Best Things to do in Seoul and South Korea

Korea is full of many things to do and places to see.

Fiona Salisbury

Korea is full of many things to do and places to see.

Fiona Salisbury, Photojournalist

According to Piper Guyton (12) “visiting a new country can be exhilarating,” and South Korea is no exception. Most people who visit the country will find themselves in the capital city of Seoul and at first glance, one can easily see that the city is overflowing with things to do. Around each corner, there seems to be something new and exciting to do, so here are some recommendations on how to make the most of your time in Seoul and South Korea. 

Visiting a new country can be exhilarating!

— Piper Guyton (12)

Historical Sites

Like many countries, South Korea has its share of rich history. People interested in learning more about the country’s history can easily find ancient palaces and other historical sites within and outside of Seoul. One particular site worth visiting within Seoul is Gyeongbokgung Palace; here visitors can visit the grandest palace of Korea’s Joseon dynasty. If one would like to explore Korea’s history outside of tourist-filled destinations in Seoul, another place worth visiting would be Buyeo. This UNESCO World Heritage site was once the capital of the Baekje Kingdom, and for this reason, there are many beautiful historical sites that are comparably less crowded than similar destinations closer to Seoul.


For anyone who has ever taken an interest in Korean music, dramas, fashion, beauty, and any other global phenomenon that originated in South Korea, they may be familiar with the term “Hallyu.” Hallyu is the Korean Wave, and the presence of South Korea’s growing popular culture is present everywhere in the city. Fans of K-pop may be welcomed to hear the songs of their favorite artists as they ride the subway or eat at a local restaurant, and places like SM Town may be the perfect spot for fans to acquire merchandise for their favorite idols. It isn’t entirely uncommon for one to have celebrity sightings, and in my few visits to Seoul, I have been able to see a drama being filmed at the Incheon airport and a K-pop fan-signing at the Coex mall.


I am not someone who finds myself shopping a lot, but whenever visiting South Korea, it can be hard to resist the urge to shop. Korean fashion and beauty is taking off internationally due to the influence of Hallyu, and it won’t take visitors long to find a shopping mall. Seoul and other cities in South Korea are filled with shopping malls stocked with items related to all of the latest sends. Some notable shopping locations I would suggest are the Starfield COEX Mall, The Hyundai Seoul, and the Times Square Seoul mall, but what I find to be the true hidden gem of shopping in Korea is what can be found below ground. Beneath many buildings and in subway stations, seemingly endless mazes of small shops of all kinds can be found. These shops tend to have amazing deals, so it’s worth a visit for anyone looking to shop while visiting Korea. While these shops can be found throughout the city, the Gangnam Station Underground Shopping Center is notable for its expansive selections.


In Seoul, it feels hard to find any part of the city that doesn’t have at least one cafe. Korea’s cafe culture is prevalent anywhere you go, but aside from the endless supply of varying cafes, I find the true highlight of visiting cafes in Seoul to be finding ones that are unique. For me, a trip to Korea is not complete without visiting at least one animal cafe. A quaint cat or dog cafe can be found easily in Seoul with a quick google search, but animal cafes can include anything from a meerkat cafe to a sheep cafe, if you are looking to have a cup of coffee with your favorite creature, there might just be a cafe for you in Seoul. Besides animal cafes, there are other interesting cafes such as board game cafes, cartoon-styled cafes, craft cafes, and much more.


For young visitors, the city of Seoul is sure to keep you entertained. While I can’t list every possible entertaining thing to do on a visit to Korea, some things that one may consider on a visit include singing karaoke, visiting a virtual reality place, taking photos in a photo booth, eating street food, going to an amusement park, and going somewhere with a great view. I have found that the most fun things to do in Korea are the things that you impulsively find. Look around where you are staying because you never know what you may find in this bustling city.