Seoul, Korea has an endless list of things to do, so we won’t even begin to scratch the surface of South Korea tourists attractions. However, we will share eight amazing Seoul attractions for you to add to your trip to South Korea. From fun museums, to animal cafes, to half-day tours to the DMZ, there is something for everyone on this list. You’ll have a solid idea of places to visit in Seoul.
Before we get started on your list, you may be asking where to stay in Seoul, and we highly recommend the Myeong-dong neighborhood. It’s very central and listed as the best place to stay in Seoul. Staying here allows you to be close to the train and bus stations. If you’re interested in getting around using the bus, follow these detailed instructions here. I highly recommend buying this Seoul travel guide. Now…let’s go over these things to do in Seoul, shall we?
Trick Eye Museum
This is not your average “boring”museum and should be on your list when you visit Korea. Trick Eye is located in multiple cities in South Korea. Let me tell you why you need to go: It’s cheap and fun! Easy as that. This optical illusion museum will have you rolling with laughter and shocked with amazement.
You can choose between downloading an AR (augmented reality) app and having the photos come to life. It’s the craziest thing, but the photo turns into an interactive experience. You can fight a dragon or ride two raging sharks at sea. You do have to have the app to participate with the AR, but it’s free and downloads easily in the lobby of the museum.
Trick Eye also has parts of the museum where you physically climb on sculptures to get the special affect of the photo. I mean, it’s a giant indoor playground for kids and adults alike. As matter of fact, this is THE perfect place to go if Seoul weather isn’t cooperating.
Overall, if you love taking photos, you’ll obsess over this place. You’ll easily walk out of the museum with hundreds of photos. Everyone wants their turn and there will be certain photo ops that you’re drawn to more than others. Seriously, this has be one of the coolest things to do in South Korea.
PRO TIP: When you visit South Korea (or any other Asian country), you can download the app, Klook. Klook gives you discounts on attractions, tickets, and tours in many of the Asian countries. We were able to score cheap last minute tickets to the Trick Eye Museum by using Klook.
What’s cooler than an ice museum? Getting in with your Trick Eye admission. You might not think of visiting an ice museum when you’re looking for what to do in Seoul. While you’re already at the Trick Eye Museum, it just makes sense to walk across the lobby to attend this small, cold, but so much fun museum.
Right when you walk into the Ice Museum, you’ll see a slide. They have a mat you can use or you can freeze your bottom off and go down straight on the ice. Throughout the museum, there are many interactive ice sculptures. There’s no time limit to play, but you won’t be staying around too long. Anyway, this is just one of those places in Seoul that is a cheap memory maker and I highly recommend.
If you’re in Seoul South Korea, then you have to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace. If you’ve done your research, then you already know that this historic palace is listed as one of the top things to do in Seoul. You can visit the Gyeongbokgung Palace a few ways:
1. Just explore the outside of the palace by attending the changing of the royal guards and admiring the folks dressed in the traditional Hanbok. This was the option we did and we enjoyed our time. You really should at least do this option when you visit Seoul.
2. Gyeongbokgung Palace offers free tour guides for an hour to an hour and a half for groups up to ten people. You can find more information about these tours here.
3. Pay the admission to explore everything Gyeongbokgung Palace has to offer. It’s close to $2.50 (3000 WON) for adults and about $1.30 or so for children ages 7-18. If you choose this option, plan on spending a half day or longer here.
Visit an Animal Cafe
Look on a Seoul map and you’ll be sure to find many animal cafes. You can visit a dog cafe, cat cafe, parrot cafe, and even a meerkat cafe! There’s a decent chance you’re going to stop for a coffee or drink anyway, so not hang with a fur friend at the same time? For us, it felt like one of THOSE things to do in Seoul Korea. Like, a must.
The cat cafe we attended was clean, and the cats were very healthy. We walked in as they were literally brushing the teeth of a cat. The employees will place a blanket in your lap, and before long, you’ll have a cat curled up in your lap.
