Seoul – My favorite city in Korea, if not the whole world! With its quirky cafes, vibrant nightlife, and incredible street food, Seoul is a captivating city that effortlessly combines the old with the new.
This 7 day itinerary for Seoul covers the best of what the K-pop capital has to offer from outdoor adventures to historical sites. You’ll get a glimpse of traditional Korean culture and the striking contrast between how Seoul was back in the day versus the new, modern Seoul.
So, let’s jump right in and plan the perfect 7 day Seoul itinerary – I’ve included everything you need to know to plan your trip including where to stay and the best things to do if you only have a week in Seoul, Korea.
7 Days Seoul Itinerary
I bet you’re wondering: “How many days should I stay in Seoul?”.
Well, 7 days in Seoul is not enough – but neither is 7 weeks!
After living in South Korea for over a year, Seoul is one of those cities I just can’t get enough of and if you follow this Seoul itinerary, you’re guaranteed to love it as much as I do.
Whilst this travel guide allows for 7 days in Seoul, it’s easy to add or remove days, and customize your itinerary depending on how much time you have.
How many days in Seoul
One word of advice, don’t spend less than 3 days in Seoul – you’ll miss out on so much!
A 5 day Seoul itinerary will allow you to get a taste of what the capital has to offer, but your schedule will be jam-packed, so be prepared for 5 busy days.
Planning 7 days in Seoul is the ideal amount of time – you can travel slower, enjoy the hiking trails at your own pace and explore several parks and cafe’s – and you won’t feel guilty if you decide to take it easy after too many bottles of Soju the night before!
Seoul Itinerary Tips
- A T-Money card is the transportation card needed to access Seoul public transport. It’s a stored money card that can be recharged and used between buses, trains, and subways in Korea. You can purchase this T-Money card from one of the many convenience stores or kiosks at the subway stations. Alternatively, you can buy one online here and it will be waiting for you at the airport when you arrive.
- Download the “Subway Korea” app on your phone which will give you updated train times and routes.
- Buy a local sim card – trust me! It’s far easier to navigate around the city if you have access to the internet. You can conveniently purchase your sim card here.
- Download the “Naver Maps” app for directions. Naver Maps shows you more detailed directions including the fastest routes to all the Seoul attractions using car, bus, and subway. (I used Google Maps to navigate around Seoul, but I followed my location on the map as directions for driving and walking don’t work.)
- When coming from Incheon International Airport, the easiest way to get to Seoul Station is to take the AREX (Airport Express) train. This 45-minute train runs like clockwork and is the quickest way to get to the city center from the airport. Tickets are sold at the airport for 9 000 won ($7) or you can purchase discounted tickets here.
- The Discover Seoul Pass gives you access to over 43 Seoul attractions and can also be used as a T-Money card allowing you to use public transport in Seoul. If you’re planning to visit all the top attractions in your 7 day Seoul itinerary, purchasing this Discover Seoul Pass may work out more affordable.
Where is the best place to stay in Seoul
When planning where to stay during your 7 day Seoul itinerary, it’s best to choose one area that will act as your base.
The most central district in Seoul is Myeongdong which is a shopping haven ideally located close to the N Seoul Tower as well as the palaces in Seoul.
If you’re backpacking Seoul, Myeongdong Rooftop Hostel is a hit with budget travelers. It’s a brand new hostel situated slap-bang in the center of Myeongdong with an epic rooftop area offering great views of N Seoul Tower.
Traveling on a mid-range budget? Philstay Myeongdong is great value for money given its modern features and the fact that it’s just a short walk from the subway line!
If you’re looking for a luxurious place to stay in Seoul, Lotte Hotel should be top of your list. With large, impeccably furnished rooms and gorgeous views, you can’t go wrong with a stay here. Not to mention that it’s well placed for exploring the best things to do in Seoul.
Day 1 Seoul Itinerary: Where Old Meets New
The first day of your 7 day itinerary for Seoul is sure to be one of the best! Today you’ll dive into Korean culture and tradition and see how the old and new are intertwined.
To really entrench yourself in the Korean way of life, why not rent a hanbok for your first day of exploring. A hanbok is a traditional Korean dress worn during festivals and ceremonies and is commonly worn by locals and tourists visiting the palaces and traditional villages in Seoul.
These hanboks can be rented from one of the many stores near the palace grounds but for ease and convenience, it’s best to pre-book your dress here.
What to see in Seoul: Visit a Gyeongbokgung Palace
- Operating hours: 09:00 – 17:00 (18:00 in the summer)
- Entry fee: 3 000 won (Free if you’re wearing a hanbok)
- Time needed: 1-2 hours
Seoul is a city rich in history and is home to 5 royal palaces, at least one of which should be added to your 7 day itinerary in Seoul.
