During the recent years, South Korea has been the most favorite country to be visited by Filipinos. Which is why my post about the South Korean Visa Application has become one of the top pages on my site recently. Aside from the influence of Kpop, Kdrama and Korean food, I think the reason why we love to go to South Korea is because the Filipino culture is similar to them. Most Koreans are family oriented just like most of the Filipinos. Check out my favorite and Top Amazing things to do in South Korea in this post and let me know your comments below.
1. Go shopping at Myeongdong
From cosmetics, fashion to street food, Myeongdong will never disappoint you. It has an enormous choices of shops offering different kind of Korean made products. You can roam around the place without being hungry as you will find lots of Korean street food everywhere especially at night as the street will be filled with authentic yet cheap street food. Your trip to South Korea will never be complete without a visit at this Shopping Center.
2. Walk along Cheonggyecheon Stream
Start your day walking along the Cheonggyecheon Stream all the way to Han River. If you are not into walking, you can also rent a bike to wander along this stream. With a beautiful strip of shady trees, art, and history together with the tall buildings around, this has been a must visit if you're in South Korea. It will give you an opportunity to snap a few photos while relaxing the serenity of the stream before continuing your exploration of the city. We had a short walk here before we headed to Gwanghwamun Square.
3. Wander around Gwanghwamun Square
At the center of the square stands a statue of King Sejong the Great, the fourth and most respected king of the Joseon Dynasty. Gwanghwamun Square stretches out from Gwanghwamun Gate, once the main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace, to Sejongno Sageori Intersection. This area was once Yukjo-geori (Avenue of Six Ministries), the center of Hanyang, which was the capital city during the Joseon Dynasty. Nowadays it is home to the Government's major administrative departments. You can also find the statue of Admiral Yi Sun Shin, who is one of the most successful naval admirals ever. We were fascinated by the fountains and the lovely backdrop of mountains. Gyeongbokgung was built in this location precisely because of Fengshui – Mountains in the back and Water (the Cheonggyecheon) in the front was a position that ensured good fortune.
4. Find your way inside Gyeongbokgung Palace
Probably one of South Korea's most famous royal palace. The color and detail in the pillars and palace were exquisite. One of the many palaces than can be seen in South Korea. It is a long walk but a lot to see and to experience the history of South Korea. I think 2-3 hours is enough to wander around this palace and best in the morning to avoid the huge crowd. With such a huge place to cover and a museum to visit, make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, bring drinking water and your camera.
5. Experience calmness in Changdeokgung Palace
This palace will bring you to a period like in the movie seeing all the ancient structures where kings and queens used to live. South Korea has an impressive way of preserving their culture and this place really gives you a slice of how ancient South Korea was. Just like the other palace, 2-3 hours would be enough to explore this palace especially if you don't have much time in South Korea. This is a smaller palace compared to Gyeongbokgung Palace. It's close to the Bukchon hanok village. It's worth a visit if you are into historical architecture.
6. Watch the changing of guards in Deoksugung Palace
The palace is surrounded by modern buildings. A majestic palace in the middle of the bustling Seoul. We're glad that we were able to watch the changing of guards ceremony in this palace. It's one experience you shouldn't miss when you visit South Korea. The palace is small compared with Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, but it was easier to find as it was right out City Hall station and opposite the City Hall of Seoul.
7. Get lost in Seoul Forest
Seoul Forest is a large park and nature area with walking paths and unique artwork that is located on the banks of the Han River on Ttukseom (Ttuk Island). Best to visit during spring or autumn for its cherry blossom or fall foliage in Seoul. We were here in Autumn and wasn’t disappointed at all. You get to experience the nature and spend some relaxing time in the forest. It is highly recommended for families, couples and even solo travelers to visit.
8. Practice silence at Bukchon Hanok Village
A Korean traditional village in Seoul with a long history located between Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The walk through the village was nice, but not much more than a stroll through traditional Korean homes. This village is somewhat interesting and offers some nice views over the city. It's a beautiful place, authentic and quite.
