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The Seoul 4 day itinerary that shows you Seoul’s highlights

What to do in Seoul for 4 days? 

There is so much to see and do in Seoul that you can easily spend a week here to see all of Seoul’s highlights.

But unfortunately, none of us have oodles of vacation days so we have to make choices when it comes to the things we want to visit.

That’s why we decided to create this Seoul 4-day itinerary.

4 days in Seoul is perfect to see a lot of highlights of this wonderful city without rushing too much.

If you are looking for Seoul travel tips, click here.

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You should absolutely visit the Lotte World Tower during your 4 days in Seoul.

Seoul essentials

Seoul E-Guide

For the price of a single cup of coffee, you can get our Seoul 3-7 day itinerary as a nicely formatted PDF document. 

You can print it or store it on your phone when you explore Seoul.

Have a look here for more information and a preview.

What to do in Seoul for 4 days

Here we share the best things to do in Seoul in 4 days. As you can see on the below map our 4-day Seoul itinerary will take you all over Seoul showing many highlights of this fantastic city.

Will be visited on day 1

Will be visited on day 2 (the DMZ-JSA zone)

Will be visited on day 3

Will be visited on day 4

Are interesting and fun museums that can be added to the itinerary. (more about these museums at the bottom of the article)

Are fun and thrilling amusement parks which are well worth a visit if you’re traveling with children. (more about these parks at the bottom of the article)

Are you also looking for info on other places in South Korea?  Have a look at our complete Korea travel guide!

4 days in Seoul: Day 1

Start your first day in Seoul by visiting at least one of the 5 palaces. 

The oldest and largest of the palaces built by the Joseon dynasty is Gyeongbokgung PalaceIf you plan on visiting only one of the palaces this is a good choice, although it’s also the most touristy of the 5 palaces. 

Gyeongbokgung palace Seoul, South Korea
Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul’s largest palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

This palace is the main royal palace, it is the largest, the most popular, and often considered the most beautiful one. It is one of Seoul’s highlights and not to be missed while you are in Seoul.

What you see is no longer the original palace. Much of the palace was destroyed during the Japanese occupation and rebuilt later. 

₩3,000 or included in the combined Four Palaces ticket (see below).  Free entrance if you’re wearing a complete and correct Hanbok(see the explanation on the website of what exactly qualifies).  Free entrance with the Discover Seoul Pass.

You can visit the Palace building with a free English spoken guided tour at  11.00AM, 1.30 PM and 3.30PM.  Check the schedule on the official website to make sure the hours are still correct.

If you plan on visiting all the palaces you can save by buying the Four Palaces ticket which grants you access to Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyenggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace and the Jongmyo Royal Ancestral Shrine for ₩10,000.

The ticket can be bought at any of these locations and is valid for 3 months from the date of purchase.

One of the most fun things to do at Gyeongbokgung Palace, besides wandering through the interior pavillions and admiring the architecture, is watching the changing of the guard. 

This impressive ceremony takes place daily except on Tuesdays, at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM in front of Gwanghwamun.  This is the main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Gwanghwamun Square

From the palace is just a short walk to Gwanghwamun Square where you will find the statue of King Sejong, the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty and the creator of the Korean alphabet.

Hours: 9 am-7 pm

Location: Sejong-daero

Gwanghwamun station 

Continue your way on foot to the beautifully decorated Jogyesa Temple, one of the most famous temples in Seoul. Here is a list of things Seoul is known for.

Seoul, Jogyesa temple, South Korea
Visiting the Jogyesa temple will be a highlight of your Seoul 4 day itinerary.

Jogyesa Temple

The Jogyesa Temple is the headquarters of the Jogye order and one of the most important Buddhist temples in Seoul. 

The temple is almost always very colorfully decorated and it’s a great place to take Instagram-worthy pictures. 

If you want to learn more about Korean Buddhism you can stop by the Information Center for foreigners.  They will gladly tell you more about their belief and the history of the temple over a cup of tea.

Opening hours: 5 am-9 pm.


Location: 55 Ujeongguk-ro.

Nearest subway station:  Anguk station or Jonggak station

From the Jogyesa temple, it is not far from the heart of Insadong. 


