Seoul is known as South Korea`s capital however it has been an important city for centuries for the whole Korean peninsula. Even though it was damaged during the colonial era, it managed to keep its best historical sites, not failing to enchant us with its charm where the old embraces the new. Seoul has a lot to offer, from VR experience to brewing traditional Korean wine. Not mentioning the food, it is a paradise where you can get to try not only traditional food, palace food. But also, thanks to the many foreign villages found in the capital of South Korea you can definitely find something to satisfy your taste.
In my opinion, there are a lot of gems in Seoul and I dare to say that this capital sometimes is unrated for what it really has to offer. There you can see my ideal one-day date in Seoul. And when I say date if can be with your bestie as well. The most important thing is to enjoy and not miss out on the most important spots. And here are some of my favourite hot spots for a date in Seoul:
Trace the old, traditional Korea
Let`s begin with the old. Seoul has a lot of historical places that are registered in the UNESCO. Of course, it is full of tourists and all of them are worth visiting. The most visited palace is Gyeongbokgung which indeed is amazing, however, I would like to recommend Deoksugung (덕수궁) which is located near the City Hall. If you want to really go back in time, rent traditional clothes as you walk around.
Deoksugung (means palace of virtuous longevity) is one of a kind among the five palaces that are in Seoul. Firstly, when it was built, the architects did not respect the traditional pungsu (geomancy) and they built it on a flat terrain. Furthermore, it is the place that witnessed the fall of the last king and queen of Korea. In the same time, is the only palace where you can see both western and oriental architecture style combining.
Jeonggwanheon Hall located in the palace was built by a Russian architect and it is said to be the place where coffee was introduced for the first time introduced to Sungjong (Korea`s last emperor) and where the foreign guests used to enjoy the banquets.
Located in one of the busiest intersections in Seoul, it is easy to be reached by both subway and bus. Entrance fee: 1 dollar.
Walk along Han River
Han River is for sure one of the most popular spots in Seoul. This river has a big significance in the history of Korea. The rapid economic growth of South Korea was named the Miracle of Han River.
It is not only a place of recreation but also a source of water for 12 million habitants. Interestingly, it is big enough but people do not get to see all its hidden gems. There are in total 27 bridges that cross Han river and it is a hot spot for filming Korean dramas. It does not matter if you rent a bike and explore its unknown sites or you just go for a picnic with friends, Han River remains the best on a budget spot while in Seoul.
Sipping tasty coffee in a retro coffee shop
Hakrim means the Forest of Learning and it is known as being the oldest coffee shop that still remains until nowadays in Seoul. The coffee is indeed tasty and pricy and almost always you have to wait at least 20 minutes in order to get a table. Maybe its location in Daehangno (means college street) which is a mecca for young people, students and artists in Korea makes it even more popular. Opened in 1956 it used to be a place for people who gathered to discuss politics, literature and fight for their ideas and principles. Hakrim kept its retro style with old furniture and sometimes is used as a filming location for different movies and dramas. But one thing is for sure, this coffee shop kept its authenticity and is indeed a gem of Seoul.
Afternoon adrenaline kick at Lotte World
This theme park has a lot to offer and meets the expectations of both foodies or adventure hunters. Being equipped with an ice rink, department store, indoor and outdoor thrilling rides is the best place where you can spend your afternoon. I mentioned afternoon because if you go after 16:00 you will get three times a cheaper ticket and if you show them a foreign passport you can get more discount. How awesome is that? In fact, Lotte World can easily compete with Disneyland in terms of facilities that is why is a must while in Seoul. The afternoon ticket is around 15 dollars and you can ride until midnight (around 11:30).