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12 Cool Things To Do In Seoul That Probably No One Else Has Done


Nafisa Dahodwala •  Oct 28, 2016


Taking urban street art to the next level is Mullae-dong Art Street. This art district was once a lowly industrial area with steel and metal factories until 2005, when artists started setting up studios in the abandoned foundriesWe all love Seoul and we will always be ready for a trip to this vibrant city! But imagine if you are travelling to Seoul for the umpteenth time or the first and are curious to explore a different side of the city. You have been to all the palaces, museums, parks, shopping districts and traditional markets. What are you planning to do next? Well, like we mentioned, we love Seoul. And the city has so much more to offer than it’s famous tourist locations.
Credit: Giphy Check out these amazing places, streets and adventures you should try if you want to get under the belly of Seoul and explore the city like a pro. [inlinewidget id=34830]
1. Amsa Pre-historic settlement site
Have you ever wondered what Seoul was like 6000 years ago? Located along the bank of Hangang River, the Amsa Pre-historic settlement site marks how life was in the Neolithic era. The site was discovered in 1925 when a flood exposed buried earthenware and pottery. [caption id="attachment_13661" align="alignnone" width="900"]
Life in Seoul during the Neolithic era at Amsa Dong[/caption] Credit: mapio.net Today, a replica settlement is recreated here to show how life was back then. A nearby museum displays an excavation site, buried artefacts and has several educational programs. Make a stop here to experience how Seoul was like 6000 years ago. [caption id="attachment_13662" align="alignnone" width="900"]
Ancient settlements at Amsa Dong[/caption] Credit: Insutrial Design Firm Address: 875, Olympic-ro, Gangdong-gu, Seoul How to get there: Take subway line 8 to Amsa station and move toward exit 1 /4. Amsa- dong is 10 minute walk away or you can transfer to village bus 02. Operating hours: 9:30 am – 6:00 pm (Closed on Mondays and 1st January) Entrance fees: Adult – 500 won, Child – 300 won
2. Konkuk University ‘Kondae’ area
Take a detour and add something more hipster to your itinerary by heading to the Kondae University area. Aptly being called as the ‘New Gangnam’ this district is filled with inexpensive clothing boutiques, trendy hair salons, hole-in-the–wall coffee shops and has its own Rodeo Fashion Street.
Credit: The Seoul Guide on Facebook Kondae is also home to Seoul’s China Town and Common Ground; Korea’s first pop-up container shopping mall. For food lovers, there are restaurants selling fresh seafood (Yay!) which includes amazing churros at only 1000 won. And if you are an animal lover, the Children’s Grand Park which doubles up as a zoo and an amusement park, is only a few blocks away from Kondae!
Credit: Martin Lewison on FlickrAddress: 17-1 Jayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul How to get there: Take the subway line 2 and 7 to get to Konkuk University station and move toward exit 5.
3. Ttukseom Hangang Park
In addition to having a magnificent view of the Han River, the Ttukseom Hangang Park is one of the oldest parks established along the banks of the river. The park has several amenities including music fountains, an outdoor swimming pool, rose gardens, a water screen that plays movies during holidays, cruise ships, cycling and skateboarding tracks and water sporting facilities during the summer.
Credit: Kars Alfrink on Flickr Not as popular as Yeouido Park, Tukseom provides you the benefit of enjoying a peaceful evening away from the crowd.
Credit: Republic of KoreaAddress:- 112, Jayang3-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul How to get there: - Take the subway line 7 to Ttukseom Resort station and move toward exit 2 or 3. The park is located right behind the station. [ P.S. Here's 10 easy day trips from Seoul you can take that are less than 4 hours away! ] 
4. Mullae-dong Art Street
Taking urban street art to the next level is Mullae-dong Art Street. This art district was once a lowly industrial area with steel and metal factories until 2005, when artists started setting up studios in the abandoned factories.
Credit: Republic of Korea on Flickr The area today is a mix of metal factories along with vibrant murals, street art, rooftop paintings, art galleries, hip-hop coffee shops and designer jewellery stores that scream ART. The still operational factories further add a rustic charm to this artsy neighbourhood. Walk through the narrow zigzag alley ways of this district and discover some hidden creative talents of your own.
