Planning a city break with your girlfriends soon? When deciding on a destination, Seoul may not be the first city that comes to mind. However, with plenty of shopping options, Instagram-worthy spots at every turn, exciting attractions and a variety of halal food options throughout the city, the South Korean capital may be just the spot you’re after for a well-deserved getaway with your girls ?
To help plan the ultimate girls’ trip in Seoul, we’ve curated a 5D4N Muslim-friendly itinerary with the help of Trips, TripAdvisor’s newest feature! The new Trips feature allowed us to search for attractions and activities across Seoul, save our favourites and create and plan our itinerary easily. You can check out our trip here!
Planning your trip with TripAdvisor
When planning trips with friends, it can be a little overwhelming to decide which activities to do, on what day and - if you’re travelling in a group of 4 or more - chances are it will even be more difficult to coordinate a time to meet and iron out the details for your trip. Thanks to TripAdvisor’s new feature called Trips, you can plan your trip with ease. What we love about this feature is that it guides you through every phase of your travel planning. When we were planning this itinerary, we could get ideas on what to do in Seoul by scrolling through hundreds and thousands of reviews and recommendations on TripAdvisor. The platform has more than 795 million reviews on 8.4 million attractions, experiences, accommodations, restaurants and more. And these reviews are from real travellers all over the world, so you know they can be trusted.
Here’s how you can create your own trip in 7 super easy steps:
1. Look for attractions or things to do on TripAdvisor, save it by clicking the heart icon. You’ll be prompted to create your first trip!
2. Name your trip - you can choose for it to be private or visible to the public.
3. Continue adding more places, restaurants, activities, accommodation etc. to your trip by clicking the heart icon.
4. Once that’s done, you’ll see these places on a map on your Trips page so you can figure out which places are close by each other and can be visited on the same day.
5. Add dates/days to your trip and organise your saved items according to the dates/days.
6. Invite your girlfriends to edit or view your trip
7. Bonus: You can even look at existing trips made by others (like ours!) and click “save all items” (do note that this feature is only available on the website right now; coming soon on the app)
#HHWT Tip: To save the sights and attractions recommended below, simply view our Trip on TripAdvisor here!
P.S. Do note that the currency exchange rate (as of 17 Dec 2019) is as follows:
- SGD1 = KRW860, MYR1 = KRW281, IDR1000 = KRW83.24
Day 1: Hanbok experience, Ikseon-dong, Itaewon
Don a hanbok (30min-1h)
- Immerse yourself in the country’s culture as you and your girls dress in the hanbok, Korea’s traditional attire. With its vibrant colours and simple lines, the hanbok was worn daily by the Koreans up until about 100 years ago. Today, it’s only worn during special functions like weddings and Korean festivals like Lunar New Year or Mid-Autumn.
- Hanbok rental is easy - and perfect for a pretty #ootd (outfit of the day) picture or just a fun group shot. Choose from a range of stunning designs, gorgeous ornaments and accessories to finish your look.
- #HHWT Tip: Not sure which hanbok rental you should sign up for? Don’t worry, simply search for “hanbok rental” on TripAdvisor and you’ll find a whole host of rental services. Some, like Hanboknam Rental, allows you to book directly, so it’s super convenient. Don’t forget to use the Trips feature to save your favourite activities and ensure you keep this one on your list.
Visit Gyeongbokgung and Bukchon Hanok Village (4h)
- Many hanbok rental shops are located around Gyeongbokgung and Bukchon Hanok Village so you can conveniently visit these historic places dressed in your hanbok.
- The largest of five palaces in Seoul, Gyeongbokgung is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and holds a wealth of photo-worthy opportunities for you and your girls.
- Be transported to the 14th century Joseon dynasty as you step into the palace’s spacious grounds, pavilions and residences where the Korean royal family once held court.
- #HHWT Tip: Wear your hanbok and receive free admission to the palace, then make sure not to miss the royal guard-changing ceremony - also complimentary. The ceremony is at 10AM and 2PM daily (except Tuesdays).
