Summary

Day 1
Arrive at Incheon International Airport
Royal Guard Changing Ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace
Dosirak Café Experience at Tongin Market
A Charming Stroll through Seochon Village
Tour of Samcheongdong-gil Road
Tour of Bukchon Hanok Village
Sightsee & Enjoy a Cup of Traditional Tea at Insa-dong
Night Scene and Dinner at Jongno
Day 2
View of Seoul from Jeongdong Observatory and Lunch Nearby
Photo Time at Gwanghwamun Square
Stroll along Cheonggyecheon Stream
Shopping in Myeong-dong
Night view of City Lights and Dinner at Namsan Seoul Tower
Day 1
08:00
Arrive at Incheon International Airport
Incheon International Airport - Show on Map
30 minutes

Incheon International Airport (IIA; Korean: 인천국제공항) (IATA: ICN, ICAO: RKSI) (sometimes referred to as Seoul–Incheon International Airport) is the largest airport in South Korea. It is the primary airport serving the Seoul Capital Area and one of the largest and busiest airports in the region. As of 2020, it has been rated as the world's fourth best and one of the cleanest airports by Skytrax along with Singapore Changi Airport and Tokyo Haneda Airport.

10:00
Royal Guard Changing Ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace
Gyeongbokgung Palace - Show on Map
1 hour 30 minutes

Gyeongbokgung (Korean: 경복궁; Hanja: 景福宮), also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Built in 1395, it is located in northern Seoul, South Korea. The largest of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon dynasty, Gyeongbokgung served as the home of Kings of the Joseon dynasty, the Kings' households, as well as the government of Joseon. Gyeongbokgung continued to serve as the main palace of the Joseon dynasty until the premises were destroyed by fire during the Imjin War (1592–1598) and abandoned for two centuries. However, in the 19th century, all of the palace's 7,700 rooms were later restored under the leadership of Prince Regent Heungseon during the reign of King Gojong. Some 500 buildings were restored on a site of over 40 hectares. The architectural principles of ancient Korea were incorporated into the tradition and appearance of the Joseon royal court. In the early 20th century, much of the palace was systematically destroyed by Imperial Japan. Since the 1990s, the walled palace complex is gradually being restored to its original form. On January 21, 1963, it was designated as a cultural property. Today, the palace is arguably regarded as being the most beautiful and grandest of all five palaces. It also houses the National Palace Museum and the National Folk Museum within the premises of the complex.

First on the itinerary is a visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace! It is the largest royal palace of the Joseon dynasty and an attraction not to be missed for anyone traveling in Seoul. Gyeongbokgung Palace is most notably characterized by the extensive palace grounds and an orderly arrangement of the palace buildings.

The greatest highlight of Gyeongbokgung Palace is the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony. It takes place twice a day, every day at 10:00 and 14:00, except on Tuesdays. The ceremony lasts for 20 minutes per session, so be on time to witness this noteworthy event. Once the ceremony is over, travel back in time by taking a tour of the palace, learning more about life in the royal palace during Joseon dynasty.

12:00
Dosirak Café Experience at Tongin Market
Tongin Traditional Market - Show on Map
1 hour 30 minutes
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Tongin Market is a traditional market in Tongin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul. Established in 1941, the market originally catered for local needs. Today it is home to around 75 stalls and shops such as sit-in restaurants, take-away street food and vendors of every-day goods. The market is located at 18, Jahamun-ro 15-gil, Jongno-gu in Seoul.

If you get hungry after visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace, then it’s time to head to Tongin Market. The market is especially famous for its gireum tteokbokki (stir-fried spicy rice cakes) and tteok galbi (grilled short rib patties). While you are here, make sure to visit “Dosirak Café,” or the “Lunchbox Café.” It is a fun culinary experience unique to Tongin Market, offering visitors the opportunity to pick and enjoy a wide variety of menu items by using traditional brass coins called yeopjeon.

