First of all, we are aware that 48 hours in South Korea’s beautiful capital is not nearly enough, but sometimes you’re on a time budget so we decided to put together this list of great things to fill your days in Seoul with. Seoul is a city where old meets new – you can find both ancient palaces and modern skyscrapers, new clothes as well as vintage ones and villages close to the busy big city life.
So, are you ready to experience this fusion of fantastically fun things and spend 48 hours packed with great, exciting things to do in Seoul? You’d better be, because here we go!
Pro Tip: Get the subway app on your phone, because the subway is the most convenient way to get around, but can be a bit tricky to get your head around at first.
Are you as excited as we are to experience all the loveliness that Seoul has to offer? Fantastic! And you’d better put on some comfy shoes, because it’ll be a busy first day!
Entering Bukchon Hanok Village is like stepping into an urban, Korean settlement from 600 years ago. This traditional village is full of beautiful hanok (traditional Korean houses), pretty brick walls and gorgeously decorated roofs. The view is not too shabby either: from the small alleyways you can see the whole city in all its splendor. In other words, you might want to get your insta feed ready for some great material.
For an even greater view, believe it or not, of the city, take a cable car up to Mount Namsan and go up the N Seoul Tower. From here the city below looks like it’s made up of miniature buildings and even tinier cars, and if you catch the sunset, it will turn into a sea of sparkling, twinkling lights. What an amazing experience.
When darkness has fallen, it’s a good time to sit down, relax and fill your belly up with food so aromatic that your nostrils will dance with joy. At Ose Gye Hyang you can get mouth watering fried dumplings, veggie barbecue and load after load of deliciously seasoned vegetable and noodles – all in a cozy, homely environment. Pretty good way to finish your first day, don’t you think?
Start the day off like so many of the locals: with a quick, cheap bite from one of all the street stalls, or pojangmacha. Don’t hesitate to order toast though, because in South Korea that’s a sandwich stuffed with shredded cabbage, a special sauce and other goodies. You can also get dumplings and fried rice – all while saving a lot of time!
South Korea has an abundance of shopping malls great for finding whatever you need – if you’re into cosmetics, you’re gonna feel like you’re in heaven – but markets are usually where you get the most authentic experience.
This is a perfect example of a traditional, Korean market, with lots of interesting and fascinating objects for sale. Have a look at clothes, hats or carpets from all over the country or browse through toys, accessories and flowers. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a scene that can’t be found anywhere else – and with 10,000 retailers and vendors, you won’t have time to look at everything, anyway.
Everything gets better when there’s food involved, right? This market is all about food, so it must be at the top of everyone’s list. Other than noodles and dumplings, from these amazing stalls you can get some lovely kimchi, try some tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), hotteok (sweet pancakes) and kimbap (seaweed rice rolls). This is a feast for both eyes and taste buds, that you really shouldn’t miss.
Seoul is a modern city, but you can also find places that pay tribute to an ancient tradition: drinking tea. Other than fantastic hot beverages, you may also find ice cream, milkshakes or even noodles containing the green tea that is so popular. At The Moonbird Only Thinks of the Moon you can munch on delicious, beautiful sweet treats while enjoying your tea in an environment filled with old kitchen tools and oil lamps. Gorgeous.
There’s no better way to spend your last day in Seoul than paying a visit to some of the dazzling palaces – Changdeokgung, for example, is one of the Five Grand Palaces and has been the favorite one among many of the princes of the Joseon Dynasty, who built the palaces in the first place.
Possibly the best of its kind in South Korea, this museum really is the perfect way to soak in the culture of the country, both present and past. See items from both medieval and prehistoric times, get amazed by the fantastic calligraphy and painting that has been mastered so well, and admire art from all over Asia.
You can easily find theme and amusement parks in Seoul – have a look at Everland – but this is something slightly different: an abandoned park, where carousels, tea cups and other attractions are seemingly waiting to get the chance to amuse some children, even though the park has been closed for over a decade. So, you won’t be able to go on any rides, but this eerie yet nostalgic place is perfect for some unique insta photos.
Auf Wiedersehen, see you later, gorgeous city of Seoul! If you’re anything like us, you can’t wait to go back to this city once you’ve had a taste of everything amazing it has to offer. You haven’t even been to a sauna yet! Please let us know if you’d add something to our list of Seoul activities by commenting below!