Seoul is one of the most well-known and most-visited cities in Asia. With so many things to do and see, it’s not hard to see why. The vast transit system allows visitors to get to different places and areas rather easily.
So, from ancient palaces the DMZ at North Korea’s border, these are the seven unmissable things to do in Seoul.
Best things to do in Seoul
The N Seoul Tower offers panoramic views of Seoul as far as the eye can see. The Tower lies up on a pretty steep hill and there are two ways to get here. You can either take the cable car up or walk up the stairs that has different viewpoints along the way.
Our advice? Take the cable car up for some pretty nice views and pictures. Walk the stairs on the way back down.
The biggest of the five palaces in South Korea, Gyeongbokgung Palace is a must-visit for tourists. Having served numerous dynasties since the building’s completion in 1395, today, Gyeongbokgung Palace is largely a tourist attraction.
Come watch the changing of the guard and take at least half a day, or longer, to explore this sprawling compound of palace.
For futuristic and cutting edge architecture, you have to come to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park. This plaza features the world’s largest three-dimensional structure. The plaza also has multiple shops, galleries, and restaurants to explore as well.
Perfect for when you just want a day of easy entertainment.
Myeongdong is known as a tourist trap heaven. Here, is where you will find numerous shops, most of them beauty shops where workers stand outside the store and lure you in with freebies. Tip: decline the freebie and just move on.
Myeongdong is also known for its many different street food stalls. You can find many different Korean foods here as well as BBQ skewers, one-feet tall ice cream, and an great range of drinks.
Myeongdong is a super lively place to come to after dinner, as most stores stay open until midnight.
To get a real appreciation for Korean culture, make your way to Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul. Here, you can easily get lost in this neighbourhood’s streets as you admire the 900 hanoks, or, traditional Korean houses.
Be mindful and aware that citizens still live in these homes that date back hundreds of years.
Namdaemun Market is the largest market in Seoul with hundreds of clothing, accessories, and food stalls. Be warned, this market is massive. You could easily spend the entire day here and not see it all.
This market is great if you’re looking for affordable souvenirs and tasty, authentic Korean food. Make your way to Restaurant Row for a wide variety of different food stalls, each serving unique Korean dishes.
Though technically not in Seoul, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is just a short drive from Seoul (less than an hour). The DMZ is the strip of land that separates democratic South Korea and communist North Korea. Technically, these countries are still at war with each other.
A visit to the DMZ is an absolute unmissable thing to do in Seoul. Once at the DMZ, you can feel the tension in the air as you gaze a short ways away into North Korea. With armed guards everywhere, it’s a bit surreal to feel that armed combat could break out at a moments notice.
Despite these tensions, visiting the DMZ is a very popular tourist attraction and you can easily find a tour group online.