2. Seoul City Hall Area, Namdaemun Market, Myeogdong, N Seoul Tower

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The route

In this itinerary the places included are

  • Seoul City Hall: the very center of Seoul
  • Seoul Plaza: the grass plaza in front of Seoul City Hall
  • Deoksu Palace: the old palace across Seoul City Hall
  • Deoksu Palace Wall: the beautiful wall built around Deoksu Palace
  • Seoul Museum of Art: another art museum in Seoul
  • Seoul Museum of History: a museum you can briefly learn about the history of Seoul
  • Myeongdong: the best shopping district in the heart of Seoul next to Namdaemun market
  • Namdaemun Market: the biggest conventional market where you can find everything
  • Namsangol Hanok Village: the beautiful traditional village right under Seoul N Tower
  • Namsan Park: the park below Seoul N Tower
  • N Seoul Tower: one of the best landmarks where you can look down the entire Seoul

 

Why Kimchiman recommends

start your journey from the very centre to see both new and old SEoul. Enjoy Shopping both old and new. get the entire view of seoul at seoul tower.

 

This area is all walkable. Still, you can check the subway exits for each attraction in case you want to visit separately.

 

1. Seoul City Hall

The office of Seoul City is in the new wing at the back and the old one is used as a library.

seoul city hall
Seoul City Hall

Subway: exit 5 of Seoul City Hall Station, line no.1&2, navy blue and green line

Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00

Things to do: Go to ‘sky square’. Get a good view of its nearby area. Enjoy coffee and paintings and other types of art at an art gallery on the 9th floor.

 

2. Seoul Plaza

Green grass square in the the centre of Seoul. Various events are often held on this plaza.

Seoul Plaza
Seoul Plaza

Subway: Exit 5 of Seoul City Hall Station, line no.1&2, navy blue and green line

Things to do: Look around, take photos and take your time on the nearby bench or on the grass.

 

3. Deoksu Palace

The only palace with a western style garden, fountain, and modern royal palace hall. Served as the backdrop for Great Korean Empire.

Deoksu-Palace
Deoksu Palace

Subway: exit 2 and 12 of Seoul City Hall Station, line no.1&2, navy blue and green line

Opening Hours:

  • Mar, Apr, May, Sept. & Oct.: 09:00-21:00
  • Closed on Mondays

Royal Guard Changing Ceremony:

  • 11:00, 14:00 and 15: 30 3 times a day all year round

Admission:

  • 1,000 Won

Free Language Guide Service:

  • English: 10:30 & 13:30 (twice a day)
  • Chinese: 10:00 (except on Sun)  & 14:30 (except on Sat and Sun)

 

4. Deoksugung Doldam-gil Street (palace wall street)

A gorgeous street along the wall around Deoksu Palace

Deoksugung Doldamgil
Deoksugung Doldamgil

Things to do: Stroll along the wall taking it easy. You can get great pictures here due to the beautiful wall and trees alongside.

 

5. Seoul Museum of Art

Meet the artist of both international and Korean

Seoul Museum of Art
Seoul Museum of Art

Address: 61 Deoksugung-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul 04515

Subway: exit 10 of Seoul City Hall Station, line no.1&2, navy blue and green line

Opening Hours:

  • March – Oct: 10:00 – 20:00 Weekdays / 10:00 – 19:00 Sat, Sun, national holidays
  • Nov – Feb: 10:00 – 20:00 Weekdays / 10:00 – 18:00 Sat, Sun, national holidays
  • Museum Night (Jan-Aug): Open until 10 pm every first and third Tuesdays of the month
  • Museum Night (Sep-Dec): Open until 10 PM every Second and last Wednesdays(Culture Day) of the month

Admission:

  • Free for regular exhibitions
  • Fees can vary depending upon special exhibitions.

 

6. Seoul Museum of History

You can get a glimpse of the life and culture in the early days of Seoul and see the scale model of the city, providing a panoramic view of Seoul.

Seoul Museum of History
Seoul Museum of History

Address: 55, Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Subway:

  1. 7 minutes’ walk (470m) from Exits 6, 7, 8, Gwanghwamun Station, Seoul Subway Line No.5
  2. 28 minutes’ walk (600m) from Exit 4, Seodaemun Station, Seoul Subway Line No.5
  3. 516 minutes’ walk (980m) from Exit 12, Seoul City Hall Station, Seoul Subway Line No.2

Opening Hours:

  • March – Oct: 09:00 – 20:00 Weekdays / 10:00 – 19:00 Sat, Sun, National Holidays
  • Nov – Feb: 10:00 – 20:00 Weekdays / 10:00 – 18:00 Sat, Sun, National Holidays

Until here the above venues are all in one area, so you can begin your tour from no.1, Seoul City Hall.

From here you can choose to go to Myeongdong or Namdaemun, both of which are equally close to the city hall area. I recommend that you go to Namdaemun first or/and then Myeongdong that is closer to Namsangol Hanok village.

