Seoul Itinerary 4 Days | Where To Go, Eat, Stay In Seoul
Seoul is a great city to visit during a long weekend city trip in Asia. It is a vibrant capital with lots to offer for foreign travelers visiting Korea and Seoul. Everything from history, cultural events, nightlife and much more. Read on for the best Seoul Itinerary 4 Days.
When staying 4 days in Seoul it is recommended to spend at 3 days visiting the city center and other areas in Seoul. The other day can be used for doing a one day trip outside Seoul.
This itinerary assumes visitors arrive in South Korea at Incheon International Airport or Gimpo Airport and are looking for a 4 days 3 nights Seoul itinerary (4d3n). This 4 days itinerary in Seoul, Korea is made especially for first timers. It can be used for summer, autumn, winter and spring in Seoul
- Things To Know When Planning A Trip To Seoul, South Korea
- Where To Stay In Seoul
- Seoul Itinerary 4 Days: Day One
- Seoul Itinerary 4 Days: Day Two
- Seoul Itinerary 4 Days: Day 3
- Seoul Itinerary 4 Days: Day Four
- Frequently Asked Questions
Things To Know When Planning A Trip To Seoul, South Korea
- How much to bring to Seoul for 4 days – Your packing list will depend on what season you’ll be visiting Seoul. Each season has different temperatures and weather conditions, make sure to be prepared by checking what to pack for Seoul here.
- Seoul Hop-on Hop-off – Make the most of your time in Seoul by booking the hop-on hop-off tour bus going past the major tourist attractions. Check more info here.
- Travel Converters – Bring the right adapter on your trip to South Korea. The outlets in Korea are the same as the ones in mainland Europe. Find out more about travel converters here.
- Money Transportation Card – When using public transport to get around Seoul, it is recommended to purchase a T Money transport card. Buy card here.
- Seoul Visitors Pass – Use this 24/48/72 hours pass to get in the major attractions of Seoul including the palaces, Jongmyo shrine, N Tower and many other attractions around the city. The Seoul Pass needs to be purchased online. Check more info here.
- Online Foreigner Discounts – The major attractions in Seoul offer exclusive foreigner discount tickets up to 70%. These entrance tickets need to be purchased online. Check Trazy or Klook for the best discounts.
Where To Stay In Seoul
When only 4 days in Seoul it is recommended to stay in the Myeongdong, Jongno or Itaewon area. This is an area well connected to the airport and other areas in Seoul. The following hotels and accommodations are located in these areas.
- Lotte City Hotel – $$$ – Located on the main street of Myeongdong, this hotel is a comfortable base to explore the city from. This is one of the most booked hotels in the city and is a good choice for travelers looking for luxury.
- G Guesthouse – $ – The best hostel guesthouse to stay at for your travelers on a budget. This Guesthouse is a 5 minute walk away from the Itaewon subway station and the bar/clubbing street.
- The Cube Hotel – $ – A very high rated cube style hostel. In each dormitory, there are small cube beds with curtains all around, for optimal privacy.
- Creto Hotel Myeongdong – $$ – Spacious rooms for up to 4 people. A great breakfast is available for a small extra fee. A quiet hotel is the busy shopping and restaurant area.
Seoul Itinerary 4 Days: Day One
Use the first day of the Seoul Itinerary 4 days to explore the historic center of Seoul. This is the original center of when Seoul was first established in the Joseon Dynasty almost 1000 years ago.
The must see places in down town Seoul are Gwanghwamun and Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon village, Insadong, Jongno and Myeongdong area. All these areas lie withing walking distance, there is no need to get around by taxi, bus or subway.
1. Visit Gyeongbokgung or Changdeokgung Palace
Even though there are five palaces in central Seoul, stick to visiting one of the two main ones. These palaces are extremely grand and a great example of Korean traditional architecture in Seoul. Gyeongbokgung Palace was the first constructed in Seoul and is known for having a special changing of the guard ceremony twice a day. Changdeokgung Palace is the second palace built in Seoul. It is famous for it’s secret Korean garden that can only be visited with a guide.