Insadong is one of the most traditional and cultural districts of Seoul.  The district is dotted with coffee shops, art galleries, book stores, craft shops, and teahouses. It’s also a great place to buy souvenirs.

It’s one of those places you absolutely must visit during your 4 days in Seoul.

By now it will almost be lunchtime, so it is good that Insadong counts many restaurants to quench your appetite. 

If you wander through the narrow side streets of the main shopping street you will undoubtedly find something to your liking.

Seoul, Gwangjang market, South Korea
The Gwangjang Market is one of the highlights of Seoul.

Gwangjang Market

After lunch, make a small detour to explore the Gwangjang market, a traditional street market.  If you didn’t yet have lunch this is another excellent opportunity to try some local food.

Here you can find a list of 39 amazing things to do in Seoul. 

Even if a lot of the so-called Korean delicacies such as San-Nakji ( raw octopus served with curling tentacles) don’t appeal to you it’s still worthwhile to visit the market to immerse yourself in the feel of a traditional Korean food market.

Nearest subway station: Anguk Station, Exit #6

Changdeokgung Palace Secret Garden Seoul South Korea
The Secret garden in Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace is one of the other palaces in the capital.  This is the most well-preserved palace of the 5 palaces. 

The highlight of your visit to this beautiful palace will be a stroll through the tranquil so-called “secret garden”.  The garden occupies around 60% of the palace’s grounds and is no longer as secret as she once was. In the past, only Korean kings and members of the royal family could enter. 

Nowadays the garden is open to the broad public but only with a guided tour and the places are limited.  

The secret garden is one of the prettiest Japanese gardens around and definitely worth a visit if you can get hold of a ticket.

Be sure to reserve your tour online well upfront if you want to visit the garden. (click on tour reservation on top of the page)

₩3,000 for the palace building or ₩8,000 for the palace building area including the Secret garden.   Free entrance to the palace building if you’re wearing a Hanbok. Free entrance with the Discover Seoul Pass.

South Korea - Seoul - Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village 

We finish our first day in Seoul in the Bukchon Hanok Village, one of the best places to visit in Korea. 

If you walk around this traditional part of Seoul it will feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

Take your time to discover the beautiful small alleys, explore the inner courtyards, and admire the traditional Hanok houses. Several houses are still inhabited while others house upscale boutiques, restaurants, cafés, tea houses, art galleries, and museums.

Bukchon Hanok Village lies on a hill, so you should know that there will be some uphill climbing involved.  But it is worth to do the extra effort.  When you walk to the top of the slope, you have an amazing view of the Hanok village with the many picturesque old houses and their iconic roofs. 

 Nearest subway station: Anguk Station, Exit #2

If you got some appetite from all the walking and you aren’t tired yet,  you can take the metro to the Cheonggyecheon Stream. 

Seoul Cheonggycheon river walk, South Korea
Wondering what to do in Seoul for 4 days? Don’t forget to stroll around the Cheonggyecheon stream.

Cheonggyecheon Stream

The  11 km long Cheonggyecheon Stream is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a busy day. 

At night the stream is beautifully lit and it draws both tourists and Seoulites who come here to unwind. You can dip your feet in the water and there’re frequent street performances along the river banks and at Cheongye Plaza.

Here you can find more information on where to go in Seoul at night.

On weekend evenings you can quench your appetite at the food trucks which sell all kinds of tasty snacks.  The weekend market is situated at the river banks just off Gwangtongyo Bridge.

The very colorful Seoul Lantern Festival is also held here.  It takes place from the first Friday of November to the third Sunday of November.

Nearest subway station: Jonggak Station, Exit #5

Seoul 4 day itinerary: Day 2

On your second day in Seoul, we head to what some call the most dangerous place on earth,  the DMZ. 

The DMZ is a 4-kilometer wide weapons-free buffer zone that was established after the second world war in 1945. 

Why visit the DMZ?

The DMZ is the perfect place to learn more about Korean history and the current relations between the 2 Korea’s.  It’s a somewhat mystical place and the last active remnant of the cold war which tore thousands of families and friends apart.

The guided tours are very educational.  Some even have a North Korean defector as a guide which is especially interesting if you want to know how life is on the other side of the border.

