Before you continue reading, have you read my Chill Things To Do For 2 Days in Seoul, Vol. 1? There are useful travel tips and my favourite places during my short 2 days in Seoul. In this article, I’m going to share places I thought were overrated in Seoul and the interesting spots worth visiting in the city.
Watch my full YouTube video about my travel and my first impression of Seoul!
Namsangol Hanok Village (南山韓屋村)
Cheonggyecheon Stream (清溪川) + Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market (夜鬼怪夜市)
Seoul Bamdokkaebi is a night market right next to Cheonggyecheon Stream, which is one of the important rivers in the history of Seoul. We stumbled upon it and really enjoyed our time there. They got food trucks and handmade souvenir stands, as well as street performance.
We had tasty cube steak from one of the food trucks. Eating in Seoul is generally expensive, even with street food, but I was happy with the food quality. In general, Cheonggyecheon Stream is a very chill place to hang out! Come here to enjoy some good music and listen to the sound of the water. They got a lantern exhibition along the river when we were there in May.
There are also multiple night markets happening all around Seoul when the weather is warmer. Check out their official site for more information on other night markets. The site is in English, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. See Cheonggyecheon in action!
📍 Gwangtonggyo Bridge (nearby), 14, Seolin-dong, Jongrno-gu, Seoul | 🚇 Line #5, Gwanghwamun Station, Exit 5; Line #1, Jonggak Station, Exit 5; Line #2, Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station, Exit 2 | ⏲ Saturday & Sunday Evenings from March to October
After I went to Seoul, I discussed my trip with my Korean friend from high school.
“I don’t know why everyone goes to Myongdong when they visit Seoul!” Said my Korean friend.
Honestly, after I visited, I felt that Myeongdong is very overrated, too. It’s all tourists, and apparently, according to my friend, no locals would go there. Myeongdong is similar to all the shopping districts in other big cities in Asia, and it especially reminded me of Ximengting (西門町), which is a shopping/entertainment area for the youngsters in Taipei. The Lonely Planet somehow described it as “Seoul’s equivalent of London’s Oxford St or New York’s Fifth Ave.” Well, I don’t really know about that.
In Myeongdong, you can also find food stands, but they are mostly overpriced. See Myeongdong in action!
🚇 Line #4 to Myeongdong Station, exit 6 or #2 to Euljiro 1-ga Station
Gwanghwamun Square (光化門) + King Sejong Story Museum (世宗大王故事館)
It’s hard to miss Gwanghwamun Square if you’re a tourist in Seoul. If you want to learn about the life story of Korea’s most beloved king, this underground museum will give you great details about his achievement(He is the guy who invented the Korean language.)
🚇 Line #1 & #2 to City Hall Station, Exit 3; Line #3 to Gyeongbokgung Station, Exit 6 & 7; Line #5 to Gwanghwamun Station, Exit 1, 2 & 8 | ⏲10.00~20.00, except Mondays | 💰Free
Apgujeong (狎鷗亭) Rodeo District – The Plastic Surgery Area
South Korea is famous for its plastic surgery industry and has attracted potential patients from all over the world. If you just want to get an idea of how crazy it can get, come to Apgujeong in Gangnam-gu (江南). It’s an eye-opening experience. However, although it might be more common for people to “take care” of their appearance in South Korea, please don’t assume that everyone in Korea does it!
Besides having an abundance amount of plastic surgery and dermatology hospitals, the area is also packed with cute and fashionable shops that made it a great place for shopping. I forgot to take a photo when I was waiting for my friend at Apgujeong station, but as soon as you step out of the metro at the station, you will see a ridiculous amount of plastic surgery clinic ads on the wall!
🚇Line #3 to Apgujeong Station
What’s your Seoul experience? Comment below and share it with me!
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Also published on Medium.