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{Korea} Our 6D5N itinerary to Seoul

We recently visited Seoul for 6 days, 5 nights. We heard that many of you are headed to Seoul for a similar duration as well. We thought it might be helpful to you if we shared our itinerary for you to use as a reference to plan your trip to Seoul! We’ll share more detailed posts of some of the destinations mentioned below in the weeks to come. So stay tuned!

Special thanks to my sister-in-law, Shu Yee and brother, Steven who put this itinerary together!

 

DAY 1 | Arrival, Transportation & Accommodation

We arrived in the middle of the day, so the first day was basically travel from the airport to our accommodation and then settling in for the day.

Best way to get to the city from Inchon Airport is by the Airport Limousine Bus (No. 6015 or No. 6001 Express). We took Bus No 6015 at gate 5B. See here for more info. If you are at Gimpo Airport, then take bus No. 6001 at a cost of ₩7,000. Purchase the ticket at a ticket booth in the airport. On the way back to the airport, you pay on board the bus with cash. Other ways to get to the city include using the train or even a local cab. For a good guide to transportation, see here.

We stayed at this and this apartment (rented through AirBnB) and highly recommend it by the way. The location was central (heart of Myeongdong) and was close to subways and bus stops. The owner, Kim met us at the bus stop and even helped us with our luggage. It was a short walk from the bus stop to the apartment. To get to this apartment, we took the Airport Limousine Bus and stopped at Myeongdong Ibis Hotel Bus station (about 60 min, 8 stops).

 

Activities

Myeongdong Evening Stroll – Once we were settled in, we walked around the streets in Myeongdong (plenty to see, eat and shop). Very convenient due to the location of our accommodation.

Heuk Don Ga, Black Pig from Jeju BBQ Dinner – We planned to go to Heuk Don Ga to try the famous “black pig from Jeju” BBQ. We ended up doing this later in the week but definitely add this to one of your dinner plans! This was convenient for us since it is just next door to our apartment! You can get here by taking the Subway and stopping at Myeongdong Station, Line 4, exit 5, 6, 7 or 8.

 

Day 2 | Shopping, Show and Dinner

Given that we were all likely jet-lagged from our flight, we left the first half of the day open. The night before, we bought some fruits, juices, eggs and pastries for our breakfast on day 2. With the little kitchenette, we were able to cook ourselves a nice breakfast then review our plan for the day.

Activities

Namdaemun Market – the largest traditional market in Korea with various goods in store. All products are sold at affordable prices and the stores in this area also function as wholesale markets. It is closed on Sundays. Transportation notes:

{Subway} Hoehyeon Station (Subway Line 4, exit 5)

{Bus} Blue Bus 103, 104, 105, 108, 51, 152, 163, 261, 262, 263, 300, 371, 401, 402, 406, 500, 501, 503, 504, 505, 604, 700, 701, 704
Green Bus 0013, 0014, 0015 (to Yongsan), 0211, 7015, 7021, 7022, 7023
Yellow Bus 01, 02

Myeongdong Nanta Theatre – We chose to watch an afternoon show at the Myeongdong Nanta Theatre. More information such as shows, prices and how to get there located here. You have to be at least 1 year old to attend a show.

Sindangdong Tteokbokki for Dinner (신당동떡볶이골목) – There are many restaurants to choose from in this alley/street/town. A popular one is Mabongnim Halmeoni Tteokbokki restaurant. As most of the restaurants here are open 24 hours a day, it’s a great place for a late dinner or late night snack. Take subway Exit 8 of Sindang Stn. (Line 2 or 6), turn left before the fire station, go about 100-200 meters and you’ll see a square arch which is the entrance to this street. Mabongnim Halmeoni Tteokbokki is the left corner shop beside the arch.

It tastes better than it looks. I promise!

 

Day 3 | Tourist Attractions

We ended up visiting only 2/3 of the places in this list (we made changes based on preferences of the people in our group) but if you’re up for it, you can make it to them all albeit a bit rushed!

Activities

Gyeongbokgung – Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful and remains the grandest. More information located here. You can get there by subway Line 3, exit 5 (Gyeongbokgung Station).

Bukchon Hanok Village – This village has the largest cluster of privately owned traditional Korean wooden homes. It’s a popular location for photos with traditional Korean homes in the background. Get there by Subway Line 3, Exit 2, Anguk Station then walk straight about 300m.

