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Seoul is a high-energy melting pot, mixing a skyscraper lined skyline and a cutting edge nightlife scene with incense-fused, tranquil temples that give a snapshot into this city’s storied history. Take a trip back in time with its intriguing museums, unwind with its surrounding natural beauty or pick up some fantastic brand names in its multiple shopping districts. There’s truly an abundance of things to do, see and taste in the South Korean capital.

We’ve put together this handy travel guide to help you plan a once in a lifetime Asian excursion to this amazing city, no matter what your tastes or budget may be. Learn all about the most popular attractions, finest hotels, best restaurants and more.

Things to Do in Seoul

Shopping in Seoul

Food in Seoul

Nightlife in Seoul

Where to Stay in Seoul

Getting Around Seoul

Best Time to Visit Seoul

Flights to Seoul

Things to Do in Seoul

From fascinating historical temples to thrilling activity parks, this remarkable city has something to excite and entice visitors of all ages. Here are just some of the wonderful tourist sites you’ll want to add to your Seoul itinerary.

entrance to Gyeongbokgung palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Image source: Aleksandr Zykov

 “Seoul, South Korea's Capital is an amazing metropolis with a juxtaposition of futuristic edifice such as the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and historical architecture like the Gyeongbokgung Palace. Taste mouth-watering cuisines and embark on exciting retail adventures at famous food and shopping joints of Myeongdong or Dongdaemum. Just lose yourself in the buzzing city and savour unique experiences at every turn.”

By Apsirant SG

Rising like a phoenix from the ashes, the Gyeongbokgung Palace was rebuilt twice: once in 1865, over two centuries after it was burned down by Japanese invaders in the late sixteenth century and once again with efforts beginning in the late 20th century, after it was again destroyed during the Japanese occupation at the start of the century. The palace would relive its former glories with an incredibly accurate reconstruction, which aimed to retain the original design principles of the palace. It was one of many that were reconstructed over the past few decades as part of a 40-year initiative that began in 1989. To date, around 40% of the building destroyed during the Japanese occupation of the country has now being restored. Aside from its history, Gyeongbokgung is an incredibly beautiful place to visit, considered by many to be among the best of all of the Five Grand Palaces of the Joseon Dynasty. It measures over 40 hectares and includes hundreds of buildings. Despite its recent restoration, the building maintains its impeccable beauty of which it first graced this country with over half a century ago.

Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Price: International visitors: Adult (ages 19-64) - KRW3,000  / Group (10 people or more) -KRW2,400, Children (ages 7-18) - KRW1,500 / Group (10 people or more) KRW1,200, Integrated Palace Ticket – Four Palaces (Changdeokgung Palace (including Huwon, Secret Garden), Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace) and Jongmyo Shrine – KRW10,000 (valid for three months)

n seoul tower lit up at night

N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower is ranked the number one tourist attraction in all of Seoul. It’s known for being a vital part of the history of Korea, as well as its imposing figure upon the city’s skyline, measuring in at an incredible 236 metres. It is also the tallest building in all of Seoul. Historically, it is known for being the very first tower in the entire country to offer radio and broadcasting. It marked a technological turning point for Korea in the late sixties: one which it has never looked back from. There’s plenty to see here, in addition to its awe-inspiring views of the city. There’s a museum so visitors can learn about the place of the tower historically, as well as observatories, which you might expect with it being the highest point in all of Seoul. You can also enjoy plenty of places to eat and drink, including the amazing revolving restaurant, a children’s theatre and more.

Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Price: Adult – KRW10,000, Children / Elderly – KRW8,000

outside Changdeokgung palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Despite having been reconstructed twice, Changdeokgung Palace retains the principles of its original design to stunning effect. Visiting it now feels like a trip back to 1405, when it was originally built as a secondary palace to Gyeongbokgung. It was first burned down during a Japanese invasion in 1592 and then again less than a century later in 1623 due to a political revolt. It became the primary palace until 1869, due to the lengthy process of rebuilding Gyeongbokgung. It’s one of the Five Grand Palaces of the Joseon Dynasty and, although it no longer stands as the place of royal residence, it nonetheless still boasts all the beauty of its heyday. If you want to get the best experience and learn in detail about the history of this palace, make sure you get there in time for the tour guides, which run throughout the day. It’s one of only a few structures that still stands from before the 20th century and remains one of the most beautiful examples of the country before the Japanese occupation.

