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10 More Must See Places in Seoul for First Timers

Posted: 5 March 2019

A few weeks ago, we published an article about 10 must see places in Seoul for First timers.

 

I’ll be honest, selecting 10 from a list of many different hopeful destinations in Seoul was difficult. In fact, it’s impossible. And this is why, since we know there’s more than 10, we’ve created another list of ten more must see places that you should check out during your first visit to Seoul, South Korea.

Let’s go!

 

1) Namdaemun Market

Just a stroll from famous Myeongdong is Namdaemun, the largest of traditional markets in Seoul. It has over 10,000 shops selling affordable, budget-friendly items, including Korean trinkets that you could take home as souvenirs.

 

There are two ways to venture Namdaemun. First by getting a map from the information booth, and second, as we prefer it, by just getting yourself lost through the alleyways.

 

This shopping center has many things to offer. Here you’ll find an assortment of souvenirs like magnets, keychains, wallets, uniquely designed bookmarks and more. You’ll even find cute gift wrappers and other paper products. They even have a building that sells anything from shoes, clothes, kids clothes, jewelry, Korean cosmetic accessories, foreign products and all kinds of dry fruits and nuts. Namdaemun is a budget friendly shopping destination.

 

If you like haggling, you can do it here as sellers will give discounts to buyers.

 

Namdaemun is also a good place to experience Korean food as there are lots of food stalls in the area. From fluffy Hottoek (Korean pancake), yummy Mandu (dumplings), hot and savory Kalguksu and Boribap (knife cut noodle soup), you’ll never run out of goodies to try. Food sellers even give free taste to tourists so don’t be shy, and try those delicious snacks when offered freebies.

 

If you’re looking for a cultural experience, visiting a traditional market like Namdaemun should be part of your list.

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2) Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)

Dongdaemun Design Plaza is an architectural marvel located in the heart of Seoul. It is the world’s largest atypical architecture, which means it’s very unusual. The two main buildings serve as a venue for conventions, trade shows, exhibits, concerts, and performances.

 

This is a kid friendly place as well. If you have children with you, bring them in the kid friendly zones where they can role play, make DIY art projects and mingle with other kids.

 

For art enthusiasts, the Design Lab building is for you. It houses creative product exhibits and shops. The Design Market houses shopping centers catered for families. Outside the buildings, especially at night, cool street carts sell a variety of food items and drinks. One of the cart there even sells glowing drinks

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3) Samcheongdong

If you’ve watched the K-drama Goblin, it is in Samcheongdong where Kim Shin and Eun Tak cross paths under the rain. Many fans have recreated that iconic scene here. You too can recreate the scene.

 

It’s also the perfect place to have a romantic stroll. They have beautiful street murals and art here. Café’s and restaurants abound in this area. Buildings and shops architecture here varies from modern, contemporary, western and traditional Korean. Beautiful and colorful trees are in full bloom during spring. It adds to the romantic and aesthetic feel of Samcheongdong.

4) Ewha Womans University Shopping District (EDAE)

Having a school tour in Seoul may not be in your bucket list, but you shouldn’t miss Ewha Womans University.

 

The school’s architectural landscape is gorgeous. It’s like Europe landed in Seoul. It’ll feel like you have walked into one European town. The gardens here are beautiful. Perfect for selfies. 

 

The school houses the Ewha Campus Complex, which is Korea’s largest underground campus. The entrance to the complex is like straight out of future and the walls are made of glass and steel. Very Instagrammable. 

Outside Ewha Womans University is Ewha Shopping Street. It’s a fashionista haven. It has many trendy shops, especially for ladies. Cosmetics, accessories, bags, and shoes are sold here. It’s also affordable and bargain friendly.

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5) Hongik University Street (Hongdae)

Hongdae is the youth culture center of Seoul. If you are a young soul looking for some energetic vibe, then this street is for you.

 

Most of the shops are open and buzzing at night until 11PM. Bars and restaurants are the usual for night life, But coffee shops also abound in this area. If you’re a KDrama fan, you may recognize some of the coffee shop brands here. There are some with very unique themes. There’s even one that has that barn vibe.. with live sheep. Baaaa.

 

If you love to sing, you’ll definitely find a Noraebang (Karaoke) place here. But if you’re like most everyone else who go to Hongdae, watching the performances by students and street performers can be enjoyed in Hongdae at night. Hey, maybe one of those boy or girl groups you get to watch will debut very soon.

