Recently, I talked about the real reasons why everyone seems to be (and really is) going to South Korea. Although South Korea has many beautiful, exciting cities to see and explore, most people– including me, just go to Seoul.
(However, I’d also like to go to Busan for the summer and Jeju Island or Okinawa in Japan for my honeymoon!)
Anyway, Seoul is incredibly small, but it’s also jam-packed with tons of different, unique dongs, or neighborhoods, so it seems incredibly BIG. And, each neighborhood has it’s own style along with something special to offer, from sightseeing to shopping to something yummy to eat.
So, instead of getting lost in all that Seoul has to offer, just take this list of the top 10 trendy, must-see spots in Seoul with you whenever (and wherever) you go!
Okay, are you ready?
If you watch the Korean variety show Roommates then you’ll know about this neighborhood, because So Ra unni is always going there!
I went there for the first time during my winter trip last year. Mr. Kang showed me around, and we walked on a beautiful cobblestone road past some traditional palaces before we stood in the long line for the famous Samcheongdong chicken skewers.
We also ate at a great ddeokgalbi matjib.
A matjib is the name for a restaurant that specializes in making one tasty dish.
Along with the roads, palaces, and matjibs, Samcheongdong is also home to a national museum.
Sinsadong is most famous for Karusogil, or Karuso Road, where you can window show, or really shop, and then sit down and relax with some good food and drinks at a nice cafe or restaurant.
I went to Sinsadong for the first time back in 2012. At that time I went there on a date, and we walked around, did some window shopping, and then ate at a nice Italian restaurant.
I went back again with Mr. Kang last year during my winter vacation, and we went to a nice bar where I got my first margarita in Korea!
… I’ll stick to drinking them in Texas, but thanks anyway, Seoul.
How you’ve changed over the years. Gone are the dirty streets filled with suspicious foreigners. They’ve been replaced by poppin’ clubs, stylish bars, and cute shops.
I went to Itaewon during my first trip to South Korea in 2012, and I loved it– so much so that after partying in Itaewon all night, I missed my flight!
Of course, when I went again last year, I had to go back!
Mr. Kang took me to his favorite bar there.
We also ate at a pojangmacha, or tent bar, outside.
Speaking of eating, go here if you want to do some serious eating. Since it’s Itaewon, there is something other than Korean food here– and a lot of it!
Still, you have to be careful in Itaewon, because of places like THIS.
4. The Han River
I LOVE the Han River.
Where else can you take a nice walk, a refreshing run, or a fun bike ride outside during the day or late at night? … I don’t know, but I haven’t done any of that!
What I have done is get my chimaek, or chicken and beer, on there back in the summer of 2012. Of course, it was another date– one that was supposed to start with a boat cruise but never did.
And, here’s the boat cruise that I never went on.
I’m not complaining, by the way…
I’ll take chimaek on land over a boat cruise on water any day!
As you can see, there is A LOT of shopping to do in Hongdae.
And, oddly enough, after eating chimaek at the Han River we went to spot number 5, Hongdae, for the rest of our date where we had some fruit soju and snacks since you can also go to bars and clubs there.
Hongdae is also famous for– and named after, its college of the arts and artwork that the students there create.
Hongdae is also famous for its music scene.
The clubs in Hongdae are there, but I don’t recommend going unless you enjoy being trapped in a fire hazard.
I barely escaped alive…
Myeongdong is simple:
It’s ALL about shopping.
If you want to get your Korean beauty products, then you HAVE to go here for the wide variety of stores and their great sales.
I didn’t fall in love with Myeongdong until I went back last year in the winter and took this awesome picture after getting tons of awesome Korean beauty products from Etude House:
Yes, my husband!
Dongdaemun is also simple, but the shopping here is much more Korean. Think bartering for prices and walking away with tons of really good but cheap stuff!
Apparently, this place was recently renovated and is now a hot date spot, which you’d know if you’ve been watching Roommates all the time like me…
However, I still do (or did) most of my shopping in Apgujeong.
Oh, five or six years ago this would have been number one, but Korea changes a lot in months let alone years!
I love Apgujeong– the shopping, well, I loved it TOO much so I didn’t do much of it when I went back.
The nightlife here is the best!
And the food, well, its pretty good, too!
You can do it all on Rodeo Drive and even stop by the Galleria, H&M, and Uniqlo.
This is where I stayed last year in the winter, and it was a dream come true!
Apart from shopping at stores you can’t afford, there’s a few other things to do, like heading down into the subway and shopping there or walking around and looking for Korean idols.
So, keep your eyes wide open!
10. Namsan Tower
I saved the best for last!
Okay, that might not be true, but I still haven’t been here! I’m determined to go with my boyfriend (whenever I actually get one), so yes– I’m saving the best for last: Cable car rides and locks of love!
Oh yeah, there’s a super famous restaurant with questionably tasting food at the top of that tower. Yeah, I’d like there to go there someday, too.
And get proposed to, again.
So, do you know where you want to go once you go to Seoul, South Korea?
I know I do!