1. Seoul Tower
Seoul Tower sits on top of Namsan Mountain, from the observatory deck you can view the panoramic of Seoul city. At the courtyard at the base of the tower there is ‘locks of love spot, where you can put you love lock here also.
Visiting to this tower can be combine with a stroll around Namsan Park or the nearby Namsangol Hanok Village. The best time to visit is afternoon, just before the sunset because sunset from this top of Namsam Park is beautiful.
2. Visit the Demilitarized Zone
The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a buffer zone, captures the scars and wounds of the Korean war as well as the wishes and hopes for the future. You have to join a tour if you wish to visit this place especially if you want to visit the Joint Security Area, the 3rd tunnel and Dorasan Observatory.
The travel package quite expensive, it is start KRW 40.000 which is out of my budget, so I didn’t go on my last visit to Korea. You can take DMZ train to Imjingak for KRW 8.900, for this one you don’t need a travel agency.
3. Gyeongbokgung Palace
This palace is beautiful and also the largest of all five palace in Seoul. Don’t miss the guard changing ceremonial here, taking picture with the guards. In this complex you also can visit the National Palace Museum of Korea is located south of Heungnyemun Gate or the National Folk Museum located on the eastern side within Hyangwonjeong.
The palace’s rear garden is amazingly beautiful, it kept as natural as possible. It was used as a place of leisure by member of the royal family, the design of the gardens flows naturally with the surrounding nature. We visited this garden on the rainy day at the winter season, I wish I could visit it again on the autumn, I can visualize how beautiful it will be. Reserve your tour thru booking online because they limit people at every tour.
5. Bukchon Hanok Village
This is a Korean traditional village which show a 600-year house called “hanoks”, situated between Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung palace, you can walk from any of this palace. This Hanok Village actually a residential complex inhabited by local, we are strongly advised to keep the noise down, respect the peoples who living here. Pay a visit the information counter office, get the free map of this hanok village, you will find the best spot and place ‘you have to see’ in this village.
You also can find a hanok galleries where you can rent a hanbok and wandering around on that clothes, craft workshop and also hanok restaurant if you feel hungry.
6. Stay at Korean Traditional Spa
I believe you have watched many Korean drama, so you may have seen many Korean sometime sleep at the spa. I find it very interesting because there is no spa like this in Indonesia. For the entrance fee we paid, we can enjoy the free facility of the spa, like hot baths in many small pool with different benefit, sauna, sleeping room, entertainment area any more. There are some additional service you need to pay when you plan to do like massage, salon and etc.
7. Ihwa Mural Village and Naksan Park
Visitors to the village can enjoy the beautiful mural and sculptures in this hillside village. The buildings around this village is tiny and unique. Various staircase and walls are painted with beautiful and unique mural. Going up of the stairs will bring you up to Naksan Park, you will find the Seoul Fortess wall over there. Enjoy the Seoul panoramic from the top of the hill.
Update : Due to noise and disturbance caused by unrespectful visitor, some of resident feel annoyed and destroy some of mural, two of them are the staircase which painted with sunflower and another one is decorated with fish.
There are a lot of a unique shopping place in Seoul. In Insadong, you can find many Korean cultural items, traditional tea houses, art galleries and antique shops. There is one main road in Insadong with alleys on each side, within this alleys are the galleries and traditional restaurant, tea houses and also cafes. While in Hongdae district which popular for its youthful, cheap shopping area, unique cafes and also cheap guesthouse around. There are a lot of events helds here, culture, street performance and also festival.
Special street like ateliers’s street, Picasso street and Club street is the must-go place. Myeong-dong, one of the primary and best known shopping district in Seoul, a lot of brand name shop line the street and alleys. In person, I prefer to shop in Hongdae than Myeong-dong but they said, when you visit Seoul you have to go to Myeong-dong.
9. Cheonggyecheon stream
Cheonggyecheon stream passes close to Deoksugong Palace, Seoul Plaza and many major site, allowing visitors to easily visit after a leisure stroll of the stream. It has a path on both side of the stream, decorated with art, statue and special themes for events. It is nice to visit here during the day or night but at night we can enjoys the Candle Fountain with 4m high, two-tiered waterfall, located near the Cheonggye Plaza.
10. Lotte World
It is a recreation complex, consist of the world’s largest indoor theme park as a Guinness World Record. This is very huge, at least you have to spent one day in this theme park. We didn’t visit this last time because limited budget and limited time.
11. Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain
This is the world’s longest bridge fountain, the show play different during the day and night, check the schedule here. Unfortunately when I visited Seoul on March, this rainbow fountain is closed, it is operate April to October only.
There are a lot of theme café in Seoul, you can visit if you have a lot of time. There are a hello kitty café, LINE café, a cat café, dog café and many more.
Gangnam district is the third largest district in the city, it is also the high-rise district, also refer as the Beverly Hills of Seoul. You can find many luxury and designer stores over here. There are high-end bars, clubs and restaurant here, expect to pay much money in these area. You might meet your Korean artist in this area.
14. Eat Samgyetang at Tosokchon
This restaurant is very famous, because the late President Roh Moon-hyun come here frequently to have Samgetang. It is located near the Gyeongbokgung Station, expect to wait when you come here during lunch time.