With K-Pop getting more and more popular among fans around the world, travelers are getting increasingly curious about Korea. We are wondering about its culture, the beautiful sceneries captured in the dramas, and the delicious food along the streets. And when it comes to Korea, Seoul is always the one that comes to the top of our minds. Last Nov, I spent 1 week in Seoul together with my fiancé Calvin. To be more precise, we spend 1 week in and around Seoul. Every day we got to see different things and admire different kinds of scenery. So here’s my one week in Seoul and I hope my little itinerary can help you plan your trip better.
One Week in Seoul Day 1 – The Beginning
Once you get off your plane and before you hop onto to the train to the city, it’s important to get yourself a local SIM + Data card. We got ourselves an Unlimited Data 10-DAY SIM card from Link Korea at a cost of $35 USD. I find this SIM super useful as my fiancé and I got to surf unlimited Internet at 4G speed throughout our 10 days trip in Korea.
Picking up the SIM is easy. The counter is located right at the Incheon airport, right outside of the arrival gate. Link Korea also offers 24-hour pick-up service, so you don’t have to worry about arriving during wee hours.
Once you are ready to leave the airport, the cheapest way to get to the city is to take Airport Railway ALL-STOP train. At only $4 USD, the train takes about an hour to get to the city.
Alternatively, you can hop on the Express train and get to the city within 45 mins. However, the ticket costs $14 USD, which is almost 4 times more expensive than All-Stop train ticket. Not so worth it for just 15 mins, don’t you think so?
- Express Train: Adults 14,800 won (45 mins)
- All Stop Train: Adults 4,250 won (1 hour)
One Week in Seoul VLOG Below!
One Week in Seoul Day 1 – Hanbok in Gyeongbokgung & Myeongdong
If you ever come to Seoul and you don’t try out the beautiful hanbok experience at Gyeongbokgung, you are missing out a lot. I’m serious. Hanbok is one of the best experiences you can ever have in this metropolitan city enriched with history and culture.
I booked my 4-hr LUXURY HANBOK RENTAL package from Funko Funtastic Korea. The price for 4-hr rental is 17000 KWR ($16 USD), which is really worth it as 1-hr costs just $4.
Once you’ve put on your costume, the best place to take photos while wearing hanbok is definitely inside traditional palaces – Gyeongbokgung. You can spend the next few hours walking around the palace while enjoying the autumn breeze. In my opinion, autumn is really the best time to visit Korea.
At night, visit the most famous area in Seoul – Myeongdong. Bustling Myeongdong is a shopping area packed with international fashion brands, luxury department stores, and homegrown cosmetics shops. Many travelers visit there to buy super valued local cosmetic products and indulge in delicious local eateries.
Money Exchange Tips – Don’t even bother changing money at home. Change a bit to last for a day at the airport and change the rest at another money changer in Myeongdong. The rate is definitely better than the ones in your country!
After your shopping spree, it’s time to head back to hotel and relax. If you are wondering where to stay in Seoul Myeongdong, I highly recommend NINE TREE Premier Hotel Myeongdong 2 , where Calvin and I stayed for 3 nights.
It is artistically designed to reflect modernity and home living. Each spacious room is finished with carpet flooring and has a work desk. The private bathroom is fitted with a rain shower, while a few rooms also feature a bath. When you look out from the windows, you can also admire the beautiful city skyline.
One Week in Seoul Day 2 – Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm
Nami Island is one of the most famous places near Seoul made popular by the Korean drama Winter Sonata. I guess no one can really resist Nami Island’s charm, that’s why many travelers travel a long distance just to witness its beauty. To make your journey easier, you can engage Trazy for Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm day tour.
Nami Island in Autumn is exceptionally beautiful. Everything turns gold and red. With the brightly lit sun, the magical island glitters beautifully. That’s all I can say. Words can’t really describe the beauty and serene nature of this island.
Afterwards, you can head to Garden of Morning Calm for more amazing sightseeing. Inspired by Korea’s nickname, ‘The Land of the Morning Calm’, the garden focuses on the country’s natural beauty and showcases floral arrangements and landscaped gardens built in harmony with the surroundings.
