I have currently been living in South Korea for the past few months and I have several posts on Korea. My one day in Seoul post is so popular, that I thought I could do better and write a 3 days in Seoul Itinerary. What I love about living in South Korea is that I am able to explore so many different areas for fairly cheap transportation options. While traveling in Seoul, you can easily take the bus or subway for about $1.25 in one way.
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3 Days in Seoul Itinerary
Where you will visit in 3 Days in Seoul Itinerary
Day 1 in Seoul
- Hanbok Rental
- Gyeongbokgung Palace
- Bukchon Hanok Village
- Jogyesa Temple
- Balloon Statue
Day 2 in Seoul
- Ihwa Mural Village
- Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)
- Gwangjang Market
- Changdeokgung Palace
- Namsan Tower
- Sungnyemun Gate
Day 3 in Seoul
- Bongeunsa Temple
- COEX Shopping Mall and Starfield Library
- Gangnam Style Hands
- Cafe Hopping and Shopping in Hongdae
- Nightlife in Hongdae
3 Days in Seoul Itinerary | Day 1
I think this is an important thing to add here since many people who visit Korea are in love with Korean culture. The best thing is that Korean’s love celebrating and sharing their culture with people that visit. You can easily rent a Hanbok in Korea and on top of that get free entrance into the Palaces! If this is something you want to do, you should definitely check it out. Be sure to be there early to make time for finding the dress you want, getting your hair done and more.
Gyeongbokgung Palace – Popular for your Seoul Itinerary
There are 2 palaces in Seoul worth checking out which is Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace. Out of these two, my favorite is the Gyeongbokgung Palace. This one to me is the one most beautiful and worth visiting. If you visit both, that is an option, but you might be burnt out when it comes to visiting the palaces so I’ve added Changdeokgung for your second day.
Bukchon Hanok Village – Must see for 3 Days in Seoul
After you have visited the palace check out the Bukchon Village and take some cute photos in and down the alleyways. You have probably seen many Instagram photos of the perfect shot in this village. You can also find some great places to eat some delicious food. After this, you should return your hanboks back to the shop and move onto the Jogyesa Temple. Read more about how to go to Bukchon Hanok Village.
Next, you should take the time to visit the Jogyesa Temple. There are a few temples in Seoul to check out and this one is one of the most popular based on location. You can choose to skip this one if you feel burnt out from all the historical places to visit.
This is the perfect location to buy local souvenirs and just take some time to shop and eat some food. It is a great place to take a break if you need it from visiting all the Korean traditional sites.
This is one of the famous Instagram shots that has been shared thousands of times.
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3 Days in Seoul Itinerary | Day 2
Ihwa Mural Village
This is a beautiful spot filled with murals, sculptures, and colorful staircases. Additionally, there are few things you can see and do there including Naksan Park. You can rent a traditional Korean school uniform as well and take a photo shoot around this beautiful village.
The DDM is a pretty cool place to check out especially during the night. On the upper level of the building, there is an amazing flower sculpture garden where the flowers light up at night. It is beautiful. Additionally, the DDM is a beautiful building to be admired from the outside in.
Lunch at Gwangjang Market
This is one of the most popular traditional Korean street food markets in Seoul. There are a lot of tasty treats and was featured on Netflix’s Street Food series. There are so many foods you should try there and be sure to check out my Gwangjang Market post so you do not miss out on all the delicious treats.
The other famous palace located in Seoul is Changdeokgung. I honestly prefer this palace over the other because it is usually less crowded. Since it is less crowded, it allows for more photo opportunities which are great for those trying to preserve their memories of the palaces. Keep in mind though, this palace is usually closed on Mondays.
If you are a K-Drama fan, Namsan Tower has been filmed in many K-Dramas including the famous Boys over Flowers. Here you will take a cable car up to the top of the tower and enjoy a great view of the city. I suggest you buy a lock write a wish and lock it up. Hoping your dream will come true. This is a great view during the day or the evening and worth checking out.
Myeongdong is known for shopping. It is a great place to get tons of skincare products, colored contacts, eat some delicious street foods and enjoy some cute little shops. There are so many things to see and do with lots of street vendors selling food, toys, and clothing.
This isn’t really necessary for the itinerary, but you can go see if you want. They aren’t super far from each but it seems to be fairly popular among tourists. This would be a great photo opportunity.
3 Days in Seoul Itinerary | Day 3
The Bongeunsa Temple is a famous temple and UNESCO site in Seoul. The Bongeunsa temple is filled with beautifully colored lanterns where many people take photos and pay their respects. The lanterns are constantly changing throughout the seasons.
COEX Shopping Mall and Starfield Library – Famous Library for your 3 Days in Seoul Itinerary
Right next to the Bongeunsa Temple is the COEX Shopping Mall and Starfield Library. The Starfield Library is one of the most popular places you can find on Instagram. If you are a huge fan of books, I highly suggest you visit the Starfield Library. It is an open library located in the center of the COEX mall. You can read many of the books right then and there. Afterward, enjoy the day shopping and exploring the area.
Gangnam Style Hands
Gangnam became popular because of Psy’s Gangnam Style dang and song which became famous around the world. Since the song and area became so popular, they created a monument to represent that song. So there you can find the hands dedicated to the song. Gangnam is a city that is filled with lots of plastic surgery clinics, high-end shopping and more.
Cafe Hopping and Shopping in Hongdae
Hongdae is literally my favorite place in Seoul and should be a place to check out during your Seoul Itinerary. There are so many things to see, do and explore in this area. I really love all of the cute and special different types of cafes. You can go shopping for clothes, nicknacks, jewelry, colored contacts, and more. Some of the cafes are located in Hongdae. Additionally, you can find some amazing food from Korean to Western-style making it easy for everyone to find something they like.