Address: 99 Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Price: General admission: Adult (ages 19-64) – KRW3,000 / Group (10 persons or more) – KRW2,400, Children (ages 7-18) – KRW1,500 / Group (10 persons or more) – KRW1,200, Children under 7 years / Seniors over 65 years / those wearing a Hanbok (traditional Korean clothes) / Culture day (the last Wednesday of the month) – Free, The Secret Garden (Palace Building Area & Palace Garden): Adult (over 19 years) – KRW8,000, Adult (over 65 years) – KRW5,000, Children (ages 7-18) – KRW4,000, Integrated Palace Ticket – Four Palaces (Changdeokgung Palace (including Huwon, Secret Garden), Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace) and Jongmyo Shrine – KRW10,000 (valid for three months)

Image source: Benny Han

"Step back in time and stroll through the narrow streets of Bukchon Village. Located between Seoul’s most famous palaces, this historic neighbourhood is often overlooked. Join the free tour for a fun history lesson! Another way to delve into Korean culture is to take a cooking class where you’ll whip up the country’s most delicious specialties, like bulgogi and kimchi!"

By Ben Zweber, Two Wandering Soles

 

tower at mount namsan in seoul

Mount Namsan

There’s few experiences on earth like hitting the top of Mount Namsan, the highest point in all of Namsan. Located next to the famous North Tower, it measures a dizzying 850 feet high and offers incredible views of the stunning city of Seoul. The views from Namsan are the stuff of legend. It’s one of the most beautiful spots in the whole of Korea. Getting to the top of the mountain can be physically testing but if you’re up to the challenge, the sense of accomplishment when you reach the top of the mountain is something you’ll never forget. Alternatively, if you’re not physically able or you feel like a more relaxing trip, you can pay a small fee to go by cable car. Once you reach the top, there’s plenty of places to find souvenirs, many of which are unique to the area. But the best souvenir of all is the memory of the incredible views of the city that can only be found at the peak of Mount Namsan.

Address: 231, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
Price: Adult – KRW9,000 / Group – KRW8,100, Youth – KRW7,000 / Group – KRW6,300, Children – KRW5,000 / Group – KRW4,500

Image source: Jessica Gardner

exterior of Deoksugung seoul

Deoksugung Palace

Another of the incredible Five Grand Palaces, Deoksugung Palace, like all of its architectural brothers, is a place of both great history and incredible beauty. It has a style very different to other palaces however, with architecture heavily influenced by western designs, particularly in its vast, stunning garden. Unfortunately, only a third of what used to be is still standing, owing to damage taken during the countries colonial period. It is also home to the changing of the royal guard, which takes place in fact of the famous Daehanmun gate. The palace became the royal residence after the others were destroyed in the late 16th century and has served as the home to emperors since. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in the history of Korea.

Address: 99 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Price: Adult – KRW1,000 / Group (10 people or more) – KRW800, Youths – KRW500 / Group (10 people or more) – KRW400, Children (ages 6 and under) / Seniors (ages 65 or more) / Visitors wearing a Handbok (traditional Korean clothes) – Free

 “Seoul, South Korea's Capital is an amazing metropolis with a juxtaposition of futuristic edifice such as the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and historical architecture like the Gyeongbokgung Palace. Taste mouth-watering cuisines and embark on exciting retail adventures at famous food and shopping joints of Myeongdong or Dongdaemum. Just lose yourself in the buzzing city and savour unique experiences at every turn.”

By Aspirant SG

signs for national folk museum of korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

For anyone interested in the cultural history of Seoul and of Korea in general, the National Folk Museum of Korea brings together over 4,000 historical artefacts and replicas, with close to 100,000 artefacts overall, all of which were used by Korean people throughout history. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the real lives of people, not just from a different culture, but throughout history. You can track the progression of the country through these items, from their agricultural heritage to the modern, technologically advanced country we know and love today. These items include everything from work tools to domestic items to give a full picture of Korean lives throughout history. The museum is actually located within the immense Gyeongbokgung Palace and is a vital part of that must-see destination. There are three areas to the museum, including the History of Korean People, Korean Way of Life and Life Cycle of the Koreans.