It feels a bit strange to be a tourist at a place that causes so much misery to other people but let’s hope that by showing this to people we will not make the same mistakes again in the future.

JSA Panmunjom, South_Korea, DMZ
When visiting Seoul in 4 days, don’t miss the  DMZ and the Joint Security Area.

How to visit the DMZ?

The DMZ region can only be visited with a guided tour. 

The cheapest way to visit the DMZ is with the DMZ peace train.  

This train takes you from Seoul to Dorasan station where you need to join a bus tour. 

This tour is slightly cheaper than the other tours and might be somewhat more comfortable because you spend less time on a bus but the big drawback is that the tour guide on the bus tour speaks no English.

As this tour is only marginally cheaper we would advise going with one of the other organized tours. 

We briefly highlight the differences below, you can read a profound article about the different tours here.

Which tour should you choose?

JSA-DMZ full day Tour

There are several tours to choose from. In our opinion, the best tours are the full-day tours that also visit the Joint Security Area (JSA).

The JSA area is where the famous blue barracks can be seen.  This is the actual border post where the negotiations are held. You can’t get closer to North Korea than here. 

The JSA tours are the most popular tours and often sell-out. Be sure to book this tour well in advance.

More information and bookings:
DMZ-JSA Tour Tickets

Imjingak park DMZ, South Korea
Imjingak park DMZ
DMZ half and full-day tour

If you aren’t interested in the JSA, you could also opt for the DMZ half or full-day tour. 

The half-day tour is interesting if you have less time. You will see a lot of highlights of the DMZ and still have a half-day to discover the rest of Seoul. 

The full-day DMZ tour includes an authentic Korean lunch and a real shooting experience in Seoul. 

More information and booking:
DMZ half and full day tour Tickets

If you aren’t sure which tour to choose, here you can read our full guide about how to choose the best DMZ tour.

Seoul itinerary 4 days: Day 3 


Start your day by exploring Myeongdong, one of the hippest neighborhoods in Seoul. Various places across Myeongdong serve breakfast. 

Whether you’re looking for some sweet pastries, a traditional Korean breakfast, or an American-style breakfast.

You will be able to get it in one of the many eateries dotted across the shopping streets of Myeongdong.

After breakfast, you can continue your exploration of this district. Shopaholics are warned to keep a close eye on their watch because if they would lose track of the time they could spend hours shopping for clothes, beauty products, cosmetics, etc. 

But you don’t need to be a shopping addict to love Myeongdong.  Amateur K-pop singers and bands often gather and play in the shopping streets making Myeongdong a good place to soak up the Korean atmosphere. 

Right beside the busy shopping streets lies the majestic Myeongdong Cathedral.  This building is an impressive sight and certainly worth a visit both on the outside as well as on the inside.

You can also return to Myeongdong after dark.  At night lots of street vendors put their stalls in the streets and sell anything from gadgets to delicious sweet and spicy snacks.   There is also a wide range of other nightlife options from restaurants to pubs and theaters.

One very popular show that is already playing for several consecutive years is the famous Nanta show.

The show is popular both among tourists and Seoulites and can be seen in the Myeongdong Nanta theater. 

You can purchase your tickets for the Nanta show in advance here:

Nearest subway station: Myeongdong Station

The Myeongdong district borders Mt. Namsan. Once you are tired of shopping you can make your way to Namsan Park, a great place to unwind.

(Article continues below the picture)

Pathway to Mt. Namsan

Namsan Park 

Namsan Park is the largest park in Seoul. It’s the perfect place to hike, watch the city skyline or just enjoy nature. 

From the top of Mount Namsan, you have excellent views of the skyline of the capital.  If that’s not impressive enough for you, you can head a further 237 meters higher to the top of the iconic N Seoul Tower for an even more stunning view.

To get to the top of Mount Namsan you can either walk, take the Namsan cable car, or the yellow bus. The pedestrian walkway starts at the bottom station of the cable car, when walking at a steady pace it takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the top.

Once you’re at the top you will not only be greeted with nice views but also lots of love locks.

You will also find plenty of shops and restaurants there.

If you want you can get up on the observation deck of the N Seoul Tower.

