Bukchon Hanok Village
How to get there: Take Line 3 to Anguk Station (Exit 2). Walk for about 300m to arrive at the village.
Bukchon Hanok Village is a beautiful area and has many of the still remaining privately owned traditional Korean homes, or hanok in Seoul. It’s a great place to walk around, dine at cute cafe’s, and look in all the unique shops. There are some very interesting wall murals to take photos of and traditional handicrafts to be bought as well.
How to get there: Take Line 4 to Myeondong Station and take exit 7 or 8. Wait for the free shuttle that will take you to the cable car station.
It truly is an amazing experience to be at the top of N Seoul Tower and get a good look at the cityscape. Make sure to bring a lock to add to the top with locks of love that other people have left. There is also a restaurant with a beautiful view, especially at night.
How to get there: Take Line 3 to Gyeonbokgung Palace Station (Exit 5)
I came here one a field trip with my students, so I didn’t get to fully experience the palace and hope to go back someday. It is the largest of all the five remaining palaces, and is probably the most famous as well. English tours are available, but it’s a pretty easy place to navigate on your own.
How to get there: Take Line 2 to Samseong Station (Exit 6). Walk straight and turn left at the major intersection. The temple should be on your right.
Bonguensa Temple is own of the most beautiful temples I have seen in Korea. If you visit Thursday from 2pm-4pm, there is an English tour led by monks and volunteers, that includes lantern-making and meditation. This temple also offers short temple-stays. If you walk up back in the forest behind the large Buddha, it is quite peaceful, and many people sit near the trees to meditate and relax.
How to get there: Line 2 to Sadang Station (Exit 3). From there, follow the athletically-clad hikers up to the mountain.
Bukhansan is arguably the more popular and well-known mountain to hike in Korea, but I prefered Gwanaksan. It was more challenging for me, and I found the views more rewarding. I would recommend hiking in the fall, as the leaves are changing colors and it is not sticky and humid as it is in Korea during the summer months.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Seoul? Let me know in the comments below.