The Best of Seoul: 4 Days Travel Itinerary

Four days may just be enough to glance off an amazing city. But in order to maximize your short trip, it should be well planned. Though it may be too impossible to see everything with little time, sorting it out by only visiting the “must-see” makes you get the most of your trip. Prep yourself by reading travel guides online specially if it is your first time. Don’t fret! Travel less like a tourist and more like a local even on your first visit. Why not!

Annyeong!20161122_100855-01[1]Touchdown Incheon International Airport. Seoul nice to see you. lol!

After getting off the plane, I had to take about 2 -3 walkalators then descend four escalators, take a train to another building, then go up several more escalators just to get to the immigration area. Phew! I’m not exaggerating but that’s how big Incheon International Airport is, I should have known. lol! 20161122_105842(0)-02[1]There are several different ways to travel from Incheon International Airport to downtown Seoul. The most popular ways include taking the Airport Railroad Express (AREX), Seoul Metropolitan Subway, Airport limousine buses, and taxis. Among these, the Airport Railroad has the benefit of avoiding traffic on the roads and it runs directly from Incheon International Airport to Seoul Station, with no stops along the way. Taxi would be the most expensive transport while Airport limousine bus is the most convenient, hassle-free! And for that long hour flight to Seoul, spacious seats of the airport limousines are well sought after.

20161122_105610-01[1]And here’s me waiting for the Airport Limo. lol!

We arrived past 9 in the morning at Incheon Intern’l Airport. It took us nearly 2 hours to settle everything at the Airport. From Immigration, taking our luggage out from the baggage carousel, buy T-money card for our Seoul transpo. Then finally! Aboard about 10.55 in our Limo Coach and reached 12nn at Gangdamgo Bus Stop where we were fetched by our Cool Host, Jin Ho by Comestay Airbnb. Click link to read my Superb Airbnb experience in Seoul.

Late lunch around 1 and here’s our 1st authentic Korean meal! Tadaah! 20161122_143521-01[1]20161122_143528-01[1]20161122_143531-01[1]20161122_143533-01[1]

Here’s my itinerary:

Even if you have a list of places to visit, you need to be flexible. Don’t be too stiff on your itinerary. So in our case, since we had some delays on our arrival, we chose to visit the place nearest our accommodation and just took the cab from there and because honestly we’re too hungry to take the train too. haha! Don’t worry, taxis are way way cheaper in Seoul than Singapore.

1st stop: Changdeokgung Palace, it’s just a walking distance from where we ate so it was indeed a good exercise after pigging! 20161122_152432-011Changdeokgung Palace is recognized as a World Cultural Heritage site by the UNESCO. It’s definitely worth a visit. Wrote more about the Palace on a separate post. Click the link.

Everywhere is Instagrammable! So don’t miss to take bunch of snaps along the way. 20161122_150514-01[1]20161122_150545-01[1]Even street-sides are just too pretty not to strike some pose. Yay or Nay? 🙂

20161122_150628-01[1]20161122_150611-01[1]20161122_150709-01[1]Next stop: Bukchon Hanok Village.

A good 20-30 mins walk from Changdeokgung Palace to the village, including some delays because you know, pictorial is life. lol!20161122_155852-01[1]20161122_155909-01[1]

20161122_171157-011Road junction heading towards the Hanok Village.

If you like to have a look at how a hanok house looks like, Bukchon Hanok Village is the place to go. Home to hundreds of traditional houses, called hanok, that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. It’s an Interesting place to visit and definitely will give you a different view of Seoul. 20161122_165134-01120161122_170322-01[1]Seeing those homes – and people who still live in them today is amazing. Very quaint and worth the walk down the neighborhood. Click to read more about my awesome experience at Bukchon Hanok Village.20161122_164025-011It was more memorable and extra fun as I get to wear Hanbok while roaming around the Village. Yaaay! I thought I was filming K-dramas. HAHA! Yes, if you watch Korean dramas often, you’ll recognize that they use those houses and streets a lot as the setting for their dramas.20161122_164931-01120161122_163751-011Left the area past 6pm and headed to the Magical Place of Seoul, N Seoul Tower.20161122_181947-011 20161122_181401-01[1]Some scene of my recently favorite Korean drama Legend of the Blue Sea was filmed there. Click the Link to read more about the Romantic highest point in Seoul.20161122_175357-01120161122_175406-011On foot or by cable car you can get to the Namsan Tower. But on our visit, it was too cold (I guess no one would even dare to walk all the way up) And of course the view will be even more awesome if you take the Cable Car. Tip: make sure you stand on the sides to see the view while heading up the tower. 20161122_180852_001-021
We spent roughly 2 hours there. Aside from the wonderful view at the tower, they have restos/cafes and shops too. And of-course! For couples, this would be the sweetest part of your Seoul trip. Don’t forget to lock your love at the “padlock of love” railings and dream that your love will last forever. Ayee!

