Seoul, South Korea Travel Guide

Seoul

Annyeonghaseyo! If this travel guide caught your attention, then you’re probably thinking of visiting the “Land of Oppas” and KDramas soon. Hello, Seoul, South Korea!

If Japan is called the “Land of the Rising Sun”,  Korea is dubbed as the “Land of the Morning Calm”. Korea earned the title “Chaohsien”, which meant morning freshness, in 1934, because of its stunning mountains and clear waters, especially in the morning. Of course this was not always the case because Korea was divided in the year 1945 and the “Land of the Morning Calm” was eventually shattered during the ill-fated morning of June 25, 1950, when North Korea attacked South Korea.

The war lasted for three years and ended with an agreement called armistice, but that did not officially end the war because the two Koreas remain divided to this day, divided only by what they call the 38th parallel that demarcates North from South. If you have already watched Crash Landing On You, then you’re already familiar with what I’m saying.

And even though this is a Seoul Travel Guide, I’ll still include in this guide nearby provinces in Seoul that’s worth visiting.

Arasso? Then let’s start!

 

Autumn Leaves
Always love the Autumn Leaves

 

  • If you are also meaning to visit Busan and Jeju, here are my Busan and Jeju Island Travel Guides!

 

GETTING TO SEOUL

By Air: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia fly to Seoul. Travel time is approximately 3.5 to 4 hours. There’s a time difference between Korea and Philippines,  Korea being one hour ahead.

 

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SEOUL

Airbnb in Seoul
This was our very minimalistic BnB in the heart of Seoul

Accommodation: There are many hostels and hotels in Seoul. Only question is the area where you plan to stay, which actually depends on your activities or itinerary. A room good for 2-3 people only costs more or less Php2,000 in a hostel and approximately Php4,000++ in a hotel.

Like in any other countries, best to stay in an accommodation where there’s a near train or Airport Limousine bus stop.

 

HOSTELS:

K-Guesthouse Dongdaemun 5 – There are many K-Guesthouses in Seoul but I recommend this one in Dongdaemun 5 because the owner, Amy, was so nice, there’s a cool Chicken and Beer restaurant just below the building, Subway Stations (Lines 2, 4 and 5) are only few steps away, Dongdaemun Design Plaza is just few meters away, shopping mall is few steps away, and there’s a nearby Airport Bus stop. Very convenient!

G Guesthouse Itaewon – If you have watched Itaewon Class, this is where Jang Geun-soo lives. Same place where Park Saero-yi met Jo Yi-seo for the first time.

Myeongdong New Stay Inn

Time Traveler Relax Hongdae

Ray’s Place – This Airbnb place is located right in front of Seoul Station and where we also stayed for 4days and 3 nights.

K Guesthouse Dongdaemun 5
Free breakfast at K-Guesthouse Dongdaemun 5

HOTELS:

Grand Hyatt Seoul

GLAD Gangnam COEX Center

Stay Hotel

Lotte City Hotel Myeongdong

L7 Gangnam Hotel

 

MEAL. Food in Korea is not affordable but price of their Korean Barbecue is almost the same as the one being sold in Manila. If you want to save, you can opt for Korean noodles but that’s no fun, so I suggest you try what they are also famous for – Chicken and Beer. If you love spicy food, you will love Korean food.

Korean Barbecue
Authentic Korean Barbecue (Black Pig)
Korean Food
I already forgot the name of the food being cooked but it’s so YUMMY! Restaurant is in Namdaemun Market. Food looks like Korean Stir Fry Pork Belly with Kimchi and Bean Sprouts.

TRANSPORTATION. Main mode of transportation in Seoul is their subway. Like in Japan, riding their train is a breeze. There are also buses and cabs everywhere but riding a train is faster, easier and more affordable.

Seoul Station
Seoul Station. Hello Gong Yoo.
Seoul South Korea
Seoul City

TOURING. No tour guide needed when in Seoul. Just research the places that you wish to visit prior to your arrival, and familiarize yourself with the subway stations and exits so you won’t get lost and waste time and energy.

 

THINGS YOU NEED TO HAVE

Comfy footwear. You will do lots and lots of walking so you need a comfortable shoes to last you all throughout your trip. Sneakers is good idea.

Camera or Smartphone with a nice camera. You will regret not bringing one when you visit Nami Island.

Money. Bring enough dollars or Korean Won with you. You will need lots of moolah for eating and shopping.

Medicine. If you are allergic to some medicines, it’s always best to bring your own first aid kid, especially if you plan to visit Seoul during Autumn or Winter.

Korean Subway App.

 

 

BUDGET:

 

 

SEOUL DAILY ITINERARY

DAY 1

1st stop:  Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market
Lots of affordable foods and things to buy here at Namdaemun Market.

DAY 2

1st stop: Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace
Wearing a Hanbok when visiting Changdeokgung Palace makes for a great photo op.

2nd stop: Hongdae Shopping Street

 

DAY 3

1st stop: Hwaseong Haenggung Palace in Suwon City

Suwon
Statue of Jang Geum and Captain Min. Most parts of the Korean Series “Jewel in the Palace” were filmed at Hwaseong Haenggung Palace and Suwon Hwaseong Fortress.

2nd stop: Itaewon

 

 

DAY 4

 

DMZ

Korean War train
Train wreckage from the Korean War
North Korea from DMZ
Hello from the other side. View of North Korea from the Dora Observatory in DMZ

Myeongdong Shopping Street

Because Skincare is Life!
Street Food in Seoul
Found this treat in Myeongdong just few steps away from Myeongdong Station, near Nature Republic store.

DAY 5

Nami Island

Winter Sonata Statue inNami Island
You will find this statue of Cholo and Jodi (Winter Sonata Korean Series) in Nami Island. Some parts of the TV series were filmed in Nami Island
Boat to Nami Island
Boat to Nami Island
Biking in Nami Island
Better to visit Nami Island early in the morning so you can enjoy the bike ride with less people walking around

DAY 6

Insadong

Hanbok
Tried wearing a Hanbok in Insadong…then it rained!

DAY 7

1st stop: Bukchon Hanok Village

 

2nd stop: Gangnam

Gangnam
This famous Gangnam Doll served as a nice backdrop for this barkada shot.

DAY 8

FREE DAY!

Bau Haus Dog Cafe

 

Bau Haus Dog Cafe
This Corgi is completely ignoring me because I don’t have treats for them.

 

 MUST TRY AND BUY IN SEOUL