Who says you can't explore Seoul within 3 days?! This guide is perfect to experience the best tourist attractions in the city as well as some of the unique aspects of Korean culture! So if you're just passing by to head off to other regions or cities in South Korea, this itinerary is for you!
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Day 1Try authentic Persian cuisine for lunch (1h)
- One of the few halal eateries in Daehak-ro is Persian Palace which specialises in authentic Persian cuisine.
- It’s approximately about 20 mins by train. The nearest station to Novotel Dongdaemun is Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station.
- Drop off Gwanghwamun Station and walk a short distance to reach Persian Palace.
Halal status: Muslim-ownedAddress: 9 Sungkyunkwan-ro 6-gil, Myeongnyun 2(i)ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (in front of Sungkyungkwan University)Opening hours: 10.30am-9.30pm dailyGo cafe-hopping around the nearby Ikseon-dong area (1.5h)
- The average price for our meals are between 19000 and 23000KRW.
- You can do your prayers at the small prayer room. Do note that it’s not gender-segregated and you’d have to bring your own prayer garments.
Snap IG-worthy photos at Ihwa Mural Village (1.5h)
- Ikseon-dong is right in the heart of Seoul and only 10 minutes away from Jongno 3(sam)-ga station.
- Your main getaway to this up-and-coming hipster area is the Jongno 3(sam)-ga station which is the interchange station for lines 1, 3 and 5. Take exit 4 (line 5 side), cross the narrow street and walk straight into a small alley.
- The area is pretty unassuming at first and you might not see the charm of Ikseon-dong right away but walk further into the alley and you'll start discovering hidden gems!
- Grab a nice cup of coffee at any of their cafes and watch the world go by! You can even get your coffee on the go and take a stroll along the streets of vintage items!
- 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!
Pass by Cheonggyecheon Stream (45 mins)
- 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.
- Address: 49 Naksan 4-gil, Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- How to get there: Exit 2 at Hyehwa Station. Walk straight until you reach the Lock Museum. After 50 meters, turn right on to Naksan Gongson-gil street. Walk till you reach Naksan Park.
Head to Dongdaemun Design Plaza (2h)
- The Cheonggyecheon is a subterranean stream that is sunken below the street level that leads all the way to the Han River. Its lush landscaping helps in creating an intimate recreational and chilling space for couples and families.
- A good time to visit the Cheonggyecheon would be during sunset (timing changes depending on season.) If you’re lucky, there might be small community events and you might get treated to a free amateur Korean concert!
- Take note: although this is a recreational space, cycling along the Cheonggyecheon is discouraged. Instead, one may cycle along the main river with designated cycling paths.
End the day off with a seafood feast (1h)If you’re looking for a hearty meal, head on down to the Dongdaemun Grilled Fish Alley! For just 7,000₩, you’ll get a complete meal consisting on a huge piece of your choice of fish and unlimited banchan (반찬) or side dishes. Try popular options such as the crispy Samchi gui (삼치구이) or Japanese Spanish Mackerel, or the Godeungeo gui (고등어구이) – that’ll be saba fish!Halal status: Do note that as none of the stalls there are halal-certified, we recommend that you do your necessary checks and dine at your own discretion.
Price: Approx 7,000₩
How to get there: Exit from Exit 8 of Dongdaemun Station. Turn right and you’ll see the JW Marriot Hotel right away. Just walk straight along the Cheonggyecheon Stream until you reach a bridge. From there, turn right into the lane and turn left at the first alley. You’ll see the whole alley lined with grilled fish.
- Dongdaemun is also home to new architectural masterpieces. The DDP is a must for the artsy-fartsy and those interested in architecture. For a start, the DDP is designed by world-renowned American Iraqi-born ‘starchitect’ Zaha Hadid.
- This large futuristic complex sits on a historical site of not one but two stadiums side by side! The DDP is a one-stop hub for several types of permanent and temporary exhibitions and art installations both indoor and outdoor.
- On top of that, there are souvenir shops and bookshops that sell cool and funky artworks, apparels and books dedicated to the art. Café chains in the basement offer visitors a place to pause to take a break from this (read this: tiring) activity.
Day 2Start your morning with amazing views of Seoul from the iconic N Seoul Tower (2h)
- Skip the cable car and hike up Namsan to head to N Seoul Tower or take a public bus.
- If you're going on foot, enjoy the serene atmosphere at Namsan Park - it is really beautiful in spring and autumn!
- Snap a shot at the iconic love locks and head up the N Seoul Tower to get a bird's eye view of Seoul!
Try yummy halal Korean food in Itaewon (3h)
- Trek up the hill and visit the Seoul Central Masjid.
- After burning some calories, visit a halal Korean eatery such as Eid, Manis Kitchen and Busan Jib and try authentic halal Korean food!
Say hello to King Sejong (1h)
- Head over to Gwanghwamun Square and ‘meet’ the King who created the Korean alphabet (along with many other inventions), King Sejong the Great.
- Learn more about Korean history in the exhibition hall below the square.
Learn about Korean royalty at Gyeongbokgung Palace (2.5 hours)
- Before visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace, check out the changing of guards right in front of the palace. Remember to check the timings.
- Sign up for the free walking tour around Gyeongbukgung (2 hours). Trust us, it will make your experience a whole lot better when you learn about the history behind each of the different buildings and palaces!
Insadong for dinner (2.5 hours)
Dongdaemun/Myeongdong for shopping (2 hours / however long you think you can go)Experience late-night shopping like never before as there are many shops and malls in Dongdaemun or Myeongdong that operate 24h or open till late!
- Head to the traditional area of Seoul - Insadong and visit Ohsegyehyang, a Korean vegetarian eatery, for dinner. Make sure to get their Jajangmyeon (bean paste noodles).
- Take some time to visit the traditional teahouses and try a cup of Korean tea with rice cakes
- You can also check out other halal restaurants nearby around Seoul!
This is just a guide for those who wants the best of Seoul but you're facing a time constraint! If you want more itineraries, you can check these out!