3 Things to do in South Korea 

 December 4, 2020

By  Wilson

South Korea is a peninsula that borders North Korea to the north and is also geographically between China and Japan.

And I obviously had to stop by South Korea to do some Seoul-searching.

I’ve been to Seoul twice, but I have not had the chance to see the rest of the country, which is on the bucket list.

Seoul is huge. There are more people in Seoul than are people in New York or London.

While I was writing this blog post, I thought of my best friend from childhood, Michelle. She’s Korean-American and I had the chance to meet up with her mother while I was in Seoul, so I just wanted to drop a quick shoutout to them.

How I Got There

As usual whenever I travel, I either take a United flight or search for the cheapest flight on kayak.com. I wrote an article about how I stick to flying on United as much as possible to cash out big with my miles.

For this trip, I booked my flights on kayak.com.

Anyway, here are my top 3 favorite things to do in Seoul:

1. Gyeongbokgung Palace

The what palace? The Gyeongbokgung Palace. This is the most famous palace in the country and was built over 600 years ago.

It’s not just a palace. It’s an area and I would even go as far as to call it a park. The whole area is just really pretty.

We spent several hours walking around the whole area.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Selfie at  Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Walking whole area at  Gyeongbokgung Palace

I distinctly remembered thinking: “oh yea, 30 minutes and we’ll be good.”

Nope. It ended up being more like a half-day affair, walking around the mini-lakes, museums, and even stopping by a restaurant for lunch.


Walking around the mini-lakes

In short, this palace is the must-see in Seoul. Gyeongbokgung is not only #1 on this blog post, it’s also #1 on TripAdvisor. So that’s how you know I ain’t lying.

2. Insadong

Insadong is one of the more popular neighborhoods of Seoul, and this was one of my favorite shopping districts. There are lively street vendors and shops everywhere, and it seems like there’s always something going on in Insadong.



I remember walking along this alley in 0 degree celsius (32F) weather. This lady was doing what looked like a comedy show and picking on people in the audience. But I had no clue what she was saying in Korean.

And that leads me to my next point: I think my favorite part of Insadong was the ambiance. Yes, it’s touristy, and I think that’s the biggest criticism of Insadong, but Insadong is artsy and has a young-people vibe. There are also a ton of restaurants. Lastly, there are a lot of fantastic teashops and museums in the area.

3. Hiking Bukhansan

This was not hiking a Mount Kilimanjaro or a Patagonia by any means. The hike was somewhat strenuous, and the view at the top was gorgeous.

Regardless, this was worth a day hike. There were several different trails, but we chose the most common one: The Bukhansanseong Trail.

Hiking Bukhansan

Hiking Bukhansan

This trail was just north of Seoul and took us about two hours to hike to the top. Along the way, we saw many other hikers, including Koreans and other foreigners.

Side Note: I made the mistake of not eating much before the hike, so I was hangry during the whole hike and was craving some Korean BBQ. So. Next section, please.

Honorable Mentions

Korean BBQ at a restaurant called… umm… how do you say this place? Brb, calling my Korean friends. 신김치생삼겹살 (Google Maps link)

Korean BBQ

Korean BBQ

The N Seoul Tower was a great experience and offered a 360 view of the whole city..

Sungnyemun Gate was also one of my favorite highlights.

N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

Sungnyemun Gate

Sungnyemun Gate

On that note… one thing I would have done differently is bunk together the following in a one day trip: (with Google Maps links) SungnyemunN Seoul TowerNamdaemun Market. Because they’re all in the same area (and I split them up without thinking it through).

Where I Stayed

I booked a hostel on hostelworld.com near Hapjeong. It was a fantastic area.

By the way, I wrote a separate article on How I Choose Where I Stay when I Travel.

If I Had More Time, I Would Have…

Well… for this section, I’ll include the whole country, because there’s just simply so much to see.

Firstly, Busan. I would love to see the Seoul-less side of Korea, and I believe that starts with the second largest city, Busan.

I would love to visit the Jeju Islands just southwest of the mainland.

My friend also recommended Daegu. So yeah, bbl Korea.

Closing Remarks

South Korea is one of those Asian countries that has rich, cultural values with a westernized feel.

As I rode the subway in Seoul, it gave me the incredible big Asian city feel. I loved it.

Japan is a (friendly) rival country in the region that comes to mind. Japan definitely has the edge in terms of economic world influence and tourism.

But I wouldn’t sleep on South Korea. I’m already looking forward to returning and visiting the Seoul-less yet soul-ful cities. (Don’t @ me…)

Final Grade: B+


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Hi, my name is Wilson, founder of WFH Nomad. I was born and raised in the US, and I boast engineering and business degrees from top programs in the US. I work a normal, WFH job for a great company in America. I am extremely passionate about traveling and my job in the Tech industry, and the best part of the WFH Nomad concept is that I can do both at the same time.

I have traveled to over 47 different countries in my lifetime and I look forward to continue this lifestyle for the foreseeable future. Thanks for visiting the website!

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