Home to the recent 2018 Winter Olympics, Seoul is the lively capital city of South Korea that is perfect for an all-girls getaway! It is the world’s second largest metropolitan area with over ten million people, and Seoul is the city that never sleeps – just take a look at the 24-hour neon lights illuminating the streets?
With many budget airlines offering flights to Seoul at attractive prices, getting to Seoul does not have to cost you and your girls an arm and a leg. Besides, accommodation hosting options let you get the cheapest deals for your group’s stay in Seoul ? Plus, there are a myriad of activities to be done in Seoul that may make time seem too short during your trip to the bustling city.
Not only do you get to witness and understand the pulsating culture of the South Koreans, the beautiful sights of skyscrapers as well as the surrounding nature in the city makes it a great place for you and your girls to explore. Whether you or your girlfriends are K-pop fans (or not!), there is something in Seoul for everyone. Let us show you what Seoul has to offer and how you can have the best girls trip ever ?
Must-try experiences1. Don the traditional hanbok, Bukchon Hanok Village
Kickstart your Seoul adventure by taking a relaxing stroll around Bukchon Hanok Village! Your experience here will be complete when you don the traditional hanbok with your girlfriends. Travel back in time as you walk down the small alleys of the village. There are hundreds of hanok
(Korean traditional houses) that are well-preserved, perfect as a backdrop for the OOTD pictures that you girls have always dreamt of!
Credit: @rkdwjdaln on Instagram
Choose from a wide range of hanbok rental shops here. Most shops do not require a reservation in order for you to rent hanbok, so you can simply walk-in and rent one during your trip. It usually works on a time-based rental system so you can rent the hanbok for the specified duration in addition to the accessories that you may need, like hairbands and matching bags ?
Credit: Oneday Hanbok on Facebook
9.00am – 6.00pm (Monday – Friday), 9.00am – 5.00pm (Saturday & Sunday)
Gahoe-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Subway Line 3: Anguk Station (Exit 1 or 2)
2. Witness the guard-changing ceremony at Gyeongbokgung
A short distance from Bukchon Hanok Village is Gyeongbokgung, one of the most iconic sights in Korea. It is the first and largest of the royal palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty - rich in history and culture!
Credit: whyyan on Flickr
Within the spacious grounds of the palace, be enchanted by the many pavilions, residences and halls that were formally utilized in the 14th
century by the royalty. You'd be blown away by how vastly different Seoul looks from the arches of Gwanghwamun gate! On one side of the gate, skyscrapers tower over the futuristic city that is Seoul but on the other side, beautiful colours of the many old buildings fill the palace grounds.
Get your cameras clicking to the beautiful sights in the palace as you and your girls get transported back in time!
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Not to be missed during your visit to the palace is the royal guard-changing ceremony at 10.00am and 2.00pm. The 20-minute ceremony showcases the traditional practice in Korea where the changing of royal guards took place whenever their shifts changed over. These guards played an important role in guarding and patrolling the gates of the palace, and hence had to partake in either the day or night shift in order to protect the royalties who resided in the palace ?
To beat the massive crowds at this popular attraction, we recommend coming before the palace opens at 9.00am.
9.00am – 6.00pm, Monday – Sunday (closed on Tuesday)
161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Subway Line 3: Gyeongbokgung Station (Exit 5)
3. Enjoy a great spa experience in a jimjilbang
Visiting a jimjilbang
during your trip to Seoul is a must-do as it is not something you can easily find back in your homeland. This 24-hour gender-segregated bath house features relaxing soaking pools, bathing and massage areas, saunas, entertainment lounges and communal sleeping rooms.
Note: Only the bath area is gender-separated.
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After a long day of walking and exploring Seoul, a jimjilbang
is perfect for winding down with your girlfriends. Plus, it's a truly authentic Korean spa experience - from soaking in medicinal baths to sweating it out at the sauna. You can also opt for the many spa treatments available at the jimjilbang
– sports massage, Thai massage, stone massage. Now that...is bliss ?
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Be sure to snap a picture while trying the “lamb head towel” that you always see in K-dramas!
As it operates round-the-clock, you can save on a night's stay at the hotel by staying here instead! There are sleeping rooms at the jimjilbang
that you can comfortably (and safely!) get your much-needed rest☺️
4. Get on all the rides at Lotte World
Lotte World is an entertainment centre with the world’s largest indoor theme park, an outdoor amusement park, mall, hotel, museum and ice-skating rink. If you and your girls are adrenaline junkies, this is THE place for you to have fun!
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If the weather permits, head over to Lotte World’s outdoor extension – also known as the Magic Island – which features a Disney-like castle alongside family-friendly and thrill rides ?
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Admission to Lotte World also includes a visit to the full-fledged Korean folk museum. Take the time to learn the history of Korea as you check out the items and artefacts on display at the museum, from miniature models of Korean villages and palaces to crafts like paintings and statues!
9.30am – 10.00pm (Monday – Thursday), 9.30am – 11.00pm (Friday – Saturday)
240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil 3(sam)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Subway Line 2/ Line 8: Jamsil Station (Exit 4)
Shopping hot spots5. Check out hipster clothing in Hongdae
Shopping in Seoul is an experience like no other. In Hongdae, expect to be among the coolest of the cool as many hipsters and students throng the area for their shopping needs. Find the latest trends and styles in fashion here!
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With quirky designs and fun styles, you and your girlfriends can take your time to browse through the wide variety of clothing. Pair your OOTDs with matching accessories and have fun trying on different styles!
