What’s in Seoul that everyone loves, everyone likes? It may be that the scenery of four seasons are as beautiful as the paintings. Or with so many points of interest, beautiful and interesting tourist attractions from Gyeongbokgung Royal Palace, Namsan mountain, Everland Amusement Park, Bukchon Ancient Village to Nanta show, Chef show… Or the shopping malls with quality domestic brands and good prices as well as vast promotions. Or it could be film studios, museums of KPOP’s idols, Hallayu films and Oppa handsome guys. Now, let’s check it our Seoul travel blog (Seoul blog, Seoul trip blog) — The fullest Seoul travel guide blog for a wonderful budget trip to Seoul for the first time with Living Nomads below.
- Explore Common Ground Seoul — The concept mall you should visit when traveling to Seoul
- Seoul budget trip — 4 useful tips to visit Seoul on a budget
- Visiting Bukchon Village — One of the most beautiful villages in Seoul, South Korea
- Seoul cherry blossom — Top 9 best places to see cherry blossoms in Seoul
- Busan blog — The fullest Busan travel guide & suggested Busan itinerary on how to spend 3 days in Busan, South Korea
Seoul blog: When is the best time to visit Seoul?
Like other regions of South Korea, the capital of Seoul has a temperate climate, with hot and humid in the summer and the rainy season lasting from June to September. In the summer, August is very hot, the weather is quite cold in the winter with temperatures range from -10 degrees Celsius to 1 degree Celsius. You can visit Seoul at any time of the year, but the best time to travel to Seoul is in the spring from early March to late May because this season is cherry blossoms season, the weather is pleasant, very beautiful and romance or from September to November, when the weather is mild.
Seoul travel blog: How to get to city center of Seoul from Incheon Airport
If you fly from Vietnam, the airport you will land in is Incheon. If you continue going to Jeju Island you will have to get to Gimpo Domestic Airport. From Incheon there are many ways to get to the city center of Seoul. The most popular and cheapest are the means of transport below.
AREX Train: The fastest and most efficient means of transport between Incheon International Airport and downtown Seoul. There are two types of AREX: The AREX Express running the whole route, no stop from the airport to the city in about 43 minutes and the Arex All Stop Train type which stop at every station, it takes about 56 minutes to an hour to reach Seoul center.
KAL Limousine bus: The bus takes you further into areas of the city of Seoul, with many different destinations spread across the center of Seoul. Be assured to sit in your chair and relax, and waiting for your stop point.
Airport Taxi: Recommended when traveling in groups of 3 or 7 people. The price is high but it is convenient in case you have lots of luggage and take you directly to the hotel.
Seoul blog: Where to stay?
Depending on budget you can choose a lot of areas to stay. Here are some areas:
Budget: Dorm rooms in Hongdae and Myeongdong areas.
Medium: Hotels in Bukchon Ancient Village, or hotels in Hongdae and Myeongdong areas.
Luxury: Hotels in Gangnam area.
Seoul blog: Top Seoul points of interest, top travel experiences, top things to do, best places to visit, and top activities in Seoul
Top sightseeings, best places to visit in Seoul
Everland: Everland is the first theme park in Korea with 5 main themes, an exciting travel destination that helps you explore the history, culture and festivals of five continents.
Lotte World: It will brings you to the world class entertainment with countless outdoor and indoor activities and spectacular parades and shows.
Hanwha Aqua Planet 63: An area of 5.630 square meters and aquariums that simulate ocean habitats from around the world.
63 Tower Observatory: Also known as Hanhwa 63 City, is a skyscraper on Yeouido Island, which has beautiful views of the Han River (Hangang river) and Seoul City.
N Seoul – Namsan Tower: With an high of 479.7 meters, the telecommunication and observation tower is located at the top of Namsan Mountain, is the highest point in the middle of Seoul.
MBC World is a Hallyu theme park that has 3 activity zones and is the only stopover for everything related to the Korean entertainment industry.
Dragon Hill Spa: includes outdoor swimming pool, with various different temperature bathrooms, sauna, massage and exfoliation, sleeping area, and many other services.
Gangchon Rail Bike Seoul: Cycling on the old train railways and experience a funny trip in the beautiful countryside of Gangwon-do.
Running Man Thematic Experience Center: Trying to become a Running Man and experience the game based the world-famous TV show.
Seoul travel guide blog: Museums, palaces, top cultural attractions in Seoul
Unique museums: Seoul has a system of museums “unlike any others” from the Love Museum, the 18+ non-children’s museum, to Poo Poo Land where you’ll see the art of “waste of people”; Teddy Bear Museum, Kimchi Museum, etc…
Grevin Living Waxwork Museum Seoul: With 88 wax sculptures of famous stars are loved around the world.
Trick Eye Museum: One of the first visual deception museums in Asia and one of the leading museums in Asia.
