Seoul is an incredible city with amazing views and endless sites and tourist attractions to visit. There’s always things to do in Seoul, whether with a group, or solo.
These Seoul attractions are some of my favorites in Asia.
The first time I visited South Korea I spent two weeks in Seoul, with beautiful side trips to Jeju Island and Busan in the south, then to Gyeongju and Pohang in another visit. Now, I’ve been to Seoul six times and can’t wait to visit again.
If you’re new to South Korea, make sure to read my travel guide to South Korea.
Here are 28 Seoul Attractions to Visit in 2024, Split by Categories:
- 6 Shopping Areas
- 6 Parks & Green Spaces
- 3 Beautiful Sites
- 5 Palaces
- 4 Night Views
- Downtown Seoul
- 4 Kpop Fans Sites
Book Before Your Seoul Trip:
🎫 Get a Seoul Pass for access to different Seoul attractions
🚊 Ride from the airport: prebook a transfer | airport bus | AREX train
🚙 Rent a car in South Korea for as cheap as $28 USD a day
🚌 Browse through dozens of available Seoul tours
🛍 Shopping Areas to Visit in Seoul:
1. Insadong Shopping Street is located in the northern-central Jong district and is a long street of local shops and restaurants. You can find a lot of traditional Korean souvenirs here.
2. Ssamzigil Mall is a four-story mall inside Insadong. Ssamzigil Mall has four floors of more than 70 shops selling mostly arts and crafts items, souvenirs, and traditional Korean fashion items. Annyeong Insadong, a 6-story mall is also inside Insadong Shopping Street.
3. Ikseondong Hanok Village: This area is a hidden gem of alleyways of traditional Korean houses converted into charming shops and cafes, each beautifully-decorated.
4. Myeongdong is probably the most popular area in Seoul for shopping and street food. You can visit fashion, music, beauty, and souvenir shops and visit the street food stalls at night. This is one of the top Seoul attractions to visit.
✍🏻 Something fun: Join a Korean-style Caricature Drawing Class in Myeongdong
5. Starfield COEX Mall is the largest underground mall in Asia and offers a diverse range of shopping and entertainment options. This is where you’ll find the famous Starfield Library.
6. DDP (Dongdaemun Design Plaza) is a large futuristic hub of art, design, and culture. Visitors can explore galleries, shops, and restaurants, and look at the many art pieces. There are also lots of affordable hotels in Dongdaemun if you’re considering staying in this area.
7. Seoul Forest: This beautiful and peaceful park is perfect to visit during any season, and especially fall or cherry blossom season. You can have a picnic and there’s plenty of benches to sit on and relax.
8. Cheonggyecheon Stream: This is a 7-mile (12 km) public stream running through downtown Seoul, open 24/7 except during rain for safety. The stream is a great spot for a daytime walk or nighttime stroll, and there are light shows to enjoy after dark.
🌌 Something unique: Join a Seoul night tour of Cheonggyecheon Stream, Royal Palace, & Naksan Park
9. Yeouido Hangang Park: Rent a bike and ride along the river, or enjoy the view while sitting by the water. This park is especially popular at night.
10. Olympic Park: Built to host the 1988 Summer Olympic Games, Olympic Park is a massive green park, and perfect for a walk. Check out the Flag Plaza at the west end of the park, where you’ll find flags of countries that participated in the 1988 games.
11. Seokchon Lake: This lake is surrounded by a walking path and nearby cafes. It’s especially beautiful when the cherry blossoms are in bloom and close to Lotte World.
12. Namsan Seoul Tower & Park: This is Seoul’s largest park, and at the top is the Observatory with the famous Namsan Tower and Locks of Love, where thousands of locks are placed. The Observatory has amazing views of the city. This is a must add to your Seoul attractions to visit and one of my favorite places to visit in Seoul.
🎫 Skip the lines: Pre-book your Namsan Tower cable car ticket
Read my full blog post on 7 best parks to visit in Seoul.
🏛 Beautiful Sites
13. Bukchon Hanok Village: This village consists of traditional Korean houses designed with nature and weather in mind. Reminder that people still live here, so try not to be the typical loud tourist. 😉
14. Yonsei University: This university serves as a starting point for hiking Mt. Ansan, and has been used as a filming site for various Korean dramas like True Beauty and Reply 1994. The buildings are covered in colorful leaves in different seasons.
15. National Museum of Korea: This museum has three floors to explore. I spent three hours here, and it’s free! The museum even provides descriptions in braille. Outside the museum, you’ll get a stunning view and Yongsan Park is just a short walk away.