The most beautiful (perhaps I’m biased) and largest of all the palaces is Gyeongbokgung Palace situated north of the city. This is one of those South Korea bucket list attractions that you need to check out!
Built in 1395 by the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeongbokgung Palace was the main seat of royalty until it was destroyed by a fire during the Imjin War. It was later restored and has since been open to the public.
It’s a fascinating place to explore! Try to schedule your visit to coincide with the Changing of the Guard ceremony which takes place twice daily at 10:00 and 14:00. Unfortunately, the palace is closed on Tuesdays so keep that in mind when planning your trip.
Other palaces in Seoul
There are 4 other palaces that you may want to add to your Seoul bucket list.
They include Changdeokgung & Changgyeonggung Palace, together known as the east palace complex. These are the most well preserved of all the palaces in Seoul.
Gyeonghuigung Palace and Deoksugung Palace are known as the western complex and are two of the smaller palaces in the city.
These 4 palaces are all closed on Mondays (Unlike Gyeongbokgung Palace which is closed on Tuesdays).
How to get to Seoul palaces
To get to Gyeongbokgung Palace, take subway line 3 to Gyeongbokgung Station, exit 5.
Explore Bukchon Hanok Village: A must do in Seoul
Just a short walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace lies Bukchon Hanok Village, one of the oldest and most famous neighborhoods in Seoul.
Directly translated, Bukchon means “Northern village” and it’s home to hundreds of traditional Korean houses called hanoks. The narrow alleyways are lined with these charming houses all made from stone and wood.
The village is filled with a maze of picturesque streets and many of the hanoks now operate as cultural centers, museums, and restaurants.
While it’s one of the more popular tourist places in Seoul, it’s important to remember that the Bukchon Hanok Village is still home for many families and the residents have become distressed by the overwhelming number of tourists. Respect their privacy and try to be calm and quiet when visiting.
How to get to Hanok Village
To get to Bukchon Hanok Village head to Anguk Station on the Seoul subway and take exit 3.
If you’re following this 7 day Seoul itinerary and you’re visiting Bukchon Hanok Village after Gyeongbokgung Palace, it’s best to walk as they are close to one another. Follow your GPS and it won’t take you more than 15 minutes.
Picnic alongside the Han River
The Han River is one of the best places to see in Seoul. It’s a convenient spot to add to your itinerary after a busy day of exploring.
The area surrounding the Han River is a hive of activity on the weekends with families and friends all coming together to enjoy the outdoors.
There are several parks lining the river, all of which are well kept with designated picnic areas, playgrounds, and public restrooms. A visit to one of these parks is a must-do on any itinerary for Seoul
My favorite of all the Han River parks is the Banpo Hangang Park which also has a wide selection of vendors selling the most delicious street food in Seoul. Here, you can rent bicycles and cycle alongside the river or relax on your picnic blanket (and people-watch)!
Don’t miss the Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain which is the longest bridge fountain in the world! At night, you’ll be treated to a music and water performance from the bridge.
And if you’re looking for more things to do along the Han River, why not book a boat cruise – the perfect way to end off your first day in Seoul.
How to get to Banpo Han River Park
The closest subway station to the Banpo Han River Park is the Seoul Express Bus Terminal Station. From here, take exit 8-1 or 8-2 and walk about 600m until you reach the park.
Day 2 Seoul Itinerary: Hiking and Outdoor Adventures
Your first day in Seoul was a good mix of culture and tradition. Day two will be nature and nightlife!
Hike Bukhansan Mountain: My favorite place to visit in Seoul
Whilst Seoul may seem chaotic at times, you don’t have to venture very far to escape the hustle and bustle – just head north of the city to Bukhansan National Park.
Home to the highest mountain in Seoul and several awesome hiking trails, it’s worth including a trip to Bukhansan National Park in your 7 day itinerary for Seoul.
The views from the top are breathtaking, offering panoramic sites of the sprawling metropolis below.
Baegundae Peak is the highest point in Bukhansan. Getting here is a tough hike where you walk through forests, scale boulders, and climb an infinite number of stairs, but it’s incredibly scenic and offers awe-inspiring views.
While there’s no denying that Bukhansan Mountain is one of the best places to visit in Seoul, you’ll need about 6 hours for the return hike.
Take it slowly, enjoy being in nature, and chat with the locals – hiking is, after all, a favorite pastime of all Koreans.
How to get to Bukhansan Mountain
To get to Bukhansan Mountain, head to Gupabal Station on subway line 3.
Take exit 1 or 2 which will lead you to a bus stop. 3 buses go to Bukhansan National Park from here – bus 34, 704 and 720.
