Bukaksan 北岳山 북악산

This is where the Great Wall of Seoul lies. Bukaksan is right behind the Blue House, Cheongwadae 靑瓦臺 청와대, home of the president. It has been off limits for civilians for quite some time because of security reasons. But it has been open to the public in the past several years. Although the official websites says one must register to hike there, we somehow manage to hike without registering (probably because we didn’t go all the way to the Blue House). But do keep your passport with you if you go there, just in case.

We took Bus #8 from Hywhwa Station 惠化驛 혜화역 (420) Exit 1. After a 5min ride, we got off at the terminal and took the stairs to the entrance of the park.

Once you enter the park, you will see these ancient city wall. The trail is basically alongside the wall.

It’s quite interesting to see houses built right below the wall.

As the trial get closer to the Blue House, the commercial area comes into view.

We basically just walked for 30min along the city wall.


Bukchon 北村 북촌

An area with a lot of traditional houses, hanok 한옥 韓屋. Be prepared to walk a bit uphill.

It’s nice to take a tea break at the traditional tea houses in Bukchon. We went to 차마시는 뜰 (literally, Garden for drinking tea). It is a traditional korean house with a small garden. All the tables have either the view of the small garden or a nice view of city and the mountains since it’s located up on the hill.

There is one stone table with a small pond in the tea house and we were so lucky to be seated there!

Apart from tea, they also serve steamed rice cake, which has a light flavour.

It’s a 5min walk from Anguk Station 安國驛 안국역 (328) when you begins to see some hanok. Since Bukchon is so close to Insadong and the palaces, and right next to Sam-cheong-dong 三淸洞 삼청동, you could spend a full day in this area!

For an integrated map of what to do in the surrounding area, please go here.

Insadong 仁寺洞 인사동

You can find a lot of traditional handcrafts and snacks, artistic designs, and tea houses in this area.

More modern arts and crafts can be found in a newer mall, ssamziegil 쌈지길.

You can also find the only Starbucks in the world that does not have an English sign.

There are more pricy tea houses along the mean street, and some more cozy ones in the alleys. You can get a nice view of the buzzing street from tea houses on the second floor.

Omija Cha (Five Flavor Tea) 오미자차 is always my favourite because it is like a juice, some may think it tastes like cough syrup though…

There is a famous trolley that sells ho-tteok 호떡, a filled pancake. The filling is like a syrup with a cinnamon flavor. The filling can be very hot if it is right out of the fryer so be careful!

You could get here by getting off at Anguk Station 安國驛 안국역 (328) or Jongno 3-ga Station 鍾路3街驛 종로3가역 (130). But if you’re going to the second palace: Changdeokgung 昌德宮 창덕궁 (which I would recommend over Gyeongbokgung 景福宮 경복궁, purely from a tourist’s perspective, since Changdeokgung has a bigger garden), you should get off at Anguk Station.

For an integrated map of what to do in the surrounding area, please go here.

Namiseom (Nami Island) 南怡島 남이섬

An island located East of Seoul. It’s more like a theme park since a lot of the sights on the island are manmade. Having said that, it’s still a nice place to chill. Going to Nami Island during the day and having dalkalbi 辣炒雞排 at Chuncheon 春川 춘천 would make a perfect day trip from Seoul.

It’s been made famous by Winter Sonata 冬季戀歌, a Korean drama, so there are statue, photos, and exhibitions about this drama in some parts of the island.

It takes about an hour to get there from Seoul. You would first need to take a train to Gapyeong station 加平驛 가평역 (P134). Since this is not the metro line, you would have to take the train from Sangbong station 上鳳驛 상봉역 (720) . Then from Gapyeong station 加平驛 가평역 there is a bus going to the Nami Island dock. But if the bus is not available, you could follow the crowd and walk to the dock. It takes about 20min to walk to the dock.

At the dock, you will have to buy a ticket (10000won) to get to the island, which include the ferry ride (a 5min ride) to the island.

Chuncheon 春川 춘천

Famous for its dalkalbi 辣炒雞排. It has a dalkalbi street in the town center, which takes about 15 min walk from Chuncheon station 春川驛 춘천역. There are also a shopping street, Chuncheon Myeongdong Street 春川明洞街, next to the Dalkalbi street.

Chuncheon Myeongdong Dalkalbi Street 春川明洞辣炒雞排街

There was a long line at 明洞1號店 명동1번지 (recommended by the guide book) so we went to another store around the corner 골목닭갈비. Their dalkalbi was so good!

N Seoul Tower

It is a popular place for tourists and lovers since there is this viewing deck at the bottom of the tower (no admission fee) filled with Locks of Love. 

Located on Namsan 南山  남산, a mountain at the center of Seoul. 

It is accessible through cable car (which seem to popular among couples as appeared in many Korean dramas), and buses (No. 2 and 5) from Myeongdong.

You could take the bus up to the tower, and walk down (20 min) to Myeongdong).

The first half of the walk is inside Namsan Park overlooking Myeongdong.

When you get out of the park, make a right on the main road and you will pass by a few interesting cafes and restaurants.

And then make a left as you by pass the cable car station, and walk through some alley and you will find yourself in Myeongdong.