Places to Visit in South Korea

I personally divided the spots in South Korea into three; Culture, Food and Shopping and Nami Island. If you want to experience the culture in South Korea and get to know more about their tradition at present and the ancient times, visit their temples and shrines. If there’s one thing that is famous in SK that’s shopping. Everywhere you go is a store that offers discounts and products on sale. Lastly, if you are a fan of Koreanovela in the Philippines, Nami Island is a must-see! Aside from the fact that famous Korean series were shot in this Island, it’s also a place where couples go to due to its romantic and quite ambiance.

Culture

 

Aside from the four temples and shrines we visited, we also went to some interesting and famous places.

1. Gyeongbokgung

– is the grandest among the five major palaces in Seoul. The name literally translates as ‘Palace of Shining Happiness’ in English.

Admission: KW 3,000
Opening Hours: 
*March to October 09:00-18:00
*November to February 09:00-17:00.
*Closed on Tuesdays

2. Bukchon Hanok Village

– Hanok is a word used to describe traditional Korean houses. This village is located in between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung. A good 10-minute walk from Gyeongbokgung and you will be able to see this wooden village that boasts 600 years of history. Apparently, this village is the largest cluster of privately owned Hanok houses in South Korea. This place is a bit hard to find but the key is to ask for directions from local stores. We tried to ask from Police officers but it was no good.

Admission: Free
Opening Hours:
*Mon~Fri (9:00 ~ 18:00);
*Sat~Sun (9:00 ~ 17:00)

3. Jongmyo Shrine

– Jongmyo is a term used when referring to a place where memorial services are performed for deceased royalties. This particular shrine is the oldest and most authentic of the Confucian royal shrines to have been preserved. It houses 600 year old tablets of dead royalties. There is a daily schedule of a guided tour when you visit. They have English-guided tour and they also have Korean, Chinese and Japanese. I love this place and I learned a lot from the tour.

Admission: KW 1,000
Opening Hours:
*Korean – 9 times a day / 09:20 – 16:20 (every hour), 17:00 (Mar. to Sep. only)
*English – 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00
*Japanese – 09:00, 09:40, 10:40, 11:40, 12:40, 13:40, 14:40, 15:40, 16:40 (Mar. to Sep. only)
*Chinese – 11:00, 15:00


4. Unhyeongung Palace

– is the place where Gojong, the 26th Kind and Emperor of the Joseon dynasty, was born and lived until the aged of 12. This is also the place where King Gojong and Empress Myeongseong were married. Every year the marriage is reenacted and held here. It’s the best place to learn the lifestyle and history of the Joseon dynasty. For us, it was the best place to rent for a traditional Korean costume for men. It’s the perfect place for taking pictures as it’s not too crowded by tourists. Rent for the costume is KW 3,400 (P148.00).

Admission: Free
Opening Hours:
*November-March : 9:00-18:00
*April-October : 9:00-19:00
*Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays following national holidays.

5. N Seoul Tower

 Not part of the ‘culture’ category but I felt the need to include this. The N Seoul Tower has been a great symbol of Seoul since it opened to the public in 1980. It is located in Mt. Namsan, thus the letter N. From the top you can a 360-degree view of the entire Seoul. It is best to see the Seoul Tower during the night and it’s actually quite romantic. This is also a place where lovers leave their love locks to wish for lasting and stronger relationships. The cutest thing here is the bench. They are somewhat shaped like a heart that when two people sit on the same bench, the bench would bring them closer to each other. <3

Admission: Free
Opening Hours:
*Sunday-Thursday
*Observatory: 10:00-23:00
*Restaurant: 11:00-23:00
*Teddy Bear Museum: 10:00-22:00 (Last entry: 21:00)

*Friday-Saturday
*Observatory: 10:00-24:00
*Restaurants (n.GRILL/Hancook): 11:00-23:00
*The place dining: 11:00-24:00 (Last seating: 23:00)
*Teddy Bear Museum: 10:00-22:00

6. Cheonggyecheon

– is an 11 kilometer long modern stream that runs through downtown of Seoul. It starts from Cheonggye Plaza and passes under a total of 22 bridges before reaching the Hangang river. It is part of the post-war economic development project of Seoul which started in 2013. Our accommodation is near Cheonggyecheon so we took an early morningwalk by the stream but we did not manage to walk until Cheonggye Plaza. Since it’s winter, we weren’t able to sit by the stream and dip our feet or else the cold will leave us frozen. :))

 

 

Food and Shopping

1. Myeongdong

– When you say beauty and fashion, that’s Myeongdong in Seoul. It is the most famous shopping district in Seoul and is well known for Korean Cosmetic brands such as Etude House, Skin Food, Laneige, The Face Shop and the likes. They have so many branches that sometimes it’s confusing to identify which branch is which. Aside from beauty and fashion, Myeongdong also is a heaven for street food. Click here to see different street foods.

2. Gangnam Station Underground Shopping

– Once you arrived at Gangnam Station, you are already in the shopping area. Most people who visit here are the young. If you want to be updated with the latest trends or ‘Gangnam Style’ as they call it, this is the right place for you. The mall also has an Herb Plaza where you can stay after a tiring day of shopping.

Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

3. Korean Street Food

I don’t think I need to explain this, you just need to see it. Click this link.

 

Nami Island

I wrote a special blog for this. Just click this link.

 

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