Nearly 8pm and you probably know what’s next, Seoul’s Street Food/Night Market. Yaay! Time for food, finally! haha20161122_215407-01[1]20161122_215359-01[1]Visited 2 Places After Namsan Tower. Myeongdong shopping district, where aside from shopping, you can indulge yourself to their very own delish street-foods.20161122_215325-01[1]I would advise to go straight to Myeongdong from Namsam Tower as it is near from there specially when you take a cab. Your Seoul trip will not be complete if you miss to visit Myeongdong district as it is widely known by locals and even more for tourists. On my separate post, read more about my Myeongdong night stroll. Seoul’s beauty haven has got to be Myeongdong. You definitely will gravitate the place every night for make up hoarding. So, go get yourself an extra suitcase if you have such vanity for Korean cosmetics.

Around 11pm, Last stop: Dongdaemun Design Plaza.20161122_192004-01[1]Such a unique Architecture. A great place to walk around specially at night because of the many good LED deco in the plaza. The led lighted flowers are too beautiful to behold. And on our visit, though it was not winter but the weather was dropping to -3.. Phew! It was a challenging walk anyway. Here’s a link more about DDP.20161122_192734-01[1]20161122_192447-01[1]At the street side in front of DDP has Night Market which will come alive at 10pm. Though some will set up early, it would be best to come late if you intend to shop there, and it’s open until 5 am! Some shops are even 24 hours open. haha! You definitely will have all your time. For us, we ended around past 1 am. Day 1 might seem to look jam-packed but for a night person like me, I still can stay there until 3am. Can you? lol!

Day 2 Itinerary:

Rise and Shine. Welcome Day 2!
For the entire Seoul trip, a combination of Free & Easy and an Arranged Tour was the best way to get the most of our trip. Every single day was indeed maximized. And yes, it was worth doing! So, for the 2nd day of our Seoul escapade, the best decision was getting an arranged tour to visit Nami Island, Gangchon Rail Park and Petite France. No hassle. Just convenience. 20161123_113913-01-01120161123_105713-011First stop of the arranged tour, Nami Island. Indeed I left my heart there. More about Namiseom in my previous post. Click the link. We left there around 1pm to catch our 2pm slot for the Rail Biking at Gangchon Rail Park.20161123_133520-01120161123_151324-011 A pleasurable experience awaits you at the old railroad tracks. 20161123_141148-011Such a unique and fun way of enjoying Korea’s scenic views. More about the amusing vibe while cycling around one of the oldest rail road tracks on this link, Gangchon Rail Park.20161123_155400-01120161123_161343-01120161123_160738-01-011Save the best for last, Welcome to Petite France. Korea’s little Europe town. Nestled in the mountains overlooking Cheongpyeong Lake is a French cultural village. Link to read more about The Petite France.20161123_161509-01-011Reached Seoul proper nearly 8pm. Expect some traffic jam when you’re nearing Seoul but at least you get to rest and sleep inside the private van rather than commuting which is more exhausting, definitely will consume much of your time and you only end up with visiting Nami Island or maybe Petite France too if you’re lucky. 20161122_192106-01-01-01[1]20161122_191821-01[1]The drop off point back in Seoul was at DDP. We had dinner at some random cafes there and since street=foods are everywhere, non-stop food trippin’ indeed!

Day 3 Itinerary:

Hongdae:20161124_114400-02[1]Started our day with a food hunt. We randomly chose a restaurant for our brunch around 10am at Hongdae area. Most favorite district of Seoul has got to be Hongdae, only because of the gazillion cafes there. It is young, vibrant and filled with interesting shops and turns into a festive outdoor area at night. But sadly, we went on a day time so we really haven’t experienced its night scene. However, true enough that the highest concentration of clothing stalls and vintage shops are found along its main passageway. There’s got to be non-stop shopping when you visit Seoul.

Our sumptuous authentic Korean meal, which I realized was good for 4-5 and we’re only 2. lol!

After the Heavy Meal and a good walk around Hongdae, we took a cab to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace since it’s pretty near from Hongdae.