161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul South Korea
- Bukchon Hanok Village, known as the traditional residential area of the nobility during the Joseon dynasty, consists of hundreds of hanok (Korean traditional houses) that to this day continue to be very well-preserved!
- Take your time to explore the alleys of this charming area with houses that boast intricately tiled rooftops but remember to keep your voice down - many of these homes are still inhabited by local residents!
- #HHWT Tip: Did you know once your favourite activities have been saved on the Trips feature, they immediately appear on the map on TripAdvisor, meaning you’ll be able to see at a glance which attractions are close by and plan your day accordingly. Goodbye, clunky guidebook!
37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03059 South Korea
Lunch at Halal Kitchen (1h)
- Take a break from your first day in Seoul at Halal Kitchen, conveniently located in Bukchon Hanok Village itself!
- Meet the Korean-Muslim owner, Chef Hasani, who’ll open your eyes to the wonder of local dishes like samgyetang (Korean ginseng chicken) and bulgogi hotpot (marinated beef served alongside rice cakes, mushrooms and japchae glass noodles) - the latter being perfect for sharing with a group!
- #HHWT Tip: It’s not just attractions and activities you can find on TripAdvisor; the site has millions of reviews on eateries like Halal Kitchen - save them to your Trips - so you can always find great places to eat, wherever you are in the world!
- Halal status: Muslim-owned, prayer facilities in establishment
86-4, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03053 South Korea
11:00 AM - 09:00 PM (Today), Close (Tue), 11:00 AM - 09:00 PM (Wed-Sat), 11:00 AM - 09:00 PM (Sun)
Spend a chill afternoon at Ikseon-dong (2h)
- After a packed first half of the day, take it slow at Ikseon-dong, known for its unique and hipster cafes and Insta-worthy spots.
- With traditional Korean houses dating back to the 1920s, Ikseon-dong might remind you of Bukchon Hanok Village but its vibe is entirely different. Many houses have been refurbished, yet they still retain the charm and architecture of the traditional residences.
- Cafes are aplenty here, but Madang Flower Cafe is easily identifiable with its beautiful umbrellas outside, selection of flower teas and collection of flowers and flower-themed souvenirs for sale.
- Ikseon-dong’s nooks and crannies make it an interesting place to hang out for a relaxing afternoon with your girlfriends! Check out our full guide on Ikseon-dong here.
Stock up on merchandise at LINE Friends Store Itaewon (1h)
- If you’re familiar with LINE Friends characters Brown, Cony and Sally, be sure to include the LINE Friends store on your itinerary!
- The LINE global flagship store in Itaewon is the largest in the world and stocked to the brim with cute stationery, plush toys (perfect for cozying up to for a picture!) and character-themed clothing.
- Or if popular K-pop boy band, BTS, is more your thing, you’ll love the variety of BT21 (characters created by BTS themselves) merchandise here! A whole floor is dedicated to the range - look out for seasonal merchandise and limited-edition stock.
200, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 04405 South Korea
Savour a halal Korean meal at Makan Restaurant (1h)
- Use the Trips’ useful map function and you’ll find Usadan-ro 10-gil, just a short walk away from the LINE Friends store, and full of halal restaurants. While our Seoul halal food guide showcases a full list of halal Korean eateries in Itaewon, our recommendation has to be Makan Restaurant.
- Whether you’re craving jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles), squid tteokbokki or grilled fish, you’ll get your fix of authentic Korean food here! We suggest ordering a selection of mains (make sure the dakganjeong - Korean fried chicken - is on the list) and sharing them among your girlfriends to sample the best the restaurant has to offer.
- Halal status: Halal-certified
52 Usadan-ro 10 gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 04407 South Korea
10:30 AM - 10:00 PM (Today), Close (Tue), 10:30 AM - 10:00 PM (Wed-Sat), 10:30 AM - 10:00 PM (Sun)
Day 2: Day trip to Nami Island, Gangchon Rail Park and Petite France
- With many awesome attractions located around Seoul, it would be a shame not to take a jaunt out of the city. A number of operators run daily tours to some of the area’s best attractions, many of which are also available to book on TripAdvisor.