You can hop on any of these and get off 10 stops later at Bukhansanseong Fortress entrance.
After a busy afternoon of hiking, you’ll have worked up quite the appetite and will deserve a beer! Head to Itaewon, a chaotic and fun district that is a favorite for those backpacking Korea.
It’s a diverse neighborhood filled with international influences and is completely different from all other areas in Seoul.
Itaewon comes alive at night and the streets are bustling with people, young and old! There’s an energy in the air and it’s a great place to hang out.
If you’re planning your Seoul travel itinerary and want to include a night out on the town, this is where you need to be!
You’ll be spoiled for choice in terms of pubs, restaurants, cafes, and bars, all serving up a variety of local and western food. There are also scores of clubs and noraebangs (karaoke bars) that are open throughout the night.
This is the best place to enjoy your first Korean BBQ in Seoul! Order a few bottles of Soju to go with it and you’re set for a fun night in the city.
Read More: How to Eat a Korean BBQ (Like a Korean)
Day 3 Seoul Itinerary: Korean Beauty and Iconic Landmarks
Day 3 in Seoul can go two ways.
You’ll either wake up with a splitting headache thanks to all the Soju you enjoyed in Itaewon the night before (which is totally ok, but I guarantee that you won’t be up before 11 am!)
Alternatively, you were the responsible one and woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready for another day of seeing all the top Seoul attractions.
Visit a Jimjilbang in Seoul (Korean bathhouse)
- Operating hours: 24 hours
- Entry fee: 10 000 won ($8)
- Time needed: 2-3 hours
Your 7 days Seoul itinerary isn’t complete without having a Jimjilbang experience!
It’s unique to the Korean culture and allows you to step inside one of their greatest traditions that have passed on through the generations.
A jimjilbang is a traditional Korean bathhouse with hot and cold baths that are said to have healing and soothing properties. They’re gender-segregated and there’s standard Jimjilbang etiquette that needs to be followed before you can enter these baths.
But there’s more!
After spending time in the hot tubs, put on your jimjilbang pajamas, and head to communal saunas.
Weekly, and even daily visits to these bathhouses are part of most Koreans health and beauty routine so expect to see many Korean men and women here. There’s no denying that this is one of the best things to do in Seoul in winter!
There are many Jimjilbangs in Seoul but my favorite is Siloam Sauna near Seoul Station. Unfortunately, it has since closed its doors. If you’re staying in Itaewon, then Itaewon Land is close by but it doesn’t have a wide variety of baths and saunas when compared to Siloam Sauna.
N Seoul Tower (Namsan Seoul Tower)
- Opening times: 10:00 – 23:00
- Entrance: 10 000 won (purchase discounted tickets here), Cable car: 7 000 won (one way)
- Time needed: 2 hours
The N-Seoul tower sits at 236m high and is yet another iconic landmark in Seoul, offering sweeping views of the city.
It’s a romantic place to visit and is a popular attraction for couples, families, and tourists in general.
Situated within walking distance from Myeongdong, the panoramic view from the top is gorgeous! Padlocks, known as locks of love, fill the fences and have engravings of couple’s names and initials, symbolizing eternal love.
How to get to N Seoul Tower
To get to N Seoul Tower, head to Myeongdong Station exit 3. Continue walking to the Pacific Hotel, where you follow the street on the right side for about 10 to 15 minutes.
It’s best to take the cable car up Namsan Mountain to N Seoul Tower but on your return, walk down through Namsan Park. It can get crowded with long queues as it is one of the best things to do in Seoul with kids, so it’s best to prebook your tickets.
Walk the streets of Myeongdong
Next, head to Myeongdong which is just a stone’s throw away from N Seoul Tower.
It’s one of the best places to visit in Seoul and is known for its street food, awesome shopping, and glitzy neon lights.
I recommend you visit Myeongdong after Namsan Tower as you don’t want to haul all your shopping bags with you, and also because Myeongdong only really starts to come alive after 4 pm.
Walk the streets, indulge in delicious local street food, explore the hundreds of Korean beauty stores, and browse through the boutique outlets – Korean fashion is all the craze at the moment!
Pro tip: If you’re looking for a party scene, you won’t find it in Myeongdong. Itaewon or Hongdae are the places to go for that!
Nanta Cooking Show
The Nanta Cooking Show is a dance and food extravaganza in the heart of Myeongdong, making it an easy addition to your Seoul itinerary while you’re in the area.
The 90-minute performance is a mix of martial arts and acrobatics with comedy and cooking – yep, it’s quite the performance, considering it’s non-verbal.
It’s suitable for the whole family, young and old and it’s the best thing to do in Seoul at night (and in winter).
