To many Kenyans, South Korea wouldn’t seem like the perfect destination compared to Europe, America and many other common places. I remember most of my friends getting alarmed when I would tell them I’m moving to Seoul for about 4 years.
“ South Korea?” They would ask.
“ What even goes on in Korea?” They would add.
I moved to Seoul with barely any idea on the lifestyle or the locals. But when I got there, I never wanted to leave! South Korea, in one word is a utopia. Everything you want or need exceptionally perfect!
Well, here are 10 things you can do while in Seoul
1. Visit Namsan tower
Located on Namsan mountain in central Seoul, the N Seoul Tower, officially the YTN Seoul Tower is a communication and observation tower that also marks the second highest point in Seoul. If you are a K- drama fanatic, you have probably spotted Namsan in some tv shows.
There are a number of activities to do while in Namsan:
• Taking the cable car to Namsan tower. This is perfect for couples or even friends and family.
• Hike up to NamsanTower. For those who yearn for an arduous stroll, this is a better option as opposed to the cable car.
• Hang up a love lock. Well, this is ideal for love birds. I did it with my mom and dad though 😜
• Soak up the views. Get to see amazing panoramic views of Seoul.
2. Visit the Coex aquarium
Coex aquarium was the first aquarium ever I visited in my life. I was able to see and marvel at exotic sea creatures. Coex Mall is located at Gangnam district. The aquarium is located underground at the Coex Mall and can easily be accessed via subway, bus or taxi. Entrance fee is 28,000won for adults.
3. Shop at the Korean Markets
Korea is very big on shopping. Some of the famous destinations are Dongdaemun, Namdaemun and Myeongdong. Besides, there are also a number of underground markets easily accessible through the subway stations.
Tip: Dongdaemun is renowned for high rise shopping malls while Namdaemun mostly features open markets that allow prices negotiations and Myeongdong is known for brands and outlet stores e.g. H&M, Forever21 etc.
P.S. Don’t forget to see Zaha Hadid’s iconic building while at Dongdaemun – Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
4. Itaewon ( Foreign street)
Itaewon is prominent for the cosmopolitan dining and nightlife. The street, popularly regarded as a foreign street if full of Korean BBQ restaurants, bistros and clubs. It’s engaging by the day and lively by the night. Who wouldn’t wanna Itaewon while at Seoul?
Check out my blog on Top 3 things to do in Itaewon
5. Enjoy the Seoul events and Nightlife
Seoul is very big on events. Clubs would bring in celebrated artists and djs every other weekend with an entrance fee of only 20,000won. Aside, there is also Ultra Music festival held annually.
Itaewon and Hongdea are known for the nightlife. Aside clubs, you should also try the karaoke bars.
P.S. Don’t forget to try the local Korean beer (Soju)
6. Relive your childhood at Amusement parks
The best amusement parks in South Korea are Lotte World and Everland. Lotte World is located in Seoul but Everland is located in Gyeonggi-do. However, these two are not the only amusement parks you should visit if you have time. There are others such as Seoul Land, Love land, Maze land etc.
Besides amusement parks, you can also go to Sports Monster at Star field Hanam for a thrilling adventure.
7. 오빤 강남스타일 (Oppan Gangnam Style)
While in Seoul, visit the notoriously ritzy ‘ Beverly Hills of South Korea’ where the streets are lined with all sorts of Porsche and luxurious vehicles. The street became even more popular to the rest of the world following Psy’s song “ Gangnam style”
Be sure not to expect any bargains while shopping, despite the fact that the prices are rather crazy.
You will also witness the plastic surgery lifestyle that has over the years become part of the Korean culture. Do stop by a clinic if in need of a botox or microblading.
8. Pick up a foreign hobby e.g. Taekwon-Do
Korea, as amazing as it sounds can at times get boring. Picking up a new hobby is ideal to kill time and to make new friends. You can get to learn the basics of Korean language at a village school or pay for some martial arts classes. You can also familiarize yourself with some art museums and galleries if you have a keen eye for art.
9. Visit the Korean historic and iconic sites
Korea history is apparently not well preserved as compared to China, but there are still a number of historic spots such as:
• Gyeongbokgung King’s palace
• The DMZ ( demilitarized zone)
• The War memorial museum
• Bukchon Hanok Village
• Lotte World Tower
10. Picnic and relax at a Park
Seoul offers a lot of picnicking options, whether it’s up a mountain or by the river, forest, parks or even library. Some nice recommendations for picnic or unwinding include Han River, Olympic park Seoul, Sky park during autumn, Seoul Forest etc.