1 Day Itinerary Seoul | What To Do in Seoul in 1 Day

So you only have one day to spend in Seoul, South Korea? This is your must-see 1 day itinerary Seoul which will allow you to get a taste of the vibrant metropolitan and see the real highlights. While making the most of your money and time with the 24 hour Discover Seoul Pass. Read on to find out more about what to see in Seoul in one day.

1 Day Itinerary Seoul

Must-See 1 Day Itinerary Seoul Summary

  • One day in Seoul is enough to get a taste of the city. Just don’t try to overdo it and visit too much. Use
  • If you have only a day in Seoul, it is highly recommended to purchase a Discover Seoul Pass. This pass gives you instant access to over 35 attractions and is more cost effective. More info here.
  • When you have only one day in Seoul and will spend the night in the city as well, make sure to pick an accommodation that is located in the central area, like Jongno, Myeongdong, Itaewon or Seoul station.
  • If you don’t have a hotel book, it is recommended to leave your luggage in storage at Seoul Station. This way, you don’t need to carry it around all day.
  • Have more that 1 day in Seoul? Check out the other Seoul itineraries.
1 day itinerary seoul

Things To Know When Visiting Seoul

  • What To Wear – This will depend on which season you will be visiting Seoul. If you are coming in winter, wear a thick jacket, in summer bring sunglasses and sunblock. More info here.
  • Travel Converters – Make sure to bring a travel adapter when visiting from America, Japan or other countries. Check which travel converters to use here.
  • Tipping In Seoul: There is a no tipping culture in Korea. The only occasions where it is ok to tip is in a taxi or during a tour.
  • Hanbok Souvenirs: The hanbok is traditional wear from Korea. It is the perfect souvenir to take back home, especially the modern Korean hanbok.

Discover Seoul Pass Review

The discover Seoul pass is a card valid for 24/48/72 hours. Upon activation it gives you instant access to over 35 attractions in Seoul. If you have only 1 day in Seoul and want to visit the main attractions this pass is definitely worth getting.

discover seoul pass one day

1. Is The Discover Seoul Pass Worth It?

Well, this depends on how many and which places you want to visit. If your itinerary only includes places with an entrance fee of 2000 to 5000 krw, like the palaces, Jongmyo Shrine and Seodaemun Prision, the pass isn’t worth it.

If you are planning on visiting places with expensive entrance fees, then yes, the pass is definitely worth it. Many museums and attractions have entrance fees around 20 000 krw, just visiting 2 of these kind of places with the Discover Seoul Pass will help you save money.

2. Where To Buy Discover Seoul Pass

Online is the best place to buy the Discover Seoul Pass. Below is a list of places that sell the Seoul pass and how far in advance they need to be purchased.

  • Pick up in Seoul – 36 000 krw – Minimum 4 days before using date. Pick up at Incheon Airport, Gimpo Airport or Myeongdong. More info here.
  • Pick up in Incheon – 36 000 krw – Same day pick up at ICN Airport Terminal 1. More info here.
  • Pick up in Seoul & Incheon – 36 000 krw – Minimum 2 days before using date. More info here.

3. How To Maximize Discover Seoul Pass

When purchasing the Seoul tourist pass, make sure to prepare your itinerary. Check the opening times and group things that are located in the same area.

Start early in the morning when the first attraction opens. Do the attractions that are open till late in the evening last.

The Discover Seoul Pass can also be used as a T-Money Card, so no need to purchase an additional T-Money Card.

Download the Discover Seoul Pass App. Here you can track your time and book tickets for the AREX train.

1 Day Itinerary Seoul

Listed below are 2 different itineraries. The first one, for first timers in Seoul. The second one for returning visitors, looking to get the most out of the Discovery pass.

1. Fast Paced, First Timers 1 Day Itinerary

Below is the ultimate 1 day itinerary Seoul, perfect for first timers in this mega city! With the Discover Seoul pass, entrance to all the attractions (including tourist sightseeing bus) are free. Note: this itinerary is quite fast paced. If you want to take is slow, pick and choose the places you want to visit best.

