Cheap Activities in Seoul

Cheap Activities in Seoul

Seoul is one of those cities that everyone’s heard about, but few actually make the trek to see for themselves. While it was long overlooked by travelers for years, Seoul has finally earned its spot on the tourism radar – and for good reasons.

Seoul’s urban framework is a perfect combination of contemporary modernity and timeless tradition. Whether travelers are looking to get swept away within the dynamic myriad of clubs until dawn or a more relaxing stroll through the clusters of traditional homes in the city’s historical village, there is something for everyone – particularly for those traveling on a budget. To prove that, I’ve made a list of some amazing cheap activities in Seoul that won’t burn a hole in your wallet:

1. Namsan Tower

Located atop one of the city’s busiest neighborhoods, this icon of Seoul offers the best view in town. Depending on the day, travelers and locals alike can be treated to a variety of traditional performances, art exhibitions or concerts once they’ve reached the top.

NAMSAN TOWER ADMISSION:

HOW TO GET THERE:

  • Take the subway and drop off at Chungmuro Station (Line 3 and 4).
  • Once you go out of Exit 1 at Chungmuro Station,  you will see the Daehan Cinema.
  • Look for Bus #5 heading toward Namsan Park.
  • Take bus all the way to the last stop.

Tourists have the option to either take a leisurely hike to the tower or pay a small fee to board the cable car. I personally love the quick 30-minute hike up and down, as I can get views like this:

Sunset view at Namsan Tower.

Sunset view at Namsan Tower.

Sunset view at Namsan Tower.

Sunset view at Namsan Tower.

This attraction is popular among family and friend groups, but like many things in Korea, caters to couples. The park is akin to Pont de l’Archevêché in Paris, as couples from across the globe have gathered to show their love and appreciation for one another by leaving behind a love lock.

Once couples have locked up, they can donate their keys to Postbox of Love, a campaign created by the Korean government to deter people from throwing their keys into the sea or the ground. Considering a percentage of money made from donations is donated to underprivileged children, I think it’s safe to say that Namsan Tower is a place where the love just keeps on giving.

2. Ihwa Mural village and naksan park

One of my favorite things about the neighborhoods of Seoul is the unique character each of them possesses. There are a number of mural villages interspersed throughout the country, but for me, the Ihwa Mural Village takes the cake.

One of the reasons the art village is special is because it is situated within a dal dongnae, also known as a “moon village.” In sum, moon villages are mountaintop homes which have been forgotten during the rapid industrialization of Korea. The quaint homes are not only charming, but offer an excellent backdrop for the lovely murals scattered throughout the alleyways of the forgotten neighborhood.

Several of the old houses have been converted into inviting yet  quirky cafes or restaurants, all of which are perfect spots to relax after exploring the village on a quiet afternoon. Once you’re finished wandering around, you can take a short walk up to Naksan Park to watch the sun set behind Seoul’s impressive skyline.

mural village ADMISSION:

  • FREE!

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HOW TO GET THERE:

  • Get off at Hyehwa Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 2.
  • Turn left once you pass Marronnier Park.
  • Continue to walk toward Naksan Park (there will be signs) until you come across the murals.

3. Gyungbokgung palace

Tucked away within the bustling city, this tourist attraction cannot be missed. Not only is this royal palace absolutely stunning, it holds strong significance to Korea’s history. Also known as “Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven,” the palace once served as the residence of the Joseon kings and, at its peak, housed more than 300 buildings. However, the palace was burnt to the ground on two separate invasions by the Japanese government.

Despite this, Korea has maintained strength and determination to ensure its history and culture remains in tact. The government has worked hard at renovating the destroyed imperial land and have done an impeccable job.

Gyungbokgung ADMISSION:

  • Adult: 3,000 (~$3.50 USD) Children: 1,500(~$1.30 USD)
  • FREE during the month of July

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HOW TO GET THERE:

  • Get off at Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5 and walk straight.

Korea is definitely a beautiful place to visit, and there is much to see beyond what I’ve listed here. These are my favorite places within Seoul and I hope you find yourself exploring this gorgeous city and have as much fun as I do living here! If you’re like me and have an interest in ecotourism and treating our environment with respect while traveling, you should check out EcoPhiles. Thanks for reading!

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11 Comments

  1. August 11, 2015 / 6:57 am

    Those pictures truly bring this post to life! Travel blogs are my downfall, I love travelling too much to not put every cent I have into it! Such a beautiful post with amazing tips! Thanks so much!
    xoxo
    Alicia
    http://www.lifeofafatgirl.ca

    • lauranalin88@gmail.com
      August 11, 2015 / 7:01 am

      Thank you! I really love taking photographs as well as exploring, which is why I started this blog in the first place. Should you ever find your way to Seoul, I hope these tips will help! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. August 11, 2015 / 10:55 am

    Wow, these photos are gorgeous! Also, golden stars for highlighting some of the less expensive things to do – which by the way are still amazing. We have yet to make that trip, but it is on the plans! 🙂

  3. Ron
    August 11, 2015 / 11:04 am

    I love Seoul. Love the pop culture, the people, food, technology, night life and it’s relatively cheap. Your pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience, makes me want to go back soon.

  4. August 11, 2015 / 2:19 pm

    Visiting Seoul is my dream! Is it an expensive city on average?

    • lauranalin88@gmail.com
      August 11, 2015 / 10:49 pm

      Korea as a whole is a fairly cheap country to visit. Things that can be on the pricy end are fruit, cocktails and nightlife. However, aside from the fruit, I am not interested in the other two so I am able to save quite a bit of money each month. If you’re here on a budget, the transportation, be it train, bus or cabs, are extremely cheap. It’s expensive to get here, but there are plenty of hostels and guest houses if you also want cheaper but nice accommodation. Let me know if you need any additional information!

  5. August 11, 2015 / 3:09 pm

    I’ve seen that mural village before (not in person!) and think it would be so cool to see in person. Your photos are beautiful. And if I ever make it to Seoul, I imagine I’ll be looking for the most affordable ways to enjoy/experience the city! Thanks!

  6. August 11, 2015 / 4:20 pm

    I love the wall with the rabbits! So simple, yet so attractive to the eye. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures!

  7. Jordan
    January 6, 2017 / 1:35 am

    Informative post! Thank you!
    I will be traveling to Seoul this February. Do you have any recommendations or tips? This will be my first winter in Seoul, I don’t do well in cold weather but for Seoul I will do anything.

    • January 9, 2017 / 7:26 am

      Oh great! You’ll have an awesome time. Seoul is quite lovely in the winter.

      – Don’t miss out on Gyeongbukgung despite how cold it is, and if you have the time, I would hire a tour guide as it’s got quite an interesting story behind it.

      – I really recommend eating dak galbi at a place called Yoogane (유가네 닭갈비) – there are plenty of places to try it, but I like the branch in the Hongdae neighborhood.

      – If the lights at the Garden on the Morning Calm are still going on, I recommend taking the train out there to check out the lights at night and it’s a nice escape from the city.

      – There is an ice skating rink at the Olympic Park which is awesome.

      If you have any other questions or want other suggestions, feel free to drop me an email!

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