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6) Gwanghwamun Square

Gwanghwamun Square is an iconic place in Seoul. It’s a wide area located in the middle of the road opposite of Gyeongbok palace. So if you’re visiting Gyeongbokgung, take time to pass here too since it’s just right in front of the main palace gate.

 

What’s so special about this open space, you ask? The statues of two influential people in Korea’s history stands tall here. Near the palace is the marvelous golden statue of King Sejong the Great, the fourth King of Joseon dynasty, famous for creating Hangeul, Korea’s alphabet system. With the beautiful Bukhansan mountain in the background adds to it’s majesty, it’s a very post-card-ish scene. Walk towards the south and you’ll see the fierce-looking statue of Admiral Yi Sunshin.

 

This big open space used to occupy 10 lanes (out of 16) worth of traffic, until the government decided to turn it into an pubic area in 2009. It has since been a landmark, and kind of a mini-park, at the center of Seoul. It’s great for slow walks and just admiring the uniqueness of this city.

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7) Seoul Grand Park

Seoul Grand Park is one of the largest parks in Seoul.

 

There are several theme areas. If you are with your family, head over to Seoulland. This is an amusement park within a park. Mild rides for kids to more extreme rides for adults are available. There are over 40 different roller-coasters for you and your family to enjoy.

 

During spring season, they have the lovely Tulip Festival inside the park. You also get to see cute mascots and colorful float parades under the blooming cherry blossoms. It’s a great view to catch it with familia.

For couples and solo travelers, Seoul Grand Park has different gardens to explore. Walk through the colorful flowers, trees, and plants in the Botanical Garden. Recharge with mother nature inside the Forest Bathing Park. It’s literally a breath of fresh air coupled with beautiful sceneries. For full immersion with nature, there’s a camping area available.

 

In Seoul Grand Park, there’s always something to do for everyone.

8) Changgyeonggung Palace

Changgyeonggung Palace is one of the five grand places of Seoul. It’s located east of Gyeongbokgung. It was built originally as a retirement palace for the previous king, but later served as the royal residence for the queen and combines.

 

Today, it’s a historic tourist attraction. Like Gyeongbok Palace, it’s not just a place to learn about the history and culture of Korea, but we also recommend it as a scenic spot to view the beautiful cherry blossoms during spring time. The Chundangji Area is where you want to go. It consists of two ponds and it’s where you’ll find the prettiest cherry blossoms in the palace. Stroll around and be amused.

 

Be sure to wear a Hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) before entering the palace. It adds to the Korean culture immersion experience.

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9) Seoul Children's Grand Park

Seoul’s Children’s Grand Park is a certified family friendly park. They have amenities catered to children and families. Bring your kids to enjoy the huge playground. There’s a zoo in there too. It’s perfect for those who love furry and cuddly animals. There are lions, tigers, seals, cows, polar bears and many more. They have pony and camel-riding activities there too.

 

During spring, many flowers and trees are blooming in the park. It’s a great spot for cherry blossom viewing. You can have family picnics here too.

 

Oh, and if you happen to be there between April and October, check out the musical and rainbow fountain show that they have during those months.

 

It’s a family get-away at Seoul’s Children’s Grand Park.

10) Digital Media City

Kdrama and Kpop fans! Digital Media City should be on your list! This futuristic district in Seoul is the home to Korea’s media, entertainment, and technology companies.

 

Grab your fellow k-drama friends and family and take a tour around known broadcast networks SBS, MBC, and CJ E&M which are all closeby.

 

If you’re interested in a drama set experience, check out MBC World. And if watching live shows is your jam, queue up on a Thursday afternoon at the CJ E&M building for the Meet M!Countdown, a very popular Kpop charts show. If you’re early enough, you might be able to enter as one of the live studio audiences.

There are other things to do here too. Find the star and hand print of your favorite Korean actors in Star Park. It’s Seoul’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 

DMC is also is filled with outdoor art installations and some interesting architecture that’s Instagram perfect. This in itself is already a worthwhile reason to go. The art pieces are quite futuristic, no wonder some scenes of the Avengers: Age of Ultron film was shot here.

 

It’s definitely a world class media district.

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That is the end of our list. We hope it helps you decide which places you should go to during your first visit to Seoul, Korea.

 

Enjoy traveling!