I often get messages from those of you visiting Seoul wanting a rough guide of where to go and what to do while you are here so I wanted to put together a couple of guides for you. seoul is a city that is divided quite literally by the Han River. To the north is the old and traditional part of the city, whilst south of the river is brand shiny and new. I am starting this guide with the north side as it the heart of Seoul and contains all the history. Now just to preface this, this is in no way a definitive guide of how to spend 24 hours in Seoul, it is my guide of things that I would do if I was here. I am not a museum and sightseeing type of person. When I travel I love to eat, drink and walk around so take it with a pinch of salt.
10 am: Scoff Bakehouse – Seoul is not an early morning city, most of the stores do not even open until 11am so if you are an early riser do not expect anything to be open. If you can’t live without breakfast then I would advise you to eat it at your hotel, or head on down to the convenience store and find some wonderful and wacky things there. Once you are up head to Scoff Bakehouse for a coffee and a delightful baked treat to start your day. Then have a walk around Nuha–dong one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city and explore the cute and quirky shops it holds.
12 pm: Go for lunch at Tongin Market in Tongin-dong . This is one one of my favourite food markets in he city. You can change your won for olden day coins and use it to fill a doshirak (lunchbox) with yummy Korean foods. Enjoy it outside in the shade of an ancient pagoda. Then walk down to explore Gyeongbuk palace.
2 pm: Walk off that lunch with a tour of Insadong. It is filled with traditional craft markets and hanoks (traditional Korean houses) , and is the perfect place to see artistic side of Seoul. If you still have any stamina left walk along the beautiful Cheonggyechon River towards the shopping Mecca of Myeongdong.
4 pm: Visit Myeongdong the shopping and beauty epicenter of Seoul. Head to Stylenanda, a five floor, fun, fashion, and beauty themed hotel store with a swimming pool themed café on the top. Explore the side alleyways filled with stalls and enjoy the street food if you are peckish. If you are in the mood for a real drink then head to Urban Space a bar with a ball pit filled with inflatables and crazy cute cocktails.
6 pm: Visit Namsan Tower (entrance by Myeongdong) for a killer view of Seoul, don’t forget to visit the love lock wall to make sure your love is never-ending. If you are feeling pooped you can stay in Myeongdong and get yourself a foot massage at The Foot Shop instead!
8 pm: Dinner at Mishmash in Hannam-dong. This is Korean food like you have never eaten before. The modern restaurant takes classic Korean dishes and serves them up in a western style. The set menus are very reasonable and allow you to choose which dishes you love most. The galbi rib and deep fried gochu are not to be missed.
10 pm: Cocktail connoisseurs should head to Texan themed bar Southside Parlor for a well-made drink on their fabulous rooftop in Gyeongridan. I even have a cocktail slightly inspired by me called ‘The Pimp Cup’, a Texan take on the classic British summer drink Pimm’s.
12 am If you haven’t yet retired back to your hotel then you may want to hit another bar, there are millions in Itaewon don’t worry. Casa Corona is always a fun night out. The beer branded bar has a great rooftop and lots of fun cocktails. If you are more in the mood for a little show then head over to Q Bar and watch a drag show.
2am In Itaewon there are plenty of restaurants that are open 24 hours a day and cater to the party crowd. One of my favouries places to head is Menya Sandaime, who serve up incredible bowls of tonkotsu noodles. Just be sure to get a side of gyoza too.