Address: 37 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Price: Free with Gyeongbokgung Palace ticket

Image source: Craig Nagy

“For a taste of ancient Korean traditions, spend a night sleeping on the floor of a Hanok in Seoul's Bukchon Hanok district. These quaint wooden houses make you feel like you've stepped into a Korean period drama. Do a homestay and live with a Korean host for a full local experience, or pick a Hanok-inspired hotel for more creature comforts.”

By Jaclynn, Occasional Traveller

 

exterior of bongeunsa temple seoul

Bongeunsa Temple

Bongeunsa Temple was rebuilt in 1948 after a fire in 1939 destroyed most of the buildings around the temple, with others being destroyed as a result of the Korean War. Originally being founded under the watch of King Wonseong in 1794 by high-ranking monk Yeon-hoe, the architecture of this great temple stays incredible faithful to the original architectural design, which is an incredible testament to the faithful quality of its reconstructions. Although one part of the temple did not need to be reconstructed: wooden block carvings of the Flower Garland Sutra remarkably survived both the fire and the war and still remain to this day. Aside from its incredible past, this is a temple of incredible serenity and still operates as a place of worship to this day.

Address: 531 Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Price: Free

Image source: wjl_yyc

water outside national museum of korea

National Museum of Korea

Standing out from many of the attractions on this list for its ultra-modern design, it’s ironic that The National Museum of Korea looks as far removed from traditional Korean architecture than most tourist destinations in Seoul. This is perhaps because nowhere is more dedicated to this country’s incredible cultural and historical heritage. This museum has three floors dedicated to the best historical artefacts, art pieces, sculpture and craft pieces that Korea has to offer. The first floor has 4,500 artefacts spread across nine exhibition rooms from different historical period, beginning with the Palaeolithic room. Floor two brings together nearly 900 pieces of art, heavily influenced by their country’s history both religiously and culturally. The third floor focuses on sculpture and crafts, with 630 pieces spread across five rooms. It also includes the Asian Arts Gallery, containing 970 pieces from all over Asia, from India to Japan and everything in between. There’s no better way to get in touch with Korea’s thrilling past.

Address: 137 Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Price: Permanent exhibitions – Free, Special exhibitions – Charges vary

Image source: Republic of Korea

blue and red flag bunting

Namsangol Hanok Village

Take a trip back in time with Namsangol Hanok Village, a group of five traditional houses that shows visitors what life was like in Korea’s past. These houses are famous from the Joseon era, from which the Five Great Palaces also originate. These houses are a real time capsule for anyone interested in traditional Korean culture. Be sure to get a tour guide if you really want to get the most of the experience. They do an incredible job of bringing this location to life. It’s a beautiful place, with stunning gardens that are worth the visit on their own. There are often activities and shows available to enjoy while you’re there too, such as tea ceremonies and martial art shows, among many others. However, if you’re just planning on looking around, entrance is completely free. 

Address: 28 Toegye-ro 34-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Price: Free

Image source: Republic of Korea

seoul skyline at night

Lotte World

This is an enormous park, home to Magic Island and the biggest indoor park in the whole world, with rides and activities for customers of all ages. This really is fun for all the family, attracting over 7 million customers every year. Aside from the park, there are also several shopping malls, a monorail, a luxury hotel, movie theatre, sporting areas, a folk museum and even a Magic Theatre. Lotte World is not just a great day out: it is two or three great days out. The park is located near Seok-Chon Lake and is easily accessible from Seoul Metropolitan subway, Jamisil Station and SMRT. Keep in mind that the park, especially Magic Island, can get extremely busy and there is a Magic Pass app available, which you’ll want to use to avoid the queues and get the most out of the park.

Address: 240 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Price: Adult (including college students): Day – KRW25,000, After 4pm – KRW21,000, After 7pm – KRW14,500, Youths (13 to 18 years): Day – KRW22,000, After 4pm – KRW18,000, After 7pm – KRW12,500, Children: Day – KRW19,000, After 4pm – KRW15,000, After 7pm – KRW10,500 + Unlimited usage tickets available

Image source: Teddy Cross

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interior of times square mall in seoul

Shopping in Seoul

No matter what you’re shopping for, you’re sure to find it in one of Seoul’s extensive mall selections, offering everything from the affordable to the most luxurious in brand names.

