Seoul, Korea. Like I had stated before… If you’ve visited Japan and liked it (honestly, I couldn’t imagine that anyone would ever hate Japan… but there may be that 1%)… anyway, moving forward… If you liked Japan… You will love Korea all the same. There is so much to discover while in Korea as you can literally find something new and completely different at each train stop.
Luckily, when we were in Seoul, I did have a friend living there at the time who was able to really help us with our itinerary… and lucky for you, we want to share this with you as well. One of our BEST secrets for exploring Seoul, that I would HIGHLY suggest is getting onto instagram right now and following the page @theultimatekoreanbucketlist. On this page you’ll visually be able to see things that you may want to try out and explore and add onto your itinerary. This was a major itinerary tool for us! Don’t forget to tag them on any and all of your South Korean Instagram posts!
Things to keep in mind… 1. Many public restrooms do NOT have toilet paper… so there will be times where you may need to either bring your own T.P. or napkins… or just wait until you go to a restaurant or back to your residence… I honestly have not looked into why this is… but if you do decide to do the research… let me know, lol :) 2. For the most part, people can generally tell when you are a tourist and do not expect you to know everything about their culture but knowing some basics is always nice and respectful. That said, there is a respectful way of paying or handing money to someone by using two hands to hand over the money with a little head bow. You can either use both hands or put the money in one hand and place your free hand on the wrist of the hand that has the money in it… again with a head bow.
Okay, so once you’ve followed and gone through (@theultimatekoreanbucketlist) entire IG profile and collected all the places and things that you’d like to do… I found that it was helpful to write each down on a piece of paper… then Google search which stop each is located at. For the most part, @theultimatekoreanbucketlist as well as @doityesterday’s IG profiles will have the train station (and address) each place is located… Either way, a quick google search works as well.
Once you’ve put together your Korean Bucketlist, map it out by train stops as it will make for a seamless route to visit each and every place that you would like to visit. I definitely recommend this as it makes life so much easier.
Click on the links to find more info about each experience.
The Noryangjin Fish Market is a large, vibrant and amazing fish and seafood center located in the Noryangjin-dong neighborhood near the 63 building near Han River.
We had the best time exploring all the fresh fish/seafood that they have to offer. And when we say fresh… we really mean FRESH as most everything is either alive or it is so fresh that the fish is still flails around a little after it has already been cut. Creepy, I know. But really that’ show fresh it is.
Another amazing thing about this market is that you are able to purchase anything live and they will walk you through a back alley way to a restaurant where the they cook your purchase for you right then and there! It was such an amazing experience as we purchased a HUGE King Crab and had them cook it for us. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S.
The Namsan Seoul Tower is an amazing place to check out. You do have the option to either walk/hike up the hill up to the tower or you can ride the cable car. It was cold and the walk up to the cable car is trek enough for us… so we decided on riding the cable car all the way up. But we were so glad that we did as it had such an amazing Panorama view of the city of Seoul.
Once you get up there, you will find all the Love Locks all about the fences. And there are a TON! There is a little shack that you can purchase a key chain or a love lock of your own… and they do provide sharpies for you to write your love note. :)
Honestly, the Namsan Tower is an amazing family friendly place and just a great place to relax and explore. It has various restaurants, entertainment and amazing views to explore for the day!
Gwangjang Market! What can I say… if you are into trying the weirdest foods but also the best snack foods, I would highly suggest checking this place out!!!
One thing that EJ wanted to try but I just couldn’t envision was the LIVE octopus! Even after they chop up the octopus, they are still so fresh that it’s tentacles are constantly squirming… I just couldn’t do it… and they plates are so big that EJ did not want to buy it and just eat a little for himself. That said, if anyone is down to go back to Seoul with us and eat this decadent dish with EJ - please… be my guest, haha.
Other than that, we did sit down and have all different kinds of foods but one of the most memorable were the gyozas! Oh my goodness… It was hands down the BEST gyozas we’ve ever had… my mouth is still watering as I’m typing this…
Back home in Vegas we are ALWAYS eating Korean BBQ. We love it. So obviously we had to stop to eat Korean BBQ in Korea (a few times). We did find multiple places to enjoy the amazing ‘Goji-jib’ restaurants and of course EJ made friends with ALL of our servers :)
If you’re a meat eater… I would definitely suggest trying a Goji-jib spot out while you’re in the country!
We had the BEST time at the Alive Museum as it has a separate attachment with a maze as well. I would definitely suggest getting all your pictures done in the museum part and then paying extra to go through the maze because it was definitely so much fun and worth it. Not to mention, while going through the maze they let each group go one at a time… and they leave enough space so that you do not end up running into the group in front of you!
How cool is this bar?! It had the most unique and tasty cocktail menus… and a huge BALL PIT! Take off your shoes and enjoy the ball pit area with your love, with your friends, with your family, with yourself… whatever it is. I would suggest checking it out. It is so unique, so cool and free to get in.
Such an amazing concept for a bar! :)
If you are trying to dress up in the traditional Korean dresses and take some really cool pictures. This palace is going to be the place to do it. There is a fee to go inside and check everything out but if you are wanting to go the cheaper route and just observe the outside like we did… It’s definitely worth it as well as they have a Guard show that they put on in front of the Palace when changing out the guards! It was such a fun thing to watch and (although they do not move and you cannot touch them) you are able to take pictures with the guards out in front of the Palace.
If there is anything that you need, this is a great place to get it as they have shops for everything! Koreans are known for their Korean face masks… if you want to try one, I would highly suggest finding your way out here to get it!
Something’s that we definitely made use of was purchasing warmer clothes at UNIQLO… as we were freezing our butts off! Annnddd, the street food!!!! Try all of it! You just have to :)
We loved exploring this spot, the amazing this is - is that it is a huge plaza to explore…and you will find all kinds of amazing and unique art. Things that you not only can take amazing pictures with but also things that you can try out and play!
Even better is the fact that it is just outside of the Insadong train station. It doesn’t take too long to explore so I would highly suggest swooping by and checking it out.