Credit: Republic of Korea on Flickr#HHWT tip: Photographers take note! Make sure your battery is fully charged. You are going to love this. Address:- 58- 53, Mullaedong 3(sam)-ga, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul How to go there:- Take the Subway line 2 to Mullae Station and move toward exit 7.
5. Seoul Kimchi Academy – Myeongdong
So far we have always associated Myeongdong with cosmetics and shopping. Why don't you take a break from shopping and try something cultural for a change? Step into the Seoul Kimchi Academy for a delightful 90 mins and learn how to make Korea’s favourite meal time essential – Kimchi and the famous spicy rice cake, tteokbokki, all while wearing a Hanbok and sipping on a cup of citron tea. [caption id="attachment_13669" align="alignnone" width="1000"]
Let’s make Kimchi[/caption] Credit: Cik P Jaz The instructors speak English so there will be no problems. If you are travelling out of Korea, they will pack the kimchi up for you in an airtight container to take back home. Now that’s what we call a 완전한 (complete experience)! [caption id="attachment_13670" align="alignnone" width="900"]
Hanbok posing @seoul kimchi academy[/caption] Credit: Cik P JazDisclaimer: Do note that this experience is not halal-certified, we advise that you consume at your own discretion. Address:- 21-7, Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul How to get there:- Take the Subway line 4 to Myeongdong station and move toward exit 6. Once you reach the main street, look for Hotel J Hill. The academy is on the 7th floor Operating hours: - 10 am – 8pm Fees:- Cabbage Kimchi + Hanbok experience – 30,000 won, Cabbage Kimchi + Tteokbokki + Hanbok experience – 45,000 won
6. Usadan Village
A stone throw away from the Seoul Central Mosque, lies the Usadan Village which was once considered a shanty in Itaewon until a few year back when young artists moved in here giving this town a new dimension. Today Usadan is an eclectic mix of private art galleries, vintage shops, bohemian artist studios and coffee shops influenced by the residents and the Muslims who visit the mosque, drawing in locals and tourists.
Credit: Robert Koehler on Facebook Usadan is also the site for the unique Stairway Flea market which is held on the last Saturday of every month and sells everything from cookies, bread, tee shirts, flowers, souvenirs, leather jackets and more!
Credit: 우사단 마을 on FacebookAddress: 732 -183 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul How to get there: Take subway line 6 to Itaewon and move to exit 3. Walk straight and take a right before the Itaewon Fire Station. Go up the hilly street and take a left at the Bogwang Elementary School Intersection and walk straight for another 100 meters.
7. Mangwon-Dong
With a traditional market on one end, the Han River on the other and being only 10 minutes away from Hongdae University, Mangwon-dong is developing in a youth dominated chill-out zone with an atmosphere that would put anyone at ease; being highly known for Coffee and Desserts. [caption id="attachment_13673" align="alignnone" width="1000"]
Infinite (K-pop band) posters adorn the wall of a restaurant in Mangwon dong[/caption] Credit: Steffi in Seoul Mangwon is bursting with character themed book shops, flower boutiques and hole in the wall cafes selling only milk drinks to healthy treats like almond cookies and boiled eggs. There are also independent gelato stalls selling the most amazing ice-creams to milkshakes topped with teddy bear spoons. With delectable aromas arising from all cafés you will need at least an hour to decide where you want to step in! Address: Mangwon dong, Mapu-gu, Seoul How to get there: Take the subway line no. 6 to Mangwon station and move toward exit 2. [ P.S. Check out these 8 best shopping hotspots in Seoul - with Muslim-friendly food nearby!)
8. Heyri Art Village
A shout out to all creative-s! (Musicians, photographers, architects, painters, writer, singers, designers, film makers, potters and self-titled creators) If you belong to any of these fields or just enjoy getting creative, then mark out Heyri Art Village on your Seoul bucket list.
Credit: Carolien Coenen on Flickr Located close to the North Korean border and an hour’s drive from Seoul, this village is a cacophony of work studios, galleries, museums, cafes, restaurants and residential complexes that is a combination of vintage, contemporary, modern and all things genius!