Gyeongbokgung Palace20161124_140134-01120161124_140208-01120161124_134135-011One of the most iconic sights in all of Korea. Gyeongbokgung, which means “palace greatly blessed by Heaven,” was built in the heart of Seoul surrounded by Mount Bugaksan and Mount Namsan. 20161124_135307-01120161124_135658-01120161124_135632-011When in Korea, one of the “must do” things is to visit a palace. However, there are 5 palaces within the city which offer a taste of Korean history. And Gyeongbokgung Palace is definitely one not to miss. It is arguably the most beautiful and remains the grandest of all five palaces. Click to read more of it here –> Five Must-see on your first Seoul trip.

After exploring the huge grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace, take a leisurely stroll to the magnificent square, Gwanghwamun Square, just a few distance away facing the gate of the palace.20161124_134355-01[1].jpeg20161124_140339-011A public area located in the heart of central Seoul that features museums, statues, restaurants, and beautiful surrounding views. The view of the Mountain behind the Gyeongbokgung Palace from the square is certainly magnificent.20161124_141011-01120161124_140753-011The golden statue of King Sejong the Great is the focal point of Gwanghwamun Square in downtown Seoul.

20161124_141156-01-02[1]20161124_141156-01-01[1]There’s too much to see, let me rest first. haha!

We’re a bit late for autumn but visiting the famous Women’s University in Korea made me feel that we’re ain’t late yet. You see! 20161124_152423-01120161124_152741-01120161124_152714-011 Ewha Woman’s University and its Fashion Street. Has got to be one of my fave! 20161124_151821-011Just outside the University is the Fashion street. 20161124_153229-01120161124_153923-011My GAAAd! I literally drool which shop to see first. lol! Everywhere is damn cheap! I did regret for not coming here on our first day, I could have saved a lot of won. haha! Prices are really cheap. If you want to shop a lot, head straight to Ewha Woman’s University Fashion Street. Click the link  to read more.20161124_181431-011Sadly, needed to leave the area around 7 pm for a gathering hosted by Jin, our Airbnb host. He arranged a simple dinner for all his guests to meet and know each other. How does it sound? Isn’t it Cool? Link to read about Why our Seoul trip was even more memorable. 20161124_195151-01-011


Another lovely day indeed! I just Seoul love you! :p

4th DAY ITINERARY:

Our dinner ended up with Soju and Wines and slept nearly 3 am. Wheow! It was indeed a fun night but a torture for the day ahead? haha! Of-course, you have the choice not to wake up too early the next day if you happen to party the night before but because, Skiing is definitely more fun than sleeping. Needed to wake up a bit early to avail for the free coach departing at 7.30 am for VIVALDI PARK SKI WORLD, but luckily the BUS STOP where they pick-up tourists is just 5 mins taxi away from our place. So we still had a good 4 hours sleep anyway. Yaaay!

Skiiing! Why not? 20161125_103151-01-01-01120161125_103151-01-01-021Read more about VIVALDI PARK SKI WORLD on my previous blog. 20161125_1121530-01-01120161125_1121530-01-021The experience was priceless. Spent half day at Vivaldi, left there about 12nn and reached Seoul past 1pm. Ski Resorts will usually open around December during winter. We were just lucky, so lucky that they opened early even if it was still around November, maybe because of the winter-like weather? Of-course no need to think twice. It’s a must on your itinerary when you visit Seoul, dive in while Ski Resorts are open.20161125_105651-021Back at 1pm, it was intended for roaming around the streets of Gangnam.img-20170107-wa0005-011

Read about my awesome walk around the streets of Gangnam where I met and befriend with a local. How lovely it is to meet and make friends with locals when you travel. Truly an extraordinary trip. Kamsahamnida Seoul! I will definitely be back.20161125_154935-01-01-011While it is too impossible to see everything with limited time, do a lot of reading before your trip, and aside from visiting the best sights as there are a lot, do consider if it suits your interest. If not, you can opt not to include it in your itinerary. That’s how you maximize every single day of your trip.

