The Olympics is now ending in South Korea and as the Olympics leaves this beautiful country, there is more to explore in Seoul. Seoul is a beautiful city perfect for everyone of all ages to visit. One day in Seoul isn’t enough to see everything you need to in the beautiful country of South Korea, but it is a good starting point. This post will be filled with tourist spots to visit in Seoul which is perfect for those of you who want to do some sightseeing in Seoul. As someone who has traveled here frequently because of family, this city is my heart and Seoul. If you are looking to spend one day in Seoul or wondering where to go in Seoul in one day, this post is perfect for you!
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One Day in Seoul
How to get around Seoul
What I love about Seoul is its public transportation. Seoul has one of the most subway lines in the world with 21 lines and growing. The subway lines accumulate to about 179 miles. Now some of you may think that must be confusing trying to figure out how to get around, but honestly, it’s one of the easiest ways to get around. You will need to get a T-Money Card to use for the Subway, which is 500 won (~$0.50 USD) and you need to load the card for the fare. The T-Money card can be found at any electronic vending area in the subway stations. I recommend when looking to find a place to stay in Seoul to find a place in walking distance to a subway station. Be sure to read where to stay in Seoul to find some great accommodations.
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One of the recommendations I suggest for getting around for newcomers is to download the Subway Map App. This will be a great way to figure out where to go. Second, I suggest you download the Naver Map App to find destinations on where to go. Google Maps doesn’t nearly as well in South Korea as Naver (Korea’s Map). With the Naver App, you can find the location you want to visit and it will give you step by step directions on how to get there with Subway, Bus, Car and Walking. The Subway Map is perfect to find out what steps to take and what lines to change.
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Incheon Airport also offers a free transit one day tour in Seoul from the Airport. This is worth checking out if you only have a layover in Seoul.
Where to go to One Day in Seoul
There are a lot of things to do in Seoul and figuring out where to go in Seoul can be a difficult task which is why I created this post. I have selected some of the most popular things to do and places you should check out so you know where to go in Seoul. Also, be sure to read, 10 Things to do in Seoul. If you are looking for places to eat in Seoul, check out this Seoul Food Guide. If you want to read more about things to do, read this post about Seoul, Korea. Additionally, if you are looking to stay in Seoul longer than a day, be sure to read this Seoul Itinerary.
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Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in South Korea. The palace was built in 1395 and is one of the largest palaces. This is a location that you must include on your one day in Seoul. Many of the palaces in Korea have Chinese Characters known as Hanja since the Korean Language was not yet invented. This is one of my favorite places to visit in my one day in Seoul Itinerary. If you rent a Hanbok, you get free admission to any of the palaces.
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Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 won / Groups (10 people or more): 2,400 won
Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 won / Groups (10 people or more): 1,200 won
This palace in another beautiful palace that should be visited. Although not as large as Gyeongbokgung, this palace has just as much beauty. This palace has a secret garden and costs extra to see a beautiful garden. You are able to get a combination ticket with other palaces as well, but the two on this list are my favorite and must-sees for one day in Seoul.
Adults (ages 25-64): 3,000 won / Group (over 10 people): 2,400 won
Students (ages 24 and under): Free (* Except for foreign visitors)
* Huwon Tour (Secret Garden)
Adults (ages 25-65) 8,000 won
Young adults (ages 19-24) 5,000 won
Children and Teenagers (ages 7-18): 2,500 won
Groups of 10 people or more: 7,400 won
* Free admission: Children (ages 6 or under) / People with disabilities / Men of national merits
Feb-May, Sep-Oct 09:00-18:00
* Last admission: 1 hour before closing
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Bukchon Hanok Village
Near Gyeongbokgung Palace is Bukchon Hanok Village which is a traditional old village of Seoul. Here you will see many traditional houses called Hanok dating back to the later 1300 century. Admission is free but if you want a tour you can book one in advance to learn more about Bukchon Hanok Village on your one day in Seoul. Be sure to read more on how to go to Bukchon Hanok Village.
Namsan Seoul Tower
After visiting the palaces, Seoul Tower is the next in line for being one of the most popular places to visit in Seoul. There is a cable car that you take up to the tower. What I loved about visiting here was placing a lock with my cousins on the fencing to promise to come back. The tower is beautiful and you can go all the way to the top to see the gorgeous view of the city. This is a location you should add when visiting Seoul in one day.
Individual Admission Ticket
– Observatory: Adults 10,000 won / Children 8,000 won
– Sentry Museum & Showroom: Adults 8,000 won / Children 8,000 won
– Hello Kitty Island: Adults 8,000 won / Children 7,000 won
* Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
* Operating hours are subject to change depending on weather or business schedules.
Shop in Meyongdong
Meyongdong is one of the most popular shopping markets in Korea. Seoul is known for its late-night markets which are perfect for vendors and visitors. This market is filled with individual vendors where you can find any piece of clothing you want.
You may also be interested in Top 6 Shopping Districts in Seoul
Open Everyday (Each shop’s days and times vary)
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Namdaemun Ginseng Market
Like Meyongdong Market, Namdaemun is a very popular shopping market that is open 24 hours. They are typically close for Korean major holidays such as Lunar New Year and Korean Thanksgiving. You can usually find a great deal here for whatever it is you may need. This is a perfect place for your one day in Korea.
If shopping isn’t your thing, try getting an amazing Facial in Korea. Korea is known for its innovative skincare products. This isn’t something you would want to miss.
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Visit at Cat Cafe or Dog Cafe
These are some popular things to do in Korea, which are themes cafes such as a cat cafe and dog cafe where you can drink coffee and spend the day with these cute fluffy animals. Ultimately, they are easy to find and provides a unique experience to a coffee shop.
Like the Cat or Dog cafes or if you aren’t into animals, you need to visit a flower cafe! Notably, these cafes are carefully curated and beautifully decorated with hundreds of flowers for those Instagram worthy photos.
5 Flower Cafes to Visit
- Ver’s Garden
- Lovin’ Her
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If you love art, Hongdae is the perfect neighborhood for you. You can find a lot of local art and shops selling local art. There are beautiful buildings that are artistically crafted with different styles. I would consider this area to be a hipster style place in Seoul. Moreover, the reason for all the art is because of the popular art college nearby called Hongik University.
Insadong is the heart and “Seoul” of Korea and perfect for your one day in Seoul. Importantly, they offer an array of crafts and offers tradition and cultural souvenirs such as tea, pottery, traditional writing, clothing and more. There are lots of small businesses with shops along this street.
If you have kids, Lotte World is perfect for you and your family. Lotte World is Korea’s version of Disneyland with indoor rollercoasters and more. Not to mention, Lotte owns a lot of department stores as well so the name will be very popular around the city.
Full day: Adults 52,000 won / Teenagers 45,000 won / Children 41,000 won / Babies 13,000 won
After4: Adults 41,000 won / Teenagers 36,000 won / Children 32,000 won / Babies 13,000 won
09:30-22:00 (Nighttime admission: 16:00~)
* Closing time may vary each day; please refer to the official website.
Itaewon is a popular place for foreigners. Additionally, Itaewon is known for its nightlife including bars, nightclubs, and late-night eats. You will see a lot of tourists here having fun and enjoying their time walking around and exploring the city.
Eat Korean BBQ
Korean Barbeque is one of the most popular dishes in South Korea and one of my favorites and is a must for your one day in Seoul. Korean BBQ is mostly meat, but most Korean dishes consist of side dishes such as Kimchi, spinach, pickled bamboo shoots and so much more. If you are looking for different types of food to try in Korea, check out my post on the Top 10 Things to Eat in Korea.
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