RELATED: Popular cafes in Seoul
If you enjoy going out to dance and drink, Hongdae is your area to do those things. Hongdae is known for its clubs and going dancing. Additionally, at night you can enjoy many of the street performers, shopping, late-night cafes, and dinner. Korean culture is to eat late and drink while eating, so if clubbing isn’t your thing you can still enjoy yourself late at night.
More information for your 3 days in Seoul Itinerary
Where to stay in Seoul for 3 days
There are many places you can choose to stay in Seoul. Many of the accommodations are great but choosing the right neighborhood could be difficult. My favorite neighborhoods to stay in are below. All three of these locations have a different type of nightlife worth checking out.
Myeongdong is the perfect location for shopping, street food and more. There are many cute cafes and great places to eat which makes this the perfect location. Additionally, this prime location is close to many of the temples and palaces making it easy to travel around.
Hongdae is a great location but a bit further from some of the iconic sites in Seoul. The best thing about Hongdae is the clubbing scene, a great shopping location from skincare to shopping areas. Hongdae has some of the cutest cafes in Seoul from the Bunny Cafe, Mr. Healing Cafe, 2D Cafe and more. On top of that Hongik University is known for the art scene, so you will see many street performers, artsy shops and handcrafted jewelry.
This location is popular among foreigners because of their restaurants with Western-style food, clothing made for westerners and more. This location is centrally located making it a great area to be able to travel around. Additionally, if you are into nightlife since it is popular among foreigners, there are lots of bars and places to go drinking and enjoy a night out.
When should I visit for 3 days in Seoul?
Seoul has all 4 seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. All 4 seasons vary but the best times I suggest you visit are in the spring from March through May or during the fall from October through November. The summer months are absolutely brutal with humidity and crowds. You will just feel hot and wet all around. The winter, however, is still a great time to visit as long as you don’t mind the cold. I’ve always visited Seoul during the winter holidays because of family and I’ve always found it feasible. It doesn’t snow often in Seoul and not enough to worry about trekking in it.
How to get around Seoul
The best, fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to get around Seoul is by subway. The reason I say this is because when you travel by Taxi or by Bus you may be stuck in traffic. It will take a lot longer to get around town while the subway is underground or out of the way. It is not affected by traffic at all and always runs on time.
A taxi is a great option if you are tired, you have too many bags to take back to the hotel from shopping and it is outside of traffic hours. The taxi drivers can be a bit difficult to communicate with so I suggest you have some sort of cell phone service to be able to translate. Some do speak English but there are still many who do not.
The bus system can be a bit complicated to navigate making it hard to get around. Like I stated before, you still have to worry about traffic in and around the city making it a waste of time to get around the city sometimes. I would take this as needed but there isn’t an easy map route to know where and how to get around. Additionally, bus drivers in Korea are brutal, they will knock you around if you are standing just to try and hurry up to the next stop. They will constantly stop suddenly and not worry about your well being on the bus.
Language in Seoul
In Seoul, the main language is Korean also known as Hangul. However, thankfully in the city, many Korean do speak English which makes it a bit easier to get around. Although, this is typical with the younger generation. Many street food vendors may not speak English so be sure to have google translate on hand just in case.
Some Korean words to Know
- Hello = 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo)
- Thank you = 감사합니다 (gamsahabnida)
- Sorry = 죄송합니다 (joesonghabnida)
- No = 아니요 (aniyo)
- Yes = 네 (ne)
- Can you speak English? = 영어를 말할 수 있습니까? (yeong-eoleul malhal su issseubnikka?)
Form of Currency in South Korea
South Korea uses the South Korean won. The easiest way to make the conversion from USD is 1,000 won to $1 USD. Although, it’s actually less than $1 USD it’s easier to calculate in my head. South Korea uses card payments almost everywhere except when it comes to street vendors, so if you plan on just using a card you’ll most likely not have any problems. Sometimes though, some vendors have a hard time reading foreign cards.
Tips to save money for your 3 days in Seoul Itinerary
There are a lot of ways to save money when traveling in Seoul. Here are some of the tips I’d recommend for you to save money in Seoul.
- Tipping is not a thing in South Korea, so you will save a lot of money there and all the prices are what they say they are. They include the taxes in the total price. So if the item is 3,000 won, then it’s 3,000 won.
- Eat street food. Food is pretty cheap in South Korea, but street food is cheaper and there are so many things to try. I can usually get full off of 2 items.
- Eat Ramyeon (ramen) at the convenience stores. There are a lot of things you can buy at the convenience stores and eat there which makes it great for on the run and affordable. Ramyeon is pretty cheap at around 1,000 – 2,000 won and you can use a microwave or hot water at the convenience store to eat them.
- Use the subway or bus for public transportation. Although taxis are still pretty cheap, they can add up compared to the public transportation system.
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What did you think of the 3 days in Seoul Itinerary? Is this your first time traveling to Korea? Be sure to check out my posts about South Korea below.
- Cimer Spa at Paradise City
- Teach English in South Korea
- Things to do in Hongdae
- Seoul Gardens & Parks
- Things to do in Incheon
- What to do in Incheon Airport for a Layover
- Gwangjang Market
- 2 Days in Busan Itinerary
- Gamcheon Culture Village
- Things to do in Gyeongju
- Songwol Dong Fairy Tale Village
- Things to do in Paju