The Nanta show is extremely popular and tickets cost 30 000 won ($25) each. These need to be purchased in advance as they sell out fast.
You can pre-book your Nanta tickets here.
Day 4 Seoul Itinerary: Korean Demilitarized Zone
The tumultuous history between North and South Korea is truly fascinating!
The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was founded at the end of the Korean War and forms a border between the two countries. If you have 7 days in Seoul, a visit to this iconic location should be on your travel itinerary.
Within the DMZ lies the Joint Security Area (JSA) which includes Freedom House, the iconic blue building where the two Koreas meet, and the soldiers stand face to face.
The DMZ is only accessible by an organized tour, each of which offers different itineraries. The main attractions within the DMZ include the infiltration tunnels, Dora Observatory, Dorasan Station, and the JSA.
How to visit the DMZ
There are various DMZ tours you can choose from, most of which are led by North Korean defectors. These range from half-day tours (which are best if you only have 6 days in Seoul) to full days tours that cover more of the DMZ and the JSA.
Depending on what DMZ tour you choose, you may return to Seoul at lunchtime, or in the evening.
If you do the half-day tour, this is a great time to visit the other palaces in Seoul (that I mentioned previously in this 7 days Seoul itinerary) or enjoy a coffee at one of the many themed cafes.
If you opt for the full-day tour, you’ll be exhausted so head to a nearby Korean restaurant for Dakgalbi before calling it a night.
Read More: The Best Day Trips From Seoul
Day 5 Seoul Itinerary: A Bit of Everything For Everybody
Planning a 7 day itinerary for Seoul allows you to see the best of what the city has to offer, at your own pace.
After 5 days in Seoul, you’ll be familiar with the Korean culture and cuisine, and you may want to return to the Han River Park or Siloam Spa, but there are so many more places to see in Seoul.
Just across the river from Seoul Forest lies Gangnam, one of the most famous places to visit in Seoul thanks to Phy’s hit single, Gangnam Style!
This is where the wealthy reside and the streets are lined with luxury boutique stores, brand names, and sky-scrapers. If you’re wanting to get cosmetic surgery, Gangnam is the place to go.
Gangnam is also home to the Starfield Coex Library, a massive library with over 50 000 books! With its stunning design and impressive collection, the Starfield Library has also become a top site for photographers and Instagrammers so if that’s your thing, you may want to include it in your 7 days in Seoul itinerary.
In the heart of Gangnam you’ll find Bonguensa Temple, a beautiful Buddhist temple located amongst the towering buildings of Seoul!
If you enjoy being outdoors as much as I do, you’ll love Seoul Forest!
Situated close to the Han River, Seoul Forest is one of the best places to visit in Seoul with kids thanks to the many deer and other animals that call it home. You’re able to feed them as well!
You can also rent bicycles and cycle through the forest, across the bridges and find a secret spot for a picnic breakfast.
If you’d prefer to run off all the delicious food you’ve eaten during your first 4 days in Seoul, this forest offers many running and walking trails that wind through the forest and alongside the streams.
How to get to Seoul Forest
To get to Seoul Forest, take the subway to Seoul Forest station and go out of exit 3. The entrance is a 5-minute walk away.
Hongdae is a hip and happening neighborhood near Hongik University. It’s a hit with those backpacking Seoul and attracts thousands of students who come to enjoy the karaoke bars, gaming rooms, and chicken and beer restaurants.
If you enjoy a chilled vibe, and youthful scene then you’ll love Hongdae! It’s one of my best places to visit in Seoul and you’ll love it too.
The highlight of visiting Hongdae is the inspiring art and music scene where performers take to the streets and put on shows for the public. Young girls pine over these K-pop performers and you can spend hours roaming the streets, enjoying the festive atmosphere.
Trick Eye Museum is also found in Hongdae and is a hit for its optical illusions and 3D art which make for some fun photo ops.
Just like Itaewon, Hongdae is known as the party district and it only really starts to pick up after 5 pm so when planning your Seoul travel itinerary, head to Hongdae around sunset time.
How to get to Hongdae
To get to Hongdae, take the subway to Hongik University station and take exit 9.
Day 6 Seoul Itinerary: Nami Island
Situated 60 km from Seoul lies Nami Island, the prize of the Gapyeong region near Seoul.
It’s a popular weekend getaway destination for all Koreans, especially couples.
Nami Island can easily be recognized by its picturesque tree-lined avenues and is famous for being the shooting location of several K-dramas, including Winter Sonata. The island is fun and quirky, and you can even take a zipline to reach its shores!
It’s a great addition to any trip to the capital as it’s an easy day trip from Seoul.
Attractions near Nami Island
Other attractions near Nami Island include the Garden of Morning Calm which is one of the biggest and most beautiful gardens in all of South Korea. It boasts over 20 themed sections and is a popular spot for families to picnic and laze under the trees.
