[Updated 26 May 2022]
Stunning landscapes, architecture, theme parks and so much more - there's no denying that almost every corner of Seoul is a hot spot for the perfect picture. But your time here is probably limited, especially if you're on a holiday. Picture-perfect memories are not something you can compromise on though!
Saving you both the time and the trouble of heading to every spot in Seoul for the best shots, here are our top picks that'll guarantee you a gorgeous social feed at the end of your trip!
P.S. Heading to Seoul? Let us do all that planning for you with this 5D4N Muslim-friendly Seoul itinerary!
Insta-Worthy Spots In Seoul
1. Starfield Library, COEX Mall
Credit: @halyu.lu on Instagram
If you thought books and libraries are out of trend, you must have not visited Starfield Library. The two-storey library is filled - from top to bottom - with as many as 50,000 books and magazines making for a gorgeous backdrop to your pictures. Don't visit this place just for the gram though! Pick out a book or two! If you're not already a book lover, this is the place that will ignite your love for reading. Most books are in Korean but there are still a good number of English ones.
You'd probably have to ride the escalator multiple times to get a picture like this though! To make full use of the natural light passing through the ceiling, head here during sunset! Golden hour indoors could not look any more stunning.
Top picture spots: Escalator along the 13m-tall bookshelves
2. Common Ground
Credit: @i.h_kim on Instagram
Filled with quirky and unique designer brands, Common Ground is known as the hipster spot of Seoul. But Korea's first pop-up store built with shipping containers is popular not just among the young shopaholics - it also tops the list of Instagram lovers. The blue backdrop here will beautifully complement your #ootd shot.
And you don't have to worry about the throngs of people who visit this place to get the perfect shot. With 200 containers to choose from, there's bound to be an empty spot that'll make your shot. Be sure to spend some time roaming the shops here, or just soak up the vibrant atmosphere!
Top picture spots: Against the blue containers, and/or beneath the fairy lights at night
3. Hanuel Park
The sheer beauty of this place alone is enough to blow you away! You'd probably never have guessed that the park used to be part of a 15-year landfill which held over 92 million tons of garbage. When the landfill reached maximum capacity, the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to turn the area into an ecological park. Now, Haneul Park is a gem for both nature and Instagram lovers, with 22 lookout points offering gorgeous views of Seoul's top spots.
Timing is of the essence here as the lush, tall Eulalia plants that fill the park bloom in autumn, giving it a stunning and almost surreal silver grass backdrop. To commemorate the blooming of the grass, the Seoul Silver Grass Festival is held here annually in October! During the festival, the park hours extend till 10pm and there is a variety of events and performances which you can enjoy too.
Best time to visit: Autumn season, nearing dawn
Opening hours: Open daily; 9AM-8PM
Address: 487-48 Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Directions: Take Line 6 to World Cup Stadium Station, alight at door 8-4, take Exit 1, turn right and go around the stadium (you’ll pass by a parking lot area, walk along the main road till you see the Haneul Park sign).
4. Gyeongbokgung Palace
Situated in the heart of Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace is the first and largest royal palace built during the Joseon Dynasty. The beauty of this palace lies not just in its long history but also its intricate architecture! There is a small admission fee to enter the palace but it will be waived if you wear a hanbok. I mean, free admission fees and feeling like a Korean royalty for a few hours? We're all for the hanbok, especially for the perfect shot.
You don't have to be particularly worried about the weather affecting your shots here! We visited when it was pouring, and we still managed to take beautiful shots indoors. To capture the stunning details on the ceiling, make your sure photographer bends down!
Top picture spots: In between the pillars, palace entrance
5. Bukchon Hanok Village
Credit: @meryl_tm on Instagram
After all the effort you've taken to don the hanbok, it's almost a shame to take it off right after visiting the palace. The good news is that you don't have to that (just yet). There's another Instagram-worthy spot near the palace that's sure to take your breath away. We're referring to Bukchon Hanok Village, a traditional residential area of nobility during the Joseon period!
