Experiencing the Best of South Korea: Things to Do in Seoul & Top Places to Visit

Updated On: June 01, 2023


Whether it’s your interest in tech or great unrealistic love (thanks to K-dramas), South Korea has got you covered—specifically Seoul. Seoul, South Korea’s capital, is one of the most exciting and interesting places to visit. If you’re an old soul who loves learning about history, culture, and world traditions, or even a tech enthusiast who cannot go a day without looking up new tech gadgets, Seoul is the perfect place for you. With the mix of the old and the new, Seoul has got something for everyone. So, before you go and book that Seoul trip, make sure not to miss any of the following activities for the ultimate Seoul experience.

Experience the Culture & History of South Korea in Seoul

Seoul is an old city with a strong history. It has seen bad days and good days and every other kind of day in between, and for that, it emerged as a city with a culture like no other. From historical villages to breathtaking palaces, there is a lot of history to experience and unfold in this city.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

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Known as the main royal residence for the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeongbokgung Palace is a must-see when you’re in Seoul. The intricate details and the design of the Palace all reflect the rich history and culture of South Korea. The Palace covers a large ground area; even if there are many people there, it wouldn’t feel that crowded. 

While it looks like it’s a two-story building, Gyeongbokgung Palace actually has one floor with a really high ceiling. During the Imjin War, fire once completely destroyed the area. However, all of the palace structures were later restored during the rule of King Gojong.

There are so many things to do in Gyeongbokgung Palace—it has historic buildings, gardens, the National Folk Museum of Korea, and the National Palace Museum of Korea, to name a few. But it’s most famous for the royal changing of the guard ceremony, which takes place twice a day. It’s definitely a sight to behold and one that will let you in South Korea’s past. It doesn’t matter when you’re planning to visit Seoul; Gyeongbokgung Palace is in style every season.

Bukchon Hanok Village

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Now that you have seen how the Joseon royals used to live, you might want to be able to check out the lives of the commoners of that time. Bukchon Hanok village is the place to do so. The historical place is home to about 900 traditional Korean-style homes or “Hanoks”, hence the name. 

The history of this village can be traced back to the Joseon Dynasty, and it’s perfectly located between Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung-Palace. It’s more than just architecture and history there, though. The village also shows how Koreans have kept their heritage alive after all these years, showing it off to the whole world. Some of the homes have also been turned into coffee shops, museums, and art galleries. You can even immerse yourself completely by renting out the traditional Korean, the Hanbok.

Changdeokgung Palace

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Along this journey, you can find yourself close to Changdeokgung Palace. This is Seoul’s second-oldest royal Palace after Gyeongbokgung-Palace. It’s also a known UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. The Palace is not the only thing that attracts visitors from all over the world, though! The Palace’s secret garden, also known as Huwon Secret Garden, with Mount Bugaksan as a natural background, has made this area one of the most stunning spots in Seoul.

While most parts of the Palace need no entry fee, the garden requires a little money. But with a calm lily pond, a two-story pavilion, and a spectacular 300-year-old tree, it’s definitely worth the price!


If you’re into the arts, love exploring the old and the new simultaneously, and enjoy a soulful life, then Insadong is for you! The place is like an art and culture hub with art galleries, craft stores, teahouses, and cafés, making the place vibrant with life. Street performers make it even more so.

One thing you don’t want to miss there is the tea houses. No, they’re not your instagrammable everyday café houses. They actually pay homage to South Korea’s past tea customs. You should definitely pay a visit to Dawon Traditional Tea House, the oldest teahouse in Seoul.

Seoul City Wall

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This historic wall, which spans more than 18 kilometres and circles the centre of the city, provides breathtaking views and a window into Seoul’s past. The Seoul City Wall offers a peaceful retreat from the busy city below with its imposing gates, watchtowers, as well as tranquil surroundings. You can get the best panoramic views of Seoul’s modern skyline set against its historical sites. If you’re a sports enthusiast, you might even enjoy the challenge of hiking it all the way up! Or you just take a leisurely stroll if you want to keep it lowkey!

Dive Into the Modernity of Seoul

Not a history kind of person? No problem! Seoul is one of the most modern cities you will ever visit. Do you want to go shopping for the most luxurious clothing brands and top-notch skincare products? Or maybe you are more of a foodie who likes to try every single dish in every country they visit? Or are you visiting Seoul with your family and kids just to try every amusement park ever built? Whatever your preferences are, Seoul’s modern visage will give you what you want.


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As we all know, Seoul is a unique city where one minute, you’re calmly enjoying a scenic view, and the next, you are in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the city. It has the best of both worlds! Myeongdong gives you the latter experience for sure! 

It’s a haven for shoppers. You will find everything you need, from cosmetics to clothes, shoes, and accessories. You can find their national brands and international brands like Nike and Adidas. 

As we all know, South Korea is the plastic surgery capital of the world, so it’s no wonder that they put a lot of thought into their skincare products. Myeongdong is the place for all your fantastic out-of-this-world Korean skincare products. 

You cannot go to Myeongdong without visiting Olive Young, AKA Korea’s No.1. Health & Beauty Store. The cream skin toner and moisturizer from Laneige, Sulwhasoo’s first care activating serum, and Innisfree’s dewy glow jelly cream with Jeju cherry blossom; all can be right in the palm of your hand!

Dongdaemun Night Market

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Just when you thought that Myeongdong was the fashion capital of Seoul, I’m here to tell you that you’re mistaken. The Dongdaemun Night Market is the right answer— a place where you can shop till you drop, with its affordable prices and unique pieces. And if you get hungry on your shopping quest, it’s also basically an all-you-can-eat buffet with a wide variety of food.