- For avid travellers like us, we were able to book ahead and save our activities to the Trips feature which were then displayed in our itineraries on the respective days/dates.
- Known for its gorgeous natural scenery and romantic vibes, Nami Island is not to be missed!
- The island shot to fame after the popular Korean drama, Winter Sonata, was filmed here. Keep an eye out for statues and figurines from the TV show, recreating these with your friends as you take in the island.
- One of the most Instagrammable spots here is the Metasequoia Lane, a street lined with majestic metasequoia trees - breathtaking in autumn as the leaves begin to turn brown and fall.
- Walk or rent a bicycle and be sure to snap a memorable photo with your girls here! Not sure how you should pose? We’ve rounded up a list of group travel poses you need to try with your squad in this article!
- For more information on what to do in Nami Island, halal food and prayer spaces, check out our all-in-one Muslim-friendly guide to Nami Island.
1, Namiseom-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon, Gangwon-do 24464 South Korea
- Once a functioning railway track, Gangchon Rail Park now offers bike lovers 6km of trails and four themed tunnels to pedal on as you take in the gorgeous scenery which was the filming location for the Korean variety show, Running Man.
- Once you’re done pedalling on the rail bike, hop aboard the “Romantic Train” and enjoy the magnificent views of the Bukhangang River.
323-2 Jeung-ri, Sindong-myeon, Chuncheon, Gangwon-do 200-812 South Korea
- Here’s another place that’s also been featured in many Korean dramas including Secret Garden and My Love from the Star - Petite France!
- Modelled after a French village, here’s where you can experience a little slice of Europe in Korea with bright and colourful houses making the perfect backdrop for photos.
- Throughout the park, you’ll be able to spot snippets of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s famous book, The Little Prince - there’s even a gallery dedicated to the author!
1063, Hoban-ro, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do 12456 South Korea
Dinner at Kampungku Myeongdong (1h)
- Once back in Seoul, make your way to Kampungku, a halal restaurant specialising in Korean and Malaysian cuisine and conveniently located near the main shopping streets of Myeongdong!
- One of the restaurant’s best-selling dishes here is the Sweet Crispy chicken. Having received rave reviews from Muslim travellers, it’s coated with tantalising yangnyeom (sticky spicy red sauce) that perfectly complements the crunchiness of the succulent chicken. Or if you’re looking for something hearty to share with your girlfriends, their Budae Jjiggae (Korean army stew) may be just what you’re looking for!
- Don’t forget to drop by the Kampungku Halal Mart to get your fix of halal Korean snacks like honey butter almond, Korean seaweed, halal pastes and more! Check out what you should buy at the halal mart in our guide here!
- Halal status: Halal ingredients used (cooked by a Muslim chef), prayer room in establishment
25, Toegye-ro 20-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul 04629 South Korea
Shop for makeup, cosmetics (and more!) at Myeongdong (2h)
- End the night with some shopping in Myeongdong! With a variety of skincare and cosmetic brands, fashion accessories, K-pop merchandise and more, there’s something for everyone here!
- Looking for skincare bargains on beauty staples such as face masks? You’ll be glad to know there are amazing 1-for-1 deals and discounts on offer. Check out these essential tips for shopping in Myeongdong!
- K-pop fans will want to check out the Myeongdong Underground Shopping Centre for unofficial memorabilia - take your pick from travel card stickers, calendars, mini-posters, badges and more!
- #HHWT Tip: You can also save shopping spots and add them to the Trips feature so your hunt for the best deals will be easier.
Day 3: Ewha, Hongdae
Stroll around Ewha Womans University (1-2h)
- Start your third day with a leisurely morning stroll at Ewha Womans University, known for its lovely 19th-century architecture and spacious lawns. Step into the university compound and you’ll be greeted by beautifully curated gardens and impressive buildings, making for plenty of photo opportunities.