Times Square Mall

Address: Seoul-si Yeongdeungpo-gu Yeongdeungpodong4-ga 441-10, Seoul, South Korea

One of the largest malls in all of Seoul, Time Square Mall has everything you could possibly want to shop for and then some. Everything is here, from the best bargains to the most luxury, designer top-end gear available. Books, electronics, clothes, souvenirs and much, much more, if you can find it in Seoul, you can probably find it here. They also have an incredible selection of delicious restaurants for you to sample, as well as being home to the world’s largest permanent 33mm cinema screen.

Image source: Dushan Hanuska

colourful umbrellas decorate sky in seoul

Dongdaemun

A haven for even the most dedicated shopaholics, Dongdaemun is a fashion focused market, considered by many to be the Mecca of Korean clothes shopping. While not a budget market, the variety on offer here in incredible, including the absolute best designer brands. Do be warned though, this place truly is enormous so give yourself a good amount of time here to really enjoy this vast shopping extravaganza.

Address: Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Mecenatpolis Mall

Unlike the bustling crowds of many of Seoul’s best mall, Mecenatpolis Mall has a calm, relaxed atmosphere that really makes trips here a unique pleasure. That’s not to say it isn’t popular: its selection of high and low-end shops and excellent food options make this a draw for everyone from locals to tourists but it hardly ever becomes overwhelmingly busy. This makes it the ideal shopping location for those travelling with children, especially because the wide range of variety in its restaurants, which offers everything from traditional local dishes to the international, should keep even the pickiest of eaters happy.

Address: 45, Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Image source: travel oriented

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fine dining plate of food

Food in Seoul

Whet your appetite and fill your stomach with the incredible array of delicious flavours being dished up in Seoul’s exquisite restaurants and eateries.

Jung Sik Dang

Jung Sik Dang got its start in early 2009 and has already proved itself as one of the best restaurants not just Seoul, not just Korea, but in the entirety of Asia. Its revered chef Jung Sik Yim opened the restaurant with the aim of creating totally unique flavours by fusing contemporary techniques with traditional Korean cuisine. It brings the much loved classics into the modern day with incredible results. It has to be tasted to be believed.

Address: 11, Seolleung-ro 158-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06014, South Korea

Tavolo 24

Probably the most amazing thing about Tavola 24 is the sheer variety of foods on offer and the fact that the restaurants manages to maintain a consistently high standard on very different cuisines. Few restaurants can get one style of dish to this level. Tavola 24 manages to do it with a truly international menu. The restaurant looks amazing, with a large modern dining room. Its size isn’t just for show: a menu this size needs a room to match. 

Address: 279, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03198, South Korea

Image source: PortoBay Hotels & Resorts

“Banchan is a core component of Korean cuisine.  It means “side dish” and refers to those little plates of food served at the start of your meal.  A great place to try banchan in Seoul is at Sigol Bapsang in Itaewon.  For just 8,000 KRW, you can have a spread of at least twenty different types of banchan to go with some rice and a hot bowl of jjigae, or fermented soybean paste stew.”

By JB Macatulad, Will Fly For Food

 

four sticky ribs on bbq

Linus' BBQ

Looking for something a little different from the eastern cuisine on offer from the majority of restaurants across Seoul? Well, Linus’ BBQ might be just up your alley, offering delicious American BBQ dishes, along with more international cuisine. This is probably the best authentic BBQ in the city. It’s no surprise that it’s also one of the most popular places to eat. Speaking of which, you’ll want to make reservations if you want to get a table swiftly. Then again, they do say good things come to those who wait.

Address: 136-13, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 04390, South Korea

Hanjeongsik 

There are lots of restaurants that do traditional food well. It’s nothing to be taken lightly, as Korean cuisine takes a great deal of skill. Then there are those few restaurants who take things a step further, taking those great recipes and pushing them to great new heights. Hanjeonsik is one of those restaurants. Serving up the very best elements of eastern and western cuisine, this is a fusion menu that takes all those parts and puts them back together to make some brand new creations. The result? Incredible dishes the likes of which you’ve never tasted before. Experiment: successful.

