Seoul, South Korea
Wow. Seoul exceeded my expectations. The easy transportation, abundance of coffee shops, helpful locals and beautiful sights everywhere you looked.
First my accommodations. We stayed at Hotel Cappuccino in Gangnam. The hotel was cute but the rooms are pretty small. That wasn’t an issue for me because I was very comfortable and the place was clean and quiet. Although it wasn’t close to the main areas like Itaewon, Insa-Dong etc., I enjoyed staying in Gangnam because I saw some spots that weren’t on my radar just walking around.
Transportation. I used mainly buses and the subway. I found it easy to use. First you need a TMoney card, you can get it at any convenience store. It costs 3 dollars at first then whenever you need to refill it just take it to the convenience store and let them know to refill it for you. I put 10,000 won (10 USD) in my card and that was enough. An hour ride with transfers and all was usually from 800-1200 won. Everything is romanized and the announcements are all in English. I downloaded Kakao maps and got specific directions and never had an issue with it.
Next the sightseeing. I did go with places in mind I wanted to see but I also came across so many places just walking around.
Namsan Tower is a must visit. You get amazing views of Seoul and I got most of my souvenirs here. Besides the tower, the park is gorgeous and so green. If I had more time I definitely would’ve explored the surrounding park. I don’t want to give away a lot of the little extra things you see there because to me they were a pleasant little extra surprise.
I went to Insa-Dong this is the more traditional area. The Hanbok Village is also close by. I purchased some tea, traditional toys and a tea set. I also ate spicy noodles (so tasty! But so spicy). This area definitely deserves at least half a day. The palace is huge and beautiful. Is this area there is also a lot of hanbok rentals and you can get into the pa,ace for free if you are wearing a hanbok.
Ihwa Mural Village
This was my favorite spot! Wear comfortable shoes. There’s lots of walking and lots of steep hills but so worth it. It’s nice to just fully enjoy the area. I did go early on a Sunday morning and mostly everything was closed but there was so many other shops and cafes. This is a residential area so be courteous of the people.
The cafes! I loved all of the cafes and how available they are. There’s also lots of 24 hour cafes. Any time you can find a place to enjoy a drink and talk with friends, study or whatever you may want. There’s many different themes but all across everything was delicious and the service is always fast and friendly.
I will make a part 2 with food and purchases. I have so much to say about then fashion, skincare and food!
Overall Seoul was such a fun and unique experience. It was what a vacation should be. I feel recharged and inspired.