When travel time is tight it’s hard to choose and narrow down that bucket list you have for a country. Now I already told you what 5 things you shouldn’t be wasting your time on.
These are the 5 I recommend NOT crossing off!
1. Gyeongbokgung and Changdeok Palace
I had a friend recently visit who had the idea of visiting all the palaces in Seoul during her week stay.
I’m going to be completely frank: they’re extremely similar. Unless you’re a history buff, really into Korea, or study traditional Korean architecture, the palaces will start to blend together around palace #3.
So why these two?
Gyeongbokgung is the only place you can see the exchanging of the guards ceremony and it is also very close to the Korean Folk Museum and Insadong, so it fits very neatly into a relaxing day plan.
The second palace, Changdeok, is my all time favorite palace in Seoul. No other palace has so much nature integrated into its layout and design. Because of this, there are many beautiful photo opportunities at the Changdeok.
They also have a really amazing night time “Moonlight” tour. It isn’t offered every day so make sure to double check the dates!
2. Eat a Traditional Korean Meal
Korea has a variety of Korean food options available (duh). Sometimes picking a restaurant out for dinner can become a
30 minute task! However, one thing you should definitely take the time to seek out is a full blown traditional meal.
A traditional Korean meal will have over 10 side dishes that may include fish, crab, salad, chapchae, jeon, and SOOO much more.
It is a dining experience you (and your stomach) are sure to remember!
(But if you are a picky eater maybe this is one to cross off the list)
If you want to go to the one I did CLICK HERE to find out how to get there and hear some tips!
3. Banpo Light Show
It’s a super simple thing but one of those relaxing experiences you will remember.
If you’re time is short you may feel like you have to cram each night with night-life experiences.
However, I urge you to take a night off and spend it here.
There are two ways to enjoy it:
One, you can take the Han river boat cruise. It is an hour long boat ride that goes up and down the river at night and stops in front of the bridge (and then under it) for your easy viewing pleasure.
Two, you can sit and relax at the park and wait for the show to begin. If you are feeling brave or have a friend who speaks Korean you can even grab a flyer and order pizza or chicken wings! They’ll deliver it right to you!
The beauty of the light show against the Seoul night time skyline is something that just sticks in your mind and makes a great picture.
4. Temple Stay
Temple stay is something I did the first time I ever visited Korea. I was 19 at the time and 6 years later I still remember the experience.
There are a few options when it comes to the temples, the group you go with (sometimes it’s organized by people outside the temple) and duration. Temple stays can vary between a couple hours to three days so it will be easy to find one that fits your schedule.
Most stays require that you turn off your phone (they do allow cameras). Overnight stays often provide you with a grey uniform and ask you to remove all jewelry and makeup during the duration of your stay. Life at the temple is about simplicity and devotion, things you will be sure to feel 108 deep bows later.
Temple stay, as corny as it sounds, really helps you get in tune with yourself and your priorities.
It’s a time where you can start to truly relax and breathe.
Insadong has to be one of my favorite shopping places in Seoul.
If you are looking for clothes and shoes this isn’t your place but if you are looking for hand made crafts and unique gifts, Insadong is right up your alley ^.-
To put it simply, Insadong is an artisans’ street. While walking you will be able to see men practicing and selling calligraphy, (along with an array of calligraphy brushes), traditional embroidery, celadon pottery, and much more!
There are also places to roll up your sleeves and create something yourself!
Skin Shopping & Nanta
When in Korea don’t pass up the chance to fill those pockets with skin care goods!
Korea has some of the worlds leading skin care products!
Not to mention the face masks make a great and easy gift for those back home.
Nanta is a great non-verbal show that combines the power of cooking and martial arts into a comedic hour and 40 minute show. They have two theaters for your viewing pleasure HOWEVER one theatre is located in Myeongdong which ALSO has a variety of clothing and skin care shops. So you could just combine it into one trip! ^.^