👑 Palaces in Seoul
16. Changgyeonggung Palace: This palace was built in the 1400’s and has the most greenery of all the palaces in Seoul. Admission to this palace costs just 77 cents (1,000 won).
The palace has a greenhouse built in 1909, which is Korea’s first western-style greenhouse. There’s also a sundial that was used to tell time during the Joseon dynasty.
17. Gyeongbokgung Palace: This palace costs 3,000 won ($2.30 USD) to enter and is easily one of the top must-visit places to visit in Seoul. It was the main palace during the Joseon dynasty, first built in 1395, and spans over 400,000 sq. meters.
You can watch the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony daily at 10am and 2pm (except on Tuesdays). Another top 5 Seoul attractions!
🌌 When in Korea: Rent a hanbok for only $6 USD to wear to Gyeongbokgung Palace
Read my full blog post on Gyeongbokgung Palace (Top things to do + how to get there)
18. Deoksugung Palace: This palace is located in the heart of downtown and is the smallest palace in Seoul, built in the 20th century. The Seogjojeon western-style building within the palace was used by the king for sleeping quarters and other royal functions.
19. Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden: Changdeokgung Palace was designed in harmony with the natural landscape, with the popular Secret Garden that served as a retreat for the royal family.
I visited near the end of autumn, and fall foliage was still everywhere here. You have to purchase separate tickets to the Secret Garden, which are limited daily, so best to book ahead online.
(I also went to Gyeonghuigung Palace and will update!)
🌉 Places to Visit in Seoul at Night
20. Banpo Hangang Park & Bridge: This park and bridge are open 24 hours a day. You can rent a bike, have a picnic, jog, and visit the outdoor market with food stalls.
I highly recommend walking across the bridge for an amazing view of the light show at night. The light show is at 12pm, and every half hour from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.
⛴ Something memorable: Join a sunset or moonlight Han River cruise for only $10 USD
21. Hongdae: Known as the indie music and youth district of Seoul, Hongdae features streets filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as live performances during the day and night. To feel the busy vibe, add Hongdae to your Seoul attractions list.
22. Itaewon is the most popular area for nightlife in Seoul, for both locals and foreigners. There’s restaurants, bars, and shops. People are still partying til the early morning on weekdays.
🍶 Something social: Book a Seoul pub crawl for a fun night out in Seoul
23. Bar-hopping: Seoul has a thriving bar scene, and bar-hopping is a fun way to experience the city’s nightlife. Check out Bar Cham, located inside a hanok and ranked as one of Asia’s top 50 bars. There are also many bars in Itaewon and Hongdae. Try traditional Korean spirits and drinks.
🏙 Downtown Seoul
24. Gwanghwamun Square: Gwanghwamun Square is a public square located in the center of Seoul and next to Gyeongbokgung Palace. It features a large statue of King Sejong the Great, who is credited to creating the Korean alphabet, and another statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin, a celebrated naval commander.
25. City Hall: City Hall is a big modern building in Seoul’s central district. Inside, there’s a library, exhibition halls, and cultural center. Outside you can stroll around the large square. Downtown is walkable and has lots of picturesque buildings & monuments.
Central Seoul my favorite area to stay as a tourist.
🎶 Kpop Fans Sites
Read my post for 19 kpop places to visit in Seoul.
26. K-Star Road: K-Star Road is a long street in Gangnam that is lined with bears representing different kpop groups. It’s in a high-end shopping area with lots of shops and cafes.
27. Digital Media City in Seoul is the hub of entertainment networks and shows, including popular kpop programs like Idol Radio and The Show. As a foreigner, you can purchase tickets for these shows through Trazy or Korea Travel Easy.
🎵 My favorite kpop experience in Seoul? Attending a recording of The Show!
28. Myeongdong Underground Shopping Center: If you’re looking to purchase Kpop albums, this underground mall is the cheapest option, offering official albums and kpop merch at lower prices. Another option is Music Korea nearby, where albums are slightly more expensive, but still more affordable than in other countries.
More South Korea Guides
There’s lots of Seoul attractions to see. You’ll never get bored!
I made 16 other Seoul travel vlogs on South Korea that you can check out, including videos and blogs on my side trips to Busan, Jeju Island, Pohang, and Gyeongju.
Hope this list of Seoul attractions was helpful! There’s always so many places to visit in Seoul.
Have a great time!