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South Korea Travel

53 Wicked Cool Things for your Seoul Bucket List

Although for years I’ve called Seoul a home rather than a holiday destination, I’ve still kept a close track of activities and whatnot that I want to get around to doing in here before I go. Can you believe that, after all this time, there’s still some stuff I haven’t yet done?! Even so, it’s finally time to reveal my Seoul Bucket List, a creation that’s been in the making for 8 years now! 

seoul bucket list

  1. Spend a few hours at a cat cafe or a dog cafe. Though animal cafes outside of these domestic pets can be iffy to visit, cat cafes and dog cafes are usually safe from the animals being taken advantage of for entertainment’s sake, not to mention a lot of fun for both us and the animals.
  2. Hike Bukhansan during fall foliage. This is when the mountain is at its prettiest. 
  3. Wear a hanbok on the streets. An activity popular among both locals and tourists, this is a sure fire fun way to spend a portion of your day – and one you’ll probably take a thousand photos of! This is absolutely a must have on your Seoul Bucket List!

seoul bucket list

  1. Play some games at the arcade. Not only is this a laughter inducing fun activity, is typically one from the cheapest end as well. So go ahead, grab a friend or a date, and head to an arcade to kick their butts in Mario Kart, air hockey, or darts, among many other options!
  2. Sample foods at Gwangjang Market. One of the oldest markets in Seoul is definitely a good place for giving a ton of local foods a go in the space of a couple of hours.
  3. See a Lantern Festival at Cheonggye Stream. Whether it’s for Buddha’s Birthday or the other Lantern Festival in November, it’s a great way to spend one evening of your week. 

seoul bucket list

  1. Visit all the palaces. They’ll start looking super similar towards the end, but especially Gyeongbok Palace and Changdeok Palace are worth it. At least back in the day a 10,000won pass for all the palaces existed, so if it still does, might as well purchase that and visit all the palaces, eh?
  2. Put up a love lock at Namsan Tower. Though I’ve talked about this with my boyfriend, I’ve actually only done it with a friend before. But, hey, why would that be any less fun of a way to go about it? Our friendships are often more likely to last than a relationship, anyway!
  3. See a movie in one of the luxury theaters. I’ve made a post here detailing some of the types of theaters that you can find in Seoul that take your movie watching experiences to whole another level. Sitting in a regular movie theater just won’t be the same after this!

seoul bucket list

  1. Spend hours sipping on cheap wine. Recently, a wine bar trend has swept over Korea – or at least Seoul. The chain 오늘, 와인한잔 (oneul, wainhanjan / Today, a glass of wine) has established itself all over the city as a new kind of a drinking option, alongside of many small independent wine bars, and the locals and expats alike have gone crazy for it! And why not? After all, one glass of wine will cost you less than 3,000won!
  2. See the Nanta show. It’s a comedy show about cooking, it’s non-verbal, it’s interactive, and most of all it is an absolutely blast to watch and participate in! You won’t regret having this on your Seoul Bucket List.
  3. Build your own brunch at Grain. While it may not be inherently Korean style, it’s incredibly delicious and having control over building your own brunch is also a fun little power trip to go on. You can find out more details from this post.

seoul bucket list

  1. Have chicken and beer by the river. It’s one of the best activities to do, in the opinion of both locals and expats, once the weather gets warm enough in the spring. You might want to avoid doing it on the hottest summer day, but by late afternoon the weather usually cools down enough for turning it into a great evening activity.
  2. Pet adorable meerkats at Meerkat Friends café. Most of the pet cafes outside of your standard dog and cat cafes are actually a bit iffy to visit, but Meerkat Friends is a lovely exception. They have other exotic animals as well, but these tiny little ones are the highlight for many. They’re in a separate area, and only a few people can come in at once, for 10 minutes. So cross your fingers that you’ll have better luck than me and not have your visit coincide right with their napping time!
  3. Print a selfie on a latte. A new fun way to decorate and drink my coffee? Yes please! This better be on your Seoul Bucket List, because where else can you get this?!