The village still stands as a residential area but the interesting, traditional architecture on the wall lures photographers in. The challenge here is climbing the slopes, especially with your hanbok. But trust us, the effort is worth it! There are many alleys in the area and part of the fun is getting lost here. Do note that the tourist information centre, museum and many shops are closed on Sunday.
#HHWTTip: Bukchon Hanok Village is an actual neighbourhood with people's homes, therefore do be respectful when visiting the area!
Top picture spots: Gahoe-dong Alley (Harmony)
6. Iwha Mural Village
Credit: @janajedlicka on Instagram
Speaking of villages...we've probably all heard of streets filled with murals but Seoul takes it a notch higher by dedicating an entire neighbourhood to murals! The village underwent a make-over in 2006 as the government wanted to revitalise the old neighbourhood. With the help of local artists, interesting and colourful mural paintings and mosaics decorated the walls of the village and staircases, turning the area into a treasure trove of Instagram-worthy spots.
There's a fair bit of uphill walking here as the village is located at the top of Naksan Mountain, so do wear comfortable shoes! It's also respectful to note that the area is home to a largely elderly population who value their privacy and peace, so do keep your volumes down while exploring the area.
Location: 49 Naksan 4-gil, Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
7. Myeongdong streets
Credit: @framesbyanna on Instagram
The star of instagrammable spots doesn't always have to be you, right? ? I mean, a social feed without pictures of food would be a shame! If you have not found any that's worthy of being posted on your Instagram, Myeongdong is here to change that. The streets of Myeongdong are not just lined with shops but also the best street food. One of their must-try food is the foot long ice-cream. For the prettiest picture, choose two flavours of ice-cream in 1!
While strolling down the streets of Myeongdong, the crossaint taiyaki is bound to catch your eye! These adorable fish-shaped snacks are crispy and come with a variety of fillings. Be sure to snap your picture fast, as the snack is best eaten hot.
P.S. Here's other yummy Muslim-friendly snacks you have to try in Seoul!
If you're heading to Seoul and looking to avoid the crowds in Myeongdong, Gyeongbokgung or Hongdae, we've got the perfect place for you - Ikseon-dong! Ikseondong is a unique neighbourhood located in the vicinity of Seoul's downtown area. Comprising an enclave of traditional Korean houses dating back to the 1920s, it has a more unique and hipster vibe that just calls for photos!
P.S. Check out our more in-depth guide to Ikseon-dong for the inside scoop on this interesting neighbourhood.
There's plenty to photograph in Ikseon-dong including its beautiful alleyways, but look out for some pretty nooks and crannies, such as the colourful umbrellas outside Madang Flower Cafe. It's not hard to see why several Korean dramas like Black Knight have chosen Madang for their filming location. The interior of the cafe is just as beautiful - it's the perfect place to stop for a coffee!
But besides Madang, you'll be spoilt for choice with other cafes as well that are housed in beautiful traditional Korean interior - check out Tteuran (pictured below)!
For a picture with some added wow factor, drop by Ikseon Boutique where you can dress up in dresses and accessories from the early 20th century. Fun fact: this period was called the "gaehwagi" and it was Korea's start to westernisation. The fashion of this era also resembles America's "roaring twenties" and makes for a pretty awesome photo.
Top picture spots: The whole neighbourhood!
9. Daeo Bookstore
Credit: @idadong on Instagram
This is the third bookstore or library-related spot on our list, but when they're as pretty as this, who can resist? Daeo Bookstore is the oldest secondhand bookstore in Seoul, and the rustic and aged exterior is definitely its charm. It gained a lot of popularity amongst the younger generation after a member of popular boyband BTS paid a visit to the store, but that's not its only claim to fame. Several Korean dramas have used the store as a filming location, and South Korean songstress IU even filmed a music video here!