Saranghe! I Seoul See you again!20161125_121019-01120161125_121116-011

Love,

Stylishwanderer.com

What you didn’t know about Ewha Womans University-Fashion Street

Forget about other places, just head here!20161124_145336-011
Probably the best place to shop in Seoul. A fashion haven for young women. Shop here first before you shop anywhere else, which apparently is my biggest mistake when I was in Seoul. lol! I regret coming here on our last day in Korea, I should have done plenty of reading before the trip. Poor thing I never did! haha20161124_151916-011
Before you shop like crazy, start first with a brief walk to the outskirts of the Campus. Surely you’ll end up admiring everything that you see. From the exquisite compound and Architecture to the beautifully landscaped gardens. WOW. How I wish I studied there. Ewha Womans University is a private women’s university in Seoul. It is actually the World’s Largest Female Educational Institute and is one of the most Prestigious Universities in South Korea.20161124_150809-01120161124_151431-01120161124_151544-01120161124_151815-01120161124_151827-01120161124_152124-011And who says I’m too late for Autumn? :p20161124_152423-01120161124_152714-01120161124_152741-01120161124_152042-01120161124_152407-01120161124_152113-011

20161124_152727-011Autumn paints in colors that summer has never seen.

Coming out from the University is a shopping and food area. How convenient it is for students but I feel it’s more tempting (you may guess why) haha! The alleyways and streets are filled with usual shops you see elsewhere but there are many individual shops here and there which are more unique, chic and fab. Prices are really cheap. It’s easy on the pocket mainly because it caters mostly to Uni students.20161124_153229-01120161124_153331-01120161124_150718-01120161124_153048-011So if you are looking for a trendy fashion or more on cute K-style outfits which ain’t a pain on your budget. Don’t think anymore, this is the place to shop all you want. You can go as crazy as you never imagined yourself to be. haha! And of course, I bought a whole load of clothes at a very affordable price. You can disappear into 1 shop and come out like barely 5 minutes later with 1 or 2 plastic bag in your hand. I swear! lol Imagine seeing a shop that sells each bag at 10,000 KRW (428Php) regardless of design. BUY! haha And most of the clothing pieces are priced at 5,000 KRW (214Php). You can even get overall denim at 10,000 KRW which in my opinion is damn cheap. Oh My! Make sure you don’t get excess baggage when you head back home. :p20161124_153923-01120161124_153935-01120161124_181431-01120161124_172527-01120161124_172509-011Truly the shopping here is more fun and enjoyable. The clothing, accessories, shoes, bags and beauty products have more variety and are more cheaper than Myeongdeong district. There are also several restaurants, eateries and kawaii cafes! Replenish your lost energy before you go on for further shopping. lol!20161124_150741-011 I never had much photos for the shopping alleys since I got so busy (you probably know why) and realized that it’s already time to head back to our place for a dinner with other Airbnb guests. On another blog post is all about my awesome Airbnb experience at Comestay. Click the Link!

20161124_153227-012Overall, it’s a pretty fun experience to visit Ewha Woman’s University – Fashion Street. It’s one of my favorite areas in Seoul by the way. Definitely worth a comeback visit. Till I see you again!

Get there by alighting at Ewha Womans University station on Line 2 and then take Exit 2 or Exit 3. 20161124_150803-011

Love,

Stylishwanderer.com

Gangchon Rail Park: A FUN-tastic Rail Bike Experience

20161123_134209-01120161123_133938-011Do you want to experience what it feels like to cycle along old railroad tracks? Wouldn’t it be nice to give your legs a good workout while enjoying Korea’s scenic views? 20161123_135103-011myxj_20161207012432_save1Need look no further! Gangchon Rail Bike Park will give you an overall enjoyable experience you never could imagine. This activity indeed is as authentic as it gets. Trust me! Such a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside of Korea. Don’t miss this!20161123_133355-01120161123_133452-01-01120161123_133452-01-02-011This has become one of my fave activity during my entire Seoul trip and I certainly would love to do it again on other Season specially Winter or Spring. I can’t barely imagine how extraordinary it would be. But not Summer please. As I’m too used to warm days and the greenery! Let me skip it. lol!20161123_135207-01120161123_135641-01120161123_142429-011Gangchon rail park features an old railroad tracks turned into a bike park. This old railway has been there for 70 years and was no longer needed when the Gyeongchun Line, a double-tracked railway line connecting Seoul and Chuncheon opened in December 20, 2010. Ergo became a popular tourist attraction allowing visitors to pedal along old railroad tracks while taking in the lovely Countryside, Bukhangang River and Old tunnels in the area.20161123_141148-01120161123_141037-01120161123_143905-01-01120161123_143905-01-02120161123_143005-011The whole trail needs you to pedal a bike for about 1 hour but with a partner (comes in 2 or 4 seater bike cart so need not to worry of balancing. lol!) Surely It does leave you with an unforgettable experience! You get to enjoy scenic views while giving your legs a good workout. Doesn’t that sound FUN-tastic?20161123_142920-01-01[1].jpeg

