TOP 40 best things to do in Seoul to make your trip unforgettable

Looking for things to do in Seoul during your trip to South Korea? Here are our top 40 of the best things not to miss, the famous landmarks to see, and the most beautiful places to visit in Seoul!

1. Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace

There are five royal palaces in Seoul, the largest and most visited of which is Gyeongbokgung. Plan to spend at least two hours there.

You can watch the changing of the guard at the palace’s main entrance every day except Tuesdays at 10 am and 2 pm. Read this article to learn more: Tips and Tricks for Visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Gyeongbokgung Palace, visit Seoul

2. Walk along the Cheonggyecheon stream

A haven of peace in the heart of a megalopolis! 6 km long, Cheonggyecheon is a beautiful place to stroll in downtown Seoul and one of the most beautiful places to see.

Cheonggyecheon Stream in Seoul

3. See Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square

Gwanghwamun Square is a large pedestrian area where you can walk around and take a break. This square is right next to the entrance to Gyeongbokgung Palace. In this square, you can see the statues of King Sejong and Admiral Yi Sun Shin.

4. Walk the alleys of Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village is located in the historic center of Seoul. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Seoul. The Korean nobility lived in this district during the Joseon dynasty. From the heights of Bukchon Hanok Village, you can see the contrast between the traditional houses of the district and the modern buildings of Seoul.

Bukchon Hanok Village is a traditional Korean village in Seoul. There are multiple Hanok in Seoul. Ikseondong Hanok Village and Namsangol Hanok Village (the least touristy) are also in our TOP 40 best things to do in Seoul.

5. Climb Namsan Seoul Tower

Namsan Tower, or N Seoul Tower, is one of the most visited places in Seoul. Many couples climb up the hill or the tower for the sunset. Buy tickets in advance to avoid queuing: tickets to climb the Namsan Tower.

The tower is on Namsan Hill. You can climb the hill by cable car, bus, or on foot. Discover all our tips in this dedicated article: Visit Namsan Tower in Seoul.

6. Visit Seoul’s Hongdae District

The Hongdae district is a young and lively district of Seoul. There are good cafes and many lovely places to go out in the evening. If you want to discover Seoul from another angle, come to Hongdae!

7. Admire the beauty of the Secret Garden

The Secret Garden is the beautiful park of Seoul’s Changdeokgung Palace. It is one of the most beautiful places to see in Seoul in autumn! You will fall in love with the vegetation, pavilions, and water basins of Secret Garden!

You can visit the Secret Garden with a guided tour in English included in the entrance ticket price or enjoy the gardens as a free visitor. Find more information about this visit in our article: Changdeokgung and its Secret Garden.

Secret Garden in Hangdeokgung Palace

8. Enjoy the unique atmosphere of Ikseondong Hanok Village

Ikseondong Hanok Village is an increasingly popular place in Seoul and a must-see. The alleys are even narrower than those in Bukchon Hanok Village, so it feels like a small village. Shops, restaurants, and traditional buildings create a unique atmosphere, a stone’s throw from Seoul’s modern buildings.

9. Visit Seoul’s Jogyesa Buddhist Temple

Seoul Jogyesa Temple was founded in 1395. This Buddhist temple is a quiet and relaxing place in downtown Seoul’s heart. You can discover it during the day or enjoy its beautiful lighting at nightfall.

10. Explore Seoul’s Myeongdong Walking Street

The Myeongdong district is one of the best areas to stay in Seoul. It is central and allows you to easily visit the city. Read our article to learn more about Seoul’s neighborhoods: Where to stay in Seoul.

Myeongdong is known for its huge shopping malls (and food courts), pedestrian streets, and night markets. Come here after 6 pm to walk around and experience Korean street food!

Myeondong street

12. Visit Deoksugung Palace in Seoul

Deoksugung Palace is one of the 5 royal palaces in Seoul. Much smaller than Gyeongbokgung Palace, it also offers the opportunity to attend a changing of the guard ceremony.

Discover more practical information about this palace in our article: Tips and tricks for visiting Deoksugung.

13. Discover Korean cuisine

You can’t visit Seoul without trying Korean food! Among its specialties are kimchi, bulgogi, mandu, bibimbap, and even kimbap.