Address: 37-1 Unni-dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul

Image source: Mike

“As a modern city, Seoul dishes out fantastic traditional food. Jinju Jip at Namdaemum market serves the best oxtail soup. Buy fresh seafood at Noryangin Fish Market, and restaurants nearby will cook them for you. It is imperative to eat Korean BBQ at Byeokjae Galbi at Gangnam. According to late Korean president Roh Moo-hyun, Tosokchon has the best ginseng chicken.”

By Nathanael Ho, Rubbish Eat, Rubbish Grow

 

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view of seoul at night

Nightlife in Seoul

From exceptionally delicious cocktail menus to bustling dance floors and high energy DJ sets, Seoul is definitely not short on amazing ways to spend your evening.

Octagon

The biggest club in this energetic city is also one of the best. Octagon has earned a reputation as the coolest club in Gangnam: the heart of the incredible clubbing scene in Seoul. Spread over three floors with a distinctly underground feel, this is a club that caters for partiers of all tastes, delivered with the best sound system around. It’s a lively club with a great ambience, loved by tourists and locals alike.

Address: 645 Nonhyeon-ro, Gangnam-gu, ????? South Korea
Entry fee: Before 11pm – KRW10,000, After 11pm – KRW30,000, After 4am – KRW10,000

Club Ellui

This is another one of the biggest, hippest clubs found in the famed Gangnam clubbing area. Club Ellui features top local and international bands and DJs, all contributing to one of the top club nights in Seoul. Known for great drinks, great music and great times, revellers dance the night away while staff dance on the bars. It’s an incredible night out that simply has to be experienced.

Address: Hotel Ellui, 551 Dosan-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Entry fee: Weekdays – usually around KRW30,000 + free entry on weekends available with some promotional events

martini glass with orange twist

Charles H

Found hidden within the incredible Four Season hotel, Charles H is like taking a time machine back to the prohibition era. This speakeasy style bar has no reservations and is behind an unmarked door, where you’ll walk into a seating area and wait your turn to be let into this exclusive establishment. They serve some of the best cocktails in town by experienced waiters. This is more than your average bar: this is like entering another world completely.

Address: 97 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Entry fee: N/A

Le Chamber

Looking for a touch of luxury on your night out? Let Le Chamber’s chandeliers show you the way. The cocktails here are absolutely top shelf, as is their excellent selection of wines and whiskey. This is a cooler than cool location and it knows it. Hidden behind bookshelves with its elegantly designed interiors, this is a rather more mature bar than some of the livelier sports found in Gangnam, but it’s no less fun, being known for its atmosphere as well as world class mixology.

Address: B1, 83-4 Cheongdam-Dong, Gangnam-Gu
Entry fee: N/A

Image source: My Aching Head

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Where to Stay in Seoul

“Seoul needs a spot of digging to find its points of interest and local hotspots, but staying in two of its funkiest neighbourhoods is a head start. Both the culture and arts hub of Samcheong-dong and the gritty, pumping student area of Hongdae were my favourites, with contrasting characters that help bring to life Seoul's personality as ‘Korea’s ancient modern capital’.”

By Becki Enright, Borders of Adventure

 

two loungers by indoor pool

Luxury Hotels in Seoul

Sometimes a business can write cheques its service can’t cash. They’re good but weighed down by near impossible expectations. The Four Seasons Hotel Seoul is not one of those places. Amazingly, considering their world leading reputation, they manage to take those expectations and fly above and beyond every one of them. Hotels don’t get better than this. It’s the height of luxury with incredible facilities, including a spa, gym restaurants, a speakeasy bar and much, much more. You couldn’t ask for more.

Where do you start with a hotel that excels at pretty much everything it does? We could start with the world class breakfast offered at The Shilla Seoul, featuring a terrific selection for all palettes at a great standard all round. There are also six dining options, including European and Eastern cuisine along with Japanese, Chinese and Korean dishes. It could be the location, set in a stunning part of Seoul, surrounded by lush waves of greenery. Perhaps it’s the exquisite service, or the classically beautiful décor. But we’ve yet to mention the facilities, which are terrific whether you want to spend the day relaxing or getting a sweat on. You can use the gym, go play at the indoor golf range or join some yoga or aerobic classic, among other options. But if you want to simply be pampered, there’s a full service spa, a huge outdoor pool and a sculpture garden. We don’t think we can decide. You’ll have to find out for yourself.

