Quick Guide to Seoul

Seoul

Your handy guide to plan your itinerary when you’re in Seoul.

Useful Apple Apps for download:

  1. Jihachul, Korea Subway Map [ iPhone | iPad

    Need help to plan the route to your destination? No dataplan is required to use this app. Recommended by most Koreans commuting by subway.


  2. Learn Korean Phasebook [ iPhone | iPad ]

    This apps provide basic phases that you need to communicate with the Koreans. A must have especially for haggling!


  3. I Tour Seoul [ iPhone ]

    This apps provide the official guidebook for places of interest in Seoul.


  4. Visit Korea [ iPhone ]

    Your personal guidebook to different regions of South Korea. If you decided to visit Busan. This might be useful.


  5. Filer Lite [ iPhone | iPad ]

    If you decided to keep your MsWord/MsExcel itinerary or document without using dataplan, this apps is useful! It allows you to view the documents from your phone  without using any network support.

Useful Websites:

Subway Real-time | Seoul MapOfficial Travel Guide

1. Transportation

Seoul Airport

From Incheon Airport, there are different means of transportation. From Airport Railroad Express (AREX), Seoul Metropolitan Subway, airport limousine buses, and taxis. Save 100 won for each trip if you use the T-money card to pay for the transportation fare.  Each card will cost you 2500 won and can be bought at any convenience stores.

Click here to read more on transportation in Seoul

2. Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung

Gyeongbokgung Palace is the most beautiful and the grandest. Built in 1935,  it is known as the Northern Palace because it is located on furthest north compared to the other 5 palaces. Without doubt, Gyeongbokgung is the must visit palace if you visit Seoul. Don’t forget to witness the change of guard ceremony at the palace ground.

Getting there:

Use exit #5 of Gyeongbokgung Station | Subway Line #3.

Opening Hours:

March to October 09:00-18:00 / November to February 09:00-17:00. Closed on Tuesday.

Admission Fee 3.000 won.

Gyeongbokgung Palace has 2 museums near its compound. The National Folk Museum and The National Palace Museum.

The National Folk Museum of Korea presents over 4,000 historical artifacts that were used in the daily lives of ordinary Korean people.

This is a free admission museum. Open everyday except Tuesday.

Operating hours as follows: March – October: 09:00 – 18:00
November – February: 09:00 – 17:00
May – Aug Saturdays & Sundays, holidays : 09:00 – 19:00

Click here for more on Gyeongbokgung Palace

3. N Seoul Tower

Namsan Tower

N Seoul Tower is located on Namsan Mountain, surrounded with flora and fauna, far from the hustle and bustle of city life. Completed in 1969, N Seoul Tower has been a landmark of Seoul and measures 236.7 m (777 ft) in height (from the base) and tops out at 479.7 m (1,574 ft) above sea level. Couples would also lock their padlocks at N Seoul Tower and throw away the key to symbolise that their love will be locked forever. The fastest and easiest way to reach the top is definitely by cable car.

Getting there:

Use Exit #3 of Myeongdong Station.

Upon exiting, turn left and you’ll see Pacific Hotel. Keep right as you walk up the hill and keep going after reaching the junction. Use Namsan Guest house as a landmark leading to the Cable Car station.

Category Cable Car Fare
Adult Round-Trip Fare 8,500 won
Adult One-Way Fare 6,000 won
Children or Senior Round-Trip Fare 5,500 won
Children or Senior One-Way Fare 3,500 won

Other options to Namsan Mountain:

Click to enlarge
Click image enlarge

N Seoul Tower observatory allows you to get a good 360 degree stunning view of Seoul.

Category Observatory Fee
Adult 8,500 won
Children, Elderly 6,000 won

Click here for more on N Seoul Tower

4. Nami Island

Nami Island

Nami Island is a small ‘doraemon pocket lookalike’ island situated 63km from Seoul in the middle of the Han River. This small charming Island is famous for the ‘Winter Sonata’ film locations back in 2002. Nami Island declared its cultural independence on March 1, 2006. Like other independent republics, Naminara Republic has its own national flag, anthem, passport, postage stamps, telephone cards, written characters, papers, and currency. Do not fret, passport is not required to get to the island but admission fee applies.

Getting to Gapyeong Wharf:

  • By rail, exit at Gapyeong station. Flag a cab at the Taxi Stand located right outside the station to Gapyeong Wharf. The cab fare will cost less than 3000 won.

  • There are Shuttle buses departing from Insadong and Namdaemun (w.e.f 1 Jan 2015).

    Depart from Insadong (Tour bus stop near Tapgol park) at 9.30am. Returning to Insadong from Nami Island at 4.00pm. To do so, you need to book your ticket in advance OR be there as early as 9.00am to purchase your tickets, subject to availability. Round trip will cost 15000 won per adult.


    Depart from Namdaemun. Sungnyemun Square Bus Stop (In front of Namdaemun Market) w.e.f 1 Jan 2015.


    Please refer here for more information.

Getting to Nami Island:

  • By Ferry at Gapyeong Wharf (Every 20-30 mins interval) 10,000 won for round-trip ferry fare & tax included in ticket price
  • Namiseom Zip Wire (Near Gapyeong Wharf) 38,000 won

Click here for more on Nami Island

5. Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggun Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace or “Palace of Illustrious Virtue was designated as UNESCO’s World Cultural Heiritage in 1997.

Getting there:

Use Exit #3 of Angguk Station. A 10 mins walk to the Palace.

Opening hours:

April–September: 09:00-18:30
October: 09:00-18:00
March & November: 09:00-17:30
December–February: 09:00-17:00

Admission Fee 3,000 won

Just next to Changdeokgung is Changgyeonggung. This palace compound can be access from Hamyangmun gate at Changdeokgung Palace with an entrance fee of 3000 won. Changgyeonggung palace served as residential quarters for queens and concubines.

Spot the first modern Western style greenhouse in Korea. Changgyeonggung Greenhouse was built in 1907 and remains indicative of the Victorian style that was prevalent during that time. With a true Renaissance-style fountain and labyrinthine garden occupying its front, the sharply pointed arch and window frames were made with long, thin wooden frames.

Click here for more on Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggun Palace

6. Cheonggyecheon Stream

SONY DSC

Cheonggyecheon Stream used to be one of Seoul’s biggest slum areas. Neglected in 1970 until it was restored in 2005, becoming a haven of natural beauty amidst the bustle of city life. The stream passes close to Deoksugung Palace, Seoul Plaza, the Sejong Center, Insa-dong Street, Changdeokgung Palace, and Changgyeonggung Palace.

7. Dongdaemun

Dongdaemun. A haven for fashion forward shopaholics. A tourist spot for late night shopping.

Use Exit #6 of Dongdaemun station

Click here for more on Dongdaemun

8. Myeongdong

Myeongdong a centre of shopping haven. There are a mixture of street stalls which opens in the evening and retail outlets selling everything from high fashion to casual attire as well as many Korean cosmetics stores offering high-quality products at competitive prices.

Use Exit #5 of Myeongdong Station

Click here for more on Myeongdong

9. Myeongdong

Namdaemun is more towards for the middle age group of women to shop! Prices here are relatively cheaper.

Use Exit #5 of Heohyeon station

Click here for more on Namdaemun

10. Iteawon

Iteawon is a popular ‘foreign’ neighbourhood in Seoul. Iteawon Night market and Seoul Central Mosque are located in the area. Plenty of Halal restaurants can be found here.

Use Exit #3 of Iteawon Station

Click here for more on Iteawon

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Other destinations: Auckland | Singapore | Paris | Shanghai | Tokyo |  Malaysia

 

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