Make Your Trip to Seoul Memorable with These Unique Experiences
Its rich culture and exciting attractions make Seoul a must-see city. Here’s how you can ensure you won’t miss out on the whole experience.
Located only a few miles from North Korea, Seoul arguably sits in a dangerous location. And this fact is a surprise to many, as Seoul is easily the most visited South Korean cities.
And why wouldn’t it be?
After all, the picturesque scenery, bustling markets, amazing monuments, and loads of entertainment venues can keep you busy for days.
When making a bucket list for your trip, make sure to include some of the more unique experiences the city offers.
Check Out the DMZ
It’s not a particularly gorgeous attraction, but it is one of the most popular things to do in Seoul. Visiting the demilitarized zone around the border of North and South Korea is undeniably a unique experience.
What’s more, it’s even possible to step on the North Korean side of the border and return. But you have to sign up for that opportunity and it’s not free.
Besides standing between two countries and two cultures that are so similar and yet so different, you can also learn more about North and South Korean history.
Take a Stroll on the Seoullo 7017
Seoul’s Seoullo 7017 is pretty much the equivalent of the High Line of New York City. It’s a futuristic highway overpass that’s recently repurposed in 2017.
Initially built in 1970, the Seoullo 7017 is one of today’s most modern elevated parks globally. It connects to 17 walkways and has an eco-friendly theme that inspires awe in most tourists.
You can even find modern art exhibits, cafes, the famous plants that sing, eateries, and so much more along the walkways.
Go Shopping in Shipping Containers
If you want to talk about unique things to do in Seoul, going to the mall probably doesn’t come up on anyone’s list. But know that Seoul has a very unique mall – one made entirely out of shipping containers.
The massive complex in the Gwangjin district has over 200 containers. Ask for directions to the Common Ground and you’ll find it in no time.
The boutique theme seems fitting and the absence of big brands makes it an affordable place for afternoon shopping. You can also easily catch a music event or grab a bite while taking a break from browsing the many pop-up shops.
Admire the City from Above
The Namsan Seoul Tower dates to 1969. A former broadcast tower, it’s now a city landmark and one of the hottest attractions even in the whole country.
If you want things to do in Seoul that make for unforgettable moments, a visit to the renowned N Seoul Tower is one of them. The observation deck provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and surrounding areas.
Try to get in on a weekday to avoid the noisy weekend crowds and long lines.
Explore the Namdaemun Market
Sometimes, one of the best ways to experience the local culture is through its food. And Asian cuisine is full of surprises, especially for westerners.
If you don’t know where to try the local delicacies when in Seoul, one specific market is your best bet.
The Namdaemun Market is the oldest in Seoul and has a reputation for being the most traditional. The diversity of fresh produce is amazing and it’s also not a bad place to pick up a few souvenirs.
However, what’s great about it is how packed and busy it is every day. You can spend a few hours wandering around, sampling street food, and learning more about local habits.
Tour the Palaces
Koreans did a great job of preserving their monuments and history. And the Changdeokgung Palace is good proof of that. After all, it’s one of the most impressive sights you can see in Seoul.
It’s one of five grand palaces commissioned during the Joseon Dynasty. The palace is also one of the most affected of the five during the Japanese occupation of South Korea.
Here, tourists can visit the surrounding garden that’s initially a place of relaxation reserved only for the royal family. You can visit the palace as part of many tours offered in the city.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is another great attraction that offers a unique experience. One of the coolest things to do in Seoul is to catch the changing of the guard here. It happens on the hour from 10 am to 4 pm all week long, except Tuesdays.
You can also immerse yourself in the experience. Before the ceremony starts, you can try on a gatekeeper costume for free and take pictures. That’s an experience that even Buckingham Palace can’t match up to.
Escape Bad Weather at the Indoor Amusement Park
Florida may have Disneyworld, but Seoul has Lotte World. So if you want a unique experience, why not explore the largest indoor theme park in the world?
Lotte World has an outdoor section too, but the indoor complex is especially massive. Here, you can ride roller coasters, go shopping, play all sorts of games to start with. It also has a hotel if you want to spend the night in a vast entertainment hub.
When traveling with kids, Lotte World is always worth a trip.
Embrace the Viral District
Gangnam District is one of Seoul’s largest and most popular. And its rise to popularity largely had a lot to do with the Korean artist PSY and his record-breaking song.
But it’s not just the nostalgia about the music that makes the district a tourist and local hotspot.
The district’s one of the trendiest places in South Korea and has a unique vibe and lifestyle. It offers upscale nightclubs, shopping centers, and outrageous venues and events worth seeing for yourself.
A Trip You’ll Always Remember
There are things to do in Seoul that are commonly done in many parts of the world as well. So you can easily find enjoyable touristy things to do and sights to see without spending hours planning a trip.
But there are also a few things you can do that can help you forge unique memories.
A changing of the guard where you can dress up like an actual guard? Check.
An indoor amusement park? Check.
Jumping back and forth between two countries’ borders? Check.
Seoul occupies a special place in the hearts of tourists who crossed its threshold and will continue to do so for years to come.