First time traveling to Korea? Wanna know the best travel destinations in Korea? In this post is the list of the must-visit attractions in Seoul for travelers. These are best and popular places in Korea, that must be visited and seen even once in a lifetime.
The Top 20 “Best” Travel Destinations in Korea
1. Namsan Tower or N Seoul Tower
Traveling to Korea is not complete without visiting the most romantic place in Seoul. Namsan Tower is known for the filming locations of Korean drama’s like Boys Over Flowers, Hwayugi and My Love From the Star. It was originally famous for it’s Love Locks. Aside from being the major filming location of Korean drama’s, Namsan Tower or N Seoul Tower is also known for its spectacular and cinematic view during the night. The tower is about 263.7m and the first tower in Korea to bring signals to TV and radio broadcastings.
Taking the Cable car going to the Namsan Tower is 9,500 won and for the observatory is 11,000 won.
Website: N Seoul Tower
Operating Hours: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Subway Line 4, Myeongdong Station, Exit 3, walk about 700m
2. Gyeongbuk Palace
Gyeongbok Palace or Gyeongbokgung is the main palace of the city capital which originally constructed by King Taejo ( the first king of Joseon Dynasty) in 1394 and the palaces were expanded during the reign of King Taejong and King Sejong the Great (The founder of Hangul). It is located in the north of Gwanghwamun Square and a few meters away from the other palaces. Admission is 3,000 won but visitors wearing hanbok are free of charge.
Website: Gyeongbuk Palace
Operating Hours: 09:00 am to 6:00 pm (Closing time varies depends on the season), Closed on Tuesdays
Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Subway Line 3, Gyeongbokgung Station, Exit 5
3. Changdeok Palace
Changdeok Palace or Changdeokgung is the second royal palace during the Joseon Dynasty. It is located at the east of Gyeongbukgung. Among the palaces, this palace still preserves its original features. This is the principal palace for many kings and the government of Joseon. The palace began its popularity from the time of Sejongjong, the 9th King of Joseon. But in 1592 the palace was burned by the angry citizens when the royal family fled the residence during the Japanese invasion.
Secret Garden (Biwon) is one of the gardens in Changdeokgung which is known for its natural beauty. Admission to the garden has a separate fee. Admission is 3,00 won for adults and 1,500 won for children. Free of charge when wearing hanbok. For more information please visit Changdeokgung website here. Admission to Secret Garden is 5,000 won (+ the general admission 3,000 won), for discounts bring a VALID ID like a passport.
Website: Changdeok Palace
Operating Hours: 09:00 am -to 6:00 pm (Closing time varies depends on the season), Closed on Mondays
Address: 99 Yulgok-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Subway Line 3, Anguk Station, Exit 3
4. Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village is a Korean traditional village in Seoul surrounded by Gyeongbuk Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo Royal Palace. Hanok is a term to describe the Korean traditional houses and Bukchon literally means “northern village”.
The major attractions here are the Bukchon Traditional Cultural Center, Bukchon Hanok Hall, and Baek Inje’s House. This village is also known as the filming location of Personal Taste of Lee Min Ho and the top Korean drama these days Hotel del Luna, and even Goblin.
Address: 37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Subway Line 3, Anguk Station, Exit 3
Ikseon-dong was also called as “Nudong Palace” where the royal family resided. This place is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city of Seoul. Despite being old, it’s been like a hidden treasure inside. Just as they always say “Don’t judge the book by its cover”, and that’s Ikseon-dong. It is distinctly shining and attracting a lot of businesses, entrepreneurs, tourists and even locals.
The place consists of small alleys with different kinds of businesses like restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, fashion house, and flower shop with a combination of a cafe. Tourists and locals are gathered here all the time because of the famous restaurants that serve delicious kinds of menus. This place was featured also in Korean dramas like the Black Knight and Where the Stars Land. Not just Korean dramas but some variety shows filmed here with famous Korean stars.
Address: Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 4. → Cross the street and walk straight for approx. 300m along Donghwamun-ro 11-gil Street. (Approx. 3 min)
Insadong is one of the famous traditional Korean streets in Seoul where the visitors come often. In this area, you will see boutique shops, handicraft shops, local restaurants, antique wooden tea houses and cafes, traditional stationery shops, art galleries, porcelain, and pottery shops that line-up along the alleys and streets.
Address: 62, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Subway Line 3, Anguk Station, Exit 6 or Subway Line 1, Jonggak Station, Exit 3.
7. Lotte World Adventure
Lotte World Adventure is like the Disney Land of Korea. For locals and tourists, its a perfect place for exciting entertainment and sightseeing. A theme park same with Everland with different kinds of rides for kids and adults. There are different kinds of parades where kids can enjoy and an ice rink for ice skating lovers. There’s a folk museum too, a lake which is best to see during springtime and of course department stores.
Website: Lotte World Adventure
Operating Hours: 9;30 am to 10:00 pm (Monday to Thursday), 9:30 am to 11:00 pm (Friday, Saturday), Closed on Sundays
Address: 240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Subway Line 2 or 8, Jamsil Station, Exit 4.