1.1 Morning Itinerary

  • 9:00am: Make your way to Gyeongbokgung Palace in central Seoul. Visit the palace and Gwanghwamun square.
  • 10:30am: From Gyeongbokgung Palace walk towards Insadong shopping street. Do some souvenir shopping and try traditional Korean tea in one of the many tea houses. Optionally, visit the Alive Museum or Running Man Experience.
  • 11:30am: From Insadong walk towards Myeongdong, enjoy cosmetic shopping, try have lunch in the area. Check what to eat in Myeongdong here.
1 day in seoul

1.1 Afternoon Itinerary

  • 1:00pm: Take the subway from Myeongdong Station to Hanggangjin Station. Spend the next 1,5 hour visiting the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art.
  • 2:30pm: Make your way to Namsan Tower using the hop-on hop-off bus. (Tickets for the bus need to be picked up in advance from Gwanghwamun). Use the Discover Seoul Pass to go all the way to the top of the tower and experience wearing a traditional Korean hanbok.
  • 4:00pm: Continue with the hop-on hop-off bus and go to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Visit the stunning building and enjoy shopping in the area.
  • 6:00pm: Make your way to the south of the river and spend the evening in Gangnam. Visit SMTOWN@coexartium or the COEX aquarium. Have dinner in the area after your visit.
  • 8:00pm: Take the subway from Samseong station to Mullae Station and visit Selala Jjimjilbang. Relax after a busy day of sightseeing. The first 12 hours are free, after an additional fee needs to be paid. If you don’t have an accommodation book, it is possible to spend the night here. If you enjoy a Jjimjilbang, consider adding a Korean health checkup to your itinerary.
  • (Optional) 11:00pm: Make your way to Itaewon or Hongdae for an evening of partying.

1.2 Cost Of 1 Day Itinerary

Below is a breakdown of the individual prices of all these activities and the amount of money you would save when using the Discover Seoul Pass.

Gyeongbokgung Palace: 3000 krw
Basic T-Money Card: 4000 krw
Alive Museum: 12 000 krw
Leeum Art Museum: 10 000 krw
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus: 18 000 krw
Namsan Tower: 10 000 krw
Hanbok Experience Namsan Tower: 18 000 krw
SMTOWN@coexartium: 18 000 krw
Sealala Jjimjilbang: 8000 krw
Total Price: 101 000 krw
Money Saved With Discover Seoul Pass: 101 000 – 36 000(pass price) = 65 000 krw

*Even if you don’t manage to visit all the places listed above and prefer to take is slower, you will still manage to save money. Note: these calculations don’t include the discounts you will receive when shopping in the big department stores.

2. Maximize The Use Of Seoul Pass, 1 Day Itinerary

The following itinerary is for people looking to get the most out the Seoul pass. This is not an itinerary for first timers to Seoul as it does not include major sites like the palaces. This one day itinerary is for those returning to Seoul and looking to visit more unique places using the Discover Seoul Pass.

2.1 Morning Itinerary

  • 9:00am: Start the day in Insadong and spend time at the Running Man experience and Alive Museum.
  • 11:00am: Start the day in Bukchon Village and enjoy wearing a traditional or themed hanbok. Take stunning pictures in Bukchon hanok village and return the hanbok when finished. Have lunch in the area.

2.2 Afternoon Itinerary

  • 1:00pm: Make your way to COEX, Gangnam and visit the 2 following locations: SMTOWN Museum and COEX Aquarium. These two places are withing walking distance of each other.
  • 4:00pm: Go to the Figure Museum W in Apgujeong area. Spend the next 1,5 hour at the combined theme park and figure/toys museum.
  • 6:00pm: Make your way back to Gwanghwamun Square, have dinner in the area and pick up your tickets for the night sightseeing bus.
  • 7:30pm: Hop on the night sightseeing tour bus and enjoy the night views of Seoul for the next 90 minutes.
  • 9:00pm: Take the subway from Samseong station to Mullae Station and visit Selala Jjimjilbang. Relax after a busy day of sightseeing. The first 12 hours are free, after an additional fee needs to be paid. If you don’t have an accommodation book, it is possible to spend the night here.
  • (Optional) 11:00pm: Make your way to Itaewon or Hongdae for an evening of partying.
discovery seoul pass

2.2 Cost Of 1 Day Itinerary

Alive Museum: 12 000 krw
Running Man Experience: 16 000 krw
Hanboknam: minimu 20 000 krw
SMTOWN@coexartium: 18 000 krw
COEX Aquarium: 28 000 krw
Figure Museum W: 15 000 krw
Night Sightseeing Bus: 18 000 krw
Sealala Jjimjilbang: 8000 krw
Basic T-Money Card: 4000 krw
Total Price: 139 000 krw
Money Saved With Discover Seoul Pass: 139 000 – 36 000(pass price) = 103 000 krw

Other Things To Do With Discover Seoul Pass

Below is an overview of other activities that can be enjoyed with the Discover Seoul Pass. Use this to create your own 1 day itinerary Seoul, based on places you want to visit. All the attractions below are free with a Seoul tourist pass.