Instagrammers will love Petite France thanks to its quaint buildings which provide the perfect backdrop for any photo. It’s found just a stone’s throw away from Nami Island but is rather small and can get extremely busy, so check out the crowds before you decide to include this in your Nami Island itinerary.
The highlight of my trip to Nami Island was the Gangchon Rail Bike which is 20 minutes away from Nami Island. Here, you peddle across the countryside along discontinued train tracks. The route takes you through themed tunnels and alongside a beautiful river before ending with a scenic train ride.
If you’re planning your itinerary for Seoul in spring or autumn, Nami island is one of the best places to visit during this time.
How to plan your day trip to Nami Island
It’s possible to do a trip to Nami Island independently using public transport but your travel time will account for a big portion of your day. If you choose to do this, you may only see Nami Island and one other attraction as your time will be limited.
If you want to add all of the Gapyeong attractions to your 7 day Seoul itinerary, it’s best to book an organized tour like this one. The tour departs from Myeongdong in Seoul and covers the best things to do around Nami Island including the Garden of Morning Calm and Gangchon Rail Bike.
Day 7 Seoul Itinerary: Themed Cafes & Everything Else
The last day of your Seoul itinerary offers a mix of the old traditional Seoul, and the new, trendy developments.
Insadong is another popular shopping neighborhood in Seoul, consisting of narrow alleys and clusters of traditional houses. It’s a mix of historical and modern and the area is known for its antiques.
It’s an artsy district with art centers and traditional restaurants where you can purchase Korean souvenirs and trinkets including tea, pottery, chopsticks, and more.
The Alive Museum in Insadong is worth a visit when you’re in the area. It’s an interactive museum offering funky trick art. You can also pop into the Kimchi Museum which has an impressive kimchi exhibition where you can learn more about the kimchi-making process.
To get to Insadong, head to Anguk Station and take exit 6.
If there’s one thing that Korea does right, it’s themed cafes and you have to include a visit to one of them during your 7 days in Seoul.
There are several themed cafes near Insadong but the Ddo-Ong Cafe, more commonly known as the Poop cafe, is arguably the most popular!
As you can tell by the name, your coffee is served in a toilet-shaped mug and your cake looks like, err, poop! It’s weird but it’s wonderful!
Cafe Onion Anguk is another popular cafe near Insadong. Set in a traditional hanok, this cafe looks like it comes straight from the Joseon dynasty.
Additional themed cafes to add to your 7 days Seoul itinerary
- Cafe Yeonnam-Dong: Situated near Hongdae, this themed cafe is one of the latest trends in Seoul and it’s an Instagrammer’s dream. The cafe has been styled in black and white and looks like something straight out of a cartoon!
- Urban Space Cafe Myeongdong: With an adult ball pit, inflatable swans, and flashing lights, this is the best place to set your inner childfree.
- Seoullism Cafe near Lotte World: this rooftop cafe in Seoul is a hit thanks to the awesome views and the massive Seoul sign from Lotte World that forms the perfect backdrop.
- Stylenanda Pink Pool and Pink Hotel Cafes in Myeongdong & Hongdae: These Pink Pool cafes are two of the most iconic cafes in Seoul and they’re fun spots to go with your gal pals.
Cafes not to visit
Animal cafes are also very popular and many tourists visit them during their vacations to Seoul.
Unfortunately, these are like mini zoos where the animals are kept in captivity and have no freedom to run around.
The Racoon Cafe in Hongdae not only has raccoons but also a ferret, meerkats, civet cats, and a kangaroo – yes, a kangaroo in a tiny little room shared with families drinking their coffee! There are other themed cafes in Seoul with sheep, pigs, and dogs.
These animals are kept indoors in small rooms and are constantly surrounded by screaming kids all trying to hold them, touch them, and take photos.
It’s incredibly sad so please reconsider that before including an animal cafe in your 7 days Seoul itinerary.
Just 4km from Insadong lies the Cheonggyecheon Stream, a popular hangout spot where locals come to chill after a busy day in the office. Cheonggyecheon Stream starts at Cheongye Plaza and winds through the city for over 11km into the Han River.
There are also many street performers, umbrella-covered walkways, candlelit fountains, and a festive atmosphere that attracts couples as well as groups of friends and families.
Dip your toes in the water and enjoy the last of your 7 days in Seoul!
The closest subway station is Gwanghwamun Station. Take exit 5 and you’ll be a short walk way from Cheonggyecheon Stream.
Other Things to Add to Your Itinerary for Seoul
With only 7 days in Seoul, you may want to include a few more attractions in your itinerary. Here are a few more activities that are worth checking out.
