Seoul is a great destination for travelers, Hallyu enthusiasts, foodies, families and barkadas. Here are a few fun, unique, budget-friendly things to do in the capital of South Korea!
I don’t know about you, but my favorite trips are the ones that aren’t so wild, crazy, and exhausting, but aren’t too relaxed either. I don’t want to camp or kayak, nor do I want to just spend all day lounging around in a hotel room. Exploring cities is where it’s at for me, and I assume for many people as well. Seoul was perfect then, in that it’s chill enough to warrant a simple stroll but busy enough to be enjoyably lively. South Korea has been steadily rising in popularity as a must-visit place, and whether you’re solo-tripping or spending time with family or friends, it’s a great place to put on your travel bucket list.
We spent five days in Seoul, staying in the Myeong-dong area—a busy, tourist-y area of the city that had plenty of shops, restaurants, landmarks, and places to explore. And while going to Seoul is the dream for many, the funds required to do so is no joke. Plane tickets, in this economy? But if you spent most of your money getting there, worry not, because while trips are expensive, there are plenty of things to do in Seoul that’s totally worth it but are definitely not a waste of money. Scroll down for some of them.
GO ON THE ULTIMATE STREET FOOD TRIP
Myeongdong is in full strength with winter street foods!😋— VisitKorea (@KoreanTravel) January 4, 2023
Too many to choose from, which winter street food would you recommend?🤔
Everyone says to do it—and they’re right. Street food, particularly in Myeong-dong, offers a wide variety of excellent food from full meals to desserts, steak to tanghulu, chicken skewers to souffle pancakes, cheese tteok-kocchi to Korean marshmallow ice cream. When the streets come alive at night with lights, food stalls, locals, visitors, and all sorts of delicious scents waft through the air, you can bet you’ll find yourself walking around with armfuls of food and even little trinkets, stuffing your face with all the delicacies available.
GET ACORN CARICATURES
Acorn Caricature (@uncles_painting on Instagram) has plenty of branches around Korea. I saw it go viral on social media before we went to Seoul, and luckily, I spotted one near where we stayed—a storefront and bench decorated with their signature yellow and bold marker caricatures on a small street in Myeong-dong.
There, my sister and I sat for at most five minutes as we got our caricatures done (9000 KRW per person or around 386 pesos) and chatted with the sweet Korean artist who mentioned that she visited Mactan, Cebu back in 2015. The caricatures were well-made and adorable, and it’s definitely a fun, cute experience to have!
Okay, maybe this one will do some damage to your wallet. But we won’t blame you if you spend hours shopping in Seoul’s underground malls, particularly in the Myeong-dong Underground Shopping Center. You can access the basement shopping center from the Myeong-dong Station Line 4 Exits. The “mall” offers everything from the latest Korean fashions to K-pop merchandise for affordable prices—definitely more affordable than the shops or department stores aboveground. Score deals here on trendy knitwear, shoes, down jackets, albums and photocards, and so much more.
TAKE PHOTOBOOTH PICTURES
What’s a Gen Z trip without endless new and creative ways to take photos? Photobooths dot the streets of the city (there’s even one up on Namsan Park near the N Seoul Tower), so you can take so many photos and get them designed however you want!
There are even photobooths with unique, distinct brandings like DON’T LXXK UP. There, the photos are taken from a high angle for an edgy, youthful set of photos where you can look your coolest. Photobooths cost around 3,000 to 6,000 KRW and have a variety of styles, concepts, and designs to choose from.
EXPLORE THE NIGHTLIFE
City nightlife in Seoul is marked with bright lights and chilly wind in the fall. Make the most of it by taking a quick trip to Itaewon or similar bustling areas to check out the sights, bars, and restaurants frequented by the young people of Seoul!
RECREATE YOUR IDOLS’ PHOTOS
Whether it’s cycling along the Han River or eating at a famous restaurant, visiting places idols and actors have been to is a fun way for a K-pop or K-drama fan to spend some time in South Korea. Recreate your faves’ photos for selca days, or just for fun, and get a glimpse of why they love and enjoy these places in their home country.
HIKE UP TO N SEOUL TOWER
South Korea in the fall is stunningly picturesque. When the sun graces you with its presence and hits the green, yellow, orange, and red leaves just right, the city skyline is breathtaking. The N Seoul Tower in the heart of the city is a local landmark atop Namsan Mountain.
Did we get a little confused going there? Yes. Did we stumble upon a bridge that gave us a gorgeous view of the fall foliage and the tower without a lot of people around? Also yes. You can ride the subway or the bus to get to stations near the area and make your way up the mountain on foot (for free if you’re just planning on getting to the base of the tower), or take a taxi to get to the cable car station and ride up for around 14,000 KRW. There’s also a free shuttle from Myeong-dong Station Exit 1 or Seoul Station Exit 9. Get up there for panoramic views of the city and to see the “Locks of Love” placed around the plaza!
Photobooth photo in thumbnail used with permission.