Visit Deoksugung Palace in Seoul

14. See the Insadong district of Seoul

Insadong is a small neighborhood located in the old part of downtown Seoul. This district is mainly known for its pedestrian shopping street. Today, this district is gradually losing its soul and becoming increasingly touristy.

15. Admire Seoul from the wall of Naksan Park

Walk on the wall of Naksan Park to see a magnificent view of Seoul! Naksan Park is on a hill. It is a charming place for a walk and one of the most beautiful places in Seoul.

16. Take a trip to Seoul’s Gwangjang Market

This is a great place to visit in Seoul! Here, you can buy local crafts and discover the local cuisine by taking advantage of many street food stalls.

Gwangjang Market Seoul

17. Visit the Itaewon district of Seoul

Located at the foot of Namsan Hill and a stone’s throw from the US military base, the Itaewon district is one of Seoul’s cosmopolitan districts. Many foreigners and Westerners live there. Bars, restaurants, and cafes make it one of the best places to go out in Seoul.

Itaewon district in Seoul

18. Visit the DMZ from Seoul

The DMZ is the demilitarized zone between South Korea and North Korea. The DMZ can only be visited on a guided tour. Part of the visit is made by the American soldiers present on site.

To visit the DMZ, you should allow between 6 and 9 hours. Tours have different itineraries. You can find out more in our article: DMZ tour from Seoul.

19. Walk along the embankments of the Han River

Hangang Park runs along the Han River on its south bank (the historic center is on the north bank), offering a magnificent view of Seoul.

Walking in Hangang Park at night is one of the best things in Seoul. During the day, the park may seem empty and uninteresting, but it is really at the end of the day that the visit is more pleasant.

Visit Hangang Park in Seoul

20. Climb the Lotte World Tower

Inaugurated in 2017, the Lotte World Tower is the tallest building in South Korea. It has 123 floors and is 555 meters high. It is a true symbol of the country’s modernity.

The Lotte World Tower offers an exceptional view of the city of Seoul! The observation platform is 500 meters above the ground. This tour is top-rated, even with Seoulites. Therefore, there is often a queue at the bottom of the tower. So plan for more time, or book tickets in advance.

More information about the Lotte World Tower on our blog here.

Lotte World Tower view over Seoul

21. Visit Seoul’s Gangnam District

Located south of the Han River, the Gangnam district of Seoul became world famous thanks to Psy’s song “Gangnam Style. ” A monument dedicated to this song is even here.

Gangnam is an upscale and bustling neighborhood in Seoul. It is renowned for its luxury boutiques and nightlife. Come on weekends to enjoy its festive atmosphere!

22. See the Bongeunsa Buddhist Temple

Bongeunsa Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in South Korea. It is located in the Gangnam district of Seoul and features an impressive 23-meter-high Buddha statue. Visiting this temple is a fantastic activity to do in Seoul, Gangnam.

23. Enter Starfield Library

You can see the magnificent Starfield Library in the Gangnam district! Its architecture is impressive and attracts many foreign visitors as well as Koreans. It is located in the Starfield COEX Mall in Seoul.

Starfield Library

24. Visit the Seoul Museum of History

The Seoul Museum of History is free! It wonderfully traces the history of the city of Seoul but also of its inhabitants. You can find city maps, old photos, and even apartments typical of Seoulites in the 1970s. Visiting this museum is one of the best things to do in Seoul to understand its history better!

25. Sing in the karaoke

Karaoke has an essential place in Korean culture. The concept is to rent a particular room for karaoke to enjoy with friends or family. Therefore, you are not obliged to sing in front of strangers!

26. Visit Namsangol Hanok Village in Seoul

Another ancient Korean village is located in downtown Seoul! Namsangol Hanok Village is located at the foot of Namsan Hill. Visiting the Hanok is free. The park is delightful and offers a view of the Namsan Tower. In addition, every week you can attend a taekwondo show. It is a great place to see in Seoul!

27. Eat at the unique cafes of Seoul

Seoul is known for its out-of-this-world cafes! So, if you are traveling to Seoul, now is the perfect time to discover them! Here are some places:

  • The Greem Cafรฉ (incredible black and white cartoon decor)
  • The Hello Kitty Cafe (dedicated to the Hello Kitty universe)
  • The Blรผte (an authentic garden cafรฉ!)