8. Lotte World Tower/Seoul Sky
With 123 floors, the highest building in Seoul is the new attraction and landmark in Jamsil. Lotte World Tower is a must-visit place because it is one of the world’s top 3 observatories aside from being the 5th tallest building in the world. The observatory of the tower offers a scenic view of Seoul during the day and night.
Aside from looking out the window, having snacks or coffee is a great experience to do. At the 123rd floor, visitors can enjoy the cozy lounge which able to have a refreshing wine while having a relaxing view. The top floor has the premium lounge so for a cheaper one 119th floor is the best place to stay. It has the Sky Friends cafe which has a one of a kind dessert.
Website: Lotte World Tower
Operating Hours: 10 am -10 pm (Sunday to Thursday), 10 am – 11 pm (Friday, Saturday and Holidays)
Address: 117th~123rd floor, 300 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Subway Line 2, Jamsil Station, Exit 2
9. Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문 디자인 플라자) or DDP has an impressive structure of modern architecture. Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, in 2014. The design from the outside is stunning and cool while the inside has the spectacular designs continue with elaborate archways and fancy lighting.
Comprised of five halls: Art Hall, Museum, Design Lab, Design Market, and the Dongdaemun History and Culture Park. selected as one of the “Top 52 Places to Visit in 2015” by the New York Times. It was also the most Instagram tagged location in 2015 in Korea. DDP also is a great venue for exhibitions, design-related shows, events, and gatherings.
Website: Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Operating Hours: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday, Closed on Mondays
Address: 281, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Subway Line 2, 4 or 5, Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station, Exit 1 or Subway Line 1, Dongdaemun Station, Exit 8
10. Myeongdong Street
Known as the “paradise of shopping”, the busiest shopping street all throughout the year. This place is well known for its beauty shops, kpop merchandise shops, and cafes. In addition, there are different kinds of street-foods that you can find. Across the street is the Lotte Department store and duty-free. Star Avenue is located at the entrance of the Lotte Duty-Free which you can see the handprints of your favorite stars.
Operating Hours: Operating schedules will vary by shop
Address: 66, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Subway Line 4, Myeong-dong Station, Exits 5, 6, 7 & 8
11. Hongdae Street
If you are looking for live performances and busking, Hongdae is the best place to go. It’s a famous place for young people who loves to go to the club and dance during the night. It is near Hongik University, that’s why you can see a lot of students here during the day and night. There are also many unique cafes, which you can relax and sip some coffee. Delicious foods from different restaurants and street foods can be found here too.
If you are looking for stylish and trendy outfits, accessories, bags and shoes, Hongdae street has it too. It’s open all year round, so it’s the best place to visit during the night to party and enjoy with friends.
Operating Hours: N/A (Open all year round)
Address: 20, Hongik-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Subway Line 2, Hongik University Station, Exit 8 or 9
12. Namdaemun Market
The largest traditional market which is over 600 years of history is still living in the present. Traditional crafts, Hanbok, tablewares and as kpop items. There are different kinds of foods too, local and imported. In addition, this market is well known for its hand made accessories and children’s clothing.
Website: Namdaemun Market
Operating Hours: Operating schedules will vary by shop
Address: 21, Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Subway Line 4, Hoehyeon Station, Exit 5
13. Hanuel Park
Hanuel Park is one of the five parks of World Cup Park which was built to commemorate the 17th FIFA World Cup. Located in the highest part of the World Cup Park.
Hanuel Park is once a landfill where peanuts and sorghum grew and became and a mountain of garbage. When it reached its capacity the operation stopped in 1993, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to turn the landfill into an ecological park. It became a good example that shows how a land full of garbage’s became a beautiful place.
There are different ways to get up to the top. You may either climb the 290 steps, hiking or take the buggy for KW5000 per person (2-way trip). Since we went there together with my son we took the electric shuttle car to take us to the park.
Website: Hanuel Park
Operating Hours: Opening hours vary depending on the month and sunrise/sunset times. (Not open during night time)
Address: 487-48 Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Get off at World Cup Stadium Station on line No. 6 and head out of exit No. 1. Walk straight along the main road and turn right. Cross the street and take the overpass toward the park entrance. You will then find yourself at the base of the park’s “Stairway to Heaven.”
14. Ihwa Mural Village/ Naksan Park
Ihwa Mural Village is an area of Ihwa, Seoul near Naksan Park. It is located between Hyehwa Station and Dongdaemun Station and this place was revitalized by the ‘Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s public “Ihwa-dong Naksan Project” in 2006 together with 70 artists to make murals and installations. This place is a popular destination to everyone, foreigners or locals for its scenic setting and murals.
Ihwa Mural Village and Naksan Park are the major filming locations of the following Korean dramas Encounter, Rooftop Prince, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, Two Cops, The King Two Hearts, Feast of the Gods and The Heirs.
Website: Naksan Park
Operating Hours: Open all year round
Address: 41, Naksan-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Hyehwa Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 2. Follow the same street up the hill for 300m to arrive at Naksan Park.
15. Starfield Coex Mall “Byulmadang Library”
Byulmadang Library in Starfield Coex Mall at Gangnam is a 2-story library which has almost 50,000 books and 3 huge wood shelves up to the ceiling. This library is open for the public which all visitors can sit and read books.
