 5 or Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and Exit 1.
What are the top tourist spots in Seoul? Instagrammable spots like Common ground! One of the tourist attractions in Seoul that’s perfect for Millenials is Common Ground! Have you ever seen mid-sized shops in the form of pop-up stores built with shipping containers? Indeed, South Korea never fails to surprise us. Taking up approximately 5300 square meters in scale, this ‘container market’ is made up of 200 large containers with food stores and shopping spots.
Located in Gwangjin-gu (near the Konkuk University), the building is divided into a few parts: Street Market, Market Hall, Terrace Market, Market Ground, and Food Truck area. In awe? Me too.
How To Get To Common Ground: Konkuk University Station (Seoul Subway Line 2 or 7), Exit 6. Walk straight for 250m to arrive at destination.
Be it a cold day or not, you will appreciate the K drama feels of Namsan Park. This public park, maintained by the local government, is a historical site and was once the center of capital defense. Tourists appreciate the endless display of flower beds, cherry blossoms, and buttercups.
How To Get To Namsan Park:
Hoehyeon Area: Go out exit #4 at Hoehyeon Station on Seoul Subway Line 4, then walk for 20 minutes.
Hannam Area: Go out exit #2 at Hangangjin Station on Seoul Subway Line 6, then take bus #0014 and get off at Hyatt Hotel (Botanical Garden)(Bus comes every 10 minutes / takes about 10 minutes)
Palgakjeong (Seoul Tower) Area: Go out exit #2 or 3 at Myeong-dong Station on Seoul Subway Line 4. Walk towards Lila Elementary School for approximately 10 minutes, then you will see Palgakjeong (Seoul Tower)and take a Cable Car.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Seoul: Seoul Tower
Let’s not forget one of the most popular tourist attractions in Seoul: the Seoul Tower. This 236 meters high tower serves as an observation and communication tower from the first day it was built in 1980. If you’re a huge fan of Lovers in Paris, my advice for you is to book a ticket immediately.
How To Get To Seoul Tower: Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus No. 02. Take the bus from the closest subway station: Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, 4), Exit 2 (in front of Daehan Cinema) or Dongguk University Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
BONUS: Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour
Get the most comprehensive and SAFE tour of the no man’s land between North and South Korea. Not technically in Seoul, but the meetup usually starts in Seoul. 🙂The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is somewhat called the ‘buffer zone’ of South Korea and North Korea which they agreed upon after the Korean War in 1953. This zone, which extends largely from Gyeonggi-do to Gangwon-do, captures the historical division of a once peaceful country so make sure you’ve done a little research.
Some tips before booking your tour: bring your passport in case of security check, dress conservative, and pack light because the guards will have to make you leave your bags for security purposes.
And that’s it! These hot spots will surely make you see the beauty and the cultural significance of South Korea. If you’re worried about transportation, I recommend that you purchase a hop on/hop off tour so you can visit all the sites mentioned above and more. Click here to travel comfortably to Seoul’s best tourist destinations!
Credit: All photos found in this post except the one for the DMZ tour is from the Visit Korea Site.