Seoul Itinerary: Day One Downtown and Historic District

day one

You have walked a long distance to reach Seoul. Departing from the airport, go to your accommodation to put down your luggage and organize it. Then, we will explore the main downtown and historical areas.

A palace tour through the five magnificent palaces among the five palaces. Built during the Joseon Dynasty, which ones should you see? We don’t have enough time to visit all the temples, and we don’t want to “tired in the palace”.

These five palaces are Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace (UNESCO World Heritage), Changgyeonggung Palace, Gyeonghee Palace, and Deoksugung Palace. Click the link below for each palace for more information. Choose what seems interesting to you.
Tip: If you rent Traditional Hanbok in any of these palaces, you can enter for free.

To reduce stress, please book a half-day tour of the palace and market.
For convenient transportation, we visited Deoksugung Palace. In the city hall area. It is easy to look at after taking a photo of the I.SEOUL.U logo (more information below). The entrance fee is 1,000 won per person. The palace is a beautiful western-style building and garden. We saw some tourists taking photos of the white columns of the palace. There is the National Museum of Modern Art in the rear. One highlight is witnessing the changes in the ceremony of the former Royal Guard in the palace. At the end of the ceremony, visitors can take a photo with the guards. It will hold the ceremony from Tuesday to Sunday at 11:00 am 2:00 pm and 3:30 pm.

How to get there:
City Hall Station (Metro Line 1) and Exit 2, or Metro Line 2 Exit 12. 2 may take a photo of the I.Seoul.UA Amsterdam logo. Which bears the “I Amsterdam” logo when leaving Schiphol Airport. The symbol of Seoul is “I.Seoul.U”. Although it was criticized at the time of its release, it was an important milestone for a photographic opportunity. There are various billboards in the city, such as City Hall/Seoul Plaza. The Deoksugung Palace, Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), and Ruou Island Hangang Park. You can’t miss the big white letters. Come here as early as possible to avoid other visitors taking photos of you.

How to get there:

  • Before reaching the City Hall sign: City Hall Station (Metro Line 1).
  • Get off at Exit 5 or 6, or Metro Line 2, get off at Exit 8.

A unique way to view and explore Seoul’s most beautiful back streets. Bookmark several major tourist attractions at the same time? Artee Riders Club offers 1-hour and 2-hour rickshaw tours in the historic North Village and West Village neighborhoods.

It depends on your choice, you can visit Gyeongbokgung Palace and/or Changdeokgung Palace and Blue House (Presidential Palace). Sit back and relax as you stroll through the alleys, traditional hanoks of Bukchon Village, or West Village Artist Village.

The “driver” can also act as a tour guide and an excellent photographer. They will teach you about the rich culture and history of the city. Show you hid alleys, this takes you to the best place to take pictures away from the crowds.

How to get there:

  • The tour of Bukchon starts at Anguk Station of Metro Line 3 and then exits at Exit 1.
  • Seochon Tourist Station starts at Gyeongbokgung Subway Station on Line 3 and then Exit 4.

Navigate to Bukchon Hanok Village
Amidst the dazzling neon lights and skyscrapers of downtown Seoul. There a peaceful and peaceful little paradise: Bukchon Hanok Village, which has existed since the end of the fourteenth century. Give an hour or two wandering the hills and alleys made of pebbles, admiring some 900 hanoks. The traditional houses are made of natural materials such as wood or stone.

My favorite hobby is renting hanbok to pose for photos, but there are still many things to do. Culture is everywhere. Some houses have become cultural centers or handicraft shops, but the ancestral spirit of the town is very active. People still live here, although it must disturb to have a house in the middle of a very popular attraction. To better understand what this small town looks like. Please visit in the early morning or at sunset when the crowds are low.

How to get there:

  • Anguk Station (Metro Line 3), then take exit 2.
  • Walk for 10-15 minutes.

Wandering in Insadong
After years of traveling to Asia, our favorite neighborhood is Insadong. Each trip to South Korea includes at least one day.

The most famous in the area is Insadong-Gil, a long street with dozens of smaller streets and alleys connecting alleys. Most areas of the main street are closed to cars, making it an ideal place for pedestrians to roam. There are hundreds of small shops selling traditional handicrafts, clothing, cosmetics, and souvenirs along the way.

We can find food vendors on the sidewalks selling some of the best street food. Our absolute favorite is hotteok, which is a donut cake filled with sugar, ground peanuts, and sesame seeds. These are available elsewhere in the city, but the ones in Insadong are by far the best.

Over the years, we have enjoyed many lunches and dinners in nearby restaurants. They searched some after reading reviews, we selected some; you can’t go wrong. After a meal, consider stopping at one of the many traditional tea shops in the area. Insadong can always provide you with delicious food, unique souvenirs, or walks.

Pass the beautiful Jogyesa Temple and near Insa-dong Street is Jogyesa Temple. This is an impressive Korean Buddhist temple that welcomes everyone. One of the temple’s iconic attractions is the colorful ribbons and lanterns that cover the area. We went during the Buddha’s birthday and the temple held a grand celebration including food, children’s activities, and performances.

A unique opportunity is to stay in this temple for 1 to 10 nights. You can engage in activities such as singing, meditation, and/or monks talking about your lifestyle. Any problems encountered during afternoon tea.

How to get there:

  • Line 3 Anguk Station (Anguk Station) and Exit 6.
  • Keep walking until you reach the intersection
  • Turn left onto Ujeongguk-ro Street and continue driving until you get to the temple.
  • Or take Metro Line 1 to Jonggak Station (Jonggak Station) and get off at Exit 2.

Take a stroll at Gwangjang Market at night
Are you rumbling from all the sightseeing opportunities? Go to Gwangjang Market in the evening. This must-see night market is endless, with street food stalls everywhere. Choose from traditional Korean foods, for example, japchae (glass fried noodles). The topokki (rice cake) in a spicy sauce, ice cream (blood sausage), kimbab (similar to sushi rolls), etc. Otherwise, you may fool and try the greasy but delicious bindaetteok (fried mung bean pie)! You can even eat sashimi, fresh seafood, or Korean barbecue at a local restaurant.

All you have to do is find an open seating area in one stall and start ordering. Eat all night and try different stalls. To throw away food, go to the area to shop for home features, groceries (such as kimchi), equipment.

How to get there:

  • Jongno No. 5(o)-ga Station (Subway Line 1).
  • Get off at Exit 7 or 8.
  • It takes 5 minutes to walk to the market.
Half-Day (DMZ) TourSeoul Rentals 
Jogyesa TempleGwangjang Market 
Han RiverBukchon Hanok Village
Changdeokgung Gyeongbokgung
Deoksugung PalaceChanggyeonggung
GyeongheeGangnam District
HongdaeSeoul Tickets
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READ: The Best 5 Days Itinerary in Seoul, and What To Do

Photo by Tea Creative │ Soo Chung on Unsplash

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