Celebrate your birthday in Seoul

The Best Things To Do For Your Birthday In Seoul

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Seoul is a huge city – there is a lot to do! When I’m not traveling abroad, I often choose to spend my birthday in Seoul doing something really special. Whether it’s a staycation at a luxury hotel, a fancy dinner experience or something totally different, there are a lot of amazing things to do in Seoul for your birthday!

Where To Stay For Your Birthday In Seoul

Whenever I celebrate my birthday in Seoul, I usually stay overnight in the city. There are a lot of hotel options and depending on what you want to do, you should choose the best hotel in a convenient location of the city. I personally love to really treat myself for my birthday and stay at high-end hotels in Seoul but I have also listed a more affordable option.

Conrad Seoul

Conrad Seoul is a 5-star luxury hotel situated on Yeouido island. This hotel has some amazing rooms with incredible views of the Han River and Seoul skyline. On top of that, there is a huge indoor pool and four dining and lounge venues.

Park Hyatt Seoul

The Park Hyatt is an incredible Hyatt property in Seoul‘s Gangnam District. What I love most about this hotel is the gorgeous indoor pool with panoramic views of the city and their luxurious bathrooms in the room. The dining options are also fabulous and they offer a fantastic afternoon tea set that changes seasonally.

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Four Seasons Seoul

The Four Seasons is another 5-star luxury hotel situated in the center of Seoul close to Gwanghwamun and Gyeongbokgung Palace. This hotel boasts an urban Spa, a year-round pool, a Michelin-starred, Cantonese cuisine at Yu Yuan, and a bar where Seoul’s bourgeoning, craft-cocktail scene is at its finest.

Best Mid-range Option:

Hotel Cappucino

Hotel Cappucino describes itself as the perfect home from home for international travelers and Seoulites seeking a new, yet friendly, fun, yet cause-driven hotel. The hotel puts great emphasis on attractive spaces filled with thoughtful detail – not to mention Hotel Cappucino is pet-friendly! The rooftop bar/restaurant is another eye-catching  benefit of this property.

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Your Birthday In Seoul – The Fun Stuff

Now let’s get to the fun stuff. The things that actually make your birthday in Seoul special! I separated it into four categories: food, shows, spa/pampering and other fun activities – all of the things that basically make a birthday super special (at least to me!). You can obviously mix and match all of these depending on where you stay and how much time you have in Seoul.

The Best Places for Birthday Dinners in Seoul

I don’t know about you but food is very important to me – especially on my birthday. Whether it’s a big brunch, afternoon tea or a lavish dinner, Seoul has got it all!

Cornerstone Buffet at Park Hyatt Seoul

Cornerstone at The Park Hyatt Seoul offers a one-of-a-kind brunch experience you are not going to forget in the middle of Seoul. On Saturdays and Sundays, Cornerstone presents ‘Brunch at the Park’, a luxurious brunch in Seoul. Included in the experience is a variety of appetizers, a main dish, and incredible desserts. All of the dishes are authentic home-style Italian made with quality ingredients. The brunch also includes unlimited buffet-style of appetizers and desserts, wine and cocktails.

You can take a look at the whole menu here.

Strawberry Barbie Buffet at the JW Marriott Dongdaemun

This is hands-down my favorite dessert experience in Seoul. For the past five strawberry seasons, JW Marriott Dongdaemun in Seoul has offered the Salon De Ddalki to their guests and anyone interested in experience this sweet event. The event is a collaboration with Barbie, making it even more appealing. Salon De Ddalki takes place in The Lounge on the first floor of the hotel. The seating area is very large but offers quite intimate seating arrangements.

Park Hyatt Afternoon Tea

During the strawberry season in South Korea, you can get your hands on the delicious Strawberry Afternoon Tea Set” from January until the end of April. This three-tier tray offers a great selection of strawberry sweets and savories along with some delicious tea and coffee options. On top of that, the afternoon tea set is served at the Lounge on the 24th floor, a beautiful open space with amazing views of Gangnam. When it’s not strawberry season, the afternoon tea menu changes to other seasonal options!

Boccalino Italian Restaurant at Four Seasons Seoul

One year for my birthday, I had a lovely dinner at Boccalino at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul. Sun-drenched marble walls, gleaming metal accents and cognac leather banquettes perfectly match the contemporary renditions of classic southern Italian dishes you’ll find here, each prepared with passion and showmanship in the open kitchen. They even offered us a free dessert because it was my birthday.

Must-see Shows in Seoul

Seoul definitely knows how to do entertainment right. There is a variety of modern and traditional shows for all different tastes. I personally love me some traditional Korean shows and musicals.