- #HHWT Tip: Don’t miss snapping a photo at this iconic walkway which is located near the entrance!
- Fun fact: Ewha has the reputation of being the world’s largest female educational institute.
52, Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03760 South Korea
Get great bargains at Ewha Womans University Fashion Street (1-2h)
- Known to the locals as Edae (short for ‘Ewha Womans University’ in Korean), this fashion street caters to university students and you’ll definitely find cheaper prices here compared to the rest of Myeongdong.
- From quality shoes to bags, accessories, clothes, socks, skincare and more, the smaller shopping crowds aren’t the only thing you’ll love about Edae.
Lunch at The Halal Guys Hongdae (1h)
- The Halal Guys started out as a pushcart on the streets of New York but has since grown to a global chain specialising in “kebab over rice” platters. Their Hongdae outlet is located near the Hongik University subway station.
- Choose from 3 different sizes of kebab platters and your choice of meat (either chicken or beef gyro). We recommend ordering the combo (mixed) for the best of both worlds!
- The Halal Guys’ signature red and white sauces are what make it special so be sure to ask for more - do note the red sauce is really spicy though. If you don’t feel like having rice, opt for their sandwiches or fries instead.
- Halal status: Muslim-owned
2nd Floor 187 Itaewon-ro Itaewon-Dong, Yongsan-Gu What3words: ///instead.sweat.helper, Seoul 04350 South Korea
11:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Today), 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Tue-Thu), 12:00 AM - 04:00 AM and 11:00 AM - 04:00 AM (Fri), 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM (Sat), 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Sun)
Soak in the atmosphere of Hongdae (2-3h)
- After lunch, it’s time to discover Hongdae, the centre of youth culture in Seoul and one of its trendiest neighbourhoods. Like Edae, you can find affordable shopping here, with an even wider variety.
- #HHWT Tip: With so many things to do in Hongdae, you’d want to save the attractions to your favourites list using the Trips feature on TripAdvisor. A handy feature is that you and your girlfriends alike can make edits to your trip!
Catch a live street performance
- One of the things that sets Hongdae apart from other districts in Seoul is its street performances with a number of artists showcasing their singing or dancing for the supportive street crowds.
- A must-see in Hongdae is the Kakao Friends flagship store. If you’re an avid user of the Kakao messaging app, you’d be delighted with the store’s merchandise themed after Kakao Friends characters like Ryan, Apeach, Muzi & Con and more!
- From plush toys to stationery, stickers, t-shirts, jewellery and more, you’d have loads of fun stocking up on these cute items.
162, Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul 04050 South Korea
Strike a pose at Stylenanda
- Step into the world of all things pink at Stylenanda Pink Pool Cafe at the Hongdae flagship outlet.
- Stylenanda, one of Korea’s most popular fashion brands, offers not only some of the country’s stylish and fashionable items, but a totally Insta-worthy interior complete with its Pink Pool Cafe (4th floor) and aesthetic indoor pool (unfortunately no swimming here!)
37-8, Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul 04536 South Korea
Unleash your creativity at the Seoul Trick Eye Museum (1-2h)
- Trick eye museums have been growing in popularity in recent years and is an ideal group activity especially when travelling with friends!
- Pose with 2D and 3D paintings that create optical illusions across a variety of interesting backdrops that will have you and your girlfriends snapping shots for hours.
- #HHWT Tip: Download the Trickeye app and witness the artworks come to life with Augmented Reality (AR) technology.
- Admission fee: KRW15000 (Adult), KRW12000 (Child)
20, Hongik-ro 3-gil, Mapo-gu Seogyo Plaza B2, Seoul 04039 South Korea
Dinner and chill out at Agak Agak (1h)
- Craving a taste of home? Head over to Agak Agak, a halal restaurant in Hongdae serving Malaysian kopitiam-style food.
