Seoul travel weekend itinerary and costs
Seoul travel and weekend itinerary. Click below for a video of my time in Seoul. And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep updated with fresh, original and informative travel information.
The city has been a top my list of must see places for 2016. I was excited to find some time to visit the vibrant capital. I flew from Hong Kong, finding a flight with HKExpress for $1040HKD (approximately $250AUD).
I had flown HKExpress before and have had no problems with any flights, planes or staff, and flying HKExpress was a lot less expensive than competing carriers Cathay Pacific and Korean Air.
The flight took around 3 hours, arriving in Seouls Incheon Airport. This airport is now the international airport (ignore the fact that the other airport in seoul is named international – it was the OLD international airport before the new one was built, and is now dedicated to domestic flights.
Airport to the city
I took the subway train from the Airport to Seouls downtown area of Hongdae. It was easy to catch, and the cost was just over 5000WON ($5 USD) for the 50 minute trip.
Simply just go to the basement level when exiting arrivals and follow the signs that say airport railway. On the way you will pass many convenience stores, in particular a 7/11. Drop in and purchase a transport card. This card will cost you 4000WON (around $4USD). Proceed towards the subway station and stop at the add value machines and add credit to your transport card.
Transport in the city
I used the metro system to travel from the airport to the cityas well to visit all of the attractions that i visited. The subway is efficient, inexpensive and a very easy means of finding the attractions i wanted to visit.
For more information on public transport, maps and stations in Seoul, check the official tourism website.
Attractions i visited & how to find them
Bukchon Village was my first place to visit. Located within walking distance from the Gyongbokgung Palace or via Anguk Station. You can walk between to two while exploring Bukchon Village. The village itself is a small traditional area, where you can see traditional Korean styled houses and streets. A few streets have been turned into touristy shopping streets, with small boutiques and cafes.
It was free to visit the Bukchon Village, to wonder the streets and visit different stores and boutiques. There is also an information/museum type centre which is free to visit.
Gyongbokgung Palace, located at Gyongbokgung Station, was originally home to kings and royal families in the Josen dynasty. Tickets are 3000WON (around $3 USD).
I happen to visit the palace on a weekend and it was very crowded, however, the architecture was unique and worthwhile visiting. There are so many buildings, walls and walkways to explore within the complex, you might find you spend more time there than first anticipated.
A photo posted by ♡ Jasmine Elizabeth (@nomadgirlco) on
Korea War Memorial and Museum
Out of all the historical attractions in Seoul that i visited, the war memorial was my favourite. The museum holds over 13,000 artifacts all on display in beautiful collections. You can see canon balls, bullets, model warplanes, uniforms, guns, knives, model replicas of battles, shields, amour, books.. basically everything you could think of.
Outside, in the museum grounds, there is a large display of war planes, bomber jets, canons and missile style launchers, army jeeps, a large boat and helicopters. The outdoor relics museum is free to visit, and the indoor museum and war memorial cost 3000WON to visit (around $3USD).
Located at Samgakji Station exit 1 (just walk straight out the exit and continue in the same direction for approximately 100metres.
For more information http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu
Children’s Grand Park
This place is fun (for the most part) and is a great place to take a picnic, entertain children or have a bit of a break from the hectic city atmosphere. The park is located at the aptly named Grand Children’s Park Station. Traveling to the station on the subway took roughly 1 hour from Central/Hondae area, and the park entrance was directly outside the station exit.
The park itself is huge and has a large range of attractions, carnival style rides, zoo, playground, gardens and water features as well as many spacious grassy areas ideal for a picnic. Entry is free to the parkland, zoo area, parklands, gardens and playgrounds. There is a charge on amusement rides, 10,000Won for 2 adult rides (around $10USD). Children’s ticket prices are less expensive. For more information, check out Seoul Grand Childrens Park on VisitSeoul.net.
A photo posted by ♡ Jasmine Elizabeth (@nomadgirlco) on
For more information on attractions and things to do in Seoul, check out Marks article on Migraitionology.com. He certainly created an extensive list thats very helpful for travellers.
