With a history of over 600 years, Seoul is the heart and soul of South Korea, in terms of culture. We travelled to South Korea with the South Korea Tourism Board and here’s our take on some experiences you must-try to make the most of the city in just 5 days!
1. Shop At Seoul’s Busiest Myeongdong Market
Myeongdong is the busiest place in Seoul and is one the best picks for any shopaholic! There’s everything here, ranging from clothes to cosmetics, skincare to household items! With over 1 million shoppers passing through this area each and every day, this one’s a stunning shopping district. You’ll find mid-to-high priced retail stores and international brand outlets. There’s stores including Lacoste, H&M, Zara, Forever 21, Bulgari and Louis Vuitton. But our suggestion to making the best of this place, is opting for street shopping. You can bargain a lot and the items are extraordinary.
2. Visit Everland To Get An Adrenaline Rush
Being one of the biggest theme parks, the size itself can send you into a frenzy. Here are some quick tips & guidelines to keep in mind if you’re visiting Everland.
- Buy your tickets much in advance to avoid waiting in a line
- Avoid visiting the park on Korean thanksgiving day, summer vacations (Jul-Aug), Christmas & New Year
- Know the park before you begin to explore – Its divided in 5 zones – Global Fair, American Adventure, Magic Land, European Adventure, and Zootopia
- Take a note of programme timings if you don’t want to miss them and go a little in advance to catch a good seat
Parade: 2:30PM & 8:30PM at Carnival Square
Fireworks: 9:30PM at Seasons Garden
3. Watch The Entire City From A Glass Observatory
This one’s the World’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck in a building; it owns the world’s fastest elevator and did I mention their swimming pool located at 85th floor is the world’s highest swimming pool in a building? With 123 floors in total, this landmark is the home to Avenuel, the largest luxurious department store in Korea, Lotte duty free store, a shopping mall, HiMart, Lotte Mart, a cinema, an aquarium, a concert hall, a 6-star premium hotel, a high-end and prime office space for rent, residential units as well as a posh observatory which stretch across 5 floors. Yes! Watch the whole city from their glass observatory, right beneath your feet!
4. Be A Princess For A Day At Gyeongbokgung Palace
If you are a fan of K-drama and have watched women in colorful flared skirts, know that you can wear one too! At this palace, you can try out the Hanbok which is a traditional Korean outfit worn during festivities and weddings. You need to rent one (₩30,000 – ₩50,000) and as soon as you’re dressed, they’ll do your hair up. Once you are ready, you can enter the palace. If you wear a hanbok, entry to all historic places in South Korea is free of cost. Pose against the beautiful palace interiors or with other local women dressed like you.
5. Try A Ramen In Korea
What’s a trip to an Asian country without indulging in an Asian meal, more so, in a Ramen! In Seoul, there’s a camping area where you can do a Korean barbeque and have your spicy Ramen seated in the cool weather, under the stars. They have Ramen cooking machines, where you just have to place your Ramen bowl under it and it gets cooked.
6. Visit The Gangnam Square
Known to be one of the most expensive districts in all of South Korea, Gangnam district is where real estate prices are three and a half times the other areas. Psy had visited this place and done the most famous ‘Gangnam-style’ step that became a hit in 2012. Pose with his standees or just walk down the street to find all possible outfit brands.
7. Tie A Padlock On The Love Lock Bridge
When you visit the N Seoul Tower bridge, you’ll find a wall full of colorful padlocks where you can tie your own and lock your love forever. The locals here believe that tying a lock here means commitment and true love. The sight of the entire city behind the colorful wall, is a beautiful one to capture.
And here’s a quick tip:
If you’re buying anything from the Myeongdong Market or shopping anywhere else in Seoul, most of the stores at Myeongdong offer tax-free claims. Cashiers will give you 1 receipt and 1 tax refund slip in an envelope for every purchase of above at least 30 Korean Wons. You just need to show your passport or flight number to get them. The tax-free process takes you a bit of an effort at the airport or tax-free refund counters, but hey, it just maybe worth it!
Book your flight via Asiana Airlines to get good flight deals and offers and for direct flight options to Seoul’s Incheon airport if you’re boarding from Mumbai or Delhi.
*Our Curly Tales representative went on a FAM trip to South Korea, organised by South Korea Tourism Board*