- Prepared by Malaysian chef, Basira Yeusuff, authentic signature dishes like satay, nasi lemak, laksa, roti canai and more, you’ll be transported back home in no time. Don’t forget your fix of teh tarik too!
- The restaurant sports a chic, hipster ambience so you and your girls can hang out and chit chat before making your way back to your accommodation.
- Halal status: All ingredients used are halal. No alcohol is used in cooking but do note that alcoholic beverages are served. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion.
- Opening hours: Tue-Thu; 5.30PM-9PM, Fri-Sat; 11.30AM-9PM (closed on Mon)
- Address: 1st Floor, 57 Donggyo-ro 25-gil, Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Day 4: Lotte World
Spend a day at Lotte World (6-8h)
Credit: Koh Yi Lei on Facebook
- Your visit to Seoul would not be complete without visiting one of South Korea’s most popular theme parks, Lotte World! With over 50 different attractions, you and your girlfriends will have a magical day out at this whimsical and picturesque theme park.
- If you’re a fan of thrill rides, head straight to Magic Island where you can hop on the famous Gyro Drop and experience free fall from a height of 70 metres. For more blood-pumping excitement, head to the Atlantis roller coaster next and scream your lungs out with your friends!
Credit: Lynette Teo on Facebook
- Once you’ve had your fill of adrenaline, head indoors to Lotte World Adventure and unleash your inner child with rides such as the Camelot Carousel.
- Check out the reviews for Lotte World on TripAdvisor, so you know just which ride will suit you best!
- Don’t miss the Lotte World Parade at 2pm daily, where you can experience different themes depending on the season. Look out for a Brazillian-inspired Rio Samba parade from Jun-Aug and a Christmas-themed festive parade from Nov-Dec.
Credit: Farhanah Rahman
- #HHWT Tip: Stay until 8pm for the Let’s Dream Night Parade and be treated to a visual spectacle of lights and fireworks!
Muslim-friendly amenities at Lotte World
- Good news, there’s a prayer room on the third floor at Lotte World, located near the elevator at the folk museum and accessible with the push of a button to inform staff that you’d like to do your prayers here. The prayer room comes complete with an ablution area and prayer mats but do bring your own prayer garments!
- Unfortunately, there are no halal-certified restaurants at Lotte World, so we advise you to pack your own food or check out these Muslim-friendly Korean convenience store snacks.
- If you have more time in Seoul and looking for yet another theme park experience, we recommend slotting in a day to visit Everland theme park! Our Muslim-friendly guide to Everland will help you out!
- Admission fee: Check out their website
240, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-721 South Korea
Catch a bird’s eye view of Seoul from Lotte World Tower (1h)
- If you have some time to spare after your fun-filled day at Lotte World theme park, head over to the Seoul Sky Observatory at Lotte World Tower and catch a bird’s eye view of Seoul.
- Wind down your day and witness the sun setting as you welcome your last night in Seoul!
- At 555 metres tall, the tower is the 6th tallest building in the world and you can admire the view from the 117th-123rd floors.
Credit: Republic of Korea on Flickr
- If you’re up for a thrilling challenge, try stepping out onto the transparent glass floor at the Sky Deck on the 118th floor and grab a group photo here with your girlfriends.
- Admission fee: KRW27000 (Adult), KRW24000 (Child)
300, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu 117-123F, Lotte World Tower, Seoul 05551 South Korea
Have authentic Korean BBQ at Yang Good (1-2h)
- Celebrate your last night in Seoul with an authentic halal Korean BBQ at Yang Good!
- Be greeted by the appetising aroma of grilled meat as you take your pick from various meat platters of halal-certified lamb and chicken for a night of Korean BBQ feasting to cap off your last night in Seoul.
- Halal status: Halal meat and ingredients used. As alcohol is served in the establishment, we advise you to dine at your own discretion.