1. Historic Sights

Pick one or two historic sights to add to your one day in Seoul itinerary. It is recommended to visit Gyeongbokgung palace, as that is the first and biggest royal Joseon palace in Seoul.

discover seoul pass review

2. Cultural Museums

  • Leeum Samsung Museum of Art: an independent ‘instagrammable‘ art museum owned by Samsung. For first timers in Korea, this museum is a better place to visit than the National Museum of Korea. It is less crowded and a bit smaller, but that makes it clearer to understand. 10 000 krw.
  • National Museum of Korea: Free. Exhibition prices vary.
  • National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art: 4000 krw.
  • Museum Kimchikan: a museum dedicated to kimchi. 5000 krw.
  • Coreana Cosmetics Museum: this museum was designed to promote and preserve cosmetic products and beauty items. 5000 krw.
  • Simone Handbag Museum: 5000 krw.

3. Amusement

1 day trip in seoul
  • N Seoul Tower Observatory: 10 000 krw.
  • Namsan Seoul Tower Hanbok Culture Experience Center: 18 000 krw.
  • 63 Building: 63 aquarium & 63 observation deck and cafe. 20 000 krw.
  • MBC World: Korea’s first hallyu theme park by the MBC Broadcasting channel. 18 000 krw.
  • Trick Eye & Ice Museum: 15 000 krw
  • Grévin Museum: A wax figure museum in Myeongdong. Figures include Korean and international celebrities. 18 000 krw.
  • Figure Museum W/ Alive Museum: 15 000 krw.
  • Alive Museum: 12 000 krw.
  • Hanboknam: Hanbok rental shop in Bukcheon Village. Price starts at 10 000 krw.
  • SMTOWN@coexartium: 18 000 krw
  • Teseum Seoul: Teddy Bear museum in Dongdaemun. 13 000 krw.
  • Running Man Thematic Experience Center Ep.1. 16 000 krw.
  • Seoul Battleship Park: 3000 krw.
  • COEX Aquarium: A stunning aquarium in COEX. Perfect thing to do with kids in Seoul. 28 000 krw.
  • Football Faentasium: football themed experience museum. 15 000 krw.
  • Sealala Water Park: 8000 krw
  • Namsangol Hanok Village: free (with discover seoul pass card, you’ll receive a free drink at the cafe)
  • Seoul Animation Center: free, exhibition prices vary.

4. Transport

The Discover Seoul pass also works as a T-Money card and can be used on subways, buses and in taxis. Others ways of transport are listed below.

  • Seoul City Tour Double-Decker Bus: 18 000 krw.
  • Seoul City Tour Bus (Gwanghwamun): 18 000 krw.
  • Airport Railroad (AREX): 8000 krw.
  • Seoul Bike

5. Performances

Visitors with a Discover Seoul pass will receive a discount on the performances listed below. The would be a perfect addition to the 1 day itinerary Seoul.

  • Fanta-Stick: a fusion Gugak performance. 40 000 krw (30% Discount with Seoul Pass)
  • Jump: the performance is filled with cool choreographies and martial arts. 40 000 krw (25% Discount).
  • Musical Chef: if you love beatboxing and b-boying, then this is the performance for you! 40 000 krw (30% Discount).
  • National Gugak Center: each day of the week, the National Gugak center has traditional Korean performances on. 10 000 krw (30% Discount)
  • Nanta: one of the most famous Korean performances. This is a non-verbal performance where they use salmulnori instruments (traditional. Korean drums). 40 000 krw. (20% Discount)
  • and many more!
seoul tourist pass

6. Shopping

The following department stores offer a discount or gifts to owners of a Discover Seoul Pass.

  • DOOTA Duty Free
  • SM Duty Free
  • Dongwha Duty Free
  • Lotte Duty Free
  • Shilla I-Park Duty Free
  • Shinsegae Duty Free Myeongdong

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the must-visit tourist spots in Seoul that can be covered in one day?

If you have just one day to explore Seoul, you should visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namsan Tower, and Myeong-dong shopping district. These are the most popular attractions in the city and offer a glimpse of the rich culture and history of South Korea.

How do I plan my one-day itinerary in Seoul?

To plan a one-day itinerary in Seoul, you should start early and prioritize the places you want to visit. Consider visiting places that are close to each other, to save time and transportation costs. You can use public transportation, such as the subway or buses, to travel around the city. Also, be sure to allocate enough time for each attraction and plan your meals and breaks accordingly.

Is it possible to visit both the DMZ and other attractions in Seoul in one day?

No, it is not possible to visit both the DMZ and other attractions in Seoul in one day. The DMZ tour requires at least half a day, and it is located outside of Seoul. Therefore, it is recommended to plan a separate day for the DMZ tour and another day to explore the city. However, if you have limited time and want to visit both the DMZ and other attractions in Seoul, you can consider taking a guided tour that covers both in a single day.

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Are you planning on staying one day in Seoul? Do you have any questions about this recommended 1 day itinerary Seoul or the Discover Seoul Pass? Have any suggestions on things to add to this itinerary for 1 day in Seoul? Let me know in the comment section below.

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