N Seoul Tower

The N Seoul Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks of Seoul.  It has an observation deck that provides a 360-degree view of Seoul. 

From the 237 m high tower you can enjoy gorgeous views of Seoul and the surrounding area.

The view is especially stunning at night.

At the bottom of N Seoul Tower is a small shopping center.  You can have lunch in one of the restaurants, some of which have nice views.  The tower itself also houses several restaurants although they might require reservations.  You could make a reservation to return at night and have dinner while enjoying the stunning views of the beautifully illuminated skyline.

Click here to buy tickets for the observatory of the N Seoul Tower:

Seoul, Seoul Tower Love locks, South Korea
The impressive view on Seoul from Mt. Namsan.


We will end our third day in Seoul in Hongdae, which is thanks to its location near Hongik University, another bustling district of Seoul. 

It’s a great place to look for unique souvenirs and budget-friendly clothing. Fans of Hello Kitty should add a stop at the outstanding Hello Kitty café.  This is not the only place that may make you feel young again.  You can go crazy in the many game halls and karaoke places.

Lovers of street art can see many pieces of art in the Wausan-ro 22-gil alleyway right next to the university and once the sun sets you’re sure to find street performances along Eoulmadag-ro street.

Hongdae is also home to the interactive Trick Eye Museum, one of the funniest museums in Seoul. You can read more about this interactive museum further in the post.

Nearest subway station: Hongik University Station, Exit #9

4 days in Seoul: Day 4

Now that you saw the highlights of Seoul, you have plenty of options to spend your last day.

Here we share some suggestions or read our full article about day trips from Seoul.

Discover the Ihwa Mural Village

Street art lovers, if you loved what you saw in Hongdae you will be amazed by the works of art that decorate the walls and staircases in the Ihwa Mural Village.

A few years ago, this hillside village was set for demolition. But the residents didn’t want to lose their homes and several local artists transformed their neighborhood in the most colorful area of Seoul.  

There are approximately 64 beautiful murals spread across the village.  To see them you just need to follow the signs.

The district has become very popular, especially since it was featured in several K-pop videos, and some residents have become frustrated by the hordes of tourists that flood their streets every day.  Some have even gone so far as to overpaint some of the murals.

Therefore we ask you to please respect the privacy of the residents when you visit the Ihwa Mural Village.

Here you will also find lots of restaurants, cafés and art galleries.

It’s a great place to spend an afternoon.

How to get here

Subway line 4 to Hyehwa Station and take exit 2.  Walk towards Marronier Park and go left after you passed it.  Walk straight towards Naksan Park until you come across the murals.

South Korea - Seoul - Bukhansan National Park
View from the beautiful Bukhansan National Park.

Go hiking in Bukhansan National park

Hiking geeks and nature lovers will love Bukhansan National Park.  How often do you come across a megapolis that has a national park in its backyard?

Bukhansan park is the most visited Park in South Korea and we perfectly understand why.  The park counts various trails, several of them rather strenuous but in return, you get to enjoy stunning views on the skyline of Seoul. 

We hiked up Munsubong Peak to the Bogungmun Gate, this is one such hike where you’re rewarded with amazing views of Seoul.  There’re of course many other hikes of different lengths and different levels of difficulty.

Here you find an overview of all the different hikes. 

It’s easy to reach the park by public transport from Seoul.

How to get there

The Dobongson Station (Line 1 or 7) is just a 10-minute walk from the Weondobong entrance. 

Directions to all entrances are very well explained on the National Park’s website.

Explore Gapyeong Area

Fans of Korean dramas might want to visit the Gapyeong area. This area lies about 40 minutes from Seoul making it a great day trip. 

The main attractions are Nami Island, Petite France, and the Garden of Morning Calm. 

Nami Island

Nami Island is where the Korean drama “Winter Sonata” was filmed. All over the island are statues and other tributes to the program.

The island is popular among fans of this series but because of its wonderful unspoiled nature it is also worth visiting if you’ve never seen a Korean drama series. You can spot wild bunnies and ostriches.

This is a great place to go hiking or bike riding. 

Petite France

Petite France is a small French-style theme park based on the theme of “le Petit Prince” ( The Little Prince).  It is located close to Nami Island and it is easy to combine a visit to both. 

