6 of the Best Things to See and Do on Your First Visit in Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. – Henry Miller

Seoul is a city with so many interesting things to explore that can be barely covered on a short visit. Thankfully, there are many ideas for Seoul itineraries you can choose from. Or you can create your own itinerary that best fits your schedule and allows you to see and experience as much as you can during your visit. With a long list of attractions, here’s a few of Seoul’s must-see and do you would not want to miss on your first visit.

1. Head out to Jongno-gu to take a free guided tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Start your visit by catching the changing of the guard ceremony at Gwanghwamun Gate. If you are interested to give the Sumungun (Gatekeeper) Costume Experience, you can find the Sumunjangcheong Building behind the gate and ask to wear the gatekeeper costume for free. Prepare to spend some time inside to see as much as you can of the many attractions within the Palace grounds.

2. Exit Gyeongbokgung Palace from Gwanghwamun Gate and cross the street heading towards Gwanghwamun Square. Some of the things to see in the square include the statue of King Sejong the Great, the statue of the country’s famous naval commander Admiral Yi Sunshin, a flower carpet, and the 12.23 Fountain among others.

3. Take a short walk from Gwanghwamun Square until you reach Cheonggyecheon Stream. There you take time to rest and just enjoy the soothing sight and sound of the stream that offer a tranquil space in the midst of the bustling city scene.

4. From Cheonggyecheon Stream, take a walk to Insadong located nearby. Browse your way through the many shops and stalls that sell traditional crafts and souvenirs. Or you can have a delicious meal or snack in one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area.

5. Visit Bukchon Hanok Village that dates back to the 14th century to see its many traditional Korean houses.

6. Go shopping in Myeongdong, Dongdaemun Market, or Namdaemun Market or make time to see all three for the ultimate Seoul-shopping experience.