9. .. and Wear the South Korean Traditional Hanbok
I recommend you to rent Hanbok (traditional korean costume) & take tons of photos at Bukchon Hanok Village. Love getting lost & going through back alleys. You will find lots of quaint cafes, boutique shops & the amazing Korean building architecture which takes you back in time. Good thing we are able to find a Hanbok Rental Shop in this village and it gives us a free access to a small tea museum and access inside the Traditional Hanok house while wearing the Hanbok.
10. Fall in love in Nami Island
Your South Korean Adventure will never be complete without a visit to Nami Island. A place with romantic vibes, from the lining trees to the lake surround and the cafes. We are just in awe of how beautiful this place was. The color of the leaves was spectacular. We're amazed how the trees were maintained and cared for. For me it is best to go here during fall season but they said that its nice here too during Spring for the Cherry Blossoms. You can wander around the island by riding a bicycle. The atmosphere, nature and ambience has its own stamp of peace, romance, and beauty that will last for a lifetime.
11. Up close in the sky from Haneul Park
Haneul, means Sky in Korean, was build to commemorate the 17th FIFA World Cup. A short walk from the world cup stadium and after 291 steps of stairs will bring you to beautiful panoramic view of Han river. Endless eulalia grass with silver tips was a beautiful sight! An alternative to reach the top is by electric car that cost 2,000 won for adults and 1,500 won for children. We went up by the stairs and it was a little bit tiring but it was totally worth the climb. It was a beautiful walk and you can see breathtaking views from the top - World Cup Stadium and Han River.
12. Get naked at a Korean Bathhouse
An absolute must when visiting South Korea is to go to a Jjimjilbang – Korean bathhouse. There are many places to choose from which you can find around Seoul. Siloam, located outside the Seoul Station is one of the best. As a foreigner, once you overcome the obstacle of being nude in front of others in the same gender wet bath areas, you will find this place a cheap and great way of enjoying the multiple types of baths and saunas.
After soaking/showering, you can get dressed with the clothes provided(one size fits all) and head upstairs and reunite with your opposite sex companion and explore the rest of the facilitates together, which includes various saunas, a game room, resting rooms and sleeping rooms. I felt really fresh and rejuvenated after the bath and sauna session. You can sleep at the common area or you can go to the top floor which is the sleeping area. Overall if you are looking for an experience, I'd highly recommend this place.
13. Namsan Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower is a communication and observation tower and the highest point in Seoul, located on top of Namsan Mountain. Great views from the top of the tower. You can see where the love locks are. If you're staying in Myeongdong, the cable car station up to the tower is a 10-20 minute walk depending on which side of Myeongdong you are coming from. Best to visit during weekdays as it is usually crowded on weekends especially on the queue to the cable car. Luckily, we were able to witness the South Korean sunset from the top instead of the 'foggy city' which is usually the case as what others says from their review. Although not as high as the Tokyo Tower, the N Seoul Tower offers great views over the Korean capital.
14. Indulge yourself on authentic South Korean food.
Koreans have eaten the products of the sea, the field, and the mountain because of the features of Korean peninsula and a distinguish climate makes Korean food more abundant. Koreans use a huge range of vegetables from wild greens to the leaves of flowers, everything from the sea including seaweed and jellyfish, and all types of meat and poultry in diverse preparations. You shouldn't miss the chance to try their street food which is abundant in flavour and spiciness. They love their food being spicy due to the usual cold weather. Ofcourse you should also try Soju, a Korean alcoholic drink typically made from rice or sweet potatoes.
Annyeong, See you again!
There's still a lot of things to do in South Korea. Don't be afraid to explore as getting lost sometimes gives you an extraordinary experience. South Korea is a tourist friendly nation. You'll find Tourist Center almost everywhere you go. Even though they are not that good in English, they will still try their best to help you with any of your questions. We are planning to go back this Spring to experience cherry blossom. Hopefully, it will be an awesome experience and I will make sure to share it with you again.
Let me know your comments about these top amazing things to do in South Korea below. 😀