Lotte Hotel World might have the best location of any hotel in Seoul, set right in the heart of the largest recreational complex in the city. This means you’re near shopping malls, museums, movie theatres, magic theatres, sports activities and more. Best of all, you’re next to the wonderful Magic Island theme park, as well as the world’s largest indoor theme park. If you’re travelling with kids, this is a dream come true. Within the hotel, there are kid’s rooms that are imaginatively decorated so the magic doesn’t end when you leave the park. If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated, there are elegantly decorated rooms which are the height of luxury. The hotel also includes a swimming pool, world class restaurants, a deli, a German brewery, childcare facilities, a fitness centre and an indoor swimming pool, to name but a few. It’s simply outstanding all round.

white hotel room bedroom with bed

Mid-Range Hotels in Seoul

Located opposite Myeongdong Shopping Centre, you won’t have to go far to embrace Seoul’s rich culture when you stay with Hotel Prince. It’s also mere yards away from Myeongdong Subway Station, so getting around the city is as easy here as any other hotel around. The hotel itself is beautifully decorated with a modern but elegant mix of wooden shades, whites and reds. It’s a textbook example of good taste. The rooms come with a large flat screen TV with cable access. The breakfast is fantastic, with an American style buffet and a great selection, all of a very high quality. The rooms also come with free Wi-Fi and the service here is all around excellent.

Set in a stunning high rise a mere 200 yards away from Noon Square, the Solaria Nishitetsu is the epitome of sleek, modern design. The décor here is to the standard you’d expect to find in the very best luxury hotel, with an effortless cool only the very finest designs manage to pull off. It’s in the heart of one of the city’s busiest shopping districts, so this is ideal for shopaholics with a keen sense of style. It’s also home to plenty of great restaurants. Speaking of style, the rooms are as well designed as the rest of the hotel, with a crisp, minimalistic look. The breakfast is an additional cost but is well worth the price, with a delicious spread of culinary options.

Hotel Cappuccino is a hotel that has expertly mastered its own unique style. With a perfectly executed clash of the contemporary and the traditional, this hotel is incomparable to anywhere else in Seoul. Its relaxing, personality-filled rooms are located in the busy district of Gangnam. Surrounded by the best nightclubs and bars, this is the ideal choice for night owls looking to experience the city in all its glory, without having to fork out for the privilege. Rooms here cost around SG$170 a night, with facilities including a wonderful rooftop bar, made famous for its fine selection of gin cocktails, along with an onsite restaurant, health club and café that keeps true its name by serving some of the most aromatic beverages you’ll find.

If there’s one word to describe Hotel Grammos, it’s relaxed. From the inside out, everything here is designed with a precise minimalism, uses its space economically and matches perfectly with its surroundings. This kind of precision may sound clinical, but it actually comes across as being incredibly warm, relaxing and uncluttered. In fact, if you look around the hotel, you’ll find inspirational messages to complete the hotel’s therapeutic air. It also comes with a large outdoor swimming pool, air conditioning, heating facilities, a well sized flat screen TV and free Wi-Fi. Location wise, it’s a mere 350 metres away from the nearest station (Yeoksam Subway), which makes travelling around the city easy and convenient.

red dream house hotel sign on grey wall

Budget Hotels in Seoul

While some hotels can be a nightmare, the great value offered at Dream Guesthouse is sure to keep even the most discerning budget traveller happy. For the price, this will meet all your expectations and then exceed them, with a night here coming in at around SG$67. The décor is new, trendy and modern, the rooms are a reasonable size for the rate and the beds are very comfortable, comparable to hotels at the much higher end of the market. It’s in a great location in the hustle and bustle of Seoul’s busy streets and near plenty of great places to eat, so you won’t have to go far to try that famous local cuisine. If you’re looking for something a little livelier, there’s also a great selection of bars available. The service is terrific. It’s a family owned guesthouse so there’s a great sense of the personal touch here. Nothing feels cold or corporate. It’s a home away from home.