Hire and take pictures with Hanbok: Traditional Korean costumes’s Hanbook clothes are rented at affordable prices, which will be a great choice for capturing shimmering photos. Some Hanbok rental places such as: N Seoul Tower Cultural Hanbok, Oneday Bukchon Seoul, Gyeongbok-gung…
Five Palaces: Includes Gyeongbok, Changdeok, Changgyeong, Deoksu and Gyeonghui. Gyeongbok Palace is the largest palace and most visited. If you come here around 10am, you can be seen the exchange of guards ceremony with actors in the traditional costumes of the Joseon Dynasty.
Bukchon Ancient Village: Built more than 600 years ago with a unique architecture with a rustic but solid style and harmonious interior decoration.
Ikseon-dong Ancient Village: Where young contemporary artists together revamp hannok roofs, turning them into cafes, restaurants and cultural complexes.
Seochon Ancient Village: With its crooked houses and alleyways creating a labyrinth of fun, along with unique antique shops and souvenirs.
The live shows must definitely be seen in Seoul
Nanta show: Nanta comedy cooking show is well-known throughout the world, blending perfectly the music with the talent of transforming kitchen’s tools into the unique performance equipment.
Fireman show is the latest and most unique show in Seoul showing the strength, hard training and proud work of firefighters.
Chef show: a great journey into the kitchen with non-verbal performances that people can easily understand and participate in.
The Painters: Hero Show Seoul: A unique performance combining the soul-blowing skills of painters and the humorous mix of music, dance and comedy.
JUMP Show Seoul: 80 minutes amazing performances by artists with acrobatic skills, martial arts make a funny show for the whole family to enjoy together.
Pang Show: Enjoy the Pang show on E-LAND cruise, a perfect show combining with the view and experience of toast.
Seoul blog: Nightlife and shopping in Seoul
Hongdae: According to Seoul travel guide blog, Hongdae is the most worthy area, with bustling nightlife streets with bars, pubs, nightclubs, night restaurants and shopping at popular shopping outlets in the “college village” of Hongdae.
Dong Daemun Plaza (DDP): The complex shopping with all types of shops, cafes, … In addition, outside DDP there is the famous LED rose garden in “The star brings him to” will be light up every night.
Insadong: Insadong has alleys with beautiful houses, art and culture centers, street food, along with Ssamzigil – where you can buy souvenirs, pictures, pottery, etc.
Seoul blog: Seoul suggested itinerary for 5 days 4 nights
Flying a night flight to Incheon Airport, Korea. Arriving in Korea on the early morning, take the AREX train to the downtown Seoul. Check in your hotel, rest.
Day 1: Visit Gyeongbok-gung Palace, The Green House, Hanok Bukchon Ancient Village
Morning: Visit Gyeongbok-Gung – watching the ceremony of change guards. Getting to the Blue House for taking some photos. Lunch. Take the MRT train to Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), down to Exit 1 or Exit 2, walking about 300 meters to Bukchon Hanok Village.
Evening: Going to the Gwanghwamun Square and the Cheonggyecheon Artificial Stream
Day 2: Have fun at Everland, have lunch at Everland. Afternoon, watch the Cookin’ Nanta show.
Day 3: Daylight: Visiting Nami Island. At night: strolling in Myeongdong street.
Day 4: Daylight: Visit Digital Media City (DMC) – Haneul Park – Ewha Girls’ High School. Evening: Visit Hongdae Market.
Day 5: Shopping in Namdaemun, visit the Gangnam or Dongdaemun street.
Seoul travel guide blog: What and where to eat in Seoul?
These are some foods that you have to try in Seoul according to our Seoul travel experience:
Hanjeongsik: The set of portion rice but not as simple as the Vietnamese portion rice set, it is quite similar to the Japanese Kaiseki cuisine with small plates full of foods. A portion of rice is include of many vegetables, meat is cooked in a variety ways of baked, steamed, and definitely must have hot pot and kimchi salted.
Bossam: The fresh pork bacon slices are boiled with pear or apple’s juice, add a little onion and Doenjang soy sauce. The meat dish after cooked must be yellow, clear fat and fatty. Bossam served with raw vegetables such as salads, napa cabbage, white radish kimchi or napa cabbage kimchi and samjjang sauce.
Jokbal: Pig’s trotters are stewed with soy sauce, ginger, garlic and rice wine. Another version of Jokbal is grill instead of stew. This dish is also served with salads or kimchi and samjjang sauce.
Makguksu: Noodles made from buckwheat (Buckwheat noodle), slightly ivory and strange taste. Noodles served in rolls, so will be called makguksu (mak is circle), served with pear, kimchi slices and special sauce.
Kongguksu: Cold noodles served with broth made from soy milk (Soy milk noodle soup), add a little of kimchi, cucumbers to create a sense of elegance, gentle, suitable for the hot days.
Jjolmyeon: Noodles mixed with noodles are placed in a bowl with shredded vegetables, add a little bean sprouts and a boiled egg and a spicy sauce. When eating, you will mix ingredients and enjoy.
Jaengban guksu: “Tray noodles” with rolled noodles presented along with various kinds of vegetables from sweet, hot, bitter, sour, spicy like cabbage, napa cabbage, carrot, cucumber, raw vegetables , … The dish served with bold tasty sauce.
Jjajangmyeon black soy sauce noodle: Noodles mixed with seafood, meat, and chopped vegetables added with black soy sauce to create a catch eyes noodles dish but have a little bit of tough and strong taste.