Gugak Saturday Show

If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind traditional Korean musical experience, the Gugak show is definitely going to impress you.  of Korea’s excellent compositions in the name of arts and class, a must for Korean culture enthusiasts visiting Seoul. The National Gugak Center hosts a beautiful show titled “Saturday Performance of Korean Music and Dance” every Saturday. The show focuses on the mystical world of Korean folk arts introducing the audience to a variety of traditional musical styles.

Mr. Show

The closest thing to the Chippendales in Korea might be just the right show to enjoy for your birthday in Seoul! Mr. Show offers a steaming performance featuring an all-male cast of sexy dancers and performers for a 70 minute show of music, dancing, lights, and gyrating bodies. Treat yourself to a night of temptation, grab your friends and get ready for the ultimate girls’ night out performance in Seoul!

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Nanta Show in Seoul

Nanta is the most successful Korean show that has even gained international popularity with theaters across Asia. The show showcases a team of chefs preparing Korean dishes in a comical way – without the use of language (similar to The Blue Man Group). This makes it easy to understand for anyone and you don’t have to be able to speak or understand Korean.

Musicals in Seoul

Over the past few years, the selection of musicals has increased significantly in Seoul with many international productions taking the stage. I have seen musicals in Seoul both with a Korean and an international cast, including The Lion King, Cats, Rebecca and Chicago. To check out the current musical selection, check out the Visit Seoul website, where you can also easily book your tickets.

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Places to treat yo’ self in Seoul

What better time of the year to get pampered than for your birthday? Practically being the beauty mecca of Asia, Seoul offers a plethora of options to really treat yourself for your birthday in Seoul.

LUSH Spa Seoul

For the longest time I had no idea that there was a LUSH spa in Seoul – and not only one but two locations! There is a LUSH spa in Itaewon and another one in the Apgujeong area of Seoul. I love LUSH and have been a regular customer for years. The LUSH Spas in Seoul offer unique treatments perfect to spoil yourself on your birthday. The treatments start at 90,000 KRW and are customizable depending on your personal needs and preferences.

A.H.C. Spa Gangnam

A.H.C. is a globally renowned spa with a location in Gangnam, Seoul. You can choose between eight different kinds of treatments, including Hydration Gen Treatment, V Line Massage, Facial for Men, Back & Shoulder Massage, Full Leg Massage, Whole Body Massage, Lymph Body and Facial Spa and Slimming Body Massage. The professional staff and relaxing atmosphere are perfect to treat yourself on your birthday in Seoul.

Cryotherapy Body and Facial Spa at Cryome Seoul

If you are into all things K-beauty, you are going to enjoy the newest craze of the beauty gurus in Seoul: cryotherapy. This beauty treatment involves extremely low temperatures to achieve a unique body and mind rejuvination at -140°C/-220°F. This procedure does not only enhance your metabolism but also burns body fat and promotes blood circulation.

Yeo Yong Guk Korean Traditional Medicine Spa Packages in Seoul

The benefits of traditional Eastern medicine is no secret. If you want to experience traditional Korean treatments using natural medicinal plants and receive an in-depth consultation regarding proper eating habits and best exercise regimen tailored to your specific needs, Yeo Yong Guk Korean Traditional Medicine Spa is the place to go!

Sulwhasoo Balance Spa Treatment in Gangnam

Sulwhasoo is a high-end Korean beauty brand standing for holistic approaches that create harmony of body and mind, inside and out. Get pampered at the Sulwhasoo Balance Spa in Gangnam and choose from a variety of treatments: 60-minute Vitality Care, 60-minute Calming Care, 70-minute Bloomstay Care or a 70-minute Mix & Match treatment.

K-beauty Skincare Products and Lipstick Making Experience in Seoul by VIC’S LAB KOREA

Korean skincare fanatics are definitely going to enjoy this one: make your own skincare and lipstick under the guidance of a qualified make-up manufacturer. Vic’s Lab Korea gives you the unique opportunity to learn about the different techniques to create skincare products that fit your skin type and needs. You also get to create your own unique lipstick and discover the perfect shade for you!

My Top Tip: Whoo Spa

Formerly know as O HUI Spa, Whoo Spa is easily the best spa in Seoul and not only visited by locals and tourists from China or Japan but also frequented by Korean celebrities. Whoo Spa offers a variety of treatments for face and body, including various aesthetic treatments using high-quality skincare products from the Korean brands O HUI, The History of Whoo and SU: M37.

The spa is located only a 10-minute walk from Sinsa Station in Gangnam. Located inside a remodeled residential building, the spa offers a private atmosphere and you even need to ring a bell to be let in. The spa is situated right across from a small park adding to the quiet and relaxing atmosphere.