If you would be in Seoul longer, you could definitely visit one of the other 3 palaces. The names are Deoksugung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace and Gyeonghuigung Palace. For such a short time there are better things to do in Seoul in 4 days.
- ★ Changdeokgung Palace – The was the 2nd palace built in Seoul, as the first one was destroyed multiple times during fires and wars. It is only 500 meters away from the first palace, Gyeongbokgung. This palace is rather special as it is considered as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO since 1997. Open daily 9 AM – 5 PM, except Mondays.
- ★ Gyeongbokgung Palace – This stunning palace was constructed over 700 years ago and is the oldest and biggest palace in the city. The main gate is facing South towards the statue of King Sejeong, whom invented the Korean alphabet back in the days. Open daily 9 AM – 6 PM, except Tuesdays. Changing of the guard ceremony is at 11 AM and 1 PM. TIP! National Palace Museum and the ★ National Folk Museum(free) are located on the palace grounds.
2. A Temple, A Shrine And A Cathedral
Korea has quite an interesting story when it comes to religion and this can still be seen today. The main society in Korea is considered Confucian, which is not really a religion but more of a lifestyle. The Jongmyo Shrine is a result of the Confusion society. It was built during the Joseon Dynasty and was use to perform ceremonies by the Royal Family.
Then there are the other two main religions, Buddhism and Christianity. Both the religions are of a similar size and both had a hard time at some point during the Joseon Dynasty.
Buddhism has two different orders in Korea, the Jogye and Taego order with the Jogye order being the main one. The main temple of this order is Jogyesa Temple in central Seoul. This is a rather small temple but has a great atmosphere and changes decoration all year around. Other temples in Korea that belong to this temple are Bulguksa and Golgulsa Temple. The cool thing about Jogyesa is that it has a cool temple stay program and offers free craft activities at the other side of the street in the Buddhist information center.
The Myeongdong Cathedral is a roman catholic church in the center of Myeongdong. The stairs leading up to the church make the church even more impressive.
Visiting each of these 3 religious institutions will help you better understand the different religions in Korea and the struggles each of these had.
3. Where To Eat For Lunch And Dinner
The best areas to have dinner at in Seoul are Insadong and Myeongdong. These areas are filled with different kinds of restaurants, dessert cafes and street food vendors. All kinds of food can be found here from the best Korean dishes like Samgyetang, Gomtang and Kalguksu to lots of foreign food and halal restaurants. During evening time or weekend these restaurants can get pretty busy, so it is recommended to make a reservation online for the most popular restaurants in the area.
Other areas that are nice to eat at are listed below
- Ikseondong – If you are looking for a hipster area where many young Korean people hang out, then Ikseongdong is the place to go. This is one of the oldest areas in Seoul and became very popular during the past year for its great restaurants and cute bars. Check more info here.
- ★ Gwangjang Market – This market is the best place to try some delicious local street food. The market used to be part of Dongdaemun but is now its own food and textile market. It is the oldest one remaining in Seoul and has more than 2000 shops in the building. It is recommended to take a food tour in this market as it allows you to sample different kinds of dishes in the market.
- Namdaemun Market – Namdaemun Market is located close to Seoul station and sells all kinds of stuff from food, clothing, toys, suitcases, shoes and much more. The market is huge and feels like a giant maze.
4. Shop Till You Drop In Insadong And Myeongdong
Shopping in Korea is very popular. Many travelers from other Asian countries come to Korea just for shopping. There are no better areas to go to then Myeongdong and Insadong. Both areas are quite different from each other, but they are a must include in the Seoul itinerary 4 days.
The Insadong area used to be an antique shop area towards the end of the Joseon Dynasty. Now Insadong is filled with art galleries, souvenir shops, tea houses and coffee shops, restaurants and craft supply stores. The area houses over 100 different galleries, which feature all sorts of Korean art.
