8 Free Things to do In Seoul
Seoul is undeniably one of the most expensive countries to visit in Asia. It is a matter of resourcefulness, and luck, maybe, to be able to spend less there. Better yet, check out for some travel guides who will give you tips on traveling South Korea on a budget.
I’m following this Korean blogger and religiously clicked all the lists he enlisted on things to do in Seoul. It turned out that most of these activities are one of the most expensive things to do. However, during our musings around this eclectic city, we found out that there were great activities in Seoul that are free, if not inexpensive,which I’ll show you below:
1.Travel back in time at Bukchon Hanok Village
15 minutes walk from the Grand Palace, and surrounding touristic spots is the Bukchon Hanok village where traditional wooden houses are preserved well and soon became one of the most visited places in Seoul.
Address: Gahoe-dong, Jae-dong, Samcheong-dong, Gye-dong, Wonseo-dong, Seoul, Seoul Metropolitan City
2.Stroll around Insadong
On the other side of the street, you can find a tourist information booth to Insadong. This is the most fantastic street I’ve seen in entire Seoul. The busy afternoon streets were filled with Koreans and overseas tourists alike walking around, hanging out with street musicians or hopping from one antique shops to the other. You can actually spend whole day on this street without getting bored. Aside from shops selling various Korean products, the streets are also lined with restaurants and cafes, both traditional and modern.
3. Relax at the Cheonggyecheon Stream
I tell you one secret . There is a hiding place in Seoul near City Hall station where you can rest your tired feet after a whole day on foot. It looks a little concealed though so you may not find it right away. Take a break from the bustling city streets to this relaxing, serene stream like locals do.
4.Watch royal guards changing at Deoksu Palace
This 2-story walled palace is located near the City hall station. Closed every Monday, but on other days, you can catch the changing of the royal guards in front of the palace. It was 2pm when we coincidentally caught this ceremony on a rainy Sunday.
5. Have fun at Myeongdong district
The commercial heart of Seoul, shopaholics and foodies alike will love this electric district that shouldn’t be missed once in Seoul. I was happy to learn that I chose the right accommodation this time, as its conveniently located in Myeongdong district. This favorite filming location in most Korean dramas are filled with retail shopping ranging from mid to high ends, department stores that house international brands, the Lotte world, neon lights and of course, its famous street food.
6. Pray at Myeongdong Cathedral
By accident, we discovered the Myeongdong shopping street and its cathedral when we got the wrong direction to our hostel. But it turned out to be a positive discovery. It was an astonishment to learn that Seoul Korea is not solely Buddhist and the perception that Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia. South Korea too, but only around 10% if its population is Catholic. This Gothic-styled Catholic Church of Virgin Mary is a symbol of Catholicism in Korea.
7. Visit the King Sejong Statue
Located in front of the Grand Palace, at the center of Gwanghawmun Square on Hangeul Day (October 9) of 2009, the King Sejong statue is erected in his name for all the great contributions he did for the country. The bronze statue of 9.5m in height depicts the king’s smiling face and a book in his hand.
Trivia: King Sejong is best remembered for inventing Hangeul, the Korean alphabet.
8. Window shop at Namdaemun Market
This is the best place to buy your Korean souvenirs before heading home. Practically because it is the largest traditional Korean market so the chance of finding the best souvenirs to bring back home is greater.The myriad of options and variety made available in this market will make you either confused, as to which ones to select or regretful that you didn’t bring bigger luggage.
Tip: Sometimes it is better to buy souvenirs inside the mall , not the stalls outside this market as there are items that are sold cheaper in the former.
Address21, Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 중구 남대문시장4길 21 (남창동)