In Petite France, you wander around a mini version of France.  Visitors can experience French food, clothing, and their household culture.  The park is built-up of several French-styled houses and there is even a small Eiffel tower.

9 am to 6 pm (open all year round)

Admission Fee: Adults 10,000 won / Teenagers 7,000 won / Children 6,000 won

The Garden of Morning Calm South Korea
The Colorful Garden of Morning Calm.
The Garden of Morning Calm

The Garden of Morning Calm is a  beautifully landscaped garden that showcases a great variety of flowers and plants. 

The park can be visited year-round and the broad range of flowers ensure that your visit will be a colorful experience regardless of when you go.

Every winter to early spring more than 30.000 lights transforms this garden in a Winter Wonderland after 6 pm. The Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival is the biggest such festival in Korea. If you happen to visit Seoul during this time, you should definitely visit it.

Standard hours: 8:30 am to 7:30 pm (open all year round)

Lighting festival: 8:30 am to 9 pm except for Saturdays when the park closes at 11 pm

Admission Fee: Adults 9,500 won / Teenagers 7,000 won / Children 6,000 won.

The most popular way to get to Nami Island is by joining an organized day tour. It is the quickest way to visit Nami Island, Petite France, and the Garden of Morning Calm as you can skip the queues for buying ferry and entrance tickets.

A day tour is probably the most comfortable and relaxed way to visit Gapyeong.

More information and tickets:
Nami island tours

Discover Gangnam district 

Gangnam is the place to be if you want to mingle with the rich and famous Seoulites. 

This is what you could call the Beverly Hills of South Korea.  You will find a wide array of upscale shops, fancy bars, and luxury restaurants.  It’s a great district to live a luxurious lifestyle.

Gangnam is also home to the COEX shopping mall, one of the largest underground shopping centers in South Korea.  Besides a broad selection of international brand names stores the center also contains a movie theater, a concert hall, an aquarium, an extensive food court, and several fine dining restaurants.

Of course, Gangnam is not only about shopping. The Bongeunsa Buddhist Temple is a haven of peace in this busy district.  The Bongeunsa Temple features a more secluded and quieter atmosphere than Jogyesa Temple in Insadong and if you find the time you should absolutely stop by this serene holy place to view the beautiful complex.

Twice a day, at 4:10 PM and 6:40 PM, monks hold a percussion ceremony.

You can also stroll or bike around Seoul Olympic Parc, take a cruise on the Han River and visit the Samsung D’light center which showcases the latest technology founded by Samsung. 

Visit a museum

Seoul counts more than 100 museums.  They cover every aspect of the city, the country, and its culture. Whatever it is that interests you, there will certainly be a museum that has the answers to your questions.

Below is a list of the most popular museums.

Korean War Memorial Museum Seoul South Korea
The impressive Korean War Memorial Museum.

Korean War Memorial and Museum

The Korean War Memorial and Museum is a great place to visit if you are interested in learning more about the history of Korea and the Korean War.

It is a very well-kept and maintained museum with a large collection of war material including aircrafts, rockets, and tanks.

The pieces are exhibited in several outdoor and indoor exhibits.  You can easily spend an afternoon visiting this museum.

Free English speaking tour at 10 AM and 1 PM


9 AM – 6 PM / closed on Monday

Nearest subway station: Samgakji Station Exit #12

The Trick Eye Museum

The Trick Eye Museum is a fun and interactive museum.

It combines artwork with state-of-the-art high-end technology such as augmented reality to create impressive illusions. 

Thanks to the new Trickeye Camera app visitors can make paintings come alive and they can even become part of the artworks and capture this as a memory to take back home.  

A visit to this museum is a great idea for both young and old.

Download the trickeye  3D Augmented Reality App to take full advantage of the optical illusions.

Admission Fee: Adults 15,000 won

Children (under 18): 12,000 won

9 AM – 9 PM (last admission at 8 PM)

Nearest subway station: Hongik University Station, Exit #9

The Samsung D’light center

Samsung fans and tech geeks must definitely make a small detour along Gangnam to visit the chaebol’s (the Korean name for a conglomerate) technology center.

The name is derived from Samsung’s vision to be a guiding light to the digital world.

