One day trip in Seoul
Sometimes my foreign friends visit Korea and I always help them to travel Korea. In early April, my friend from Hong Kong came to Korea with her mother. They wanted to look around most famous and popular travel destinations in Seoul with me. As a public diplomat of VANK, I planned their one day trip in Seoul. I wanted to show them center areas of Seoul. If you visit Korea for the first time, this one day trip plan will works well for you, too!!
<One day trip in Seoul>
1. Start your trip from Gwanghwamun Station (Line number 5)
2. Look around Gwanghwamun Square
3. Watch a performance by the Army Band and the Honor Guard Drill Team in front of Sarangchae at Cheongwadae, Blue House
4. Go inside of Sarangchae Building and look around the exhibitions at there.
5. Go to Changdeokgung Palace and take a tour to Secret Garden
6. Have a lunch at Samcheongdong or Insadong.
7. Look around Insadong and Ssamzi Street
8. Have a tea at traditional Korean tea shops
9. Look around Namsan Hanok Village
10. Look around N Seoul Tower or Cheonggyecheon Stream
First travel spot : Gwanghwamun Sqaure
Gwanghwamun square is new-built square which was constructed in last year and located at the heart of Seoul. At this square, two statues greet Koreans and visitors from all over the world. If a foreigner was to come to Korea and ask any Korean on the street, “Who is your greatest hero in Korean history,” many people would answer “Yi Sun-sin” and “King Sejong the Great.” They have been loved by men and women of all ages for many years in Korea. Few historical figures remain as influential in the life of Koreans today as Admiral Yi and King Sejong. That’s the reason why they are standing at the heart of Seoul in Gwanghwamun square. Meet two historical figures and talk about them with your Korean friends. Your Korean friends will be surprised and love to talk more about them with you.
Second travel spot : Sarangchae at Cheongwadae
You would be very curious about the name of this place. Sarangchae is a part of Hanok, traditional Korean house. It was a place for serving the visitors or gathering and promoting friendship among neighbors or relatives, or instructing the young. It’s kind of guest house. Cheongwadae is official presidential residence of Korean president. Therefore, you’re at guest house of Blue house if you visit this place.
If you visit here in Saturday at 10:30 am, you will watch the performance by the Army Band and the Honor Guard Drill Team which my friends loved very much. This performance is performed when other countries’ head of government. You would feel like that you became a president or prime minister.
At the Sarangchae building, they hold annual exhibitions about presidents, Seoul city, and essential information about Korea at 5 halls. Look around and learn essential information about Korea.
Third travel spot : Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden
Changdeokgung Palace is one of the palaces of Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). It is famous for the well-preserved buildings, varied pavilions, and a beautiful rear garden called Biwon(Secret Garden). Changdeokgung was included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1997. The palace was built close to the residence of the common people. It was to facilitate communication between the king and the people. The Changdeokgung Palace represents Korea’s traditional philosophy, which values the harmony of nature and the people.
If you want to look around Secret Garden, you need to buy tour ticket to there. They have different language tours for travelers from all over the world, choose the trip after you look up the time table. For more information, visit the palace website at http://eng.cdg.go.kr/main/main.htm
Lunch in Insadong
There are a lot of traditional Korean restaurants in Insadong Street. You wouldn’t regret your choice wherever you go any restaurants at here!
Fourth travel spot : Insadong street
Insadong is the most famous and popular travel destinations in Seoul. Especially you’d like to experience traditions and shop traditional teas, artworks and fancy items, Insadong is the best place for you. Don’t forget to taste street foods from vendors. Most street foods are delicious !
Fifth travel spot : Namsan Hanok Village
Namsan Hanok Village is one of folk villages in Korea. At this village, you could be a yangban, noble class during the Joseon Dynasty like my friend did! Most traditional houses in this village were used by yangban class. And you can play traditional games or make traditional artworks.
I want to recommend you to visit this village when the Taekwondo performance holds. The taekwondo masters from Gukgiwon, World Taekwondo Headquarters shows you taekwondo musical and performance.
Sixth travel spot : Cheonggyecheon Stream
Cheonggyecheon Stream is artificial stream which flow central areas of Seoul. You will see many Korean and foreigners who walk along this stream with friends and families. There are some exhibitions on the wall and laser show at night. Don’t forget to watch them!
If you like shopping, you can do that in Dongdaemun or Namdaemun markets near Gwanghwamun. I spent wonder and fun day with my friend by this plan.
Seize your day in Seoul! Visit these spots!
By Hyeonsuk Lim,