Seoul has a reputation throughout Asia as being a fantastic shopping destination, and it lived up to the hype. I really enjoyed browsing the Korean fashions, exploring the vibrant shopping streets and finding some great pieces. There are so many great shopping areas in Seoul, from high end designer areas to University shopping areas where prices are incredibly inexpensive. It will depend upon your shopping preferences as to the areas you’ll like to shop.
Apgujeong is one of the wealthiest areas in Seoul, and this is the place to go for all high end fashion lovers. Expect to find the likes of Louis Vuitton, Prada, Channel and don’t forget to check the Galleria Department Store which houses many high end fashion designers. Amongst the international high end designer stores you can find many trendy independent stores offering more affordable items.
If you are a backpacker looking to save money, i would skip this area. If you are on a weekend trip to Seoul and love designer pieces and checking out the latest lines then its a great place to get your retail therapy! Make your way to the Apgujeong Rodeo Station (any exit) and get your shop on!
This place is the centre of shopping in Seoul. When any brand name store makes its way to Korea, Myeongdong is the first place they big brand stores appear. Think international chain stores, middle of the range prices, H&M, Zara, Nike, UNIQLO, etc. Check out the Lotte Department store, which has several floors of duty free shopping (you can even shop hands free by purchasing at the store and picking up your items at the airport on your way home).
Myeongdong is also the place for makeup and more makeup. Korean women love their beauty products and if you are alike then you will have a great time in Myeongdong. Staff in most of the stores offer free samples of many products (i purchased one lipstick and received 3 samples of different products to try). Some stores also offer discounts for visitors.
Ewha Womens University Shopping Street $
I found Ewha to be one of the cheaper options for shoppers. The prices ideally suited to backpackers wanting to spruce up their wardrobe (backpack) while in the city. The area mainly focuses on womens clothing, footwear, shoes, bags and accessories, as well as make-up.
Prices for most bags, accessories and clothing items start at 10,000WON (around $10USD), there is a no try on policy however sizing is no problem (I am 5 9′, pretty standard western build, and had no trouble finding clothes to fit).
Make your way to Ewha Women’s University Station, (Exit 1, 2, or 3) and get shopping! The station is just a couple of stations away from Seoul Central Station.
Hongdae is another great stop for shopping, and is most vibrant and lively at night (especially on the weekend). I loved exploring the endless streets lined with domestic Korean fashion. Clothing, bags, shoes, accessories, makeup. Hongdae is also a college area in Seoul therefore shopping is quite inexpensive – prices for most items start at 10,000 WON (approximately $10USD).
I stayed in the Hongdae area so after exploring Seoul during the day, i made my way around the Hongdae shopping streets exploring and taking in the Hongdae atmosphere. Make you way to Hongdae University Station (Exit 9), Sangsu Station (Exit 1) or Hapjeong Station (Exit 3) and get amongst the action.
* This is by no means a list of all of the main attractions, or the top attractions etc. The places i have listed are the places i chose to visit after looking up many top attraction lists online. I love history (Bukchon Village, Gygongbokgung Palace), especially war history (Seoul War Memorial & Museum), I’m an adult child (Grand Childrens Park), and i wished to take advantage of some less expensive shopping while in Seoul (many shopping areas), as Hong Kong is expensive!
Where did i stay?
I stayed at the Maru Hostel which was in the lively restaurant and bar area of Hondae. You can walk to the hostel from Hapjeong Station or Sangsu Station. The cost of a female 4 bed dorm is KRW 27,900 ($24USD).
The hostel had a good mix of local long term residences and backpackers. The staff are all very young and super helpful. The hostel is walking distance to heaps of international and local restaurants, nightclubs, street food, a supermarket, shopping malls, market streets and the subway station.
There is WiFi, a communal kitchen, a rooftop, and free breakfast (basic bread/egg type) each morning you prepare yourself. The hostel has 51 rooms, from dorms (mixed, female, 4-14 beds), single, double and family.
I booked via booking.com, click here for more information, room types and rates and booking.
I hope this post gives a greater insight into the cost of traveling in Seoul. Seoul is a very affordable city. When exploring (day and late at night) i felt safe and secure. The vibe is vibrant and high energy and is an especially great city for those who love to shop!