I went to South Korea last August all hyped up and excited. Knowing without even having gone there yet that I’ll surely want to go back. Seoul definitely didn’t disappoint. From food to shopping to the overall aesthetics of the establishments everything was just amazing.
I’ve come up with a list of my favorite/recommended places to visit if you’re in Seoul from well known tourist areas to hidden gems (because I personally enjoy discovering lesser known amazing places).
I’m starting off with everyone’s favorite shopping area in Seoul, Myeongdong. If you’re into the whole K-Beauty trend this is one of the best areas for you to visit. The streets of the shopping area are literally filled with different beauty stores. Aside from beauty related items there are also lots of clothing brands.
- Osulloc – Their matcha spread is amazing! Plus lots of green tea drinks & snacks
- Loco Quan 401 – Haha from Running Man’s restaurant
- Stylenanda Pink Hotel – Clothes + Makeup + Pink Aesthetic ❤
- Street food – lots of food choices! the stalls start to open around late afternoon up til nighttime
Personally my favorite area out of all the places we visited! I could never get tired of Garosugil! The entire road of Garosugil is lined up of various stores, and cafes/restaurants. Go in further to the side streets and you’ll discover quirkier concept stores and cafes, a perfect backdrop to your IG pics.
- Gentle Monster – shades & glasses + so much extra interiors
- 11 Village Factory – k-beauty items + extra extra interiors
- Skinfood Cafe – skincare + food ❤
- Basilur – tea time in Garosugil
- Aland – one of the few Aland stores that I’ve visited that has both clothing and beauty sections
- Just walking around the area in general because there are a lot of interesting stores, restaurants, cafes in Garosugil
3. Starfield Coex Mall
Putting this here because of the daebak library that’s like a modern version of the Beast’s library in the movie Beauty and the Beast. Plus amazing restaurants (mentioned in Don’t Miss section)
- Say Cheese – fast food favorites + cheese
- Billy Angel – all white, marble, chandeliers, sweet desserts, and drinks
4. Understand Avenue
Situated near the Seoul Forest, the space is made up of container vans that houses restaurants and specialty shops. Besides the colorful backdrop some container vans also have cute artworks that are fun to pose with!
- The container vans – designs for some of the vans are definitely IG worthy
- Bistro Hive – food + amazing interior
It’s a bit sad that we weren’t able to explore this place as much as Myeongdong but based on the two times that I went to Hongdae, I could say that there are a lot of food options here. There are also a lot of stores as well here but more scattered compared to Myeongdong where in it’s condensed in one area.
- James Cheese Back Ribs – ribs + cheese ❤
6. Samcheongdong – Bukchon Hanok Village – Ikseondong
Putting them all together since they’re located close to each other (not walking distance close, a few bus stops away from each other.) Bukchon Hanok Village is already self explanatory seeing the traditional architecture of Korean houses has always been top of any bucket lists for Korea. Samcheong-dong (located North of) and Ikseon-dong (located South of) are both near the Anguk station which is normally the starting point for Bukchon Hanok walking tours.
The streets of Samcheongdong are wide and lined with different stores and cafes. While the charms of Ikseondong is hidden in the inner streets wherein a lot of good restaurants are just waiting to be discovered.
- Ikseon Kitchen -perfect place for lunch in the Ikseon area
- Granhand – for all your fragrance needs they have perfume, air freshener, fabric spray, scented candles, sachets, etc.
- Innisfree Cafe – skincare + food (they mostly have desserts)
7. Seorae Village
Another hidden gem, also for foodies. We spent a good amount of time walking around the area looking for a good dinner place and had one of the most memorable meals I’ve had during this trip.
The Banpo Hangang Park is a few stops away + a little bit of walking from Seorae Village so it’s also nice to try and explore that area for food options. Before going to Seorae Village, we were also at Banpo Hangang Park supposedly for a Rainbow Fountain viewing but unfortunately the show was cancelled during the time that we went there.
- Eatalglia Trattoria – a break from korean food with steak & pasta 🙂
- Be sure to get a copy of the Seoul Guide from the airport. It’s one of the best free city guides I’ve read. It also has a lot of insider suggestions on place to visit.
- Be open to using the bus as an alternative transportation since there are some areas that are more convenient to go to via the bus.