If you’re still thinking whether or not to take the plunge and visit the ‘Seoul’ of kimchi-land, we’re here to convince you. From trying halal Korean food to exploring the artsy corners of Seoul, we’re pretty sure there’s something for everyone! So if you have a friend who needs a little bit more convincing, it’s time to share this with him/her 😉
1. There’s nothing quite like eating halal Korean food in Seoul
Homemade kimchi right from kimchi land? Sign us up please. Korean food just tastes so so good, and while you can easily get it in KL, nothing beats eating your bibimbap, samgyetang, bulgogi, etc in Seoul, right?!
2. Anytime is a good time – Seoul looks spectacular in all four seasons
We get lots of questions asking us when is the best time to visit Seoul and well, our answer is quite simply – any time! You have flowers in full bloom in spring, sales everywhere in summer (not to mention tons of summer festivals!), gorgeous foliage in autumn and of course pure white snow in winter!
P.S. Granted that Nami island isn’t exactly in Seoul, but it’s definitely a must-visit! And if you want to find halal food and prayer spaces in Nami island, don’t forget to download the #HHWT Travel Planner app now! Available on Google Play and App Store.
3. The City That (Truly) Never Sleeps
If you’re a night owl, Seoul is definitely made for you. Shops on the streets close at around 11pm, Dongdaemun is bustling at 2-3am in the morning and if you’re up for it, you can even catch a movie or visit a noraebang (karaoke) in the wee hours of the morning! In some areas, you may even find chain cafes that are open 24hours!
#HHWT Tip: If you’re feeling hungry, look out for push carts by the streets manned by friendly ahjummas. You can easily grab an odeng (fish cake) as a midnight snack. (Do note that these are not halal certified, so do purchase at your discretion.)
4. Hipster Cafes Galore
Japan may be home to some really unique themed cafes but Seoul is definitely not far behind. From animal cafes (cats, sheep, raccoons, etc) to lego themed cafes, there’s definitely something for everyone. And if none of these catches your fancy, you can always count on the cafes for their awesome coffee! Yes, they take their coffee very seriously.
Don’t know where to start? Check out the five cafes that you absolutely have to visit in Seoul!
5. The Mother of All Patbingsoo*
If you’re visiting Seoul in summer, be prepared for patbingsoo wars between all the cafes/bakeries as they start selling this wonderful shaved ice dessert to combat the summer heat! And if you’re wondering what’s all the fuss about shaved ice? Well, let’s just say your trip to Seoul won’t be complete without trying this dessert because the shaved ice is so fine, it quite literally melts in your mouth. And there are usually lots of flavours to choose from – various fruits, green tea, injeolmi (soy bean powder with rice cakes), etc!
*Do note that there are no halal/Muslim-owned patbingsoo cafes in Seoul. This dessert generally does not contain alcohol/animal derivatives but do check with the cafe owners/staff regarding the ingredients used before consuming. You can download the #HHWT Travel Planner app (available on iOS and Android) and refer to our Korean phrasebook for help!
6. Traditional Meets Modern
Palaces in the heart of the city, remnants of fortress walls to hike up… One of the (many) things we love about Seoul is the unique mix of traditional architecture in the heart of the bustling city! That means it’s really convenient to visit the palaces and traditional Korean houses in Bukchon village (plus it’s free!) 😄
#HHWT Tip: Don’t forget to get a free English tour when you visit the palaces!
7. Get Artsy
Korea isn’t just about its K-Pop and Korean dramas. Other than the must-visit Ihwa mural art village (near Hyehwa train station), there are also a number of fascinating museums to check out. From the highly popular Trick Eye Museum to modern design Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul boasts quite a thriving arts scene!
#HHWT Tip: Korea is also known for their b-boy (breakdancing) performances, so if you have some time, do check it out!
We really don’t need to say much about this point, do we? Just lace up your comfy shoes and get ready to shop till you drop! Don’t know where to begin? Our ultimate shopping guide to Korea will lead you straight to shopping paradise!
9. On a budget? You can still enjoy Seoul to the fullest!
Yes, it’s entirely possible to enjoy Seoul even if you’re a budget! Budget shopping, free attractions… Don’t forget to check out 8 things that you have to do in Korea that are absolutely free as well as our insider travel hacks if you’re already planning for your Seoul trip!
10. Where else can you take these iconic K-drama shots?
From a Song Joong Ki standee at Hoegi to iconic filming locations such as Namsan Tower (practically every kdrama that exists in modern times), Ilhwa Mural Village (Rooftop Prince). If you’re a Korean drama addict, where else can you visit to take those shots straight out from your favourite Korean drama?!
Stalk your oppas/unnis Go K-Pop Crazy
It’s time to unleash that inner k-pop monster! Attend free music shows, your favourite group’s concert, visit your favourite entertainment company, etc. And if you’re not a fan of k-pop, well… Listen to them anyway, because you just can’t escape hearing them as you walk down the streets of Myeongdong 😝
12. Get In Touch With Nature
With plenty of parks around Seoul, you’ll never run out of choices if you want to escape from the busy city! Planning to catch the autumn foliage in Seoul? We have you covered with our comprehensive guide 😉 Did we also mention that you can go hiking in the heart of Seoul? Trek up the Seoul Fortress Wall, or put on your hiking gear and head to Bukhansan!
The final reason and also the best reason of them all…
13. The #HHWT Travel Planner app is finally up for download!
And you can easily plan your trip to Seoul! With everything you need in one app – must-see attractions, yummy halal food and prayer spaces, planning your dream trip to Seoul is going to be a breeze! Just search for the attractions you want to visit, add them to your itinerary and you can find the halal food and prayer spaces near these attractions. The best thing of all? Our app is completely FREE. So download the app on Google Play (Android) or App Store (iPhone) and start exploring Seoul now! (And if you love the app, don’t forget to drop us a review too!)
P.S. The app is currently only available for Seoul (Nami island included), but we’ll be working on more destinations and better features soon!