Travelling in South Korea doesn't need to be expensive. There are places in Seoul you can visit without really spending that much. Here, I will give you heads up to visit several place in Seoul starting from Insadong, then Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwanghamun Square, Cheonggye Plaza and lastly Jogyesa Temple.
This itinerary guide is designed to visit 5 famous places in Seoul in just one day (or less). Depending on your patience and your determination to explore the places, you can visit these 5 awesome places in Seoul before the sunset. If you are in for a day tour adventure, hop in and find out the directions and features of the places I will include in this itinerary.
|At the crowded Insadong
Let’s start with Insadong. Why visit this place? I have two reasons: first is because this is located in the heart of the City of Seoul, making it very accessible to the public. Secondly, this place is very important in Korea. If you want to engulf yourself with Korean culture and know more about the place by looking to its traditional value, this place is a must visit in Seoul. At Insadong, you can find Korea’s treasure, and by treasure I mean the country’s valuable traditional items FOR SALE.
|Some souvenir stuffs you can buy at Insadong
Yes, you read it right, if you are looking for something precious to bring home or souvenir items to cherish, Insadong is the perfect place to visit. Insadong looks very old making it appear more traditional and valuable. There are a lot of galleries in the area where you can see spectacular Korean traditional paintings and sculptures.
|A traditional cafe at Insadong
|Unique items you can see and buy at Insadong
To go to Insadong via subway, follow the instruction:
1. Take subway line number 3 (Orange Line)
2. Get off at Anguk Station
3. Go to exit number 6
4. Walk straight for about 100 m.
Next stop after Insadong is at Gyeongbokgung Palace. Out of all the five palaces standing in South Korea right now, Gyeongbokgung is the grandest of all. It is considered to be Korea’s “Northern Palace”.
|An ANTM pose in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace
It has witnessed the horrible Japanese invasion during year 1592-1598, it was in fact destroyed but through the effort of Korean Government, the palace has been restored and still standing up to now. At this palace, you can visit Korea’s historical structures. You can also witness the ceremonial changing of guards in this place.
|Guard at Gyoengbogkung Palace
From Insadong, you can either walk or take a subway train to the Gyeongbokgung Palace. If you are already familiar in Seoul, you can refer to the map below on how to find your way to Gyeongbokgung Palace from Insadong. But if you don’t want to take the risk of getting lost, you may take a taxi (could cost you about 3,000 won to 5,000 won) or subway. Here is the direction:
1. From Insadong market, go back to Anguk Station (Line Number 3, Orange Line)
2. Take the train going to Gyeongbokgung Station
3. Get off at Gyeongbokgung station and go to Exit number 5
|Map from Insadong to Gyeongbokgung Palace
Next, I will take you to Gwanghamun Square. It is just a few meters away from Gyeongbokgung palace with an area of 20,000 meter squared and a statue of one of the most important historical personality in Korea, King Sejong. He is the founder of Korean alphabet Hangeul.
|In front of the statue of King Sejong at Gwanghamun Square
The plaza is a good place to meet with friends. You can also find several attractions and services in the area. You can wear Hanbook (the traditional Korean clothing) for free and explore the place where Korean history and culture is being presented.
|Wearing Hanbok at Gwanghamun Square
You can just walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace to Gwanghamun Square. It is located in front of the Palace and all you need to is cross the street.
|Map from Gyeongbokgung Palace to Gwanghamun Square
After Gwanghamun Square, a nearby Cheonggye Plaza is also a must place to see in Seoul. The Cheonggye Plaza is the head of the Cheonggyecheon stream, a stream that runs to the heart of Seoul and is 8.4 Kilometers long. At Cheonggye Plaza, you will see this Spring sculpture in red and blue which represents the colorful Korean wrapping cloth called BOJAGI.
|Spring Sculpture in Cheonggye Plaza
Once a concrete highway, the place has now a miniature stream where people can meet up and spend leisure time together with family and friends.
|A mini stream at Cheonggye Plaza. This is the head of Cheonggyecheon stream
To go to Cheonggye Plaza, you can just walk about 60 meters away from Gwanghamun Station.
This may not be the most interesting place to visit but for those who want to experience temple stay or just visit and see a Buddhist Temple, Jogyesa Temple is a place you must visit. It is just near Cheonggye Plaza, you can just walk from there to the temple. What you will see in the temple is a 500 year old tree standing tall and proud in front of the temple. Jogyesa Temple is unique because unlike any other temples in Korea, this one is located at the very heart of Seoul. Usually, temples are located in the mountains where monks can solemnly meditate. The advantage of Jogyesa Temple is that, it can be accessed easily by people. You don’t need to go to the mountains to visit a temple.
|Entrance to the Jogyesa temple
To get to Jogyesa temple from Cheonggye Plaza, go find your way towards the Jonggak Station. It is very near the plaza. Once you get to Jonggak Station, find the Exit 2 of the station (note that you don’t need to take a ride to the train). From the Exit 2 of Jonggak Station, go straight for about 70 m, cross the street and walk for another 100 meters to go to Jogyesa temple.
|Map from Gwanghamun Square to Jogyesa Temple
So there you go everyone, 5 remarkable places in Seoul to visit in less than one day. I am sure you will enjoy it because aside from the fun these places can offer, you don’t need to shell out big amount of money to tour around these tourist destinations in Seoul.
Enjoy and Happy Trip!!!!