This is a 5 day itinerary for the city of Seoul, South Korea with a side trip to the beautiful Garden of Morning Calm.
- + 2
Highs & Lows
The Garden of Morning Calm is incredible in winter with the light shows and is a must see!
Accommodation is incredibly small, so make sure to do research on where youre staying before going.
For 5 days in December 2019, I decided to visit Seoul, South Korea. I arrived at Seoul Incheon Airport, and over the next few days did a LOT of sightseeing with a side trip to the beautiful Garden of Morning Calm. Each district in Seoul has a unique atmosphere, there's incredible temples and beautiful landscape, and its for sure a shoppers paradise! I also tried a traditional Korean "jjimjilbang" (bath house) experience, which was super interesting but really insightful and fun!
I must say I had trouble with finding my way around at first. Google Maps do NOT work in South Korea due to the North Korean threat, so it was a lot of guesswork at using the tube system at first. Also, its quite difficult asking around as most people are not very good at english- BUT, the people I met were super friendly regardless and always tried if I asked them something.
The only thing I regret is not staying longer. Seoul is a beautiful city, and there is undoubtedly so much more to see than I did.
Q & A
What would you have changed?
I would definitely have stayed longer if I could. Seoul has so much to offer and 5 days was not enough at all to explore. I would also go on the full day trip to explore more of the Garden of Morning Calm. Many other areas are there as well and it was a shame not doing the whole thing.
Anything go wrong during the trip?
I would say the accommodation was a fail. I recommend fully looking into accommodation as small apartments are super common, so double check AirBnB or book a proper hotel instead.
How was the food?
I do not remember any specific restaurants, but I love trying traditional foods and Korean (and Japanese) foods are my favourite. Theres lots of lovely little cafes, coffee shops, and ramen places too. Everything was very delicious!
What tips would you give a friend?
A few: Google Maps do not work in South Korea. Download their own public transport app to get around. Download a translation app, particularly for menus as many of the good, traditional restaurants do not have english menus. BUT I still recommend going here, as this is where the best food is. When out shopping, if you are not interested in buying anything, avoid touching items. I tried a few times where I did the mistake of doing this, and if you really look interested but do not want to buy anything, the shop owners can be quite intimidating into pressuring you to buying their items. If you walk away without buying anything, many of them look at you with a bit of a frown, so just bear this in mind....Read More
Pack WARM for December in Seoul. It gets below 0 celcius, so very cold.
Seouls public transport (underground and bus system) is ULTRA efficient and fast. I had trouble navigating it at first but it gets easier to figure out. Use your translation app to help you.
The city was beautifully decorated for Christmas in December and there was music playing everywhere, also in the stores. It was truly a lovely atmosphere.