Instead of Bukchon Hanok Village, we went to the Korean Folk Village because we had a photoshoot arranged with Flytographer. We figured it was a better location to get some nice photos than the Hanok Village. We’ll visit the Hanok Village next time we’re back in Seoul!

Tosokchon Samgyetang for Lunch – Famous korean ginseng chicken soup restaurant. It’s signature dish is made with glutinous rice, chicken, gingko nuts, ginseng, garlic, jujube and about 30 different types of medicinal herbs and grains. It was delicious! A must try! Located here. More info here.

Another foodie stop. Samgyetang for lunch is a must when you’re in Seoul!

Shopping at Insadong 인사동 – Stores in Insa-dong specialize in a wide variety of goods that can only be purchased or appreciated in Korea: hanbok (traditional clothing), hanji (traditional paper), traditional teas, pottery, and folk crafts. Ssamziegil mall is located along the shopping street in Insadong and covers 42,700sq. ft. (1,200 pyeongs) with over 70 shops including handicraft stores, souvenir shops, art galleries, restaurants and more. Go to the Angguk Station (Subway Line 3), exit 6. Go 100m forward then turn left onto Insadong Street. Go another 180m and you’ll see the mall on the left.

Sip Tea at Traditional Tea House in Insadong–  One of the oldest traditional teahouses in Insa-dong, Sin Yetchatjip (Sin Old Tea House) is also one of the most unique. It’s a nice place to stop for tea after a long day of walking and shopping. My favorite is their cold pear tea!

Love the cold pear tea (the pink one!)

Korean BBQ for dinnerMaple Tree House restaurant is known for its high quality meats. Limited menu because they stick to what they do best – our kind of restaurant!

Itaewon – By the time you visit all the places above, it’ll probably be about 9pm. If you’re still up for some nightlife and/or more strolling around, check out Itaewon. You’ll find trendy bars, clubs, restaurants and shops.

 

Day 4 | Seafood Market and Lotte World

Today’s itinerary is a must do for families in my opinion!

Activities

Noryangin Fisheries Market – We highly recommend this market. It is open all year round, 7 days a week. This is Seoul’s oldest and largest indoor seafood market with over 700 vendors! We purchased seafood at the market and then went to a restaurant (located inside the market) and had the restaurant prepare us brunch with all the seafood we purchased. This is also where we tried eating fresh, wiggling, octopus tentacles! See here for how you can do the same! To get there, go to Seonyudo station (line 9), Yeongdeungpo Station (line 1) or Singil station (lines 1 & 5).

This is just 1 of the 700+ vendors at the market!

We’d buy the fresh seafood, then take it to a restaurant in the market. They then prepare us a meal based on all the seafood we purchased!

Lotte World Adventure – After a hearty brunch, prepare to spend the rest of the day at Lotte World Adventure. It has four floors of indoor theme park as well as an outdoor theme park called Magic Island. For those who are not a fan of theme parks, they can spend their time at the shopping mall which is connected to the theme park as well. I’d recommend that you spend time outdoor first and then the rest of the day indoor so you are not outdoors after the sun sets. There are rides suitable for 1-2 year olds in the indoor theme park so Liam had a great time! To get there, go to Jamsil Station (Line 2 & 3), exit 4. Lotte World is directly connected to station.

It can get quite crowded in the Indoor Lotte World Adventure! Especially if it’s cold out!

Multi-tiered Steamed Seafood for Dinner – We saw this video and decided it had to go on our itinerary! Do know that it can get quite crowded so be prepared to wait for a table. It opens 4pm till midnight and is located here 924-40 Bongcheon-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, South Korea. We took the subway and stopped at Bongcheon station and walked to the restaurant (short walk from the station).

It might look like a lot (9 layers of seafood) but we (7 adults) were able to finish it all, no problem! We’ll share more details in an upcoming post.

Cheonggyecheon Stream – For a beautiful light display at night, head over to the Cheonggyecheon Candlelight Fountain. More info here. We skipped visiting this attraction because both our kids were tired by the time we were done with dinner. Maybe next time!

 

Day 5 | Shopping and More Foodie Stops

More shopping and good food on this day.

Activities

Dongdaemun – Korea’s largest wholesale and retail shopping district has 26 shopping malls, 30,000 specialty shops, and 50,000 manufacturers. You can spend the entire day at Dongdaemun if you so choose. Take the Subway Line 1 or Line 4 and exit at Dongdaemun Station (Exit 8 or 9).

