So… this is the first time you will be in Kimchi-land and there are soooo many things that you want to do and see (and eat!). But… you only have so much time in Seoul. So many things to do, so little time. Sigh…

To make planning less of a headache for you, here are six things that you must do on your very first trip to Seoul!

song triplets gifCredit: soompi

P.S. If you want to check out more guides on Seoul, don’t forget to download the #HHWT Travel Planner app now! Available on Google Play and iTunes App Store.

banner-for-articles2

1. Eat halal authentic Korean food

Food~! We all live to eat, right? At least, that’s the case for me. Hehe. Especially when there are halal options for us, why not try them out? Well, here are two halal Korean restaurants that I have eaten at recently and I simply love them! Both are located a few metres away from the Seoul Central Masjid and they are just a few doors away from each other.

Makan Halal Korean Restaurant

I chanced upon this halal restaurant during my recent trip. We were hungry after our flight and hectic journey from the airport. The restaurant looks very inviting and we decided to give it a try! Well… we were obviously not disappointed and we went back to the same restaurant again a few times. The sajangnim is able to converse in English pretty well and he’s really friendly!

Here are two of the meals that we had! Just thinking of the tteokgalbi and the banchan is making me salivate. Hehe.

Halal Korean Restaurant_1

Halal Korean Restaurant_2

We ordered food for takeaway on one of the nights and I thought that the packaging is just soooooo pretty! And the food is still yummy after being packed.

dosirak_1

dosirak_3

dosirak_2

Eid Restaurant

I saw Eid Restaurant a lot on Facebook as many people were talking about it. So, I decided to give it a try. At that point of time, their menu was limited to only four items but they have since expanded it. Can’t wait to try their other dishes when I’m back there again!

Eid_restaurant

Jajangbab and beef bulgogi for lunch! How can anyone resist these delicious fooood?! Hehe.

Directions:
From the mosque, just walk straight ahead for about 100 metres for Halal Korean Restaurant and just further down for Eid Restaurant.

#HHWT Tip: I stayed in an apartment on the same street as Halal Korean Restaurant and Eid Restaurant, so it was easy for me to get to both! 🙂

Yang Good Lamb BBQ

And have you ever wanted to eat barbequed meat, just like in K-dramas? Well, now you can since there is a halal one available in Gangnam-gu! Although it is a bit on the pricey side, I can assure you that it’s going to be worth it. I’m not a fan of lamb meat as they tend to have a certain smell – but not here! The meat is really delicious and I love the side dishes too.

The exterior of the restaurant looks like this…

Yang Good_1

Yang Good_2

Menu and the meat on the grill!

Yang Good_3

Yang Good_4

Directions: Alight at Yeoksam Station (Line 2) and exit at Exit 6. Follow the directions in the map below!

Directions-to-Yang-Good-Korean-BBQ-cafe-naver

Credit: yanggood01

Other halal restaurants

Besides these, you have to try the other authentic halal Korean food places in Seoul too!

2. Try out the street food in Myeongdong!

Here are two street food that can be eaten by Muslims as they are fried in vegetable oil and are not sold with other meats. These are best eaten when they are piping hot, especially when it’s cold outside!

Prawn Tempura

prawn tempura

Credit: backpackersbuddies

This is really super yummy cos the prawns taste fresh and succulent. I can still remember my first bite and I cannot stop eating them after that. Hehe. They are best eaten hot when they are super crispy! Just don’t forget to wipe off the crumbs from your top! 😋

#HHWT Tip: The Koreans love their food salty. So, these prawns will be sprinkled with salt right after they are fried AND the ahjussi will squirt some tomato (NOT CHILLI) sauce on it. If you are not a fan of very salty food, just let the ahjussi know that you do not want the salt or tomato sauce! They’ll be more than happy to oblige.

Yachae Pajeon (Vegetable Pancakes)

pajeon

The pajeon (pancake) are only filled with vegetables but they are super tasty and cheap! Not forgetting that they are filling too. Each huge piece costs about ₩3,000 and the ahjumma will cut it up for you to little neat squares – bite-sized pieces are easier to be eaten.

Some ahjummas are very friendly and they will strike up a conversation with you. I patronised the same stall for a few nights in a row when I was there once and the ahjumma could recognise me after the first time. So, she threw in some yachae mandu (vegetables dumpling) for free after that! I know, not paiseh* but I’m definitely not complaining.

*Paiseh refers to feeling embarrassed 🙈

#HHWT Tip: These food can be found around Myeongdong and the stalls are usually open in the evening. So, it would be best to go after 5 p.m. if you want to try them!

Directions: Take the subway Line 4 and alight at Myeondong Station. Exit from Exit 6 or 7 and it will lead you to the entrance of the Myeongdong Shopping Street!

P.S. If you love K-Pop and want to get merchandise, you can get them before you exit from Myeongdong Station! There are a few stores in the underground shopping mall here and they are cheap! 🙂

*Do check with the stall owners regarding the ingredients used before consuming any street food. You can download the #HHWT Travel Planner app (available on iOS and Android) and refer to our Korean phrasebook for help!

3. Visit a cat café

Cats – you either love them or hate them. You can definitely tell that I adore them to bits! If not, why would I even talk about them right? HEHE. Being in a cat café also helps me when I miss my cats since I’m away from home! Here’s two cat cafés that I’ve been to and you definitely should too!

Myeongdong Cat Cafe

This cat café is right in Myeongdong. It is easy to find cos you’ll see a cat mascot in the shopping street and it’ll show you where to go!