28. Hike in Bukhansan National Park

The landscapes of Bukhansan Park- the mountains, the valleys, and the rivers- are spectacular! It is a place to see if you visit Seoul and love nature. The park is located north of Seoul and offers more than 20 hiking trails. From the heights of the park, you can admire incredible views of Seoul!

Bukhansan view over Seoul

29. Play arcade games

In Seoul, there are arcades all over the city. It is a prevalent activity in South Korea. Some rooms offer virtual reality games, and others are even equipped with seats that move to be even more immersed in the game.

Arcade games in Seoul, South Korea

30. Visit the National Museum of Korea

The National Museum of Korea is the largest in South Korea. It traces the country’s history from prehistoric times to the present day. The museum’s collections include thousands of objects, such as pottery, jewelry, weapons, textiles, and ritual objects.

In addition, part of the museum is dedicated to temporary exhibitions and Asian architecture. The National Museum of Korea is a must-visit place in Seoul to understand the country’s history and culture.

31. Take a walk in the vast Namdaemun market

Namdaemun Market is one of the oldest markets in Seoul. It was created during the Joseon Dynasty. You can find everything here: clothes, bags, jewelry, cosmetics, and vegetables! It is also an excellent place to try Korean street food.

32. Visit Seoul’s Sinchon District

The Sinchon district is a student district of Seoul. On the streets of Sinchon, one can see many shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars. In the evening, and more particularly on weekends, this district becomes particularly lively. If you want to party in Seoul, this is a fantastic area to go out at night.

33. See the impressive architecture of EWHA Womans University

Founded in 1886, EWHA Womans University is the first university for women in South Korea. The EWHA campus is impressive, especially the main university building. The streets near the university and the neighborhood around it are also fun to explore.

Ewha University

34. Visit the Korean War Memorial

Another excellent museum to better understand the history of Korea! The War Memorial of Korea is a stone’s throw from the Itaewon district, not far from Seoul’s Namsan Hill.

This museum traces the history of the conflicts on the Korean Peninsula. Outside the museum, you can see tanks, planes, and helicopters. The visit is free.

35. See the Dongdaemun Design Plaza

The Dongdaemun Design Plaza once again bears witness to the country’s modernity. It was inaugurated in 2014. The shape of the building and the interiors are astonishing. Here, you can see an exhibition, go shopping, visit the museum dedicated to Korean fashion, or even eat. Dongdaemun Design Plaza is one of the top places to visit in Seoul.

Seoul DongDaenum

36. Have fun at Lotte World amusement park

Lotte World is one of the largest amusement parks in Asia. Part of the park and its attractions are indoors. Visiting Lotte World is an excellent activity in Seoul when it rains! Do not miss attractions such as The Conquistador or Atlantis Adventure.

37. Discover the exhibitions of the Leeum Museum of Art

The Leeum Museum of Art is a contemporary art museum in Seoul. The museum is divided into two buildings: Botta and Nouvel. The Botta building houses a permanent collection of Korean and modern Asian art, while the Nouvel building houses Japanese colonial government exhibits to imprison Korean activists who fought for Korean independence. Today, Seodaemun Prison is a museum. You can see the prisoners’ cells, the execution and torture rooms, and also the personal objects of the prisoners.

39. Visit Gyeonghuigung Palace in Seoul

Seoul Gyeonghuigung Palace is one of the 5 royal palaces in Seoul. It is free to visit, but the restored buildings are far fewer than those of other palaces. If you stay in Seoul for more than 5 days, you can add this palace to your itinerary.

40. Explore Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon

Hwaseong Fortress is located in Suwon, outside of Seoul City. However, it can easily be reached by public transport. This fortress was built in the 18th century to protect the city from invasions. In the architecture of the Hwaseong Fortress, one can see Chinese and Western architectural elements.

If you go to Seoul, this tour lets you get off the beaten track. Hwaseong Fortress has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

Visit Hwaseong (Suwon) from Seoul

So! It is the end of our TOP 40 best things to do in Seoul. This top is not at all exhaustive. There are still plenty of other places to visit in Seoul. Nevertheless, it brings together the essentials and the essentials not to be missed.

Click to rate this post!
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like