Cheonggye Haus overlooks the stunning Cheonggyecheon stream, which is a beautiful bed of water that runs like an artery through the heart of the city. This is far beyond what you’d probably expect from a budget location and the surprises don’t stop there. This hotel goes far beyond the standard set for this price range. Its level of service is very good, the rooms are a decent size and include a TV, fridge, bath and even a terrace so you can really enjoy that amazing view. The rooms are a little smaller than other hotel but considering the cost (around only SG$45 a night), that’s to be expected. It’s in a great location, not just for the view but it’s also near good travel links so getting around is easy.

A great value place to stay including breakfast, Crip 49 Guesthouse is a terrific option for the price conscious travellers. Its rooms are clean, reasonably spacious and well decorated. There are also outdoor seating areas, including superb rooftop views. The staff here are friendly upon arrival and are always happy to help. The location is also excellent, a mere 5 minutes away from Namdaemun and 15 minutes away from Myeongdong shopping area and Myeongdong subway station, which will get you wherever else you want to go in the city. Food is available within the hotel including breakfast and the terrace is used by guests to enjoy food from nearby takeaways. For a more upmarket experience, there are several restaurants mere minutes away. The rooms also include a fridge and TV.

You can find the perfect accommodation for you by exploring the Expedia website and viewing all of the hotels in Seoul we have on offer.

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moving red bus in seoul at nigt

Getting Around in Seoul

This city offers some of the finest modern transport systems, with the metro standing out as one of the easiest and most convenient methods of getting around. Expanding across every corner of Seoul, you’ll usually be able to find a subway station within just a ten minutes’ walk, making your day of sightseeing all the simpler.

Once you enter a subway station, you will be greeted with clearly marked up maps and multi-lingual announcements, alongside automatic vending machines where you can purchase your tickets. Subway cards can be bought for a refundable deposit but it is advised that you opt for a T-money card to make travelling around this great city even more of a breeze.

Your T-money card can be bought from inside the station and at convenient stores around the city. They are topped up with a refundable amount. These can then be swiped at the metro turnstiles to save you time and money on your journey, as well as being compatible for use on other services, like pay phones and public busses. If you do use your T-money card for your bus fare, you can enjoy transfers to the subway for no additional charge.

Image source: Doo Ho Kim

yellow taxi sign in seoul

Following on from the fantastic example set by the subway, Seoul’s bus services are just as accommodating and easy to understand. These colour coordinated vehicles are limited to different routes, e.g. green busses stay in certain neighbourhoods, blue busses travel between neighbourhoods and red busses go to different cities. As a tourist, you will most likely be relying on the yellow services the most, as these stick to short circuits around Seoul’s biggest and best attractions.

If you’d prefer the comforts of a private vehicle, taxis are a far better choice than rentals, as the congested streets and limited parking options in the city can often cause a bit of a headache. Instead, simply hail down one of Seoul’s silver taxis. These charge at a reasonable rate, although it is always recommended that you agree a price with the driver before starting the journey. You should also check if your taxi accepts T-money cards, which can sometimes be swiped at the start and end of the journey to automatically deduct the fare. Alternatively, you can indulge in a more luxurious service at a higher price tag by opting for a black taxi with a yellow sign instead.

If you are planning on using public transport during your visit to Seoul, please be aware that pickpockets and bag snatchers do operate during busy periods. Always be aware of your possessions and don’t be afraid to report any suspicious activity to security personnel.

Image source: Doo Ho Kim

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seoul skyline at sunset

Best Time to Visit Seoul

For the most comfortable weather conditions and best prices on your hotel stay, it is advised that you avoid Seoul during the height of summer. Instead, plan your journey between March to May or September to November.

During these months, you can enjoy dry skies, as well as warmer and less humid days, with temperatures coming in at a pleasant average of 23°C around this period. The crowds are also likely to be less busy and travel prices a lot more affordable.

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engine streaks from jet plane in sky

Flights to Seoul

When it’s time to jet set over to Seoul, make sure you get the very best prices on your flight to Seoul by browsing Expedia. Save on your travel costs so you can indulge even more in this captivating capital.

Image source: El Ronzo

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Featured Image Source: Carmine.shot

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