Jjamppong: Noodles served with seafood soup such as mussels cooked with napa cabbage and extremely spicy chili sauce to create a very spicy noodles dish.
Tteokbokki: Korean traditional rice cakes, with traditional flavor are rice cakes fried with bean sprouts, onions, mushrooms, carrots, western onions and spicy chili sauce served with beef or octopus.
Korean BBQ: Korean Barbecue is a national dish that must try when visiting to Korea. A Korean barbecue “meal” will consist of different types of meat. There are usually sliced fresh side pork bacon: Samgyeopsal (thin slices), Daepae Samgyeopsal (very thin slices), Ogyeopsal (5 layers, thick fat, fatty slices), and Byjjip Samgyeopsal and Kaljip Samgyeopsal (thick slices, carving pineapple eyes to spice up the meat and easy to
ripen); pork ribs…
Bibimbap: Extremely famous rice mixed, Korea’s No.1 specialties, whoever has to eat with rice, shredded vegetables, minced meat and a delicious egg.
San-nakji: Fresh octopus or squid, this is the most unique dish in Korea and is what a dish that not everyone dares to try, but the taste is extremely fresh and sweet.
The best budget eat places in Seoul
South Korea has never been famous for saving meals at an average price of 10,000 won per meal. However, you can find a lot of options to eat full of stomach and still Korean standard in the following areas:
Sidewalks food/ street food stalls: always are the most popular choice for any traveler. You can easily find Tteokbokki, noodles, or skewers on a budget price.
Hongdea University Village: Student Village also means that student price is good, suitable for you to have delicious meals that are not too “fire wallet”.
Haemul-won kalguksu: Located in the Dongmyo area, seafood noodles with kimchi and salty broth is one of the delicious kalguksu restaurants that cost only about 3500 won.
Bulgogi Baekban: This restaurant sells traditional Korean lunch with beef rice. Before cooking meat is marinated with soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and black pepper to create a spicy, warm and attractive fragrance. The price of one serving is 5000 won.
Meals from convenience stores: Sounds may not appealing, but a lunch or rice biscuit, bibibap in the South Korean convenience stores are the solutions to eat full stomach, cheap and quality.
Gwangjang Market: Famous for Korean typical dishes, most notably Mayak Gimbap and 1001 other dishes like rice cakes, items grilled, seafood … with good prices.
Noryangjin Fish Market: Famous fish market in Seoul, with famous and “scary” dish, but also worth trying is san-nakji — raw live octopus cut into piecs, fresh to each tentacles. You can also try abalone, oyster and king crab. All these items are bought and processed at the
market. You can bargain for the seafood and then rent cooking for about 20,000 (cooking fee).
Dongdaemun Grilled Fish Street: Grilled fish street in Dongdaemun with all kinds of saltwater fish, fresh water in all sizes are marinated with 1001 spices and special sauces to create a whole fish grilled street with extremely diverse menu but just step on you would not want to come out.
Namdaemun Market and Myeongdong: Not the most famous places for food, but the food carts / sidewalks stalls in these two markets will not make you disappoint.
Delicious japchae noodles at Namdaemun.Gogung Bibimbap: As one of the most famous restaurants that is highy rated by CNN, the main dish served by the restaurant is the bibimbap with two types of Jeonju style bibimbap in a gold bowl or dolsot bibimbap (돌솥 비빔밥) in a clay hot pot . The price for a portion of about 11,000 won.
Mapo Sutbul Galbi (마포 숯불 갈비) in Nonhyun-dong: The premier barbecue pork ribs restaurant is loved by many Korean stars for about 30,000 won per person.
Seoul’s Hairtail Alley: The famous dish is the spicy hairtail beef soup, which costs about 21,000 won for a portion.
Seocho Myeonok located in Seocho-dong with Galbi jjim pork ribs or beef stew with special sauce, fresh vegetables and a bit of shop secret. As a result is the dish costs 35,000 won.
La Yeon: The 3-star Michellin restaurant with traditional Korean cuisine but no less delicate and artistic.
Other 2 Star Michellin Restaurants: Gotgan, Kwon Sook Soo, Pierre Gagnaire
1 star Michellin restaurants: Alla Prima, Baloyo Gongyang, Bicena, Bo Reum Soei, Dining in Space, Hamo, Jin Jin, Jungsik, Keunkiwajip, Kojima
Seoul blog: Useful information when traveling to Seoul
Korean visa: Visa application fee: $US20. According to Seoul travel guide blog, you must pay in US dollars, so you should be prepared before to go.
Korean SIM: With 4G Korean SIM received at Incheon Airport you will be spoiled for surfing the Internet, searching information, sharing your travel photos with friends easily with unlimited high speed 4G LTE connection with KT Olleh provider. Or if you go to a large group you may consider renting Korean wifi box.
For convenience transporting you can buy T-money card (works similar to the Ez link of Singapore and Octopus of Hong Kong). The price of this card is about 2500 won and can be purchased at Incheon Airport.
Are you finding more top things to do in Seoul: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out at here.