Seoul Guide 2017

Posted by Gelo Echon
On June 30, 2017

Create your own DIY Itinerary for Seoul with my comprehensive city guide and schedule your own activities with the list of places to go to in the city for 2017.


Seoul is one of those huge cities that are always filled with surprises. From 24-hour markets to amazing hiking trails, Seoul is the perfect metropolis that balances nature, modernity, and culture. Whether you're heading out to the city because of your love to Korean Dramas or just casually booked a flight one night after work, this city is the perfect destination to explore, eat your heart out, and shop 'til you drop! So what are the best places to go to in Seoul? Check out my city guide below.


Public Transportation

To/From the Airport

Photo taken from The Seoul Guide

There are 2 ways to go to the city: Bus and Subway. There are airport transfers around the clock so you'll be quite sure that there will be buses available after the subway closes. For the complete bus guide, check their site HERE. Usually, the airport buses are priced at 14,000 - 15,000 KW for one way. However, if you want a cheaper alternative, subway is the best option. There are two train options you can take: the express train to Seoul Station or the all-stop one. Before heading out to the train station in the airport, you should purchase your T-Money card first. The T card costs 4,000 KW and needs to be topped up depending on your needs. (I initially got 10,000 load)


You can head out to the subway from the arrival area using the map provided on the website HERE.


Around the City

Seoul has one of the most comprehensive subway system in the world. Most of the areas are easily accessible by train. Fortunately, most of the areas to visit are located near each other so you won't be having a hard time to look for the stations you need to go to. If you can, since most of the stations in Seoul are near each other, you can actually walk through the city without taking the train if your only heading out to the next station. 


Where to Stay


Hongdae

This university area is known to be one of the cheapest location in the city. With loads of hostels and great night scene, this is the perfect place for travelers who want to really play hard like the locals. (Did I mention Koreans party 'til 5 am?!?) 


Myeongdong

Myeongdong area is at the center of almost all the places you have to visit in Seoul. Known as the shopping district for tourists, a lot of your favorite Korean beauty and retail brands are available here. Plus, the shopping area is just a walking distance to N Seoul Tower. If you're a shopping addict and want to easily go to different shops without taking a bus/subway, you should stay at Myeongdong!


Seoul Station

Seoul Station is the most easily accessible and central part of the city. You can easily go from the airport to the city using the express train that goes directly to Seoul Station. The area is very centralized and you can easily access all the key areas in the city. Plus, the huge Lotte Mart is located here where you can buy numerous boxes of chocolates and biscuits as pasalubongs!


Where to Go

SHOPPING AREAS

If you love clothes and cosmetics, Seoul is a HAVEN for you. With rows of beauty, sneaker, and retail stores aligned on the streets, you'll have to dedicate an entire afternoon just for shopping on each area. So, where are the best places to shop? Check out these areas listed below:

Hongdae

Station: Hongik University (Green Line 2)

Most university areas around Seoul have cheaper shopping options and since most of the people here are students, the clothes available here are for the younger ones aka very trendy and street style. So if you love Korean trendy fashion, Hongdae is the perfect place for you!


Ehwa Women's University

Station: Ehwa Women's University (Green Line 2)

Ehwa or also known as Edae, is also a university area but its shopping area mostly caters to women. There is also a bargain store located in the neighborhood where they sell cheap cosmetics! You can get your Laneige products here at 30% off compared to the products sold at the boutique nearby.


Myeongdong

Station: Myeongdong (Blue Line 4)

Myeongdong is the center for shopping! The whole area is filled with beauty boutiques, retail stores, sneaker shops, and any other items you usually shop for. Huge Zara, H&M, and F21 stores, and the dozens of famous Korean beauty brands such as Face Shop, Skin Food, Etude House, and Innisfree are located here.


Dongdaemun

Station: Dongdaemun (Blue Line 4/Dark Blue Line 1)

If you love to shop during the wee hours of the morning, Dongdaemun is the perfect place for you. The area boasts for being open for 24 hours. You could find great selection of pasalubongs, clothes, food, and other stuff for a bargain!


Namdaemun

Station: Hoehyeon (Blue Line 4)

If you're looking for traditonal Korean pasalubongs and other cheap items, Namdaemun is the market for you! Kinda like their own version of Divisoria, this market is known to be the largest traditional market and the oldest one in Korea! So expect to get lost in the labyrinth of the stores!


Sinsadong

Station: Sinsa (Orange Line 3)

This area in Gangnam is where the high-end boutiques and department stores are located. Plus, there are a lot of hip and cute cafes in the area if you're into great coffee and amazing desserts. 


