6 Things to Do in Seoul | Beyond the Basics
Seoul, the bustling capital city of South Korea, is a vibrant hub of culture, entertainment, and history. If you're a seasoned traveller to Seoul and have already visited famous tourist spots like Gyeongbokgung Palace or Namsan Tower, then it's time to explore the city in a new way. Here are six things to do in Seoul that you won't want to miss.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I am not receiving any compensation for writing this. Any links included in this post are not affiliate links and I only include them for the reader's convenience. I am writing this because I want to share my experience with you.
1. Take a Korean Language Course
One of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in the culture of Seoul is to learn the language. Taking a Korean course will not only help you communicate with locals but also give you a deeper understanding of Korean customs and traditions. And what better way to learn than to be completely surrounded by the language?
💡 TIP: There are a lot of language schools offering language courses throughout the year. If you are not a complete beginner, you will undertake a placement test and be put in a suitable class level. Classes usually start at the beginning of the month but you might be able to join them halfway through as well.
I attended classes at Easy Korean Academy (한국어학원) in Gangnam for three weeks where I was placed in a level 2 group with around 5 other people. The academy uses its own books and provides you with relevant prints if you join a class in the middle of the running course.
2. Visit Kpop Exhibition
What better place to experience Kpop to the fullest, than in its’ home city Seoul is home to companies like SM Entertainment, Hybe JYP Entertainment, YG Entertainment and many more. Besides permanent exhibitions and experiences like (new) HYBE INSIGHTS and New Kwangya Seoul Flagship Store, look out for pop-ups and promotional exhibitions. It is almost guaranteed that if an NCT unit is having a comeback, there will be an interactive pop-up happening.
I visited NCT <DREAM VIBE> exhibition. There was an audioguide that guided you through the rooms where you were able to interact with different prompts and screens.
There were many photo ops where you could take photos but keep in mind that filming is usually not allowed at those events. There is of course a shop at the end with exhibition-specific merch and freebies available.
3. Get a Beauty Treatment
South Korea is known for its advanced skincare and beauty treatments, and Seoul is the perfect place to indulge in some self-care. From facials to body scrubs, botox, and less and more invasive treatments from the best doctors in the game - there are countless options for rejuvenation and relaxation.
As the competition is high and demand is plentiful, you can find treatments that would cost you pretty money back home for a ridiculously low price here.
💡 TIP: Check out the clinics' websites and social media profiles to find out if the staff there speaks English and to discover, which special offers are available for that time period. Shop around. And don’t forget to claim your tax back for an extra discount. ;)
4. Visit Eunpyeong Hanok Village (은평한옥마을)
You’ve probably heard of and visited Bukchon Hanok Village by now. If you want to experience the traditional setting of Korean Hanoks in a less busy environment, set half a day aside to visit Eunpyeong Hanok Village. Whereas Bukchon Village is a residential area, Eunpyeong Hanok Village has been planned by the City of Seoul as a historical, cultural and tourist site. Therefore, it was intended for tourism and you will not be disturbing the locals by sightseeing the area.
💡 TIP: Catch a bus 701 from Seoul Station. The ride takes about 41 minutes and drops you off right in front of the entrance.
💡 TIP: Do not miss a visit to Hanok-style cafe Cafe 1인1상 (1in 1sang) which offers a beautiful view over the village from its second-floor seating area. 📍Address: Cafe 1인1상 (1in 1sang), 서울 은평구 연서로 534 4층/5층 📸Instagram: @1in_1sang
5. Daytrip to Suwon (수원시)
Located just an hour away from Seoul, Suwon is a charming city that's perfect for a day trip. Visit the UNESCO-listed Hwaseong Fortress, explore the traditional Korean houses at the Korean Folk Village, or simply stroll through the picturesque streets of the city.
💡 TIP: Enjoy delicious Korean lunch at Granny’s Home (할머니네집) where the menu is written in a cute fairytale-themed notebook.
📍Address: 할머니네집, 경기 수원시 팔달구 정조로 868, 경기 수원시 팔달구 정조로 868
💡 TIP: For a snack, visit Butter Book (버터북 행궁점) and enjoy one of their tasty doughnuts.
📍Address: 버터북 행궁점, 주소보기경기도 수원시 팔달구 화서문로16번길 83 버터북
6. Attend a Kpop Concert
If you're a Kpop fan, attending a concert in Seoul is a dream come true. The city is home to several world-class music venues, and many of the biggest K-pop acts regularly perform here. It's an experience you won't forget! So make sure to check out who is scheduled to perform and make a game plan for the tickets. Many Kpop fans travel to Korea to see their favourite stars perform live. So tickets are often sold out or you must enter a special ballot to get them. Do your research!
In conclusion, Seoul has much more to offer beyond the typical tourist spots. These six activities are perfect for anyone looking to dive deeper into the city's culture, history, and entertainment. So, whether you're a language enthusiast, a beauty lover, or a K-pop fan, Seoul has something for you.