Ah…I lied about Tuesday or Wednesday. I started to study a little, and it wound up being an all afternoon study session, and then I went out for dinner with a friend. So, no posting! But, here we are finally.
My first visit took place over Chuseok, which is a fairly long holiday here in Korea. Many people leave the cities to visit family, and pretty much everything closes down for the week-long period. A couple friends and I thought it would be a good time to visit Seoul and gain a little exposure to the capital. We weren’t expecting many places to be open, but for being one of the biggest holidays, a lot were.
We rented out an AirBnB near Garak Market, which is a little outside of the “city,” which I wasn’t aware of until we got there ha-ha. Rookie mistake. However, despite the long subway ride, it turned out quite nice. We didn’t have to worry about the city noise, and it was such a nice neighborhood. After we arrived, we dropped off our bags and began making a plan for our visit.
We first headed to Lotte World, mostly to check out the giant shopping complex and the area. We didn’t really feel like doing the amusement park this time around. To get there, just head towards Jamsil. This station is a transfer station for both Line 8, and the Green line. This area is huge! The shopping centers alone could take you hours, let alone the amusement park on top.
Once we finished checking out the Lotte area, we were itching for a little shopping. The famous area in Seoul is called “Myeong-dong,” which has its own stop on Line 4.
-Protip: the subway has its own app. Just type in “Seoul Subway,” in your app store, and it’s a little blue app with a subway train on it. This will definitely come in handy.-
This part of the city always takes up a couple of hours. If you’re a foreigner looking for western sizes, you might find better luck in Itaewon(which also has its own subway stop on Line 6), or so I’ve heard. I’ve never really shopped seriously in Itaewon, only Myeong-dong. Itaewon is also famous for being the foreigner hot spot. There’s a Lush store there, though, so that’s cool. You can find just about any type of shop in Myeong-dong, so have fun checking out everything.
Our first day ended at Seoul Plaza, which I believe was near the City Hall stop on the Green Line….why doesn’t the Green Line have a number? Or am I missing something ha-ha. There was a show of some type going on. A comedic historical one, from the looks of it. We watched it for a few minutes before walking around. We saw some of the old palaces, and temples, then decided to hop a few stops over to Sinchon(same line, Green) and get some bingsu before calling it a night.
Day two we spent the better part of at Gyeongbokgung Palace. This is the famous palace in Seoul, and the National Palace Museum of Korea is right next door. The closest subway station has the same name, Gyeongbokgung Station, Line 3, but you can also take Line 5 and stop at Gwanghwamun Station.There are free guided tours available for the National Museum, and once you finish, just walk a little bit towards the Palace and see all that it has to offer 🙂 any season will offer some wonderful pictures!
This entire part of Seoul actually holds a lot of museums and special landmarks. Be sure to bring a hat and water! *the maps at the National Museum include the locations for the surrounding palaces, museums, etc.
By our third day, we were all getting tired of walking so much ha-ha. So, we visited a sheep cafe near Hongdae, and did a little shopping before going back and resting ha-ha. Seoul, Asia in general, has some very unique animal cafes. You could spend a whole day just visiting each of them! Make it a challenge for yourself ha-ha!
That night, we went to the Han River to watch the water show, before going home in the morning. It was a pretty tiring trip, since we weren’t used to walking so dang much, but it was also just as fun. Having been there once, the following trips were must less stressed and anxious. With every visit the rush to get anywhere lessens, and we can take more time just enjoying the fact we are in Seoul. There’s still so much for me to see!
Bonus: there’s a Kakao Friends store in the Central City Bus Terminal. Just take the escalators down and go left, if I remember correctly.
As always, leave a comment! Any reviews, corrections, or if you want to share your own feelings towards Seoul, please do so~