Myeong-dong Street Market
Food, food, and more food. That’s what the streets of Myeong-dong is all about! This has to be one of the top things to do in Seoul. You need to go hungry and prepared to eat a variety of Korean street food. Take a look at these 25 Korean foods that we tried during our visit. I suggest you bypass dinner one night and spend the evening eating chicken on a stick, dumplings, fresh fruit, and of course, dessert. Take a look at the photos below and tell me that this won’t be added to your places in South Korea that you won’t miss out on!
DMZ Half-Day Tour From Seoul
One of the most sought after things to do in Korea is visiting the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea). Viator offers a great half-day option so you can see all the sites in minimal time and they do all the planning for you.
The DMZ tour starts off by picking you up at your hotel or Airbnb in Seoul. You’ll take a large comfortable bus to visit four different sites: Imjingak Park, Dora Observatory, Third Infiltration Tunnel, and finally the Dorasan Station.
At Imjingak Park, you’ll be able to see Freedom Bridge, a derailed and battered steam train from the Korean War. This park is dedicated to the millions of South Koreans who were separated from their families.
The Dora Observatory is where you can actually look through binoculars over to North Korea’s propaganda village. On a clear or semi-clear day, you can even see North Korea’s flag. You might even get a glimpse at some North Korean soldiers.
Probably the most exciting portion of the tour is the Third Infiltration Tunnel. You‘re issued a hard hat and you hike part of the tunnel that the North Koreans dug out in hopes of a surprise attack on the South Koreans. Some folks with claustrophobia might have issues doing this part, but if I could do, so can you. Plus, you can always turn around if you’re feeling uncomfortable.
The last stop is at Dorasan Station. A fully functioning train station that has been built for years, but never used. It has been built in hopes that one day there will be peace between the two countries and be able to travel from one to the other.
The DMZ is just one of those places to visit in South Korea. It’s one of many day trips from Seoul, and is highly rated as an unique tour.
PRO TIP: The tunnel portion of this tour can be difficult for those who are claustrophobic. I will say that you can easily turn around and leave if you find that you’re able to finish. I was worried that I would get claustrophobic, but it wasn’t bad at all. I recommend you try, and if you start to feel uncomfortable, just stop and turn back.
If you’re needing to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life, Seoul is home to many gorgeous parks. These parks also offer some gorgeous pictures of the South Korea cherry blossoms. Well, if you visit South Korea in the spring, which might just be the best time to visit Seoul.
Yeouido Park: This park has a great mix of nature and the Seoul skyline. It’s a hub to many performances and concerts, making a great location for Seoul nightlife. In the spring, they light up the Seoul cherry blossom trees and create an amazing light show. During the Cherry Blossom Festival they’ll have food trucks and entertainment.
Seokchon Lake: This has to be one of the places to go in Seoul! This park has a great walking path surrounded by, yep…more cherry blossom trees. The walking path offers views of the Lotte Sky Tower and Lotte World. The path also walks around the lake, so it’s a peaceful escape from the business of the city.
Olympic Park: This entire area is filled with goodies. From a cherry blossom lined walkway leading to a gorgeous pavilion, to sculptures in the streets, to the iconic World Peace Gate. This is a great area to explore on foot.
There are other parks situated around Seoul, but we visited these, so I can speak from experience that these are worth your time.
Get Lost in the Streets of Seoul
One of the best things to do in Seoul is getting lost in the streets! First off, Seoul is probably the safest place I’ve ever visited, so there’s not really a concern when out and about exploring. When walking up and down the Seoul streets, you’ll come across great shopping, cafes, and restaurants. South Korea is full of interesting places, and you miss a lot of those if you spend too much time on public transportation. Take a half day, and just wander.
Things to do in Seoul
We hope that you have been inspired by these eight things to do in Seoul. As mentioned above, these are only a few options for your Seoul travel guide. From the parks to the museums, there are plenty of Seoul sightseeing opportunities. Have a safe trip to Seoul, South Korea and eat some dumplings for us!