seoul bucket list

  1. Eat the cheese version of every Korean food you can get into your hands. Dakgalbi with cheese? Yes please! Jjimdak with cheese? Gimme gimme!
  2. Go clubbing. Whether it’s in Hongdae, Itaewon, or Gangnam, this is an activity you’ll want to try out at least once just for the sake of the experience, even if you’re otherwise not a big clubber.
  3. Shop at Dongdaemun at night. Sometimes you just need to up the notch on your shopping adventures, and Seoul just happens to have the perfect solution for that: the huge clothing and shoe markets of Dongdaemun keep their doors open all through midnight to dawn, offering you the option to shop until the sun comes up! If night time shopping isn’t on your Seoul Bucket List, then what are you even doing with your life?!

seoul bucket list

  1. Find all the Instagrammable cafes. Seoul is full of cafes that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but actually delicious in the coffee and desserts they offer. So why not make a day – or a week – out of searching for the best of the best?
  2. Munch on Korean street food. For your best selection of this, head over to Myeongdong. Though, if you don’t have the time for it, there’s no reason to fret, as street food is available in just about every corner you turn!
  3. Try live octopus at Noryangjin Fish Market. It may end up not being your favorite meal of the trip, or you may end up liking it a lot more than you thought. Either way, you won’t know until you try, and at the very least you’ll go home with a story to tell!

seoul bucket list

  1. Find yourself spending hours in karaoke. Otherwise known as 노래방 (noraebang), there are many rooms, either paid by hour for a group of people, or paid per song if you’re alone or with just one person, where you can choose karaoke songs to sing from a vast list of options, for just a selected audience to hear. It’s fun and a surprisingly easy way to find yourself spending tons of time, especially if you happen to be at a 노래방 where the host is generous with the free bonus time they give you. If you’re alone, you can always go to a 코인노래방 (coinnoraebang), which is a tiny room where you pay by song, typically 3 or 4 for 1000won.
  2. Rent a bike and bike along the Han River. This is an affordable but fun activity, especially for the warmer seasons. There are rental shops all across the Han River, and you usually get the bike for around an hour or so.
  3. Do a temple stay. There are not many cultural experiences that are quite like this. I’m yet to try this myself, but I’ve only ever heard good things! It’s either way a cool thing to have on your Seoul Bucket List, as it is on mine, too, waiting for the chance to be completed next time I’m in Seoul.

seoul bucket list

  1. Order food delivery. Most of the time, it doesn’t even require for you to know that much Korean – for example, the last time I ordered food delivery, I don’t remember uttering out a word besides wishing him a good end of work shift. And since there are a dozen different apps through which to do it, you get a convenient, simple, and a visually pleasing way of ordering food right to the front door of your AirBnb. Or, if you’re staying in a hostel, the staff will usually happily help you out!
  2. Try out acupuncture. If you’ve ever been interested in trying out alternative medicines or traditional Eastern medicines, here’s your chance! There are clinics all over Seoul where you can affordably and quickly get some acupuncture care, among other things.
  3. See the cherry blossoms. Personally my favorite season in all of the year, brief as it may be. The blossoms are stunning, and Seoul will be full of places to go see them in. See this post for specific spots in Seoul where the cherry blossoms are the prettiest.

seoul bucket list

  1. Spend a rainy day eating jeon and drinking makgeolli. Because this is what the locals traditionally do!
  2. Ride all the rides at Lotte World. It’s a full day activity, for sure, and one that includes long times just waiting in lines. However, those queueing times can be spent productively munching on all the street food available, and the rides are so much fun you’ll forget how long you had to wait to ride them!
  3. Explore Seoul Grand Park. It’s the home to a zoo, another amusement park in Seoul, a museum, a theme garden, and so on and so forth. It’s so many things packed into one place that there’s absolutely no reason not to go!

seoul bucket list

  1. Indulge in all the grilled meat. Even better if you park your butt in an unlimited buffet for it! It’s entirely dependent on whether you wish to try many different kinds of meat all at once, or if you’re OK with sampling a fewer amount but likely for a better quality. Better have some beer or soju – or both – by your side as you get through the delicious pieces of meat, either way!
  2. Take wicked shots of yourself by Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Whether it’s Seoul Fashion Week or not, this building complex is a lot of fun to explore from the inside, and to use as a photo shoot prop on the outside.
  3. Stroll along Seoullo 7017. Not quite set in the sky, but this hybrid garden and walkway is elevated well above some of the busiest streets in central Seoul, offering you not only a lovely path to walk through on a sunny afternoon, but also great views of everyday life in Seoul.