Go skiing in Korea: Best thing to do in Seoul in winter
If you’re planning your 7 days Seoul itinerary for winter, skiing has to be on your bucket list! There are many ski resorts near Seoul, all offering great slopes for skiing, snowboarding, and sledding.
But while skiing may be one of the best things to do in Seoul in winter, the quality of snow is nothing like that in Japan, the US, or Europe. You don’t need to plan week-long ski vacations in Korea as the parks are a lot smaller and the slopes shorter so a day trip from Seoul is all you need.
My favorite ski park is Bears Town Ski Resort which is one of the closest places to ski near Seoul. Families will love Vivaldi Ski Park which offers Snowy Land, an awesome snow park for kids.
The best way to plan your ski trip is to book through a tour operator who will take care of all the logistics for you. The cost will include round trip transportation from Seoul, your ski gear as well as your lift pass. These tours offer huge discounts for foreigners, so you won’t find better deals out there.
Read More: The Best Ski Resorts Near Seoul, Korea
Visit a theme park: The best thing to do in Seoul with kids
If you have children, or you’re a sucker for fairytale experiences and rollercoasters, a visit to one of Seoul’s famous theme parks is a must-do on your 7 day Seoul itinerary.
Lotte World and Everland are the biggest theme parks in Korea offering a Disney-like experience.
Both theme parks get extremely busy during the summer in Seoul, as well as on weekends and school holidays. Try to coordinate your trip to visit during the week when it’s less crowded.
Everland Theme Park
Everland Theme Park is slightly further from Seoul – an hour’s drive to be exact – but it’s the largest of all Korea’s theme parks and it’s regarded as one of the best things to do in Seoul with kids.
Taking the shuttle bus to Everland is the quickest and easiest way to get there and you can book your seat here.
Lotte World Theme Park
Lotte World is conveniently situated in the center of Seoul so it’s easy to add to your itinerary for Seoul.
If you choose to visit Lotte World, give yourself a bit of time to explore Seokchon Lake, a picturesque lake surrounded by lush natural beauty. Lotte World Tower, a 555m skyscraper, offers incredible views and is also a great addition to your itinerary for Seoul if you’re in the area.
Save the hassle of standing in long queues by pre-booking your admission tickets to Lotte World and Everland here, which are discounted btw!
Explore Namdaemun Market
Namdaemun Market is the largest traditional market in Seoul where you can buy everything from souvenirs, clothing, accessories, jewelry, luggage, toys, and of course, delicious Korean street food.
It’s a popular wholesale market in Seoul and if you feel that you haven’t done enough shopping, then you can add Namdaemun to your 7 day Seoul itinerary.
But I don’t think it’s one of those attractions you must do in Seoul, especially if you’ve already explored the shopping scene at Insadong, Myeongdong, and Gangnam.
Visit Seoul Children’s Grand Park in Spring
If you’re visiting Korea in spring, Seoul Children’s Grand Park is the best place to see cherry blossoms in Seoul. But you need to get your timing right!
They only bloom for 2 weeks, which is normally the beginning of April, but this is largely dependent on the weather.
If you miss the cherry blossom season, a visit to Seoul Children’s Grand Park is still worth a visit if you’re looking to explore more parks in Seoul.
How To Get Around Seoul in 7 days
It’s incredibly easy to travel around Seoul using public transport. The subway system is convenient and cheap and covers all corners of the city.
The public buses are equally as impressive, but I’ve found that a combination of using the subway and walking are the quickest ways to get to all the Seoul attractions.
Taxis are also a popular option. They charge by the meter but often take longer than the subway due to traffic.
Whilst traveling around Seoul is cheap and easy, the distances can be far. But don’t worry, this 7 day Seoul itinerary has been planned so that you visit those attractions that are close to one another to avoid unnecessary travel time.
The Best Time to Visit Seoul
Korea has 4 distinct seasons! I’m talking extremely hot and humid summers (to a point that you do not want to be outdoors) and ice-cold, snowy winters which can affect what activities you do during your 7 day Seoul itinerary.
June to August is summer in Korea and whilst it’s the busiest time to visit Seoul, it’s not pleasant!
If you’re familiar with high humidity and you can withstand the heat, then you’ll be ok. But, it’s a sticky kind of hot. I spent two summers in Korea and only went outdoors when I really had to.
Domestic travel is at an all-time high during the summer due to school holidays so expect inflated prices and crowds as many families plan their vacations to Seoul during this time.
Read More: Why Naksan Beach is Korea’s Perfect Beach Getaway
Fall: The best time to visit Seoul
The fall season from September to November is one of the best times to visit Seoul! The weather is pleasant with low humidity and comfortable temperatures.
