From traditional Joseon Palaces, to the vibrant shopping district of Myeongdong, Seoul has something for everybody. There are some great spots around the city to get spectacular views, and if you’re up for a hike, you can climb to the top of Bukhansan – the world’s most visited National Park. Here are 7 things you should see on your trip to Seoul.
- Gwanghwamun Square
The perfect starting point for your trip – and that’s why our hop-on-hop-off buses start here too.
As you look around, you’ll find plazas, shops, restaurants, sculptures, statues, palaces and city gates – the largest gate is Gwanghwamun Gate. It’s spectacular to look at and dates back to 1395 when it used to protect the city. It was destroyed in a fire in 1592 during the Japanese invasion, but by 1867 they rebuilt the gate – and today it’s own of the biggest icons of the city.
At the square, you’ll get a real feel for the city and what it has to offer.
- Experience Tradition in Namsangol Hanok Village
If you’re looking to experience traditional Korea: this is it. Located between two palaces, Nasangol Hanok village is easy to get to. Just hop-off at stop 10 (Bus A) and you’ll find yourself right in the heart of the traditional wooden houses and pavilions. It’s known as one of the most beautiful locations in Seoul and it dates back 600 years. It makes a perfect location for some photographs and you’ll really get a sense for how Seoul used to be.
Top tip: Make sure you visit the pond. There are trees all around it, so it’s a beautiful spot – and makes for a fantastic Instagram opportunity!
- Shopping in Myeongdong
While you’re in Seoul, would you like to do some shopping? Myeongdon is the place to go. It’s no wonder it’s the most prominent shopping district, it’s filled with every shop imaginable. From street carts, to small boutiques, to major department stores – you’ll literally find it all. There are also food places, restaurants and street food all around the district, where you can find Korean specialities such as donkas (pork cutlets) and kalguksu (thick noodles). It’s easy to get to, just hop-off at stop 9 (Bus A) or stop 2 (Bus B) and start exploring.
Top tip: If you’re looking for a bargain, you can explore the hidden streets and small alleyways where the small independent shops are.
- Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace
The Palace is one of the most iconic sights in South Korea – and has been for many, many years. It dates all the way back to 1395, although it was mostly destroyed in a fire in the 1590’s (around the same time the Gwanghwamun Gate was also destroyed) – but again, in 1868 the Korean government decided to rebuild and restore the Palace – will over 7,700 rooms!
This is a place that can’t be missed. Hop-off at stop 21 (Bus A) and as you walk through the courtyards, you can get a sense of the splendour of the Joseon dynasty and the intricate architecture it was traditionally famous for.
Top tip: Don’t miss the changing of the guard. It happens twice a day at 10am and 2pm (except on Tuesdays).
- Hiking at Bukhansan National Park
Bukhansan is one of the most visited national parks in the world – with over 5million people visiting every year. In fact, because of this, there are certain days when the hiking trails are closed to help preserve the ecosystem. But, if you’re keen to hike, you’ll get some of the most amazing views over Seoul. There are multiple trails to choose from (all around 3.4km (211 miles)), and it’ll take about 2 hours to climb.
It’s surprisingly easy to get to the Bukhansan National Park. The mountain is right beside downtown Seoul – and there are actually Subway lines all around it.
- Namsan Cable Car
Another way to see the city from above is with the Namsan Cable Car. Stretching over 605 meters (1,984 feet), you’ll get spectacular views of the Seoul skyline and surrounding mountains.
It only takes 3 minutes to get from one side to the other, but it’s definitely worth doing. You can hop-off at stop 13 (Bus A) or stop 4 (Bus B).
Top tip: if you do it early evening, you’ll get to see the sunset over the city.
- Views from Namsan Seoul Tower
When you search for images of Seoul, ‘N’ Seoul Tower will be one of the first things to come up. Built in the 1960’s, the Namsan Seoul Tower offers amazing panoramic views of the city. The observation deck is 236 meters (777 feet) high –but you’ll also find upmarket restaurants, bars, exhibitions – and even movies and performances. It’s best to book these in advance!
This is another place that is stunning at sunset – but other people have the same idea, so the queues can be very long.
Top tip: You can use the Namsan Cable Car to get to the bottom of the tower –or you can hike up the stairs but there are so many!! So we recommend taking the hop-on-hop-off to stop 13 (Bus A) or stop 4 (Bus B) and taking the cable car up.
So, are you ready to explore Seoul? It has so much to offer and we can’t wait to show you it. Book your hop-on-hop-off bus now.