P.S. It’s also one of HHWT’s favourite cafes in Korea!

cat_cafe-myeongdong

Credit: foodietraveller

Once you enter the café, the staff will explain to you (in English) that you can choose any drink for a fee as well as about the cats that they have. You can also buy some cat treats from them and the treats will definitely attract the cats! 🙂

Cat-Cafe-Cats-Playground-Feeding-Flat-Faced-Persian-Myeongdong-Korea1

Gangnam Cat Café

I went to this cat café after having Yang Good Lamb BBQ and both places are only one station apart. You can choose to take the subway or go for stroll like I did, while enjoying the sunset.

cat cafe gangnam_2

The same rules apply here – you need to buy a drink and you can stay for as long as you want. As for the cute kitties, patrons are NOT supposed to pick them up unless the cats sit on our laps on their own accords. Personally, I like the cat café in Myeongdong better as I feel that they are friendlier!

Directions:

cat-cafe-gangnam

Credit: faviandewanta

Alight at Gangnam Station (Line 2) and exit from Exit 9. Just walk straight till you see that yellow sign at the side of the building.

4. Make a trip to Namsan Tower

If you are already in Myeongdong, why not make a trip to Namsan Tower? Well… this is the place for you to get a workout, nice scenery and sunset as well as lock your wishes! I put a lock during my very trip there and wished that I will be able to come back to Seoul… and you guessed it right! I did! 🙂

The best way to get to Namsan Tower would be to take the cable car up. In the cable car, you can see get a bird eye’s view of Myeongdong and beyond. Anyone remembers this scene from Boys over Flowers? Hehe.

boys over flowers

Credit: dramabeans

Here are some things you can expect to see!

namsan tower

namsan tower locks

And look at this gorgeous sunset!

namsan sunset

Directions to the Cable Car Station: Alight from Myeongdong Station Exit 3. From there, walk on the left side of Pacific Hotel (your right side when you are facing it) and it will lead up to an upslope. Just walk until you reach a flight of wooden stairs and you have reached once you reach the top! From there, take the cable car and you’ll be there in no time.

Pacific-Hotel-Directions

Credit: visitkorea

Price for the cable car ride: 8,500₩ for adults and 5,500₩ for kids (Two-way ticket)

5. Visit Bukchon Hanok Village

I love looking at the traditional Korean houses or more commonly known as hanok. The hanoks are really beautifully built and the details are very intricate. You are free to walk down the alleys and explore the village. Do keep your voices down as residents live there. Don’t wander into the houses though!

bukchon alley

Directions: Take the Subway Line 3 and alight at Anguk Station. Exit from Exit 2 and walk straight for about 300m. You’ll see this sign on your way and just go straight!

bukchon street

You’ll see some pretty murals like this in the alleys too!

bukchon mural

#HHWT Tip: Gyeongbukgung Palace is just round the corner! Just remember that the palace is closed on Tuesdays. There’s also a free English tour at Gyeongbukgung 😀

6. Go Shopping!

What’s a trip to Seoul without shopping, right? Trust me, there’s something to buy for everyone – even guys, okay. Here are some of my favourite shopping spots, which also happen to sell items at affordable prices!

Express Bus Terminal Underground Shopping

This has got to be my MOST FAVOURITE shopping place! Once you exit from the subway, you can already start shopping! This place sells clothes and shoes and bags, and they are super cheap!!! Can you feel my excitement?? HEHE.

Express-Bus-Terminal

Credit: visitkorea

Directions: Take the Subway Line 3, 7 or 9 and alight at Express Bus Terminal Station. Exit from Exit 8 and just follow the sign!

Late-night Shopping at Dongdaemun

Can’t sleep past midnight and not ready to go to bed yet? Then you should try shopping in Dongdaemun! The shops here close at about 5 in the morning and the shopping centres are huge! They have practically everything here – from clothes to shoes, and bags to household items.

dongdaemun-shopping

Credit: kimcheeguesthouse

Directions: Alight at Dongdaemun Station (Line 1 and 4) from Exit 8 or 9.

#HHWT Tip: Don’t forget to bargain! Some ahjummas are really nice and they’ll give you discounts! Our Korean phrasebook for Muslim travellers would come in handy here 🙂

Myeongdong

You definitely need to come here and get all your makeup needs! The place is filled with makeup and beauty stores. Innisfree, Tony Moly, Etude House – you name it, they have it! And the best part is… they will hand out freebies to you even before you patronise them. So you’ll end up with more makeup and facial products for less the price!

myeongdong shopping 2

Credit: myeongdong-kr

myeongdong shopping

Directions: Take the subway Line 4 and alight at Myeondong Station. Exit from Exit 6 or 7 and it will lead you to the entrance of the Myeongdong Shopping Street!

Ewha Women’s University Shopping Street

Last but not least, Ewha Women’s University Shopping Street! This is another one of my favourite shopping haunts as there are just so many things to buy – clothes, bags and shoes! Of course, it does no good to my wallet but once awhile is okay right? Hehe.

ewha shopping

Credit: lifetoreset

ehwa01

Credit: wandergurls

Directions: Take the subway Line 2 and exit from Exit 2 or 3.

Don’t forget to bring enough money when you’re going shopping and most importantly, enjoy your first (of many) trips to Seoul!

#HHWT tip: If you’re a big shopper, you’ll need our ultimate shopping guide in Korea too!

Psst! Now you 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!)

Download_on_the_App_Store

Android-Google-Play-button

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!

Photo credit: Lisa Suherman

10 comments

X
New
Chat with Sofia!