It’s a great time to be outside and the city is filled with bright orange and red leaves. Try to avoid visiting Seoul during Chuseok (Korea Thanksgiving) as many shops will be closed.
During this time, most Koreans take a few days off to explore the countryside and local sites and as a result, the tourist attractions can get quite busy.
Seoul in Winter
If you enjoy the cold, visit Seoul during the winter from December to February. But be warned, temperatures reach below 0! There are a lot of things to do in Seoul in Winter, but you may not be able to do as much hiking or outdoor exploring as you would have liked.
Korea winter is icy and freezing cold. Seoul doesn’t get much snow in December, but you can expect a few days of snowfall in January and even February.
Spring: Beautiful time to visit Seoul
March, April, and May are my favorite months to visit Seoul. It’s spring in Korea and the best time to be outside, hiking, and exploring the streets.
March is still pretty cold but the weather slowly heats up toward the end of the month. Cherry blossoms line the streets during the first weeks of April which attracts tourists in their numbers.
Where to Stay in Seoul
No matter where you choose to base yourself for your 7 days in Seoul, you’re never too far from the main attractions thanks to the awesome public transportation network.
But don’t expect large, spacious rooms as Korea is known for its tiny apartments (yes, I lived in one for over a year.) The rooms are small, the beds can be hard and the towels are, well, they’re not proper towels – they use hand towels in Korea!
To make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into, check out my post on the weird things about Korea.
Myeongdong: The Most Central Place to Stay in Seoul
Myeongdong is a great place if you want to be near the shopping district. It’s filled with boutique stores, cosmetic outlets, and brand names and is within walking distance from N-Seoul tower.
Most day tours leave from Myeongdong and overall it’s my recommendation of where you should stay during your Seoul itinerary.
If you’re backpacking Seoul, Myeongdong Rooftop Hostel is a hit with budget travelers. It’s a brand new hostel situated in slap-bang in the center of Myeongdong with an epic rooftop area offering great views of N Seoul Tower.
Traveling on a mid-range budget? Philstay Myeongdong is great value for money given its modern features and the fact that it’s just a short walk from the subway line!
If you’re looking for a luxurious place to stay in Seoul, Lotte Hotel should be top of your list. With large, impeccably furnished rooms and gorgeous views, you can’t go wrong with a stay here. Not to mention that it’s well placed for exploring the best that Seoul has to offer.
Itaewon: Best place to stay if you’re backpacking Seoul
Itaewon is the most diverse neighborhood in Seoul with a vibrant night scene.
You’re never too far from a party and are bound to meet other travelers here. Itaewon is also centrally located making it a great place to base yourself during your 7 days in Seoul.
If you’re traveling on a budget, Seoul Cube is the perfect place for you! Situated just a stone’s throw away from Itaewon station, this hostel has a selection of private and dorm rooms, and a complimentary breakfast is included in the price!
Are you traveling to Seoul on a mid-range budget? Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel comes with all the bells and whistles including a large bed and artistic murals on the walls. It’s also just a short walk from the main road in Itaewon and offers great value for money.
Looking for the best place to stay near Itaewon? The Grand Hyatt will exceed all your expectations! Situated on the foot of Namsan Mountain, the location couldn’t be better. With the large floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll be spoiled with sprawling views of Seoul from your suite!
Hongdae: The Fun Area
Hongdae is the area around Hongik University. It’s a colorful neighborhood that attracts a youthful crowd and is known for its vibrant atmosphere and bustling nightlife.
It’s not quite in the center of Seoul but it’s a great base if you’re looking for a lively and fun district.
Lian Guesthouse is just the spot for travelers on a budget. The rooms are clean and comfortable but arguably the biggest attraction is the incredibly friendly host who will go out of her way to ensure you have a great time visiting Seoul.
The best place to stay in Hongdae on a mid-range budget is Daol Guesthouse. Situated just 3 minutes walk from Hongik University Station, you’ll be right in the center of all the action and it’s a great base for your itinerary for Seoul. Breakfast is included and the rooms are spacious and comfortable.
If you’re in search of a luxury hotel in Hongdae, you can’t go wrong with RYSE, Autograph Collection Marriot. The rooms are tastefully decorated with a minimalistic design and the hospitality of the staff will ensure you have a memorable stay.
Gangnam is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Seoul – it’s the Beverly Hills of Korea and become famous thanks to Psy’s Gangnam Style.
Let’s be honest, you’re only going to stay here if you’ve got some cash to splurge!
Hotels in Gangnam ooze luxury and opulence and Andaz Seoul Gangnam is no different. This new, modern hotel is within walking distance to all the attractions in Gangnam and is the perfect place to return to after a busy day exploring Seoul.