One Week in Seoul Day 3 – Namsan Seoul Tower & Hongdae
Namsan Seoul Tower is a must-visit attraction when you are in Seoul. Visible from nearly anywhere within the capital, it’s originally created as a broadcasting tower. Today, Namsan Tower has become the perfect getaway in town, featuring a beautiful observatory and various experience facilities. It’s also one of the must-go Seoul photography spots.
You can get there by taking bus from Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Lines 3 & 4), Exit 2 (in front of Daehan Cinema). Take your time to stroll to the summit where the tower is located, you’ll soon be able to see the most amazing city landscape.
At night, you can go on a shopping spree again. Apart from Myeongdong, there are other parts of Seoul that is equally fun and shopping friendly. Hongdae is definitely one of them. Located next to the Hongik University, Hongdae is a hot spot for youngsters. This area never sleeps and is known for its late-night partying and food at all hours.
If you want to join the fun, it’s best to choose cosy places to stay in Hongdae Seoul. We stayed in 2 guest houses in total, DW Design Residence and Issue Seoul. Both guest houses are comfortable, modern and clean.
One Week in Seoul Day 4 – Seoraksan National Park + Naksansa Temple
If there’s one mountain you must know in Korea, it is Seoraksan. Situated in northeast Korea and approximately 3.5 hours away from Seoul by car, Seorak Mountain offers some of the most beautiful sceneries of Korea. Although it’s quite a distance from Seoul, Seoraksan National Park hiking is a must do day-trip. And if you want to spend more time with nature, you can definitely find lots of outdoor activities to make it worthwhile for an extended stay.
To get there, you can opt for MT.SEORAK + NAKSANSA TEMPLE SHUTTLE BUS PACKAGE organised by Funko Funtastic Korea and head back to Seoul the same day. Such tours are perfect for people who are short of time like us!
After visiting Seoraksan National Park, Funko tour will bring you to another beautiful destination – Naksansa Temple. Located around an hour away by car, the temple boasts a 1,300-year history.
This temple is famous for its beautiful sea view as well as the 15-meter tall Haesu Gwaneumsang (Seafareres’ Avalokitesvara Statue). The gorgeous statue stands so tall and overlooks the sea.
One Week in Seoul Day 5 – Ansan + Ewha University
You may have never heard of Ansan before. But you gotta know this beautiful mountain. Although Ansan is seldom mentioned by other travelers, its beauty is no less than that of Namsan.
Located in the city center, Ansan provides a good view of downtown Seoul, and it is filled with great half-day hiking routes. And the best part? It’s largely void of crowds, which means you can get to enjoy the scenery without having to fight with others for the perfect photography spot!
Somewhere near Ansan lies in one of the most beautiful universities in Seoul – Ewha University. Trust me, Ewha University is a MUST SEE in autumn. The campus is dazzled with gold and with the European architecture at the backdrop, it’s one of the top photography spots in Seoul.
At night, you can also walk around the shopping street around the campus and enjoy the great food there.
One Week in Seoul Day 6 – Naejangsan + Jeonju Hanok Village
Naejangsan National Park is one of the most popular places in all of Korea to see the Autumn (or Fall) foliage. During the autumn season (Oct-late Nov), the hillsides and pathways are covered in a multitude of red, orange and yellow leaves. Although it’s far away from Seoul, it doesn’t deter people from coming to witness Naejangsan Autumn Charm.
As we were short of time and wanted to save all the hassle, we decided to opt for a day tour with KoreaTravelEasy. The tour bus will pick you up from the designated pick-up subway station (Myeongdong, Hongik University or Dongdaemum station) in the morning. At the end of the tour, the bus will send you back to the pick-up location. It’s that easy!
When we went to Naejangsan, the autumn charm was at its peak. The whole stretch of road was brightened up by the golden and red leaves. I’ve never seen such amazing colours in my entire life.
Apart from visiting Naejangsan, the tour will also bring you to Jeonju Hanok Village. Famed as the starting point of Joseon Dynasty, Jeonju and its Hanok Village is brimming with that classic, ancient charm. With over 800 traditional Korean hanok houses, it’s really charming to stroll along this ancient village.
One Week in Seoul Day 7 – Goodbye Seoul
It’s time to say goodbye to Seoul and enjoy your safe flight back home! If you have more time to explore other parts of Korea, you can travel to Busan or Jeju, just like we did. Stay tuned for more!