Address: 27-2 Nonhyeon 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (서울시 강남구 논현1동 27-2)

I love their 2-hour long ‘Special Care’ package, consisting of a 60-minute back & shoulder massage and a 60-minute facial. The experience started with a back and shoulder massage. The jojoba oil used for the massage blood circulation and also helps to detox the skin. The aromatherapy massage was very professional and the masseuse knew exactly which parts of my body to pay special attention to.

In between the back massage and facial, I received an air pressure massage on both legs. You need to slide on two large sleeve-like massagers that are filled with air to massage your legs. It was a great way to get from one part of the treatment into the next.

The facial treatment generally starts with a thorough cleansing of the face. Next, your skin will be exfoliated and you’ll receive an oxygen deep cleansing. I was surprised that the package also included a décolleté massage (neck, shoulders & chest). After that, I was given a face slimming massage followed by a facial ampoule, a facial mask pack, and a refreshing revitalizing care.

Getting Pampered at Whoo Spa - The Best Spa in Seoul

More great activities and experiences for your birthday in Seoul

There’s a lot more to do in Seoul for your birthday than stay at a luxury hotel, eat amazing food and getting spa treatments (as if that wasn’t already enough…)

Rent a Korean Hanbok Dress

I love wearing the Korean traditional dress – especially when wandering through Bukchon Hanok Village or exploring Gyeongbokgung Palace (where you even get free admission when wearing hanbok). Why not rent a hanbok for your birthday and take some stunning birthday photos – solo or with friends?

Eland Han River Cruise and Ashley Marine Buffet/Dinner Cruise Buffet

There are few things more bougie than a dinner cruise. The Eland Han River Cruise offers your spectacular nighttime views of Seoul while enjoying the Ashley Marine Buffet. Live guitar performances or a special jazz themed cruise are sure to guarantee an unforgettable birthday!

Korea House Royal Cuisine and Show

Korea House is an incredible venue and cultural center in Seoul. In fact, one of my close friends had a traditional Korean wedding at Korea House that was a full success. They also offer an elaborate Royal Cuisine Banquet and Show at Korea House in Seoul. You will feel like a Korean royal munching on a lavish meal of Joseon Dynasty dishes, prepared by award-winning chefs. Most dishes are prepared according to traditional methods described in old literature, including the state banquet hotpot. During the food spectacle, you will be a part of 8 cultural performances involving traditional Korean song and dance on stage.

Traditional Korean Tea Ceremony Class

This has been one of my favorite experiences to date! It’s no secret that East Asian nations are making some of the best teas in the world. In fact, tea has a deep-rooted role in many of their cultures – so does South Korea. A certified tea master teaches you how to brew the perfect cup of matcha, green tea, how to make Korean tea snacks and the proper tea etiquette passed on for hundreds of years. A traditional tea ceremony at Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul with Trazy.com should be on anybody’s bucket list who is looking for a unique activity in Seoul.

Handmade Stamp Engraving

Traditionally, every Korean not only has their own unique signature but also their own unique stamp that they use to validate documents. The Handmade Stamp Engraving experience allows you to create your very own South Korean-style hand engraved seal, while learning all about the South Korean cultural heritage behind these seals. A professional stamp maker teaches you how to engrave your own name or custom logo onto a personalized seal at his studio near the Yan Temple Cave area, close to many noteworthy tourist destinations in Seoul.

Perfume Making Experience with Professional Perfumers

What could be a better birthday present to yourself than creating your own unique perfume? The professional perfumers at The First Established Perfume Making Studio in Myeongdong and Bangbaedong teach you how to create your own unique scent. You can choose from more than 150 perfume bases and 20 natural flavors to make your one-of-a-kind fragrance.

Which of the things listed above would you do for your birthday in Seoul?

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Recommended Travel Guides for Korea

If you want to learn more about South Korea and have a handy travel guide in your pocket, check out these three options below:

DK Eyewitness Top 10 Seoul

This Top 10 Seoul guide is a great pocket guide that breaks down the best of Seoul into helpful lists of ten – from selected highlights to the best museums and galleries, and the most authentic restaurants, tearooms, bars, shops, and markets. I personally helped update the most recent version of this guide. Buy this book.

Lonely Planet Korea

You really can’t go wrong with a lonely planet guide in your hand luggage! I’m a huge fan of Lonely Planet and own this guide myself. What I love is the brand-new pull-out, passport-size ‘Just Landed’ card with wi-fi, ATM and transport info – all you need for a smooth journey from airport to hotel! Buy this book.

South Korea: The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide

Calling all my solo female travel ladies out there – this guide is amazing! Part of the #1 Travel Guidebook Series for Women (and couples), this take on South Korea will help you avoid the scams, creeps, and tourist traps and skip ahead to the cities and adventures that are worth your time (and money)! Buy this book.

Get your Free Seoul City Check List

This downloadable check list for Seoul contains insider information on what to see, do, eat and where to shop and party in Seoul, South Korea.


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Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.

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