Arguably the best hotel in Seoul, Signiel Seoul boasts panoramic views from all their exquisite rooms and the attention to detail is out of this world. If you’re a foodie, the Michelin-starred restaurant is yet another reason to stay here!
What to Eat in Seoul
One of the highlights of visiting Seoul is the mouth-watering food. And when you leave the country, you’ll be pining for that dakgalbi and one more Korean BBQ.
Don’t wait until the end of your Seoul itinerary before you try out the local cuisine. Start on day 1 and feast on these delicious meals!
- Tteokbokki: Tteokbokki is rice cakes covered in delicious spicy sauce and one of the most popular street foods in Korea.
- Dakgalbi: Cheesy chicken goodness with vegetables.
- Korean BBQ: You cannot miss out on this famous meal. It’s a cultural experience where you prepare your meat on a grill.
- Bibimbap: Bibimbap is rice served in a bowl that’s topped with delicious vegetables, kimchi, and various sauces as well as a fried egg.
- Kimchi Jigae: Kimchi stew is a winner on a cold winter’s days in Seoul.
- Jjimdak: Similar to Dakgalbi in its deliciousness, Jimdak is a chicken dish served with noodles and a ganjang sauce.
- Gimbap: Gimbab is sushi-like rolls wrapped in seaweed that are perfect for food on the go. Snack on them during your hike and ensure you have enough Gimbap for your picnics.
- Bingsu: A popular shaved ice dessert in Korea with various yummy toppings.
Essentials and etiquette for your Seoul itinerary
I’m not quite done with this 7 days itinerary for Seoul! Here are a few more tips.
- Escalator etiquette: Always stand on the right and walk on the left. Always!
- When packing for Korea, consider not only the weather but the local customs as well. For example, exposing your shoulders (and chest) is not ok in certain environments.
- Ensure you have cash on you when you’re walking through the markets in Seoul as they don’t have card facilities. You can easily draw from the ATM’s.
- There’s no tipping in Korea, and don’t offer – it’s seen as an insult!
- Download Google Translate – you’ll need it.
- In Korea, everything starts later and is open later. People only appear from their apartments after 10 am but they’ll be up until midnight, including the children!
Final Thoughts on a 7 Day Seoul Itinerary
Seoul is one of the most fascinating cities I’ve ever visited. There’s something for everyone and it’s an explosion of the senses with all its bright lights, incredible restaurants, and popular attractions.
The city is showing no signs of slowing down so be prepared to spend your 7 days in Seoul being blown away by all it has to offer!
Have you been to Seoul? Is there anything you’d add to this 7 days Seoul itinerary or do you have any questions about your trip? Let me know in the comments section below!
Planning your trip to South Korea? Check out my other posts!
- The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in Korea
- Why You Should Visit Gangchon Rail Bike in South Korea
- The Ultimate South Korea Itinerary
- Where To Stay in Jeju Island (Insider Guide)
- The Perfect 3 Day Busan Itinerary
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8 thoughts on “The ULTIMATE 7 Day Seoul Itinerary: How To Spend 7 Days in Seoul”
I love how detailed this is! We didn’t get the chance to go to Seoul while in Asia unfortunately! This post definitely makes me want to take a trip!! I am pinning this for when I do get to South Korea! Thank you so much for sharing all this information! Such a great read!
Wow this is so detailed will be so useful if I plan a trip which I would love to do haha!
Thank you for this comprehensive guide! Our family is travelling to Seoul in winter and wondering if it’s a good idea to have Everland or Lotte World in our itinerary? Heard that some rides may not be available during winter and the parks may close early as well.
Hi Vivien, unfortunately I haven’t visited Everland or Lotte World in winter. But, most of the rides at these theme park are outdoors and it can get extremely cold in winter (below 0 degrees) – it may even snow.
In that case, it’s likely that the rides won’t be available. But it’s best to check directly with the theme parks. Have you considered spending a few days on the ski slopes instead? Here are a few family-friendly ski resorts near Seoul. Have a great trip!
First of all, thank you for all the posts about South Korea, so helpful!
I’ll be traveling to SK in May (12 days). I was thinking about spending 5 days in Seoul (1 daytrip to DMZ), 4 days in Busan (1 daytrip to Gyeongju) and 3 days in Jeju.
In your opinion, is that ok or should I stay 1 more day in Seoul? I won’t go to Nami Island and don’t plan to visit many cafes.
Thanks in advance 🙂
Hi Rafaela, regarding the number of days in Seoul, it depends on what time you’re arriving and departing. Given your timeframe, 5 days in Seoul is sufficient. But if 2 of those are half days or travel days, then I recommend adding an extra day to Seoul and one less day in Busan. Enjoy.