Useful Travel Tips To Discover Magical Seoul
Pack your walking shoes and discover magical Seoul, South Korea together. For the last five years I have been traveling to South Korea for business. Here are some of my favorite places and things to do in between meetings and on weekends.
~ When arriving to Incheon Airport, you can buy a SIM card or get a portable WiFi pod. Most cafes and restaurants offer WiFi but having a portable WiFi is convenient, especially when walking around the city.
~ Google Maps do not work that well since Korea uses Naver Map but it’s only available in Korean language.
~ Most Koreans use Kakao Talk as the most popular communication App.
~ The public transportation is reliable and outstanding in Seoul. Buses have their own designated lanes and run efficiently. The subway lines are one of the most extensive routes in Asia. Make sure to download the Seoul Subway map. It’s quicker to get around using public transit then using taxis.
Things to do and see
~ Cheonggyecheon Stream
Located in downtown Seoul, 11 km historical walking area.
I admire what the city did to revive the area as it symbolizes a successful urban renewal project for people to enjoy.
My favorite neighborhood, located in Sinsadong and Gangnam. Garson-Gil in Korean language means ‘tree-lined street’. What I love most are the little shops and cafes in the area. When the weather is nice enough, it’s lovely to sit on a patio or alternatively sit inside by the window to people watch.
An area where many university students & younger adults hang out. It’s a fun and lively place to explore. And also a great place to people watch.
~ Bukchon Hanok Village
Another favorite neighborhood to discover and see traditional Korean homes. Tourists can also dress up in traditional Korean hambuks (dresses) and take photos.
An expat area with lots restaurants and bars. Itawan is where the main U.S. Army base was located.
~ Gyeongbokgung & Changdeokgung Palaces
They are both iconic sights and historical city jewels that were built during the Joseon Dynasty.
Gyeongbokgung Palace was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. What I learned is that the palace was burned down during the Japanese invasion of 1592, it was reconstructed in 1867.
Changdeokgung Palace is the best preserved of the remaining Joseon palaces and the second oldest in Seoul.
~ Myeongdong Neighborhood
Is a major shopping tourist attraction to purchase clothes and Korean cosmetics.
~ North Seoul Tower
Commonly known as the Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower. The tower is a communication and observation tower, located on the Namsan Mountain.
~ Leeum Samsung Museum
Holds Korean and International modern & contemporary art collection. Personally, I found the International contemporary collection to be safe but I still enjoyed it since I needed a dose of artistic inspiration. They also hold an attractive traditional Korean art collection.
~ Dongdaemum Design Plaza
Designed by visionary and renowned architect, Zaha Hadid, a place where they hold special exhibition and events. The first time I visited DDP was in September 2014, to attended Coco Chanel exhibit and loved the architecture and space.
~ Jung Sik Dang, is pricey but an exquisite culinary experience for contemporary Korean cuisine. You will not be disappointed. They also have another location in New York in my old neighborhood.
~ Maple Tree House for mouthwatering and healthy Korean BBQ. There are three locations in Seoul
~ Vatos Urban Tacos located on Garosu-gil. Try the yummy kimchi tacos
~ Chez Maak offers a good makgolli selection and serves delicious casual comfort food. There are more than one location in the city.
Where is your favorite place in Seoul?