 

7. Sungnyemun (Namdaemun)

Designated as national treasure no.1, also called as Namdaemun.

Sungnyemun
Sungnyemun

Address: 40, Saejongdae-ro, Jungg-gu, Seoul

Subway:

exit 6 of Myeongdong Station, sky blue line, no.4 and walk 300 meters on the main road right across from the gate1 of Namdeamun Market

Things to do: Cross the crosswalk from that angle in the picture above, take your time and enjoy. You can get a great picture of Namdaemun and the guards.

Info: It was burned down by a drunken homeless Feb 11, 2008 and was restored in 2013. Most people in Korea were mad. Ever since then, the government has reinforced security to protect it safely.

 

8. Namdaemun Market

The largest conventional market in Korea

Food at street stalls in Namdaemun Market
Food at street stalls in Namdaemun Market

Subway:

  • exit 5 of Myeongdong Station, sky blue line, no.4
  • exit 7 of Seoul City Hall Station navy blue line, no.1 and walk 400m for 10 minutes.

Opening Hours: 

  • Most shops are open from 10: 00 til around 18: 00, but street stalls and stores on the main alley are open until around 21: 00.  Some shops are open 23: 00 – 18: 00 from night until late afternoon.
  • Closed on Sundays, lunar claendar new year, Chuseok and summer holidays

Things to do: You can buy basically everything; clothes, household goods, health supplements, foods and you name it. This area is famous for its low prices and hospitality. You can always haggle with the store owner. The foods are very nice and quite cheap, too.

 

9. Myeongdong

The best and the most vibrant shopping area in Seoul; cosmetics, clothes, shoes, accessories and a lot more!

Myeongdong
Street of Myeongdong

Subway:

  • exit 6 of Myeongdong Station, sky blue line, no.4
  • exit 5 of Eunjiroipgu Station (At the station it says Euljiro1ga station), green line, no.2

Opening Hours: Most shops are open from 10: 30 til around 22: 00

Things to do: There is so much exciting stuff that will catch your eyes. Do shopping, eat street food and Myeongdong donkatsu (pork cutlet).

Tip: Street foods here tend to be twice more expensive than in other areas due to the expensive property factor.

 

10. Namsangol Hanok Village

Well preserved traditional houses, Hanok, Pavillion and a pond in Korean traditional village during Joseon Dynasty

Namsan Hanok Village
Namsangol Hanok Village

Address: 28, Toegye-ro 34-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul

Subway: exit 3 and 4 of Chungmuro Station, orange line, no.3 and walk 3 minutes.

Opening Hours: 

  • Apr – Oct: 09:00 – 21:00
  • Nov – Mar: 9:00 – 20:00
  • Closed on Tuesdays

Guided Tour: Call 02-224-4412

 

11. Namsan Park

A well-preserved park at the foot of Namsan in the center of Seoul.

Namsan Park
Namsan Park

Directions: You can walk to this park from Namsangol Hanok Village. From Namdaemun Market, start your journey from gate 1 of Namdaemun Market up onto the hill. And you can ask people for directions if you get lost. When you actually go up there, you will find that it is actually not so difficult. You will have a spectacular view. When asking passers-by for the directions to Namsan Park, you can say ‘Namsan Park” when asking directions. 🙂

Things to do: It is a nice park in the middle of a city up on the mountain. It is more like a hill. Get some water before you go because you will not see many supermarkets around. In this area you can see N Seoul Tower, the leafy park, Palgak Pavillion, Namsan Botanical Garden and the National Theater of Korea.

 

12. N Seoul Tower

See the entire Seoul at this tower built upon Nam Mountain

N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower

How to get here: You can basically reach here through Namsangol Hanok Village, Namsan Park and the walking path.There are so many ways to get there.

There are so many ways to get N Seoul Tower, among which I introduce 2 easiest and cheapest ways to reach as below from Namdaemun and Namasangol Hanok Village.

Bus: no.2

  • exit 2 (Daehan Movie Theatre) of Chungmoro station
  • exit 6, Dongdae Ipgu (Dongdeok Women’s University)
  • Running Hours: 07:00 – 23:00

Bus: no.3

  • exit 9 of Seoul Station (line 1&4)
  • exit 4 of Itaewon Station (line 6)
  • exit 2 of Hangangjin Station (line 6)
  • Running Hours: 07:30 – 23:00

Bus: no.5

  • exit 3 of Myeongdong Station (line 4)
  • exit 2 (Daehan Movie Theatre) of Chungmoro station
  • Running Hours: 07:30 – 23:00

Fare: 1,200 Won or 1,100 won with a metro card

Opening Hours:

  • Mon – Fri & Sun 10: 00 – 23: 00
  • Sat 10: 00 – 24: 00

Admission for observatory:

  • Adults 10,000 won
  • Under age 13 8,000 won

Things to to: Looking at the whole city of Seoul

Tip: On sunny days and during night time, the view from the tower can be better. You don’t have to pay if you don’t want to get up to the tower.

Now get some rest 😉

 

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