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Itineraries

© Seoul Tourism Organization

2-day, 1-night itinerary

Must-Visit Spots in Seoul

As Best MICE City, Seoul welcomes many business travelers. However, Seoul is more than a business destination: 600 glorious years of history as Korea’s capital breathe throughout its streets. The city stepped comfortably into its position today as one of the most technologically advanced metropolises in the world, creating a unique, juxtaposed charm. If this is your first visit, check out these must-visit locations for a glimpse of the city’s past and present.

Itinerary

Day 1 Time travel to old Seoul
Day 2 Be a local and experience authenticity

Highlights of the trip

-Explore the essence of the city’s past and present
-Time travel and immerse to unique culture of Korea
-Experience authentic local life of Seoulites
-Diverse options to choose from to best suit your taste


Day 1

Seoul has five palaces located at the heart of the city, built during the last dynasty, Joseon. Starting with Gyeongbokgung Palace, built in 1395 and serving as the main royal palace for most of the dynasty, Gyeonghuigung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace and the one designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Changdeokgung Palace, are all in the neighborhood. Deoksugung Palace, located across from Seoul City Hall, is a famous place for visitors to watch the popular Gate Guard Changing Ceremony. There are many places where you can rent hanbok, or traditional Korean clothes, which will add essence to your visit and allow you to enter the palace at no charge at the same time.

Hanok is a unique, Korean-style house with maru (a wide wooden floor area for cooling) and ondol (an underfloor heating system). In the heart of downtown, surrounded by high-rises, Bukchon Hanok Village has survived more than 600 years. The name “Bukchon,” which literally translates as “northern village,” came about as the neighborhood lies north of Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno. A walk through the village alleyways will awaken your senses to the traditional beauty of this unique architectural style. Although the village is an actual neighborhood where people still live, many of the hanok homes operate as cultural centers for visitors to experience a variety of programs, such as making flower tea; playing gayageum, a traditional Korean string instrument; and muninhwa (Korean portrait painting) classes. Guided walking tours are also available. Be sure to visit the Seoul Hanok website prior to your visit.

For more traditional shopping, come see Insa-dong Street. Near Tapgol Park in Jongno, Insa-dong is a neighborhood chock full of artisan craft stores, antique shops and traditional eateries. Get an eyeful of traditional Korean art at some of the many galleries, or discover strange, yet inspiring items such as munbangsau (brush, solid ink, traditional paper and ink stone), the four essential literary tools used by Confucian scholars (seonbi) during the Joseon Dynasty, and bojagi, a traditional Korean wrapping cloth, often made in a patchwork style. A spoon and chopstick set in a beautiful case, a jewelry box decorated in traditional patterns, modernized or traditional hanbok — each of these things make for excellent souvenirs or gifts. If you tire from walking, relax at a nearby traditional tea house for a taste treat of omija, ginseng, jujube and other traditional teas.

Now it is time to bring you back to the metropolitan city of Seoul. Present Seoul is like learning dancing, quick, quick, slow and slow. It is the place to find humongous cultural complexes and relaxing spots where you can recharge the energy by detoxing your body or being connected to simple nature.

© Seoul Tourism Organization

Day 2

Travelers arriving in Korea for a conference or on business are mostly likely to visit COEX due to the number of fairs, international conferences and exhibitions held there year-round. That’s only a part of the Starfield COEX Mall, the largest underground shopping mall and cultural complex in Asia. Starfield COEX Mall accommodates a multiscreen movie theater, an aquarium, a bookstore, a department store, cafés and restaurants, as well as a variety of brand stores. Even a full day will not be enough to explore the gigantic mall in its entirety. The most popular attraction and photo spot is Starfield Library. This one-of-a-kind library will leave you in awe as it features two-story bookshelves 13 meters high and is designed in a graceful curve with more than 70,000 books on display, stacked all the way to the ceiling.

Jjimjilbang is a Korean-style sauna where you sweat in high-temperature rooms whose walls and floors are coated with mud, stones or other materials believe to detox your body. Popular with visitors to Korea, Jjimjilbang earned a name, “a detox theme park” that encompass massage, food fitness and entertainment facilities. As exposure to hot steam releases toxins in your body through your sweat, Jjimjilbang are the perfect pace to unwind and relieve the physical exhaustion from long business meetings or conferences. Once in a Jjimjilbang, find yourself losing track of time as you try out different material rooms and grab a bite of popular Jjimjilbang snacks or meals.

Bukhansan National Park is a natural park in the city center, enclosed by urban environs, while its many magnificent rocky peaks and crystal-clear streams flow through the gorges, creating breathtaking scenery. Easily accessible from anywhere in the metropolitan area, the park receives 5 million visitors per year on average, earning it a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the national park with the most visitors per unit area. Don’t miss the beautiful harmony of rocks and valleys in varying shapes formed over the years, as well as the numerous cultural heritage sites including the 2,300-year-old Bukhansanseong Fortress, and more than 100 Buddhist temples and hermitages. There are several trails to choose from, in accordance with your physical condition and schedule.

If you’re having trouble deciding the best between cultural complex or nature, here is the solution. Seokchon Lake Park is an iconic park. Go to East Lake for the most serene spot and join other residents in relaxing. West Lake is always bustling with people going to Lotte World and Seoul Playground for cultural performing events. The Cherry Blossom Festival occurs every year from mid to late April when about 1,000 cherry blossom trees lined up on both sides of the walking trails are in full bloom, creating a flower tunnel and framing the lake in white. There are many restaurants, cafés and other amenities nearby the lakeside area, as well as the tallest building in the country, Lotte World Tower. Lotte World shopping complex has everything you’d imagine: world-famous brand stores, electronics stores, an ice-skating rink and even an amusement park connected from indoors to the lake.

© Seoul Tourism Organization

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