Credit: @dada_chd on InstagramGetting there:
Subway Line 2: Hongik University Station (Exit 9)
6. Buy souvenirs in Insadong
Shopping for souvenirs for your loved ones back home is always a must! Your answer to affordable souvenirs in Seoul? Insadong!
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This traditional neighbourhood in central Seoul is lined with small shops, tea houses and street vendors. Here you will find the traditional hanbok along with handmade pottery, calligraphy items, art supplies and crafts – truly an interesting place to take a stroll with your girls!
Credit: @kongkongy.seoul on Instagram
Remember to ditch the usual keychains and hunt for something different instead!
P.S: If you are on a tight budget, this
guide is your answer for the best bargains in Seoul!
Subway Line 3: Anguk Station
7. Splurge on affordable beauty products
Over the years, K-beauty has amassed a legion of loyal followers for its trendy makeup and skincare products. Let their best double-cleansing products, essences and sheet masks take your bathroom cabinet space by storm!
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Korean cosmetic brands mostly feature products made from exotic ingredients, from Jeju Island volcanic clay to soybeans and traditional Korean medicine. With so many local brands to choose from, take your time to browse through items at different stores! You can also sample the products before deciding on them!
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Do make sure to scan through the ingredients list on the packaging of the items (or better yet, ask the staff at the store) to avoid animal and alcohol content. Wondering what Muslim-friendly products there are? Here's an extensive list to help you
Remember to request for tax refund should your purchases fulfill the minimum spend required! Immediate tax refunds can be done at selected stores, so remember to bring along your passports when you shop. Else, you can proceed with your tax refund requests at the airport before your flight home.
Muslim-friendly food8. Indulge in a hearty Korean BBQ at Yang Good
What is a visit to Seoul without getting your hands on Korean BBQ?? One of the best places to satiate your cravings for meat is Yang Good, a halal-certified restaurant serving authentic Korean BBQ.
Credit: @yanggood on Instagram
You can choose either Australian-imported lamb or chicken to be barbecued. But we highly recommend the marinated lamb coated in sweet Korean sauce. It's their best-seller! You can also opt for the unmarinated version to savour the originality in the flavour of the meat?
Credit: @yanggood on Instagram
One way or another, the Korean dining experience with the traditional lettuce, barbecued meat and kimchi combination will leave you wanting more. Nothing beats a good fellowship with your girls over delicious food ?
Check out even more yummy Muslim-friendly eateries in Korea here
4.00pm – 11.30pm, Monday – Saturday
15, Nonhyeon-ro 95-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Subway Line 2: Yeoksam Station (Exit 6)
9. Try the freshest seafood at Noryangjin Fish Market
One of the oldest and largest seafood markets in Korea, a visit to the Noryangjin Fish Market should be the highlight of your trip. This is the place for you to experience the buzz of the market and interact with the locals, giving you an eye-opening experience that is hard to find elsewhere!
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If your girl squad is a huge fan of seafood, you’re in luck. Indulge in the freshest seafood from the many stalls in the market, all with homogenous offerings. It may seem hectic in the market, but there is no need for you to rush your way through!
Start off by picking your catch. It you are clueless, fret not – the friendly vendors are more than willing to help you pick your catch. After making your purchases, you can have them prepared for you at one of the restaurants in the market. Depending on your preference, you can have your seafood sashimi-style, grilled or boiled.
Credit: @uncledeng on Instagram#HHWT Tip:
For the bold-hearted, try the live octopus sashimi at the market. It is served chopped up with its tentacles still wriggling on the plate. Definitely be an experience you will never forget!
674 Nodeul-ro, Noryangjin 1(il)-dong, Dongjak-gu, South Korea
Subway Line 1: Noryangjin Station (Exit 1)
Top viewing spots10. N Seoul Tower
Sitting atop Namsan Mountain, this 236.7-meter tower is Seoul's highest point. This is the perfect spot for tourists to get a panoramic view of the city! It offers astonishing 360-degree panoramic views of the city, so enjoy the awesome cityscape and unwind as you gaze out to the Hangang River.
Credit: alpe89 on Flickr
Take in the magnificent views of the beautiful skylines of Seoul from The Roof Terrace. This romantic wooden deck is also home to tens of thousands of love locks – a symbol of undying love. Show your love to your girlfriends by attaching a padlock of your own here ?
10.00am – 11.00pm, Monday – Sunday
105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Subway Line 4: Myeongdong Station (Exit 3)
11. Nami Island
For more picture-perfect scenery, head to Nami Island - a beautiful island featuring beautiful trees, woodlands and riverside walks. Its picturesque views make it a favourite place in many Korean dramas. It’s no wonder fans make their pilgrimage to the island in droves every year! One of the most instagrammable spots here is the middle of this road, lined with gorgeous redwood trees on both sides ?
Credit: @a.thousandmiles on Instagram
It doesn't matter which season you choose to visit; the beautiful views will leave you and your girlfriends in awe! And what better way to immerse yourself in all this beauty than to sit down, relax and have a picnic with your BFFs in the garden? You can also explore the island on bicycles which are available for rent. With so many beautiful photo spots, immortalize the memories with your friends through photographs!
Credit: Pandora Voon on Flickr#HHWT Tip:
Be sure to allocate a full day for your trip to Nami Island. As the journey takes about 2 hours one way on public transportation, it is important to start your day early so you can make the best out of your trip there!
1 Namisum-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-do, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Subway Gyeongchun Line: Gapyeong Station, then take the ferry ride to the island
With endless opportunities to sightsee, snack, spa and shop, Seoul is definitely THE go-to for your next girls’ getaway. It will definitely be one trip you and your girls cherish forever ?