20161123_141639-011In exchange of your leg workout, you get to see lovely mountain and river side scenery. You might think it’s tiring but as to my experience, I never felt tired at all. I didn’t even notice that it was already over. I was too busy relishing the views and wallowing the cold breeze.20161123_143603-011Ola! One of my favorite part is passing through old tunnels where they had some gimmicks plotted inside. You have to go through tunnels with different themes. Whoopee! Bubble game (pop those bubbles inside!), led lights flashing with romantic music and my fave of all is the rave style light show with music blasting in the tune of Gangnam style. Really so amusing!20161123_141812-01120161123_142841-01120161123_142906-01120161123_143245-01120161123_141433-011After 50 minutes of enjoying the scenery with your legs working out, it’s already time to let them rest. lol! About 5 km of pedaling till you reach the rest stop, then… Voila! You can now grab some drinks & snacks or use the toilet (but hold your breath if you do so) Oops!20161123_145500-01120161123_144507-01-01120161123_144507-01-02-01[1].jpegTadaah! A beautiful waterfall sight while you wait for your next ride at the rest stop. 20161123_144711-01120161123_144754-011

20161123_144840-01-02120161123_144840-01-011I never thought I would be that Damn thirsty! lol

It’s no longer a bike for your next ride so just relax. haha! This time is already an open train where you still can leisurely savour the amazing landscape. My tip, make sure to take the right side window seat! The views are just sooo lovely!20161123_150429-011As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I highly recommend joining a group tour package as it will allow you to have a fuss free trip if you wish to visit Nami Island, Rail Park and Petite France in one day. Doing it yourself might just frustrate you. Yes, true. There will be a couple of transfers and timing for the transport which is really time consuming. Plus taking in the fact that Koreans don’t speak English, who you speak for help? Oh! Such a headache.20161123_151324-011Didn’t expect it to be this much fun! Till I see you again!

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Here’s a brief guide if you wish to go there by yourself:

From Yongsan Station (Line 1 or Jungang Line)
Take ITX to Gangchon Station or Namchuncheon Station and transfer to subway, one stop to Gimyoujeong Station. Please leave ample time for transfer.
The total trip from Yongsan Station to Gimyoujeong Station will take minimum 100 minutes. ITX (77 – 79 mins) + Subway (6 mins)

From Cheongnyangni Station (Line 1 or Jungang)
Take ITX to Gangchon Station or Namchuncheon Station and tranfer to subway, one stop to Gimyoujeong. Please leave ample time for transfer.
The total trip from Cheongnyangni Station to Gimyoujeong Station will take minimum 75 minutes. ITX (51 – 53 mins) + Subway (6 mins)

It would also be best if you book your tickets ahead but just give an ample time for your transport as the Rail Bike runs in specific timing.  Click here for more details: Direction and Booking

 

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Love,

Stylishwanderer

 

Why I Seoul Love You?

Annyeonghaseyo! It’s been a week since I got back from Seoul and I couldn’t be more excited to share about my awesome escape to the land of Kimchi! Boo!
Traveling to Korea has been on my bucket list ever since I was introduced to the world of K-drama, K-pop, K-beauty and everything else with a “K”. haha! 20161123_125846-01[1].jpeg
Opppaa! HAHA
By the way, he is our tour guide (does he even look like one? I thought from some K-pop band) lol!

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I stand in awe of their fashion! Unleash the creativity within you, without being het up of what others may say. Heck care of a mismatch, too vivid nor too dull, over-or-under-dressed clothes. Fashion is an Art after all. And so thus their style!
I so looove their cosmetics. It’s not just the land of Kimchi but also a haven of beauty products. (I’m so into their BB creams and Lip tints by the way) What about you? :p

myxj_20161126185905_save-01-011myxj_20161126185905_save-01-021
Those romantic-comedy-drama series, they’ve caused so much black circles underneath my eyes from finishing all their episodes. Yes, those were the days. haha! And who by the way doesn’t like to sing K-songs even not understanding a single word of the lyrics?
Oooops.. Hello, its me! lol!

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I’m so glad that I finally made it to Seoul for the 1st time! Hurray!
Can you imagine how excited I was before my trip?
I’ve not been sleeping for days you know. haha! (All Kidding aside)
I’ll be posting more of my Korea trip soon (I’ll definitely get back into track even if my work-life balance seem to be not so right as of now) Phew!

Love,

Stylishwanderer.com