A wide selection of books, ebooks and magazines can be found here. In addition, some events held at the library such a book concert, meeting with authors and poetry readings.
SM TOWN is also in the same building, you can drop after visiting this library.
Website: Byulmadang Library
Operating Hours: 10:30 am – 10:00 pm
Address: 955-9 Daechi-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
How to get there?: Subway line 2 to Samseong Station, exit 6. Walk straight and follow the signs to the COEX.
16. Petite France
This place is the major filming location of different Korean drama’s like Secret Garden, My Love from the Star, Beethoven Virus and Running Man.
One of the tourist destinations in Gapyeong with a french-style touch kind of theme park. In addition, it’s the place where you can find Europhian antiques, paintings of le coq gaulois, sculptures and many more.
Visitors can experience puppet play, Marionette dance performance and other exhibition like Plaster art exhibition. Admission fee is 10,000 won for adults, 8,000 won for teenagers and seniors, and 6,000 won for children. Free admission for infants less than 3 years old when accompanied by a family member.
Website: Petite France
Operating Hours: 09:00 am – 6:00 pm (Sunday – Thursday) ; 09:00 am – 8:00 pm (Friday – Saturday)
Address: 1063, Hoban-ro, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
How to get there?: From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal or Sangbong Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus to Cheongpyeong.
From Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal, take a local bus bound for Goseong-ri.
17. Nami Island
Nami Island is one of the must-visit destinations in South Korea. “Winter Sonata“, a Korean drama in 2002 made a great impact in Nami Islands tourism when they featured the place in the drama. An hour drive from Seoul and a great place to relax and purify your mind. Couple biking is the best thing here. Accommodations are excellent too if you want to have an overnight stay here.
Admission is 8,000 won (round trip) and zip wire is 38,000 won (includes entrance fee and ferry fare).
Website: Nami Island
Operating Hours: [Ferry Schedule] 07:30 am-09:00 am (30 minute intervals); 09:00 am-6:00 pm (10-20 minute intervals) ; 6:00 pm -9:40 pm (30 minute intervals)
Address: 1, Namiseom-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
How to get there?: Take the subway (ITX) going to Gapyeong and take the shuttle bus going to Nami Island from Gapyeong Station.
This theme park is the largest in South Korea and no doubt, it is the best amusement park. It is located at the Everland Resort in Yongin, a city in Gyeonggi-do. Upon entering, you will see this Everland Tree. A 13-meter tall tree that will instantly attract tourists. There are different kinds of festivals too depends on the season in Korea, these are Tulip Festival, Rose Festival, Summer Splash, Halloween Festival, Romantic Illumination and may more.
There are many exciting and interesting things to do here and see. One day tour is not enough for a huge park. Admission for an adult is 56,000 won and for children is 44,000 won.
Operating Hours: 10:00 am -9:00 pm (Please visit the website for more details)
Address: 199, Everland-ro, Pogok-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do
How to get there?:
By Subway: Take the subway going to Jeondae-Everland Station (Yongin EverLine), Exit 3.
– Take the shuttle bus to Everland (Operating hours 05:30 am-11:30 pm)
1) Sinnonhyeon, Gangnam, Yangjae Stations: Bus 5002
2) Pangyo, Segok-dong, Suseo, Songpa, Jamsil, Gangbyeon Stations: Bus 5700
3) Sadang, Nambu Terminal Stations (via Bundang and Gwangju): Bus 1500-2
4) Gangbyeon, Gangdong Stations (via Gwangju): Bus 1113
19. Incheon Chinatown
Incheon Chinatown was known before in the past as an area where stores are mostly selling and trading Chinese goods. But during this time, the town is now well known for restaurant businesses. Chinatown was open due to the opening of the Incheon port in 1883 which used by the Ching Dynasty.
Aside from that, Chinatown has the best Jjajangmyeon. In addition, you can find the Jjajangmyeon Museum here which been a filming location of Hwayugi.
Website: Incheon Chinatown
Address: 14, Chinatown-ro 52beon-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon
How to get there?: Subway Line 1, Incheon Station, Exit 3.
20. Wolmido Island
Wolmido Island is the best place if you want to enjoy various things such as a cruise ship, music fountains, and performances. And if you are looking for a different experience, try to visit Play Hill. A theme park with thrilling rides like the Apollo Disco and Viking.
The cruise ship offers an amazing view of the island and during the last trip of the ship, they have a fireworks display. There are different kinds of restaurants too that serves mostly plates of seafood.
One more thing, the Korean drama Descendant of the Sun also filmed here.
Address: 36, Wolmimunhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon
How to get there?: Subway Line 1, Incheon Station and exit the station and take Local Bus No. 2, 15, 23 or 45 bound for Wolmido. Get off at Wolmido City Tour, Wolmi Culture Street, or Wolmi Final Bus Stops.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
– Andre Gide
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Annyeonghaseyo! I am Abby and currently living in Korea. In this blog where I will pen and share my thoughts, travels, experiences, and so much more. Hope you’ll follow me and don’t miss my post.