Inside the 3-storied center is an exhibition space about the current and future Samsung.

On the first floor, is a Samsung flagship store where you can try out all the phones, tablets, and laptops. There is also a 4D Virtual reality experience center. 

The second-floor houses and interactive exhibit about emotions and machine learning. The third floor transports you into the future and shows you how Samsung sees the interaction between men and machines in the future. 


Monday to Saturday 10 AM – 7 PM 

Closed on Sunday and holidays

Lotte World, Magic Island, Seoul, South Korea
Magic Island in Lotte World

Visit a theme park 

There are several amazing theme parks around Seoul perfect for a day full of fun. 

Lotte World Adventure, Magic Island & Aquarium

Lotte World Adventure is the world’s largest indoor amusement park with 22 attractions ranging from thrill rides to child-friendly attractions. It’s also a great place to spend a day with teens.

Nearby Lotte World Magic Island has 17 outdoor attractions. The park is much like a Korean version of Disneyland.

Don’t forget to download the Lotte World Magic Pass app on your mobile phone to get the latest updates on showtimes and special events that are held during your visit.

On the opposite side of the road, you will find the Lotte World Mall which houses the Lotte World Aquarium. 

You can buy a combi-ticket to visit all three parks but just in Lotte World Adventure and Magic Island, you can already spend a day.

Here you can find more info about discount tickets and combi-tickets:
Lotte World Tickets

Jamsil (Green Line 2, Pink Line 8) Exit 4

Everland Seoul, South Korea
The entrance to Everland


Everland is South Korea’s largest theme park. The park consists of five themed zones (Global Fair, Zoo-Topia, European Adventure, Magic Land, and American Adventure).

Both adults and children will have the time of their life here.

If you are in for a thrill you must try the T-Express ( South Korea’s first wooden roller coaster ) and the Rolling X-train.

But don’t worry if that’s not your kind of thing.  The park has much more to offer. It also has water rides, a 4D movie theater, and a Live Hologram theater. There is even a zoo and a safari theme park with tigers, lions, bears, sea lions, pandas, etc.

The park can get really crowded over the weekends. Try to plan your visit on a weekday if possible.

Download the Everland app which shows the queuing time at each attraction.

How to get there

The park is located 46 kilometers from Seoul.  Here we provide a number of options to reach the park from Seoul.

If you want to reach Everland on your own, you could go by taking the subway and the bus.

Purchase here your Everland tickets:
Everland Tickets

The first option is to take a combination of subway and bus, this will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes:

By subway from Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, and Hongdae. Take the subway to Gangnam station on line 2 (Green). Continue on bus 5002 for 9 stops where the bus will stop at a bus terminal. At this bus terminal, you can change buses for the Free Everland Shuttle Bus.

Alternatively, you can also take a combination of several subway lines so you don’t have to take the bus. This alternative is slightly longer and will take around 2 hours.

Make your way to Wangsimni station. Take the Bundang Line to Giheung station.  Switch to the Yongin Everline to Jeondae Everland Station and take Exit 3.  Here you can take the Free Everland Shuttle Bus which will take you to the park.

A more hassle-free, quicker and comfortable way to get to Everland is with the park’s shuttle bus service. The shuttle bus has several pick-up locations in Seoul and then heads directly to the park entrance.  Depending on where you board the bus the journey takes between 40 and 70 minutes.

More information and tickets:
Shuttle and Tickets

Seoul travel tips

Here we share the best Seoul travel tips.

Cheap flights to Seoul

We are often asked how to find the cheapest flights to Seoul.

A hard question that has no exact answer as flight prices tend to be influenced by so many elements.  It depends on the time of year you will fly, the weekday can have an impact on the price as well as how long in advance you book.  And there are many other elements.

As a guideline, we recommend booking international long-haul trips around found 4 months in advance.  (This is not an exact science but it’s what most experiments tend to show).

It also helps to be as flexible as possible when it comes to your origin and destination airport and your flight dates. 

It may be cheaper to fly from/to a nearby airport and your flight might be cheaper one day earlier or later.

Lastly, we encourage you to compare multiple flight booking sites.  

Bring cash with you 

One of the best tips we can give you is to bring enough cash money.