14:00
A Charming Stroll through Seochon Village
Seochon Hanok Village - Show on Map
1 hour
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After an enjoyable lunch at Tongin Market, take a short walk to the nearby Seochon (literally translates to “western village”). It is a delightfully charming neighborhood located to the west of Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is how the name originated. The hanok houses here have a different charm from than those in Bukchon Hanok Village, blending in well with modern buildings that have sprang up throughout the village over the years. Among the buildings that withstood the test of time is Daeo Bookstore. This bookstore, now also a café, is already a popular tourist attraction among K-pop fans thanks to a visit from BTS member RM as well as being featured in IU’s album cover. It was also used as a filming site for the Korean drama “Don’t Look Back (2013).”

15:00
Tour of Samcheongdong-gil Road
Samcheongdong-gil Road - Show on Map
1 hour

Bukchon Hanok Village is a Korean traditional village in Seoul with a long history located on the top of a hill between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The traditional village is composed of many alleys, hanok and is preserved to show a 600-year-old urban environment.

Samcheong-dong is a quaint neighborhood made up of traditional Korean-style buildings with an addition of modern touch. Frequented by dating couples, Samcheong-dong is often considered as one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Seoul. In fact, the neighborhood is so photogenic you will find it hard to put away your camera. The beautiful murals and charming accessories will seize your attention, while even the ordinary flower stalls and small coffee shops make great backdrops for taking pictures. An hour will fly by as you stride your way through the alleys, making you feel as if you are in a gallery!

16:00
Tour of Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village - Show on Map
1 hour

Bukchon Hanok Village is a Korean traditional village in Seoul with a long history located on the top of a hill between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The traditional village is composed of many alleys, hanok and is preserved to show a 600-year-old urban environment.

Bukchon Hanok Village is a major traditional Korean residential area in Seoul, as well as a beloved tourist spot that showcases traditional Korean style and living. During the Joseon dynasty, high-ranking government officials and nobles dwelled in this neighborhood. Visitors can immerse in the beauty of traditional architecture and the fun of exploring through the alleys. While at Bukchon Hanok Village, take some time to explore the Eight Scenic Views of Bukchon, the eight most scenic viewpoints that offer Bukchon’s unique charm and beauty. These viewpoints also serve as great photo spots with the gorgeous hanok houses in the background.

17:30
Sightsee & Enjoy a Cup of Traditional Tea at Insa-dong
Insa-dong - Show on Map
1 hour

Insa-dong is a dong, or neighborhood in the Jongno-gu district of Seoul. The main street is Insadong-gil, which is connected to a multitude of alleys that lead deeper into the district, with modern galleries and tea shops. At one time, it was the largest market for antiques and artworks in Korea.Stretching across 12.7 hectares (or 31.4 acres), the district is bordered by Gwanhun-dong to the north, Nagwon-dong to the east, and Jongno 2-ga and Jeokseon-dong to the south, and Gongpyeong-dong to the west.

Insa-dong is a unique area of Seoul, packed with traditional teahouses and handicraft shops along the main road and within the narrow alleys. The highlight here is none other than the shopping complex, otherwise known as Ssamziegil! A rather peculiar-looking building that resembles the shape of the Korean alphabet “ㅁ,” it is considered the most ideal place for international tourists to purchase souvenirs or take memorable pictures. After looking around Ssamziegil, do not forget to drop by one of the nearby teahouses to have a traditional Korean tea experience.

19:00
Night Scene and Dinner at Jongno
Jongno-gu - Show on Map
1 hour 30 minutes

Wrap up your first night in Seoul by enjoying the night scenes and dining in the Jongno area. The brilliantly lit city lights and high-rise buildings that seem to reach the sky create a fabulous atmosphere. Moreover, you can find here the Bosingak Belfry, a symbolic landmark of Seoul where the New Year’s bell-ringing ceremony takes place every year. After immersing in the night atmosphere, head down to the Jongno Youth Street near Jonggak Station. Diverse restaurants are clustered in the area, offering a wide variety of cuisines to choose from.

Day 2
10:00
View of Seoul from Jeongdong Observatory and Lunch Nearby
Jeong-dong - Show on Map
2 hours

Start off the second day of sightseeing in Seoul with a cup of coffee in the morning at the Jeongdong Observatory. Situated on the 13th floor of Seoul City Hall’s Seosomun building, the observatory offers a bird’s-eye-view of Deoksugung Palace and the palace grounds. The observatory has a small café inside, allowing visitors to relax and enjoy the view over a cup of coffee or tea. After looking around, enjoy lunch at any of the popular restaurants nearby.

