72 hours in Seoul, South Korea. <3
A Seoul searching girls trip is a must! From food to beauty products, South Korea is the place to be. Like most of my trips I wish I had more time to explore other cities but with the time we had, we did just about everything on our list and more! So heres my 72 hour travel guide in Seoul.
TRANSPORTATION: First things first.. Seoul is about 1-2 hour drive from the airport, depending on train, car and traffic. Seoul has a great transportation system that comes in many forms. I.e the limousine bus that takes you from the airport to so many different locations in the city and each bus goes to different hotels. After customs and immigration, follow the signs that have a little bus icon, you’ll end up at the ticket office. Give them the name and address of your hotel and they will give you a ticket and what platform to wait at and it’s that easy! From our hotel, the Seoul Station was a five min walk. There you can utilize the subway and busses. Something to keep in mind is some apps and networks do not work in S. Korea. T-mobile is my phone carrier and the best thing they offer is free unlimited data everywhere I go. Making Google Maps and Apple Maps easy to use and allowing me to get where I want to go. This wasn’t an option in Seoul, even with wifi. I was lucky enough after hours to get google maps uploaded just to make sure we were going in the right direction. Suddenly Google maps allowed us to use the app only for bus routes, which we thought was handy enough. Until it told us to get off at a stop and we were suddenly lost. Uber also isn’t a reliable source, instead of the drivers picking you ap at your current location, you’ll need to walk to one of their locations, which can sometimes be very far. Moral of the story, either plan on using taxis or be like us and walk every where. Walking to each place on our list ended up being the best option for us. We ended up seeing so many cute streets, alleys, and vendors… It was fantastic!
WHERE TO STAY: we stayed the the Hilton Millenium Hotel, located in a perfect location in Seoul. A five min walk to Seoul Station and a 15 min walk to the lifts that take you up to the Namsam tower. The Hilton was beautifully decorated with flowers and a water fountain located in the center. Our room had a great view of other buildings and of the Seoul Station. Theres an awesome gym, pool and spa that you should definitely check out. The staff were all friendly and helpful, especially when we asked for recommendations. There’s a casino attached to the hotel and three restaurants. The Hilton is also an Uber stop, so you can definitely get an Uber to your destination but the option of returning in an Uber can be limited.
WHAT I WORE: going to Seoul in March can be a little chilly. It was very similar to San Francisco weather, warm in the sun and cold in the shade and freezing at night. I made sure to pack comfy yet warm clothes which included jeans, layering sweaters, a suede jacket and peacoat. We planned on doing a lot of exploring, so I make sure to pack my checkered vans, my black booties, and my favorite white Supergas. You’ll want to pack a scarf, gloves and a beanie.
WHAT TO EAT: from Korean BBQ to my new favorite milk soda, “Milkis”, you have to try everything. My favorite food I came across is called hotteok, which is basically a Korean pupusa. Instead of being stuffed with cheese and meat, hotteok is stuffed with rice noodles and veggies or cinnamon and sugar. Both were so tasty and pair it with a Milki (milk soda) which taste like sherbet ice cream, and you’re all set! For Korean BBQ we headed to Arirang Restaurant, where the service and experience was exceptional. The restaurant seemed to be ran by all women (kudos points) and they were all helpful in picking meats and portions. Before the meat comes out, they bring out so many plates of foods that are served as appetizers and items to eat with the meat. Out waitress was so kind and tried her hardest to explain what each item is. It was fun seeing her reaction to ours when some food wasn’t that tasty. Korean BBQ is expensive when compared to the US. If you’re on a budget, be mindful of the prices. If it’s your first time then YOLO, you’re in South Korea having your first Korean BBQ experience!
Cafes are taken to a whole other level in Seoul. From cute cafes decorated with flowers to poop cafes, yes, that’s right POOP cafes. There’s so many cafes that you’ll want to experience that you’ll need a month of cafe hopping. Two favorites was the pool cafe and the poop cafe. The Stylenanda Pink Pool Cafe was located at the top of Stylenanda. Located in the center of Myeong-dong, each floor has a fun theme that are Insta worthy. There’s a roof top where you can sit on big comfy pillows under umbrellas and enjoy your latte. The next fun cafe was the Poop Cafe is located in near by the ____ temples. Also surrounded by fun shops and vendors selling emoji poop shaped bread stuffed with chocolate, called Dbongbbang. The cafe is located on the op level of the mini outdoor mall and is beautifully decorated with emogi snapped poop and toilets. I ordered their infamous a latte served in the toilet cup. I tried the rose latte, I wouldn’t recommend actually drinking it. The rose flavoring was really strong, but it looked cute for pictures.
At night, plan a dinner at Namdaemun market. Here, you’ll find so many small restaurants and street food vendors. Its a fun way to try a bit of everything and watch the vendors make some really interesting food.
WHAT TO DO: Besides eating and checking out fun cafes, create a day to spend time in the Myeong-dong district. Here is where you’ll find so many restaurants, beauty stores and clothing stores. The Etude House and Tony Moly are the best stores to get some fun beauty products, especially face masks. I cannot stress how great Korean beauty products are, especially the face masks. We stocked up on so many jelly masks, peel masks and a pore minimizer serum. You ever feel like your bombarded by products in Sephora, imagine that x50. Koreans love their beauty products and love taking care of their skin.
Buy a lift ticket up to the Namsam Tower. The view in incredible and you’ll be amazed on how many buildings South Korea is made up of. At the top theres shops, a movie theater and traditional soldiers that put on a little show. Theres also a lock garden and a cute elderly man that sells little locks for you to write a message on and hang up. There isn’t a time limit on how long you can stay up enjoying the view, so take your time.
Bukchon Hanok village is a Korean traditional village in Seoul with a long history located between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The roofs on each house are beautifully designed and as you walk though the neighborhood you’ll notice that the walls are high, making is easy to get lost. You wouldn’t mind getting lost in this beautiful village just to stumble upon a meditation temple. The whole village is silent, to the point that you need to whisper as you explore. Around the village theres stores that rent the traditional dresses that were worn centuries ago. You’ll see so many men and women walking around in them, taking pictures. It makes you feel you like you stepped into a time machine and went back in time.