Seoul is a modern, almost futuristic city, so we absolutely did not expect to have problems with our debit/credit cards but those problems started as soon as we arrived at the airport. 

It took an hour before we found an ATM that accepted our cards.  I’ve never seen so many ATMs at an airport, yet I’ve never been so frustrated that none of them wanted to give me money.

We couldn’t use our cards to pay the toll fees for the highways but we didn’t encounter any problems using our cards in restaurants and supermarkets.

After the unfortunate incident at the airport, we had at least learned our lesson and made sure we always had enough cash with us.

Your experience may vary but we would advise bringing some spare cash as it was obvious that not all ATMs accept all foreign cards and then cash comes in very handy.  (We were not the only tourists who ran from one ATM to another at the airport)

Also, once you have found an ATM that accepts your card, be sure to withdraw enough.

Seoul money-saving tips

We would recommend you to book your tickets for attractions online. Most of the attractions offer cheaper prices when booked online. 

In this post, we will regularly recommend excursions from GetYourGuide or Klook. 

Both are very reliable sites.

Klook is an Asian discount site.  They often have great deals and offer competitive prices on all attractions and tours. 

The one thing you need to keep in mind is that tickets cannot usually be canceled after they have been booked.

GetYourGuide is more flexible and offers the possibility to cancel up to 24 hours in advance on almost all tours when your plans change. 

Take out good travel insurance

We advise you to take out good travel insurance.

You probably won’t need this, but accidents happen when you least expect it and then you will be glad that you are covered. 

Travel insurance from World Nomads is available to people from over 140 countries and covers theft, delayed luggage, medical costs, evacuation, and more. 

Internet in Seoul

South Korea has super-fast internet and many places offer free WiFi. We don’t know why, but often our phones wouldn’t connect to these WiFihotspots.

Because we used several apps to help us travel around Seoul we also bought a local SIM card. The places where you can buy a SIM in Seoul are limited. 

The easiest option is to pick one up at the airport. 

You can reserve a SIM and/or pocket WiFi device online.  This allows you to quietly compare the various options available.  You will then receive a voucher that you can use to quickly and easily collect your SIM at the airport and seconds later you will be on your way to your hotel.

With a local SIM card, you’re sure to always have internet.

These are your options to connect to South Korea’s 4G network.

You can buy a local SIM card for your phone.  You can choose from data-only or data+calls+text SIM cards.  People will no longer be able to reach you on your known number but you could choose to share your new Korean number with your friends and family.  That is of course only if you opted for a SIM card that includes calls and texts.

Purchase your local SIM card in advance here:
SIM Card

or read our full post about the best Korea SIM card. 

Another option is to rent a 4G Pocket WiFi device.  The SIM card is installed in the WiFi device and you, and everybody traveling with you, can connect their phones to this WiFi device to enjoy unlimited internet. 

In addition to being able to easily share your internet, it is also useful that you keep your known number so that friends and family can reach you when necessary.

Rent your 4G Pocket Wifi device here in advance:
4G Pocket Wifi device rental

or read our full post about the best pocket WIFI for Korea.

If you travel regularly you can buy your own 4G Pocket WiFi device for use in Korea and during your other future trips.

Purchase your own pocket wifi device here:
Pocket Wifi device

Changdeokgung Palace Secret Garden Seoul South Korea
The Secret Garden is not to miss during your 4 days in Seoul.

Where to stay in Seoul

Since you only have 4 days in Seoul we recommend that you stay where the action is to minimize unnecessary trips on the subway. 

Therefore we recommend these two hotels in Insa-dong and Myeongdong.


Staying in Insadong means you are staying in one of the most traditional and cultural districts of Seoul close to a lot of major tourist attractions such as Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung and Bukchon Hanok Village. 

This is probably the best place to stay in Seoul if you want to discover a lot of these highlights on foot.

The Sunbee hotel

The Sunbee hotel lies excellent for sightseeing. You will stay in a large room. The friendly hotel staff is always willing to help. You will find lots of restaurants and bars within walking distance. 

Great price-value.

More information and booking:


If you decide to stay in Myeongdong you will be staying in the heart of Seoul’s city center close to the Namsan Seoul Tower.

