South Korea: Spend 24 Hours in Seoul
South Korea’s capital is huge at a population of about 10 million. You could spend weeks exploring the city’s network of streets. However, if your visit is part of a longer trip and you only have a day or two in Seoul, we’ll tell you some of the best ways to spend it.
Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace
This 14th-century royal palace is a must-see on a 24-hour trip to Seoul. The palace was built in 1395 as the central palace of the Joseon dynasty. Located at the north end of the city, the palace is open Wednesday to Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and offers free guided tours of the property. Be sure to visit the on-site museum and stroll through the lush gardens.
Shop in Myeong-dong
Myeong-dong is known as the city’s eclectic commercial center, a hub for international shopping and dining. Here you’ll find international fashion brands at luxury department stores, like the Shinsegae Department Store and Lotte Young Plaza. Be sure to check out the Shinsegae’s rooftop garden for a bit of relief from the consumerism. While most stores accept international credit cards, it’s a good idea to buy some South Korean won from a foreign currency exchange company before you head to Myeong-dong.
Eat in Insadong
Insadong is where people go to eat in Seoul. Try restaurants like vegetarian-friendly Sanchon (owned by a former monk), Korean barbecue restaurant Cha Iyagi, and Min’s Club, a Korean-Western fusion on an old family estate. While you’re at it, pick up traditional Korean art, ceramics, and more in this culture-rich district.
Go Back in Time at Bukchon Hanok Village
As a whole, Seoul is trendy and modern, with a density of high-rises, skyscrapers, and shopping malls. But Bukchon Hanok Village is totally different from the rest of the city – a respite from the bustling metropolis around it. Step back in time about 600 years as you enter this heritage village, a piece of history that’s been preserved to its original appearance and feel.
Ride the Seoul Subway System
Looking for an efficient, comfortable way to get around Seoul? The Seoul subway should do the trick. After all, it successfully transports seven million passengers daily. Don’t worry – the system operates in both Korean and English, so you should have no trouble known when and where to get off.
While there are plenty of foreign currency exchange offices in downtown Seoul, you won’t want to spend your precious hours trying to trade in your dollars. Instead, buy currency beforehand from Xchange of America. Buy currency online and have it delivered right to your door.