Gwangjang Market for Lunch– Another shopping district with a focus on fabrics and textiles. It’s also a great place for food/lunch! There are various vendors selling food here. We’d recommend trying some Bibimbap (Korean Mixed Rice) or Bindatteok 빈대떡 (Mung Bean Pancake). See more info here. Some reviews of the place on Tripadvisor here. Nearest Subway Station is the Jongno 5-ga Station, Exit 8 or Euljiro 4-ga Station, Exit 4.

Shinsegae Department Store for More FoodThis is one of the “big three” department stores in the city (other two are Lotte and Hyundai). It has a fancy, giant food wonderland sprawled across their lower level! Our recommendation is to go straight down to their basement where their food court and market is located. Take your time walking around while sampling and eating your way through the area.

Han Chu 한추 (한잔의 추억) Fried Chicken for Dinner – Oh my, how do we begin to describe how deliciously mouthwatering the fried chicken here is. Chicken is lightly battered and perfectly fried. Crispy on the outside, juicy and soft on the inside. Don’t just take our word for it, go try it yourself! Fried chicken is₩17,000, fried peppers are₩15,000. Go to Exit 4 of Apgujeong Stn, 10 minute walk from the station. Located on a sidestreet to Garosugil Street in Sinsa-dong Very close to Forever 21 flagship store on Garosuguil Street.

Must try when in Seoul! Han Chu Fried Chicken for Dinner.

 

Day 6 | Free & Easy, Buffer Day

We had planned a rather packed itinerary. Day 6 is left as a buffer should we need the extra day to catch up on some missed destinations and/or to pack before we left at the end of the day. If you want to fill this day up, you can consider a few of the following activities/destinations as well.

Activities

Korean Folk Village – This is actually where we went for our Flytographer photoshoot instead of Bukchon Hanok Village. It is farther away and requires a bus ride there, so plan to spend almost an entire day here should you choose to go.

Nami Island – For fans of Winter Sonata, this should be a familiar name to you. You can take a leisurely stroll around the island, which might be about 2-3 hours. See here for screen captures of where the different scenes of the show were taken. You can get there by commuter train, shuttle bus, tours, private drivers etc… This site has a pretty good step by step explanation of how to get there.

Seoul Tower or Namsan Tower – Another famous attraction would be the iconic Seoul Tower a.k.a. Namsan Tower. It dominates the Seoul skyline and can be seen from various parts of the city. See here for more info.

Tax Refunds – If you have some time on your hands before flying home and have spent at least ₩30,000 (about USD$30) from any stores that has the “Tax Free” logos,  you can claim the tax you paid back. There are various ways to claim your tax refunds (at the airport for example). A really good writeup I’ve found is by this blogger at Passportchop.

 

Tips | Google Map 

Shu Yee and Steven have also placed some of the locations mentioned above in a shared Google Map. Click here to go see it. I hope the above information has been helpful to you!

12 Comments

  1. Jx March 5, 2017 Reply

    Hi,

    About language barrier, I can read a little bit of Korean but I can’t really converse.

    Will there be problems?

  2. cytotec December 6, 2016 Reply

    Thank you very much for sharing information that will be much helpful for making coursework my effective.

  3. Tammy April 12, 2016 Reply

    Hi. I will be going alone on 27th April 2016.
    Do you have a budget summary of all of your expenses?
    Thank you..

  4. vera April 1, 2016 Reply

    This is such a helpful post. It seems like there are tons of things to see/do in Seoul for first timers. Any advice / tips for food options for small children? We have a 1.5yr old n 4 yr olds and while korean food is our favorite food, most dishes that we like are spicy. I’m wondering whether kid-friendly menu is widely available?

  5. Samuel December 12, 2015 Reply

    wow!! thanks for the tips!!! am going in march 2016 😀

  6. Andrew Darwitan
    Twitter:
    December 1, 2015 Reply

    Thanks for sharing this useful post. I’m researching for my upcoming Korea trip right now and I’m so looking forward to Bukchon Hanok and Nami Island! 🙂
    Andrew Darwitan recently posted..Korea, I’m Coming This Winter!My Profile

  7. Jo Hatcher May 23, 2015 Reply

    Hi…this was a fantastic idea to post your itinerary. I live in Okinawa and wondering if you have a similar itinerary for Taipei and Hong Kong. We’ve been to both cities but only briefly. I’m not that interested in Seoul but you made me want to rethink that 🙂

    Thanks for sharing,
    Jo

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