15, Nonhyeon-ro 95-gil, Gangnam-gu Pyeonghwa Bldg. 1F, Seoul 06131 South Korea
Day 5: Gangnam
Snap IG-worthy pictures at Starfield Library (1h)
- It’s your last day in Seoul so give yourself sometime in the morning to do some last-minute packing and start the day a little later at Starfield Library, located in the Starfield COEX Mall near Samseong subway station.
- #HHWT Tip: If you don’t want to lug your bags around, you can check in your luggage at the City Airport Terminal at COEX Mall. Find out more here.
- One of Seoul’s most Instagrammable spots due to its towering and picturesque bookshelves, don’t miss out on a photo here at Starfield Library! Our favourite spot is this escalator with the backdrop of the bookshelf. Take turns to help your girlfriends get the perfect shot, or better still, take a selfie with your whole crew!
- As the English section is only a small area, we recommend that you bring your own book to read here.
513, Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu Starfield COEX Mall, Seoul 06164 South Korea
Have an early lunch at Kervan Restaurant (1h)
- Located within Starfield COEX Mall and a short 5-minute walk from Starfield Library, Kervan Restaurant is an excellent pit stop for lunch.
- Specialising in scrumptious Turkish cuisine, such as Mix Grill Kebab, Pide (Turkish pizza) and Butter Chicken, the stylish decor and cozy ambience will make you feel as if you’ve been whisked away to Turkey.
- Although prices can be a little steep, we recommend dining during lunch so you can enjoy Kervan’s lunch sets (from KRW12900).
- Halal status: Halal-certified
513, Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu Coex Mall B1, Seoul 06164 South Korea
11:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Today), 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Daily)
End your trip with a pampering session at Spa Lei (4h)
- There’s no better way to end your trip than with a pampering spa session with the girls! Located in Sinsa-dong near the popular Garosu-gil shopping district, Spa Lei is an all-female spa, perfect for experiencing a jjimjilbang (Korean-style sauna).
- There are a variety of baths but not all require you to remove all your clothing, making it suitable for Muslim travellers. Open-air and foot baths will ensure your body is rejuvenated after all that walking and exploring the past 4 days!
- Alternatively, you can step into one of the sauna rooms for their detoxifying and cleansing properties - these saunas are rich in minerals and are effective in relieving certain ailments like gastritis, indigestion, food poisoning (and more!).
- Besides trying out the various baths and saunas, you can also sign up for spa services such as massage, facial, body scrub and even mani/pedis.
- Disclaimer: Do note that as part of Korean culture, locals and other tourists might remove their clothes in common areas so we advise you to visit at your own discretion.
- Price: from KRW16000 (additional fees apply for massages, body scrub etc)
8-22 Jamwon-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul South Korea
That concludes your 5D4N Seoul trip with your girlfriends! With plenty of exciting activities to experience with your travel buddies, IG-worthy spots and the best deals on shopping, you’ll enjoy the best of what Seoul has to offer. Using TripAdvisor’s Trip feature, you can easily save and view all the places of interest we mentioned in the article with a click of a button. View our Trip here and click on “Save all items”. Feel free to build your upcoming Seoul trip off our itinerary, by adding or removing places and rearranging the places by days of your Trip. The best part is, you can get your friends to co-edit and view your Trip too. Time to start planning now!
Want a chance to win 2 business class tickets to a destination of your choice? (worth up to SGD15000!) Join the #TripAdvisorTrips Contest with these simple steps:
- Create a Trip for any city that is unique and different from others. Whether you’re a shopaholic, café hopper, it’s up to you to put your own spin on your Trip. Don’t forget to save and share your top recommendations and travel tips! You can even take ideas from your past trip or an upcoming trip that you’re planning for.
- Share your Trip with the TripAdvisor community by setting it to Public view.
- In the description box, tag @TripAdvisorAsia and mention why TripAdvisor users will find your itinerary interesting and helpful.
- The Trip that has the highest number of helpful votes on TripAdvisor wins.
The contest runs from 5 Dec 2019 - 5 Feb 2020 and winners will be announced on 20 Feb 2020!
This article is brought to you in partnership with TripAdvisor.