Credit: Carolien Coenen on Flickr The best way to explore Heyri is to get lost in their many lanes, stop at an experience studio, walk through a gallery and end your day with a cup of steaming hot chocolate at Heyri’s famous Chocolate Design Gallery! Address: 82-105, Heyrimaeul-gil, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do How to get there: Take the Seoul inner circle line subway (line no. 2) to Hapjeong Station and move toward exit 2. From the exit 2, take bus number 2200 to the Heyri Art Village. You can choose to get off at the first entrance of the village or ride in further.
9. Tandem Paragliding at Yangpyeong
Are you up for an adventure? If yes, then how about getting a bird’s eye view of Suburban Seoul by taking a little paragliding adventure. Yangpyeong, which is located at an hour’s drive away from Seoul, is Korea’s favourite paragliding destination (also famous for its strawberries).
Credit: @jg_cheong on Instagram The town has many independently run paragliding shops that provide pick up, jumpsuits rentals, safety gear and other equipment required for achieving your adrenaline peek ? You will be paragliding with an expert instructor so you need not be trained previously, but do this one at your own risk.
Credit: USAG Humphreys Family and MWR on Facebook#HHWT Tip: Bring along an extra SD card to record a video of you flying over the peaks! Address: Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do How to get there: Take the Seoul Subway to Asin Station. If you have already pre booked your paragliding adventure, you should receive a pickup from the station.
10. Yangjaecheon Stream Trail
If you are looking someplace quiet to escape the flashy city life, why not take a refreshing walk along the banks of the Yangjae stream. This stream is a tributary of the Han River and runs all the way from Gwacheon to Gangnam. [caption id="attachment_13679" align="alignnone" width="900"]
Yangjae stream trail in the spring[/caption] Credit: Jess Lightyear The trail alongside the stream is lined with stately trees and flowers making it an ideal spot for a walk, a bike ride, a picnic or just someplace where you want to sit and gaze into the water and reflect upon your thoughts. (Excuse the philosophy, please ?)
Credit: Republic of Korea on Flickr#HHWT Tip: Best time to visit this trail is during the spring, when the trees around the trail are loaded with beautiful pink cherry blossoms. Bring your plus one along! #loveisintheair Address:- Seoul-si Seocho-gu Yangjae-dong How to get there:- Take subway line 3 or Bundang line to Dogok station and move toward exit 3 or 4. [ P.S. On a budget? Here's 10 affordable stays in Seoul that are near halal food! ]
11. Pocheon Art Valley
An abandoned old rock quarry turned into a park! Now that’s something you definitely should not be missing. Take a small day trip from Seoul to visit the Pocheon Art Valley. Once you reach there, hop onto the monorail that will take you to the top of the abandoned rock quarry that is now filled with rain and spring water.
Credit: Seongbin Im on Flickr The view is unique in its own and something you might not have experienced so far. The park also has handmade rock sculptures, a free museum and outdoor theatres where cultural shows and music festivals are held.
Credit: Sunam Sherpa on FacebookAddress: 234, Artvalley-ro, Sinbuk-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do How to get there: From Uijeongbu station, exit 6, take the bus no. 137 or 138 to Gilchi- 2ri- Sinbokmyeon- Samusu Station. From there take bus 87-1 or 87-2 to the Pocheon art valley or walk for about 20 mins. Fees:- 5000 won/ adult. 1500 won/ child Operating hours:- 10 am – 6pm
 12. Samseong-dong
Samseong-dong is home to COEX, Asia’s largest underground shopping mall with over 260 shops including bookstores, an aquarium, and multiplex cinemas and over 100 restaurants catering to everyone’s whims and fancies [caption id="attachment_13683" align="alignnone" width="900"]
COEX mall[/caption] Credit: lohasteru on Flickr Come to the top the mall and you will be welcomed by massive statue of Buddha. The statue belongs to Bonguensa Temple, one of the most ancient Buddhist temples from the Joseon Dynasty and where many temple stay program are conducted to date. All in all, Samseong–dong is a representation of what Seoul is all about – a juxtaposition of eastern architecture and western engineering marvels.
Address: 58, Teheran-ro 87-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul How to get there: Take the Seoul subway line 2 to Samseong station. COEX mall is connected to the subway.   While many gasp in awe over the city Seoul is today, few know about what gives Seoul it’s unique character. Let this visit to the city be beyond the norm. Go out there and explore places without the fear of getting lost. Who knows what you might discover? [inlinewidget id=34831]