From its raved television dramas to its cult favorite beauty products, Seoul, South Korea is a go-to destination for many travelers. Are you a culture vulture? Do you want to go on a food trip? Are themed cafes your thing? Shopping galore? Or do you simply want some Instagram worthy photos? No worries! Seoul is there to the rescue.
To help you get started with your dream South Korea trip, here’s a sample do-it-yourself itinerary for seven days and six nights.
- 1 Day 1: Arrival in Seoul and Trick Eye Museum
- 2 Day 2: Nami Island
- 3 Day 3: Myeongdong, Itaewon, and Everland Theme Park
- 4 Day 4: Namsangol Hanok Village and N Seoul Tower
- 5 Day 5: Gyeongbukgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace’s Secret Garden, and National Folk Museum
- 6 Day 6: DMZ-JSA Tour and Migliore Souvenir Shopping
- 7 Day 7: Departure from Seoul
Day 1: Arrival in Seoul and Trick Eye Museum
Exchange Currency and Buy T-Money Card
Exchange some Korean Won at the airport. Money changers are available 24/7. Get a T-Money Card which is a transportation card that you will use to ride subways and buses. Having one will save you KRW100 for every ride. You can reload it in convenience stores and you can even use it for purchasing.
Travel from Incheon International Airport to Seoul
The fastest option is taking the Airport Railroad Express Train. You’ll reach Seoul in 43 minutes. There’s also the option for the commuter train that will stop at all stations with a travel time of around 60 minutes.
The Express Train costs KRW8,000 (During the time we visited, we only paid for KRW 6,000/pax as there was a group discount).
Arrival at Hotel/Guesthouse
Late afternoon arrival at the guesthouse. Arrange things and freshen up.
Check the affordable yet decent guesthouse we stayed at, Khaosan Guest House.
Seoul Trick Eye Museum and Ice Museum
Trick Eye Museum is an interactive museum displaying paintings that use a technique trompe-l’oeil technique or trick of the eye. You’ll surely enjoy posing with the paintings.
Since there is a discount for combined Trick Eye Museum and Ice Museum tickets, you might want to check out Ice Museum as well. The Ice Museum is just adjacent the Trick Eye Museum and displays some cool ice sculptures.
Day 2: Nami Island
Nami Island was popularized by the Korean Drama, Winter Sonata. But whether you have watched the show or not, you will surely fall in love with the island located in Chuncheon. The short ferry ride to Nami will start to give you scenic views. And it will just get lovelier when you reach the island itself! You can bike around or simply enjoy a leisure walk.
Day 3: Myeongdong, Itaewon, and Everland Theme Park
For shopping galore and amazing food finds, head to Myeongdong and Itaewon.
Myeongdong is a district popular for luxurious fashion brands and favorite cosmetic shops. Some say Myeongdong is one of the expensive shopping districts in the world.
Located south of Myeongdong, Itaewon is another popular hub for a variety of shops and restaurants. The place houses international brands from food to clothing that cater to foreigners. Itaewon was developed after the Korean War as American soldiers resided around the area.
Everland Theme Park
Everland is South Korea’s largest theme park. If you’re not really into shopping, you might want to skip Myeongdong and Itaewon and spend a whole day here.
Day 4: Namsangol Hanok Village and N Seoul Tower
Namsangol Hanok Village
Located at the foot of Namsan Mountain, Namsangol Hanok Village is a historical park where traditional Korean houses can be found. The village is actually a collection of restored hanoks. Hanoks refer to traditional Korean houses and were first constructed during the Joseon Dynasty.
N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower is South Korea’s first integrated transmission tower providing television and radio broadcasting. It is situated atop Namsan mountain where you can be mesmerized by an amazing city view. You can climb the tower’s observatory or enjoy a cable car ride. Don’t forget to also drop by the Locks of Love, a spacious wooden viewing deck with thousands of padlocks attached to its fence symbolizing the everlasting love of the couples who placed them.
Day 5: Gyeongbukgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace’s Secret Garden, and National Folk Museum
Located at the heart of the city, Gyeongbokgung is the largest among the impressive palaces in Seoul. You can join an English tour to better appreciate its profound history. You can also watch here the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony, a re-enactment of the same ceremony performed by the royal guards during the Joseon Dynasty to guard the entrance of Gyeongbokgung Palace.
National Folk Museum
Located within the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace, the National Folk Museum houses artifacts used in the daily lives of Koreans from the past.
Changdeokgung Palace’s Secret Garden
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Changdeokgung Palace is one of South Korea’s Five Grand Palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty. Make sure to visit its Secret Garden that comprised sixty percent of the palace.
Day 6: DMZ-JSA Tour and Migliore Souvenir Shopping
One of the most interesting things you can do when visiting South Korea is to see the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). DMZ is one of the tensest borders in the world. It partitions the two Koreas with a line running from Imjingang River in the east, to the town of Goseong in the west. A half and full day DMZ tours are available. If you have time, do the whole day tour to see JSA (Join Security Area) located in Panmunjom.
Last minute shopping before flying home? Head over to Migliore that is just a walking distance from Dongdaemun Subway Station. It is a clothing fashion mall but inside are wholesale shops selling a variety of products that you can buy as souvenir.
Day 7: Departure from Seoul
Depending on where you are located, you can either take the bus or the subway to get to Incheon International Airport from Seoul.
If you’re in Hongdae, Jongno, or Myeongdong area, you can take the bus. Luckily for us, we stayed in Jongno and we just walked to the station and ride Bus 6002. You can pay using your T-Money card or cash.
Take Subway Line No. 5 and alight at Gongdeok station. Transfer to airport line.