Myeongdong area is a newer and trendier area with many department stores, street food vendors, K-POP merchandise shops, an underground shopping mall, cosmetic stores and much more.
If you don’t know what to do in Seoul for 4 days then check out some of the best museums that are worth paying a visit to, especially on a rainy day, are the Grevin Wax museum, Alive Museum, Kimchi Museum, and Beautiful Tea Museum.
6. The Traditional Bukchon Village
The most stunning and instagrammable area in Seoul. This village lies in the north of the city, between the 2 main palaces, Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung Palace. It was home to the upper class of Seoul, mainly very wealthy families that were working for the royal court. The wealth of the people during those days can clearly be seen in the architecture of the buildings and the whole village. This is something you must include in the Seoul itinerary 4 days! Check more info here.
Other attractions or sites in the area that are worth visiting.
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art – A the biggest modern art museum in Korea that has temporary exhibitions featuring local Korean and international artists. Check more info here.
- Unhyeong Palace – This is not one of the five palaces as it was more of a residential home to family members of the royal family. The last King of the Joseon dynasty grew up in this palace until he was old enough to take the throne. This palace is free to enter and is unique in the way it is decorated. Check more info here.
7. Optional: Medical Tourism
Seoul, the capital of medical tourism, has a huge selection of clinics offering a wide range of affordable facial treatments, such as dark circle treatment and acne scar treatment. You can also find clinics offering Korean medical health checkups or more invasive procedures like plastic surgery (hair transplants, liposuction, rhinoplasty, and LASIK eye correction).
One of the benefits of booking any skincare treatment or medical procedure in Seoul is combining it with visiting tourist sights around Seoul. Most procedures requiring minimal recovery time, often lasting only an hour or two, it can easily be combined with a lot of other tourist experiences in Seoul’s vibrant culture.
Seoul Itinerary 4 Days: Day Two
Use the 2nd day of the Seoul itinerary 4 days to go on a day trip from Seoul. Leave early in the morning from your hotel in Seoul and come back at the end of the day. There are a lot of beautiful destinations in the Gyeonggi-do province which is very easily accessible from Seoul by bus or even by subway.
1. The Best Day Trips All Year Around
The most popular destinations from Seoul is the DMZ and JSA, Nami Island and the Everland Theme Park. All these are around an hour away from central Seoul. Include one of these trips in your Seoul Itinerary 4 days.
Demilitarization Zone And Joined Security Area
The JSA and DMZ is a must go day trip, especially for history lovers. This is located on the border of North and South Korea, which is only 60 kilometers from Seoul. The easiest way to visit is by booking an online tour, leaving from Seoul. If there are tensions between North and South Korea, it is possible that the JSA is closed for tourists.
Below is a list of the best sites in the DMZ area of Paju.
- ★ Dora Observatory – The Dora Observatory is an observation deck viewing over the North Korean country side. Free binoculars are present which allows you to have a closer look at one of the cities across the border.
- ★ Joint Security Area – The JSA is a well know site as it lies on the border of the two countries. This is the closest you will get to North Korea from the South. Check more info here!
- Other Attractions – Each tour includes other sites. These could be the Dorasan Station, the Unification Village, Infiltration Tunnels and the Unification Bridge.
Other Popular Day Trips From Seoul
- Everland Amusement Park – This is the biggest amusement park in South Korea. The theme parked is divided in different areas and includes an abundance of animals like pandas, ice bears, tigers, llamas and much more. Another popular attraction is the T Express roller coaster.
Check more info here.
- ★ Nami Island – Nami Island became famous when being feature on Winter Sonata, a very popular Korean drama. This island is especially beautiful during the spring and autumn season. Other attractions in the area are La Petite France, the Garden of the Morning Calm and Gapyeong rail bike. This day trip will make your four days in Seoul complete. The Nami Island shuttle bus from Seoul will take your right to the entrance of the stunning island.
