How many days should you spend in Seoul? I bet a lot of people ask themselves this as they start planning their Seoul vacation.
The first time I ever visited I was traveling from Hong Kong together with a friend, and since she was there for business, we pretty much had a limited time. And it wasn’t set by us. That’s why we spent only 3 days in Seoul.
Even though it was winter and very cold, I explored a lot. I ticked plenty of destinations off of my bucket list and went back to Hong Kong wanting more. One year later, we were starting our new Seoul adventure.
Now, you might not have too much time on your hands, or you might be planning for a longer South Korea itinerary, depending on that I will help you choose the number of days you will want to spend in Seoul.
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How many days in Seoul?
Is Seoul worth going to?
Yes, of course!
Seoul is one of the greatest Asian cities, a vibrant city with a rich history, culture, and plenty of tourist attractions.
Overall, Seoul is a dynamic and exciting travel destination that offers something for everyone. Seoul has everything if you’re interested in history, culture, food, shopping, or outdoor activities.
With its efficient public transportation, day trip options, and diverse attractions, South Korea’s capital is definitely worth visiting.
Is 5 days in Seoul too long?
5 days in Seoul is a good amount of time to explore the city, especially for first-time visitors.
A good itinerary, such as the one you can find here, could cover the main highlights and top tourist attractions of the city.
With this amount of time, you can even plan for at least one trip outside of the city and experience the beauty of South Korea’s countryside. Or you could at least visit the DMZ – ‘the world’s most dangerous border’.
Here is an example of an easy to follow 5 days itinerary:
A day trip to DMZ / The Garden of Morning Calm, Nami Island, and Petite France / Suwon and Hwaseong Fortress / Everland or Lotte World Theme Park
Namsan Park and NSeoul Tower
End your day in Itaewon
Is 7 days enough for Seoul?
If you can spare one week for Korea’s capital, that would be perfect, in our view.
Here are a few advantages of spending 7 days in Seoul:
- you can travel at a slower pace and take your time to explore the city. You won’t feel rushed and can fully immerse yourself in the culture and atmosphere of Seoul;
- you will be able to visit and experience a wide range of attractions in Seoul, from popular landmarks to off-the-beaten-path locations and neighborhoods.
- with the extra days, you can also plan day trips from Seoul to nearby destinations. Some popular day trip options include visiting the historic city of Gyeongju, going to Paju, Gagneung, or exploring the natural beauty of the DMZ;
- spending so much time in the city gives you the flexibility to adjust your itinerary based on your interests and preferences. You can spend more time in areas that captivate you or discover hidden gems.
In conclusion, spending 7 days in Seoul allows for a more relaxed and comprehensive exploration of the city and its surroundings. It provides ample time to visit major attractions, experience the local culture, and even venture out on day trips.
Here is a great itinerary option:
Day 1: get used to the city
Day 2: Insadong, Bukchon Hanok Village, Jogyesa Temple, Cheonggyecheon stream, Hongdae
Day 3: Day trip to DMZ
Day 3 alternative – DDP, Ihwa Mural Village, Ikseon-dong, Buam-dong
Day 4: Palaces, hanbok, and shopping in Myeongdong
Day 5: day trip to Garden of Morning Calm & Nami Island
Day 5 alternative – relax at a jimjilbang and with a facial
Day 6: explore the south of the river, Yeouido & Gangnam
Day 7: Namdaemun Market, Namsan Tower & Itaewon
Which month is best for Seoul?
Choosing the best month to visit Seoul could depend a lot on your personal preference and what you plan to do on your trip.
During these months, the weather is mild, and the average daily high temperatures stay below the 70s Fahrenheit. Come for the cherry blossom or foliage.
However, if you prefer to travel during the cheapest time, you should plan on going to Seoul in January, March, November, or October. These months tend to be the most affordable months to fly to Seoul from various places in the world, and hotels and other lodging may drop their rates and offer booking deals to encourage more people to visit the city.
How to prioritize the attractions on your Seoul itinerary?
No matter how many days you choose to spend in Seoul, you might find it hard to know how to prioritize the places you want to see. Korea’s capital city is an impressive metropolis after all, and one can easily feel overwhelmed.
Here are a few of our tips that will help you plan your trip:
- Consider your interests: Think about what you want to see and experience in Seoul. Are you interested in history, culture, food, shopping, K-pop, skincare, or outdoor activities? This can help you prioritize the attractions that align with your interests;
- Divide your time: between exploring Seoul and taking day trips to nearby destinations. For example, you can spend the first few days in Seoul visiting iconic landmarks like Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namsan Tower, and Bukchon Hanok Village, and then spend the remaining days on day trips to places like Gyeongju or the DMZ;
- Use a suggested itinerary as a starting point for your vacation – we have plenty of options;
- Be flexible: You may discover new attractions or decide to spend more time in certain areas. It’s okay to deviate from the itinerary and explore at your own pace;
- Book attractions ahead of time, and save money with a city pass such as the Discover Seoul Pass or Go City Explore Seoul Pass.
- Download the apps you need in order to make getting around the city a breeze – such as Naver Maps.
Must-see attractions in Seoul – a short overview
Seoul is a vibrant city with a lot to offer, and there are many must-see attractions that you can include on your itinerary. Here are only a few of the places you should not skip, even if you have only 2 days in the city:
- Gyeongbokgung Palace: This is one of the most iconic landmarks in Seoul and a must-visit attraction. You can watch the changing of the guard ceremony and explore the palace grounds, together with the inner garden.
- Namsan Tower: offers panoramic views of the city and is a great place to visit at sunset, but not only. You can take a cable car, bus, or hike up to the tower.
- Bukchon Hanok Village: the famous traditional Korean village is a great place to learn about Korean culture and architecture. You can walk around the narrow alleys and take in the beautiful scenery, stop by cafes or tea places, and visit one of the museums around.
- Myeong-dong shopping district: a popular shopping area with a wide range of shops and street food stalls. By far one of the best places to buy cosmetics, fashion, or souvenirs.
- Dongdaemun: another great shopping area that is known for its night markets and street food. The area is mainly known for traditional Korean clothing and textiles.
- Gangnam: the trendiest neighborhood known for its nightlife, shopping, and entertainment. You can visit the COEX Mall with the famous Starfield Library, the Gangnam Style statue in front of the mall, and the K-Star Road around Gangnam Station. Also, this is a heaven for those looking for plastic surgery or skincare clinics.