CULTURAL PLACES

Seoul is filled with historical sites within the city. Imagine the sprawling palaces and picturesque gardens dating back to the 13th century beside huge modern structures and skyscrapers all throughout the city! Seoul is really one of the few cities in the world that truly mixes the old with the new effortlessly. 

Places to visit:

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace
    • Station: Gyeongbokgung (Orange Line 3)
  • Changdeokgong Palace
    • Station: Anguk (Orange Line 3)
  • Bukchon Hanok Village
    • Station: Anguk (Orange Line 3)


Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Station: Dongdaemun Design Plaza (Blue Line 4/Purple Line 5/Green Line 2)

This modern structure is situated at the Dongdaemun area. This place is perfect for photo ops, especially the fantasyland of flowers at night! 


NIGHTLIFE

Koreans are known to party hard. On the weekends, certain areas in Seoul are filled with people walking around and heading out to the best bars in town. They start drinking at 6 pm and the party ends 'til 5 am because they prefer waiting out on the first train in the morning! Imagine riding the train in the early morning filled with drunk people! LOL

Itaewon

Station: Itaweon (Brown Line 6)

Itaewon is known for being the international district. If you want to try out different kinds of foreign cuisines and party at amazing bars, head out to Itaewon and head back to your place the next day!

Hongdae

Station: Hongik University (Green Line 2)

Like I said, Hongdae is filled with younger crowd. So expect loads of pubs and bars around the area offering cheaper drinks! 

Gangnam

Station: Gangnam (Green Line 2)

Gangnam is an affluent neighborhood where many office spaces and expensive condos are located so expect pricier bars and clubs. 

Special Note: Octagon Club in Gangnam is known to be the best club in the city. You can go there by going to Hakdong Station (Dark Green Line 7)


NATURE

Seoul has amazing natural sceneries that are amazingly preserved. From picturesque forests to invigorating nature trails, you'll never run out of places to explore!

Namiseom Island 

Station: Gapyeong Station (How to get there: Head out to Sangbong Station [Dark Green Line 7] then ride the train to Gapyeong) From Gapyeong, ride a taxi to Namiseom Island Park Entrance.

This is small island is relatively far from the city but still worth it to visit! The island is filled with amazing trees, grasslands and animals that you don't see often in tropical countries. This where the famous Korean drama, Winter Sonata, was filmed.


Hiking Trails

There are a lot of mountains and hills around Seoul that are perfect for casual hikes. Check out these nature parks if you're up for a hike in the morning.

  • Bukhansan National Park
    • Station: Gupabal (Orange Line 3) then ride Bus 704 to Bukhansanseong Fortress
  • Namsan
    • Station: Myeongdong (Blue Line 4)


Hangang Park

Station: Yeouinaru (Purple Line 5)

The park is located beside the Hangang River and is a recreation area for locals and tourists. You can rent bikes, have picnics, relax on the benches beside the river, and watch the amazing lights from the park at night!


ADVENTURE PARKS

The adventure parks in Seoul are still worth visiting even though they're not really a top priority. I suggest heading out to Everland and try the steepest ride in the world! 

  • Lotte World
    • Station: Jamsil (Green Line 2/Magenta Line 8)
  • Everland
    • Station: Jeondae Everland (How to get there: Head out to Giheung Station [Yellow Line/Bundang Line] then ride the train to Jeondae Everland, the last station. You can take the free shuttle bus to the Everland from the station)


TOURIST PLACES


N-Seoul Tower

Station: Myeongdong (Blue Line 4)

The tower provides a 360 view of the city! To get there, you have to head for the cable car terminal below. You can access the elevator at road level at Myeongdong to go up to the terminal.


Petite France

Station:  Cheongpyeong Station (See Namiseom Island) From Namiseom, ride a Gapyeong Tour Bus to Petite France. For more info, check this site HERE.

If you're heading out to Namiseom Island, don't forget to check out this cute little French town called Petite France! Inspired from the books of Saint-Exupery, the cultural village houses French lodgings, food, and clothing stores for tourists!


Been to Seoul? What is your best experience in the city? Share them to the community by commenting below! 🇰🇷


About the author

Gelo Echongeloechon
A bum at Wanderast 🌎

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  • Kenneth Bastian25 days ago
    [ - ]

    Saving this on my Saved Posts collection for reference when I go to Seoul on October. Thanks for this guide 😎

    Gelo Echon21 days ago
    [ - ]

    Hope you have fun on your trip this October! :D