The Complete Seoul Travel Guide For First Timers

The Complete Seoul Travel Guide For First Timers

South Korea seems to be on everyone’s travel bucketlist these past few years and I don’t blame them! During my first trip to Seoul, I wanted to see, try, and experience everything, and I made a pretty hefty dent into my wallet. I really wanted to go to all the spots I’ve seen on Instagram, but I still missed a lot. Not wanting any of you to end up like me, I made a list of tourist attractions you can visit on a budget!

Traveller Tip: Seoul has free wifi almost everywhere but if you wanna be travel-ready, you can also rent a 4G Portable Wifi that you can use anywhere in South Korea!

Everywhere you need to go and and where to stay is listed here, so read on!

Where to Stay in Seoul


KPop Stay Guesthouse (Hostel)

2-star hotel

11 Wausan-ro 26-gil, Changjeon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
+82 10-9955-1969
This is a great place to stay especially when you are travelling with a bunch of friends or your family. You can book a bed space or a whole family room which is what we did for the 6 of us so we just divided the total amount of  P5640 or around 110 USD.
Book here.


Things to Do in Seoul

Shop around Myeongdong Market


I know it’s pretty weird to start off free tourist spots with a market, but Myeongdong is a shopping mecca! You’ll find everything from department stores, shopping malls, and independent shops alongside the trendiest restaurants and cafes. Some of the more popular malls include Lotte Department Store, Lotte Young Plaza, and Noon Square Shopping Mall. M Plaza also features the Seoul Culture and Tourism Centre.

Getting there: Myeongdong Market is accessible via subway. The two nearest stations are Myeongdong Station and Euljiro 1-ga Station. To get to Myeongdong Station, take Subway Line 4 and then take an Exit 6. It’ll be just around the corner as soon as you get out. You can also take Subway Line2 to Euljiro 1-ga Station and look for Exit 5 or 6.

If you’re taking a taxi, the best way is to show them an image of Lotte Young Plaza, a popular mall right across Myeongdong Market.

Explore the wonders of Nami Island


This half-moon shaped island is so naturally beautiful. I never really thought about how telephone poles and wires obstruct the view but Nami Island has its telephone wires underground for that very reason. You’re sure to have a gallery full of scenic photos when you leave (that is, if you’ll still want to).

Getting there: You can purchase your tickets at the ITX KORAIL Counter or online through Klook. From Yongsan Station, take the ITX Train to Gapyeong Station. From there, go to Nami Island Station, then walk to Gapyeong Wharf. You can then take either the Gapyeong City Tour Bus or the Intra-City Tour Bus to take you to Nami Island station. The only difference is that the former takes you to more destinations so it’s perfect for tourists who want to make the most out of their stay!

Unleash your Kpop Dreams at SMTOWN at COEX Atrium

seoul-travel-guide-first-timers-tia-lacsonAlright, Kpop fans, this is for you! SMTOWN is a multi-format hologram theatre with state of the art technology that lets you relive your favorite idols’ concerts. Once you’re done, you can shop for souvenirs or hang out at the cafe on another floor. They’re open all year long from 11 in the morning to 10 in the evening so you can visit anytime you want!

Getting there: Take Subway Line 4 from Seoul Station going to Sookmyung Women’s University and transfer at Sadang Station. Next, take Subway Line 4 heading to Bangbae and get off at Samseong Station and take exit 5 or 6. You’ll see a large board with SMTOWN on it as soon as you take the exit!


Walk the Photogenic Streets of Seoul


I *could*, in theory, tell you the exact spots where these photos were taken. But, don’t you all think it would be more fun to find these streets and more yourself?

Get your Bookworm on at Starfield Mall/ Library


Have you ever seen 50,000 books in towering bookshelves inside a mall? That’s exactly what Starfield Library is! And the best part is, it’s absolutely FREE! You can stay there all you want and grab a book, and have a pleasant couple of hours getting lost in the pages. 

Getting there: Does the COEX mall sound familiar to you? If you’re already at SMTOWN, make sure to make  your way over to the library for the most surreal moment of any book lover’s life!

Vivaldi Park


If you guys follow my Instagram, you know how obsessed I am with snow and all activities related to it. Vivaldi Park is a ski resort, but not just any resort— it also has a golf course, a water park, a hotel and a mall. It’s the perfect place to go with friends and family for a winter outing!

Getting there: There are buses leaving 4 times a day from Dongseoul Bus Terminal. Ticket price is 6800 won.

Spend your weekend at a bunch of Amusement Parks

Craving an adrenaline rush? Your best bet is in Everland, one of the best and largest theme parks in the world! Foreigners often get discounts in some of the famous tourist spots, so a 1 day ticket is definitely right up your alley.

Some tourist packages offer a three-part tour of  Seoul Land, Seoul Zoo, and Sky Lift, and it’s definitely worth it! The zoo has around 3,300 species of animals and if you’re visiting during this time of the year, you’ll be greeted by a beautiful view of the cherry blossoms from the Sky Lift!

Take a coffee break at Style Nanda Cafe

This is one of the prettiest cafes I have ever been to (and I’ve been to a lot)! The pink walls, IG-worthy interior, and the beautifully curated drinks made me want to stay there forever!

 Leave a Love Lock at Namsan Seoul Tower

Have you ever seen Seoul from 500 meters up? The perfect place to do that is at Namsan Seoul Tower. Observing the whole city is such an incredible moment you have to experience at least once in your life!









It’s a bit overwhelming for first-timers who want to experience all of Seoul in one go, that’s why I highly recommend getting a Discover Seoul Pass which lets you customize your trip whether it be 24 hours or 72. You’ll get to go where you want, when you want, for only 1,639PHP! 

What to Wear and Weather Forecasts


I’ve made a detailed outfit guide for you per season and based on South Korea’s weather which you can check in my  Daejeon Travel Guide too! If you want to see more of South Korea and are looking for a lesser known place but with as much interesting places to go to, then you should definitely try and discover Daejeon. It’s just an hour away from Seoul and has so much personality to the place.

Curious as to how I edited my photos in Seoul?

Check out the presets pack that I used, It’s called the Four Seasons Preset Pack and contains 15 presets that you can use the whole year round whether you are heading somewhere sunny or snowy!

Are there other places in Seoul that you’d want to visit? Tell me in the comments!

Travel with me on:

Instagram:  @tialacson