seoul bucket list

  1. Spend some time at a jjimjilbang. They are all over the city, and especially Yongsan’s Dragon Hill Spa is big and accommodating for foreigners as well. They’re open all around day and night, so if you happen to miss that last subway home, this is where you can go spend the night.
  2. Make kimchi from scratch yourself. It’s one of the biggest staples in Korean cuisine, after all. And actually a pretty lovely souvenir to bring home with you!
  3. Watch the changing of the guards at Deoksugung or Gyeongbokgung. It’s performed 3 times a day every day of the week, and it’s a nice little treat for those of us wanting to immerse in some history, tradition, and culture.

seoul bucket list

  1. Have coffee with the raccoons. Provided, only do this if you can be sure the raccoons of the café are actually treated in an ethical way. If not, please just skip the experience, animals shouldn’t need to suffer for our enjoyment. Anyways, if you can find a good raccoon café, then do go, because it’ll be fun, thrilling, and a bit scary – all at the same time!
  2. Create your own photo shoot at Yongma Land. An abandoned amusement park can easily work as a gorgeous and yet haunting background for a photo shoot. It’s gotten quite popular over the years, however, so try to time it so that there aren’t a hundred other people trying to have a photo shoot right at the same time as you.
  3. Get yourself a proper Korean cosmetics haul. If there’s one thing Korea is seriously good at, it’s the cosmetics! Their lipsticks sometimes feel a bit one note, but outside of that, everything is not only crazy affordable but incredible in quality as well. Don’t be afraid to mix and match between the dozen or so brands, either!

seoul bucket list

  1. Explore Haneul Park. Especially in the fall season when they’ve got their main nature attractions out and blossoming, like pink grass and silver grass.
  2. Also go fall in love with Olympic Park’s Cosmos flowers. Those orange flowers are an absolute thing of beauty!
  3. See the city from the top of Lotte World Tower. It’s one of the tallest buildings in the world, offering great views of Seoul below.

seoul bucket list

  1. Find cool photo shoot spots from all over Seoul. Koreans love taking pictures, especially of themselves, so honestly these spots are everywhere!
  2. Visit the War Memorial of Korea Museum. We may not be taught as much about Korean War as we do of others, but it’s obviously been a big mark in Korea’s history – a rather recent one at that – and if you want to fully understand the culture and history of the country you’re visiting, this is a must see attraction.
  3. Also visit Seodaemun Prison. And you’ve probably heard even less of Japan invading Korea than you have of the war between the two Koreas. Honestly, Seodaemun Prison is an incredibly chilling and heartbreaking to visit, but I’d still say it’s an absolute must. At least back in the day there were also middle school students offering tours around the prison for free, which could be a really convenient way for you to learn more in depth about what this prison is all about.

seoul bucket list

  1. Walk Insadong’s Samziegil. It’s a quirky little shopping center full of souvenirs just asking to be bought. Its main highlight, though, is the uneven floor, meaning that you get from one floor to another without actually taking a single stair!
  2. Go see a baseball game. Baseball is the sport that Koreans go the craziest over, and they have a pretty well-established league. Doesn’t really matter which teams you’ll go watch, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. But of course, the bigger the game, the crazier the audience.
  3. Attend a K-Pop concert. Even if it’s not personally your type of music, it’s such a prevalent scene in Korea that you just have to see it for yourself at least once! There are also so many free or at the very least affordable concerts arranged all throughout the year that it won’t be a huge investment of anything but time for you. And who knows, maybe you’ll walk out of it with a new favorite group or artist?

seoul bucket list

  1. Eat a cup of ramyun inside the convenience store. This is once again something that you can typically see locals do!
  2. Participate in a traditional Korean Tea Ceremony. You can find options for this at the palaces as well as in Insadong. Alternatively, Insadong also has several tea houses that are great for a simple afternoon of sipping on some local tea.
  3. Have your fortune read to you from tarot cards at one of the street stands. No idea if you could actually understand anything they say, but a fun experience anyway!
  4. See Banpo Bridge’s Rainbow Fountain Show. Grab a blanket, some food and drinks, and enjoy the show! After that, you can always get back on your bike and cycle to a more eventful part of the Han River.
  5. Play games at a PC Bang all night. If you are a gamer at all, this will be something fantastic for you. If not, then PC Bangs are great places to try out the games that are popular among gamers.

There you go! How many of these were already on your Seoul Bucket List? Which ones did you add on it just now? What else is on your Seoul Bucket List that hasn’t been mentioned here? Let me know in the comments!