Seoul Travel Guide

mr. holmes bakehouse in seoul south korea

My long overdue Seoul guide is finally here! South Korea was the second stop on our Asia trip this past spring, and we spent about 72 hours exploring Seoul from top to bottom. I have a huge appreciation for Korean beauty, pop culture, and food, and Seoul did not disappoint.

Here are my recommendations on what to check out on your next trip to Seoul.

Where To Stay

  • Hotel STAY B Myeongdong: amazing accommodation for the price! Our room was insanely clean and comfortable. See the hotel room tour in the vlog for yourself! Additionally, the front desk staff were attentive and helpful. Highly recommend!

changdeokgung palace in seoul, south korea

changing of the guards at gyeongbokgung in seoul, south korea

What To See

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace: this is one of Seoul’s most notable historic monuments and it’s seriously magnificent. Make sure you catch the changing of the guards if you stop by.
  • Changdeokgung Palace: while this palace looks almost identical to Gyeongbokgung, the grounds are a little different. We saw quite a few cherry blossoms here so I recommend stopping by in the spring.
  • Bukchon Hanok: this neighborhood is full of winding alleys and traditional homes unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Situated on hill, you get a nice view of the rest of Seoul as well.
  • Gangnam: a lot more to offer than PSY! Gangnam is like the Manhattan of Seoul; tons of skyscrapers, restaurants, shopping, and traffic. Seriously, so many yellow cabs everywhere!
  • Hongdae Free Market: a night market definitely worth checking out! You’ll find tons of shopping, street food, and performers. The K-Pop dancers were my favorite, dancing in huge squads to EXO, Super Junior, Monsta, and more.
  • Seoul Sky at Lotte World Tower: we had the privilege of visiting Seoul Sky on the 2nd day it was open. Lotte World Tower is making history as the current 5th tallest building in the world, with the 3rd highest observation deck called Seoul Sky. For ₩27,000, you can ride the futuristic elevator up to the 116th floor and enjoy the highest possible view of Seoul.

bukchon hanok village in seoul, south korea

pastel pink house in bukchon hanok seoul

What To Eat

  • Myeongdong Kyoja: they had me at dumplings. This is a super casual spot that has just a few key dishes and that’s it. The dumplings were amazing and the noodle soup was quite good as well.
  • Churro 101: you’ll see this spot on the walk from Gyeongbokgung to Bukchon Hanok, so good luck trying to resist the allure of churros with ice cream.
  • Mr. Holmes Bakehouse Korea: while we have Mr. Holmes in SF, I still felt the need to pay a visit to the Seoul location. The pastries are equally as heavenly!
  • Yuktongryeong Myeongdong: I simply couldn’t leave the country without having some Korean BBQ. This spot specializes in pork and each table has a built-in grill pit. Menus are provided in English, but we had a minor language barrier with our waitress. They will actually cut up and grill your meat for you, instead of self serve. It was all good, because I understood when the coals got hot enough for the meat, she came over and took the lead. Before you come here you’ll want to practice how to say the Korean word for delicious:masshissuhyo맛있어요

korean food in gangnam

Where To Shop

  • Myeongdong: you could potentially knock out all your skincare shopping just here. Some of our favorite stores were MediHeal, Laneige, Holika Holika, Lotte Young Plaza, Leaders, Innisfree, Olive Young, Club Clio, MISSA, and It’s Skin. Some street vendors also have some pretty good designer knock-offs…
  • Hongdae Free Market: you’ll find a lot of the same popular stores in Myeongdong also in Hongdae, but we did see a few unique stores like Paula’s Choice and LABIOTTE.

seoul night photography in myeongdong

Like this post? Be sure to read some of my other travel or Asia posts for more inspiration. Plus the finale, my Hong Kong guide, is coming soon! A lot more travel content is to follow as I work towards my 30 by Thirty travel goal. Thanks for reading!

  • Katie Dundas

    Beautiful photos! I have a few friends who have lived over there, would love to make it over for a visit.

  • Candy Calderon

    Seems like you had so much fun, thanks for sharing your adventures with us! Xo
    http://www.candycalderon.com

  • Seoul sounds like such an amazing place to visit. I’d love to go some day! Love your photos, too!