Check more info here.
Seoul Itinerary 4 Days: Day 3
Use the third day to explore the newer areas in Seoul including Hongdae, Dongdaemun, Itaewon and Gangnam. Each area has its own characteristics and different atmosphere. The areas listed below are also where to go in Seoul at night when looking for cool clubs or bars.
1. Itaewon Area
This area is a go to for eating western food and to explore the bar and clubbing scene in Seoul. Itaewon is home to many foreign expats, that’s why it is also called the foreigner area of Seoul. Check the best attractions in Itaewon here.
2. Hongdae Area
Hongdae is the student area of Seoul as it houses one of the major universities. When walking around Hongdae, many street performers like dancers and singers can be spotted. It is also a popular place for shopping, eating out and visiting themed coffee shops.
Check what to do and where to visit in Hongdae below.
- Nanta Cooking Show – The most famous Korean show in and outside the country. It is a humorous stunt/magic shows about chefs that are preparing a wedding buffet. Obviously, many things go wrong.
Check prices and info here.
- ★ The Trick Eye and Love Museum – An awesome museum in Seoul for friends, couples and families. The museum is all about optical illusion photo zones. This is a perfect place to go during a rainy day.
Check more info here.
- ★ Hongdae Crafting Workshop – Just like Itaewon, Hongdae is home to many arts and craft workshops. These workshops offer all kinds of classes like leather products, rings, ceramic figurines, neon decoration lights, pottery or Korean cooking.
3. The Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)
The Dongdaemun area is famous for its stunning Design Plaza, designed by Zaha Hadid. An internationally known British/Iraqi architect. The DDP is a big event hall that houses temporary exhibitions, fairs, events and the oh-so famous Seoul Fashion Week.
Whats interesting about this area is the combination of a organic futuristic building, surrounded with the traditional Dongdaemun clothing market, the Dongmyo vintage clothe market and all the biggest department stores in Seoul.
If you are looking to shop, then this is the place to be. Other things to do in the area of the DDP are listed below.
- L’atelier Museum – An interactive museum that brings the most famous paintings back to life with music, interactive displays, light shows, etc.
Check more info here.
- Ihwa Art Mural Village – This mural art village used to be one of the poorest areas of Seoul until the government decided to blow new life in it by inviting over 70 different artists to create murals, sculptures and art installations.
Check more info here.
Seoul Itinerary 4 Days: Day Four
Use the last day of the Seoul itinerary 4 days to explore one of the many museums in Seoul. Most of these museums are huge and one can easily spend a couple of hours in there. Below is a list of the best museums Seoul has to offer when it comes to history, art, culture, etc.
- ★ The Itaewon War Memorial Museum – This huge and impressive museum focuses on the wars Korea went through, especially the war between North and South Korea.
Check more info here.
- ★ National Museum Of Korea – This is one of the biggest museums in Seoul and it is devoted to art objects throughout history from mainly Korea, but also other Asian countries like Japan, Thailand, etc.
Check more info here.
- National Museum of Korean Contemporary History – Located on Gwanghwamun square, this museum is all about the Korean history from the past 100 years. Including the Japanese occupation, the Korean war, and the industrial revolution Korea went through.
- Seodaemun Prison Memorial Hall – This prison was used during the Japanese occupation to lock up Korean free down fighters and patriots. Check more info here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the must-visit attractions in Seoul include Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namsan Tower, Myeongdong shopping district, Bukchon Hanok Village, and the DMZ tour.
Some must-try food options in Seoul include Korean barbecue, bibimbap, jjajangmyeon, tteokbokki, and kimchi. For dessert, try bingsu or Korean-style pancakes.
The best way to get around Seoul is by using the public transportation system, which includes the subway and buses. It’s also worth considering getting a T-money card to make transportation even easier. Taxis are also readily available but can be more expensive. Walking is also a great way to explore certain areas, such as Bukchon Hanok Village.