13:00
Photo Time at Gwanghwamun Square
광화문광장 - Show on Map
1 hour

Gwanghwamun Square is a street of culture that was redesigned in the heart of the city to create a global spot that restores the sights of old Seoul with its 600-year history. At the plaza, make sure to take photos in front of the statues of Admiral Yi Sun-shin and King Sejong the Great (4th king of the Joseon dynasty), two of the most well-known influential figures in Korean history. In addition, the square’s dry fountain will operate from June to October. The fountain’s official name is 12.23 Fountain, given in honor of Admiral Yi’s twelve battleships used to defeat 133 enemy battleships in the Battle of Myeongnyang and his 23 battle victories. If time allows, stop by the underground exhibition hall at Gwanghwamun Square to learn more about the stories of King Sejong and Admiral Yi. The exhibition is free and leaflets are available in English, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish.

14:30
Stroll along Cheonggyecheon Stream
Cheonggyecheon stream - Show on Map
1 hour 30 minutes

Cheonggyecheon Stream is Seoul’s best-known stream that cuts through Jongno and Junggu areas. Along the stream is a 12-kilometer-long path where people can leisurely stroll while listening to the gentle sounds of the flowing water. Visitors can also throw in a coin and make a wish at Palseokdam, Cheonggyecheon’s wishing well.

Cheonggyecheon Stream becomes even more beautiful around Buddha’s Birthday celebration and Seoul Lantern Festival period with colorful lanterns and decorations adorning the area. Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated on April 8 of the lunar calendar and Seoul Lantern Festival takes place in November every year, offering a wonderful evening sight to visitors walking along Cheonggyecheon Stream during those festive periods.

16:30
Shopping in Myeong-dong
Myeong-dong - Show on Map
1 hour

With rows of shopping buildings lined along every street, Myeong-dong is one of Seoul’s major shopping districts. Majority of the visitors consist of international tourists and young adults in their twenties and thirties. Myeong-dong’s main street stretches for approximately 1 kilometer, starting from Myeong-dong Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line 4) and leading up to Lotte Department Store at Euljiro1-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2). When setting off from Cheonggye Plaza, Lotte Young Plaza can be marked as the start point. Myeong-dong is packed with numerous brand name shops, duty free stores and department stores, making it ideal for at least one to two hours of shopping.

18:30
Night view of City Lights and Dinner at Namsan Seoul Tower
Namsan Seoul Tower - Show on Map
2 hours
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Nam Mountain (pleonastically Namsan Mountain or Mount Namsan, lit. "South Mountain") is a 262-meter (860 ft)-high peak in the Jung-gu district of south central Seoul, South Korea. Although known as Mongmyeoksan, or 목멱산 / 木覓山 in the past, it is now commonly referred to as Mt. Namsan. It offers some hiking, picnic areas and views of downtown Seoul's skyline. The N Seoul Tower is located on top of Mt. Namsan. The mountain and its surrounding area is Namsan Park, a public park maintained by the city government, which has panoramic views of Seoul. It is also the location of a smoke signal station called Mongmyeoksan Bongsudae' (Mongmyeoksan Beacon Tower, Hangul: 목멱산 봉수대), which was part of an emergency communication system during much of Seoul's history until 1985. From 1925 to 1945 the Shinto shrine known as Chōsen Jingū was situated on Mt. Namsan.In 2011 a survey was conducted by Seoul Development Institute, which included 800 residents and 103 urban planners and architects. It ranked Mt. Namsan as the most scenic location in Seoul by 62.8 percent of residents and 70.9 percent of the experts surveyed.The park and the fountain were used as the filming location for Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)'s drama Lovers in Paris.Namsan is mentioned in South Korea's National Anthem.

Finally, finish your day at Namsan Seoul Tower, a landmark of Seoul, to take in the city’s nightscape. Even though Namsan Seoul Tower is a major attraction itself, the premise offers much more to see and do, namely the Roof Terrace, where padlocks symbolizing unfailing love cover the terrace fences, and the Digital Observation Deck that unfolds a panoramic view of Seoul. Several restaurants can also be found within the area that doubles the enchanting ambience. Diners can take in the stunning night view of the city while enjoying a delightful meal at one of the restaurants here.

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