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1. Pay a royal visit

Seoul has 5 main palaces: Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeongung, Deoksugung, and Gyoenghuigung. Out of the five, Gyeongbokgung is the grandest. It’s usually open during the day and sometimes at night. Do visit the palace and feel the true beauty of Korea. There are also traditional villages on the north - Bukchon Hanok Village - and west - Seochon Village - of Gyeongbokgung, where you can experience what the villages were like back in Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

Gyeongbokgung Palace Gyeongbokgung Palace
Bukchon Hanok Village Bukchon Hanok Village

2. Enjoy the culture

To truly travel like a local, experience the culture. Try visiting Hanbok (Korean traditional clothes) cafes such as Goguan Studio, where you can wear Hanbok, drink Korean traditional tea and take photos as a memory. Also, Koreans love to take a rest at Korean style sauna called “Jjimjilbang”. It’s a big spa where you can not only rest but also go into various sauna rooms that offer various ways of heating and steaming. Here are a list of jjimjilbangs in Seoul.

Hanbok Studio Hanbok Studio
Jjimjilbang Dragon Hill Jjimjilbang “Dragon Hill”

3. Try all delicious food.

Koreans eat a variety of food and food is something you can enjoy at a fairly reasonable price in Seoul. It’s more than just Kimchi, Bulgogi and Bibimbap.

First of all, try Korean barbecue from pork, beef, lamb to duck. Secondly, Korean traditional ice sherbet dessert called “Bingsu” is trending right now with different types of toppings. The original is “Patbingsu” which is ice sherbet with red sweet bean, but it's also served with various fruits. Thirdly, try all kinds of street food: Tteokbokki (spicy rice cake), odeng (fish cake), dak kkochi (chicken stick), hot dog, potato stick, soft ice cream and more. Different types of street food are especially available in Myeongdong, Jongno, Hongdae and Edae.

Pork BBQ 'Samgyeopsal' Pork BBQ “Samgyeopsal”
Patbingsu Patbingsu
Street Food Street Food

4. Go on a mega shopping spree.

Seoul has one of the most various options to go shopping from cheap local clothes and cosmetic products to high end brands and big shopping malls. All of these options are available in Myeongdong where basically the big department stores, flagship stores and street vendors are lined up. But if you’re looking for a less toursity area, you can visit the undergound shopping centers at the Express Bus Terminal and Gangnam Station or Edae which is popular among the young Korean ladies.

Myeongdong Myeongdong
Edae Edae

5. Drink like a local & pull an all nighter.

Did you know that the #1 alcohol in consumption is Soju? Soju is Korean style vodka with an average of 19~20% of alcohol content. It usually costs about $1 in stores and $3 in pubs. Koreans often mix Soju with Beer which is called “Somaek”.

Soju

You’ll soon realize that basically everything is open 24hours here in Korea. Do experience the unique clubbing scenes in Seoul. One of the hottest clubs in Korea is Octagon located in the southern Seoul. And there are even “after clubs” which are usually open later at night after the usual clubs.

Club Octagon Club Octagon