This is a very popular area to stay with lots of restaurants and pubs.

The Metro Hotel

The Metro hotel offers small clean rooms. The hotel is within walking distance of street food stables, restaurants, and public transportation.

In your room, you will find a complimentary smartphone that you can use and take with you while discovering the city.

More information and booking:

Or read our full guide about the best place to stay in Seoul. If you want to spoil yourself while you are in Seoul, take a look at our list of 15 cool hotels in Seoul.

How to get from the airport to Seoul city center

Seoul has 2 international airports.  Depending on where you’re coming from and with which airline you fly, you will arrive either at Gimpo airport or Incheon airport.

From Gimpo airport

The easiest way to get from Gimpo airport to Seoul city center is with the all-stop  A’REX Airport Express.   

Subway Line 5 also connects the airport with the city center but takes a bit more time to cover the distance. 

Depending on where you’re staying the subway may be a better choice though as you can transfer to several other subway lines during your journey.

Subway line 5 stops closest to Insa-dong. 

When staying in Myeongdong you’re better to take the A’REX Airport Express and transfer to subway line 4 at Seoul station.

Getting from Incheon Airport to Seoul

If you arrive at Incheon Airport, you have several options to get to Seoul’s city center. 

The fastest and cheapest way to get to Seoul station is by taking the A’REX Airport Express. Once at Seoul station you can transfer to subway line 1 to get to Insa-dong or subway line 4 to get to Myeongdong.

You can purchase tickets to the A’REX Airport Express in advance here:
A’rex Incheon Airport Express Train

If you had a long flight and are looking for a more comfortable way to get to your hotel asap, you can also take a private transfer. 

Reserve your private transfer here:
Private Transfer

How to get around Seoul

The easiest way to travel around Seoul is by the subway. 

If you plan to visit lots of Seoul’s major tourist attractions, you should look into the purchase of a 3-day Discover Seoul Pass. 

Discover Seoul Pass

This pass gives you free access to 34 of Seoul’s tourist attractions and a discount on 30 more attractions. You will also get a free one-way A’rex Express train ride. The Discover Seoul Pass also works as a T-money recharge card, a card that you can use to conveniently pay for public transport. 

This pass can save you a lot of money and can conveniently be bought online and collected upon arrival at the airport.

Note that you cannot ride public transport for free.  You need to top-up the card to be able to use it but this saves you the ₩2,500 you would need to pay to buy a separate T-Money card.

Purchase your Discover Seoul Pass here:
Discover Seoul Pass

M-pass Card

An M-pass card is an alternative transportation card that is also only available to tourists.  This card might be better for you if you don’t see any value in the Seoul Discover Pass but plan on using public transportation frequently during your stay in Seoul.

With the M-pass card, you get 20 free rides daily with the subway, bus, or all-stop A’rex airport express for the duration of the pass.

The pass can only be purchased at Incheon airport.

Here you can find more info about this pass. 

You can buy your T-money card here:
T-money Card

T-money recharge Card

If you don’t think that you will benefit from the M-pass card it is still possible to buy a regular T-money recharge card.  A card costs ₩2,500.  The benefits of a card are that you receive a discount of ₩100 on each subway and bus ride and that you conveniently hop on the subway and bus by just swiping your card.

Hop-on Hop-off

Just as any large and touristic city, Seoul also has a hop-on-hop-off bus. The bus takes you along all major attractions and is very convenient to get a first impression of the city as you traverse the various districts and listen to the audio commentary.

The buses run 3 different loops and have an additional night loop which shows you the most beautiful illuminated landmarks of the city after dark.

Book your hop-on hop-off tickets here:

Seoul Hop-on Hop-off bus

Seoul City Bus Tour at Night


This 4-day Seoul itinerary shows all the impressive highlights of the city and it offers some time to discover some of the interesting musea or one of the many amusement parks. 

If you have more time you could have a look at our ultimate Seoul itinerary which offers enough ideas to spend up to 7 days in South Korea’s capital or take a look at our 7 day Korea itinerary. 


If you love to visit another city in Korea, Busan is a great choice. Here you find a list of things to do in Busan. Are you looking for a hotel in Busan, take a look at our where to stay in Busan guide.