Namdaemun Market

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The markets in Seoul are never-ending, and you definitely cannot go to Seoul without hitting everyone’s favourite bargain space, the Namdaemun Market. It’s what you can call “the original Amazon” in real life. Although it was opened in 1964, the place is still running and expanding. 

Whatever you’re in the mood for, you can find something for it there! Want a bag or an accessory that matches that new outfit you bought at Myeongdong? Maybe a really nice décor for your house back home? Want to buy affordable electrical products? Well, Namdaemun has got you covered. And, of course, for that energy boost, you’ll find multiple street food vendors along the way.

Lotte World

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This is the Disney World of South Korea! Lotte World is a must-go destination for anyone at any age. With its exhilarating rides and fascinating shows, everyone can enjoy it! 

This enormous indoor theme park offers a variety of attractions to suit every taste. From heart-pounding roller coasters to carousels, live performances, and parades, Lotte World is an unforgettable experience you don’t want to miss.

Street food

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Nothing feels more modern than trying out traditional authentic food while being surrounded by the dazzling lights of a grand city like Seoul, and when you’re travelling, you have to check out the street vendors. At every corner of the food markets of Seoul, you’ll find delicious food with a multitude of spices and herbs that will awaken your senses. Some of the most popular street food include Hotteok (sweet stuffed pancake), Bindaetteok (savoury pancake), gimbap (rice rolls), tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), and Odeng (Korean fishcakes). 

Some of the best places to try out Korean street food is Gwangjang Market, Seoul’s 100-year-old market. Its most popular dish is the Mayak kimbap, AKA narcotic rice rolls! They are basically a mixed roll of carrot, pickled daikon radish, and rice seasoned with sesame oil, all wrapped in seaweed. These rolls are definitely as addictive as their name suggests, so make sure you don’t overeat and forget about all other delicious street food.

Sindang-dong Tteokbokki Town

If you have seen enough K-dramas, you know that Tteokbokki is the number one comfort food in South Korea. What better place to have this spicy, chewy dish other than Sindang-dong Tteokbokki Town?! Packed with many Tteokbokki restaurants, the place is a go-to to treat yourself to a mix of sweet and spicy flavours. Many restaurants there also offer their own twist to the original dish mixing it with different sauces and ingredients such as cellophane noodles, seafood, eggs, and cheese.


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Myeongdong is not only a shopping destination but a foodie’s go-to as well. You’ll find stalls and stalls of a wide range of food. From fried milk to baked cheese skewers, grilled lobster, Tteokgalbi meatballs, strawberry mochi, and so many other things, you’ll not run out of options. Unlike the majority of South Korea, most of these stalls don’t accept credit cards, so bring cash along just in case.

The Statue of Gangnam Style

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Yup! Just like the song. The statue was actually created to celebrate the famous song that made Gangnam district famous. It’s a hotspot for Instagram enthusiasts where a lot of people go and take a photo next to the two gigantic golden hands folded over the top of one another, exactly like in PSY’s hit!

Jjimjilbang (Traditional Korean Bathhouse)

After a long day of shopping, sightseeing, and treating yourself, you definitely need to relax. Jjimjilbang is a traditional Korean bathhouse that is open 24/7. You can get a range of beauty and detoxification treatments, use a hot tub, get some snacks, use outdoor pools, fitness clubs, and karaoke rooms, and you can even nap or spend the night there!

Admire Seoul’s Nightlife

For the night owls, Seoul has a not-to-be-missed nightlife. Nightlife in Seoul is pretty famous around the world, with hundreds of nightclubs catering to different tastes, 24-hour restaurants (and convenience stores!) to eat at any time of the day, and Karaoke Bars you will not find anywhere else in the world.

N Seoul Tower

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If you’re a night owl, then you’d very much enjoy Seoul’s nightlife. And no better way to embrace and absorb the beauty of Seoul than visiting N Seoul Tower.

Located atop Namsan Mountain, this 237-metre landmark will give you an unforgettable experience. With its panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see, this is definitely a must-visit nighttime location! 

Yeouido Hangang Park

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Yeouido Hangang Park is another place you don’t want to miss. Located along the banks of the Han River in Seoul, the park offers an interesting blend of natural beauty and recreational activities. Depending on when you’re visiting Seoul, there are different things that can be enjoyed there. 

A night market is held during summertime where you can try out street food and buy your souvenirs. In spring, you can enjoy the full beauty of the cherry blossom festival under the moonlight. The park is a great place for visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, connect with nature, and make lifelong memories. 

Banpo Hangang Park

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Banpo Hangang Park is located against the backdrop of the Han River. It has a nighttime rainbow fountain show that is quite a sight to behold. Sometimes it even hosts several food vendors on good nights.

Karaoke Bars

Karaoke is one of the most popular leisure activities in South Korea. You’ll stumble upon one whenever you’re walking. They’re not your regular karaoke bars, though. They’re equipped with huge televisions, plenty of microphones and tambourines, as well as a collection of songs in English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. So, gather your friends and belt it out!

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Seoul is a city that caters to a wide range of interests, making it an ideal destination for travellers seeking diverse experiences. Whether you’re an avid history buff, a culture enthusiast, a true foodie, a shopaholic, or a technophile, Seoul has it all. 

With a perfect blend of the old and the new, Seoul will take you on a journey that will last a lifetime. So, as you plan your trip to Seoul, make sure to include these top attractions and must-do activities to make the most of your visit to this captivating city.

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