Credit: @_rosalyyyn on Instagram
The bookstore also operates as a cafe - you'll need to pay a fee to enter the store (and take a photo at the popular spot by the bookshelves if you do!), and also get a drink. All proceeds go to preserving the beautiful store!
Opening hours: Open daily; 11AM-10PM
Address: 55 Jahamun-ro 7-gil, Cheongunhyoja-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
10. Gyeongui Line Forest Park
Credit: @pramitadewi on Instagram
Gyeongui Line Forest Park is one park in Seoul that's been used as a popular spot for these walks across dramas including Goblin! The park is nearby Hongik University subway station, making it just a short walk away from the Hongdae neighbourhood. Perfect for taking a break mid-shopping spree, or for recharging once you've crossed everything off your shopping list.
Address: 147-89 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
11. Banpo Bridge
Credit: @southkoreajapan_official on Instagram
The Banpo Bridge at Banpo Hangang Park is a popular all-day spot for Seoulites to cycle, enjoy the tranquillity of the Han river, or just sit and enjoy the fountain water display once the sun goes down. Stick around till night time falls and experience the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain that features 380 water jets and dazzling array of multi-coloured lights. It also happens to be where the famous Boys Over Flowers drama was filmed at so if you're a fan of the show, this is the perfect place to recreate your favourite scenes.
Address: Banpo 2(i)-dong, Seoul, South Korea
12. Baekbeom Square
Anyone who's watched the K-drama Itaewon Class must be familiar with this place! Located right below Namsan and with stonewalls, it's one of the locals' favourite spots. Our Tribes by HHWT member, Ukasya, a Malaysian postgraduate student in Seoul and a Korea Tourism ambassador, recommended this spot if you're looking for the perfect place to catch a beautiful sunset in Seoul.
P.S. Here are other gorgeous sunset spots in Seoul that you shouldn't miss!
Address: 231 Samil-daero, Hoehyeon-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Cafe-hopping seems to be a pretty popular activity, even and especially in Korea! For warm drinks, good vibes and of course, an amazing Instagram-worthy shot, you have to visit this spot in Seoul. Visit cafes like Cafe Onion Anguk for an aesthetic rooftop shot, or drop by any of the hanok-style cafes for a truly Korean cafe experience!
Do note that these cafes may not be halal-certified or Muslim-friendly, so do exercise discretion.
Address: South Korea, Seoul, Jongno-gu, 계동길 5
14. Cheonggyecheon Stream
An underrated spot in Korea, this stream is popular with the locals. Running across the city scape, Cheonggycheon Stream is a beautiful spot filled surrounded by the city, nature and makes for an incredibly aesthetic shot!
Address: 1 Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
15. Deoksugung Palace
While most travellers always make a visit to Seoul's most famous palace, Gyeongbokgung, why not make a trip to Deoksugung instead? It’s conveniently located right outside of City Hall station. Although it's smaller than the other palaces, having less visitors means that it's the perfect chance for you to take a break from the bustling city. The highlight of the palace would have to be the mix of traditional and Western-style architecture. Plus, this is the only palace which has a mix of both architecture styles!
Address: 99 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
16. Namsan Mountain
Catch Seoul from a birds' eye view at Namsan Mountain! Famous for being the home of Namsan Tower, a communication and observation tower in central Seoul, as well as bridges filled with locks of lovers who wish to capture their love forever, Namsam Mountain is a beautiful spot for IG-worthy shots.
If you choose to head up Namsan Tower, be sure to check out the digital observatory, a roof terrace and the Haneul (sky) restroom. Alternatively, sit back, relax, and enjoy the wind in your hair as you capture Seoul from the mountain's peak.
Address: Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Now that we've shown you the best picture-perfect spots in Seoul, all you have to do is get your cameras ready and snap away! Your Instagram feed is about to undergo a massive transformation after this trip and you have Seoul to thank for that!