3 days in Seoul

The Ultimate Seoul Itinerary: 3 Days in Seoul | 2021 Edition

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Looking for a Seoul itinerary that ticks all the boxes? Look no further! 3 days in Seoul is a great amount of time to see the city and this Seoul itinerary will help you make the most out of every minute.

Map created using Wanderlog, a journey planner app

Rent a Korean Hanbok Dress

Even if you only spend 3 days in Seoul, you should definitely rent a hanbok! You get to choose between countless styles for both women and men and get to choose multiple different accessories to spice up your outfit. The bonus: you can enter palaces and temples free of charge when you wear hanbok! Check out Klook for the best hanbok rentals.

Wander Around Gyeongbokgung

A visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace has to be on every Seoul itinerary – and it’s free when wearing hanbok! It’s the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty and was built in 1395 and a beautiful architectural site that will take your breath away when walking through the many gates. If you’re into even more history, check out the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum within the premises of the complex.

Gyeongbokgung Information:

  • Adults (ages 19-64) 3,000 won / Group 2,400 won (10 or more people)
  • Youths (ages 7-18) 1,500 won / Group 1,200 won (10 or more people)
  • Age 6 and under – FREE.
  • March to October 09:00-18:00 / November to February 09:00-17:00. Closed on Tuesday
  • How to get there: Subway Exit 5 – Gyeongbokgung Station Line 3
wearing hanbok at Gyeongbokgung
wearing hanbok at Gyeongbokgung

Walk Around Bukchon

Bukchon Hanok Village is a must-see attraction on every Seoul itinerary. Right around the corner from Gyeongbukgung, the beautiful Hanok Village is home to hundreds of traditional Korean houses (called ‘hanok’), which date back to the Joseon Dynasty. Many cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses are also located here and let you experience Korean culture at its finest. Event though it’s quite touristy, it’s a must to check out when in town.

Explore Jogyesa Temple

When spending 3 days in Seoul, a visit to one of the most famous temples in the city is a must. The impressive Jogyesa Temple sits right in the heart of Seoul and represents the core of the Jogye order of Korean Buddhism. Jogyesa is an extremely important place of spirituality for Koreans all over the country. Often, you will spot Buddhist monks chanting their prayers in one of the temple halls and – if you’re lucky – you might even visit just in time for one of the many festivals taking place here throughout the year.

Jogyesa Temple in Seoul

Spend your Evening in Insadong

Only a short walk from Jogyesa, you will find Insadong, a place dedicated to unique, often hand-made, souvenirs and crafts. In short, the arts and crafts center of Insadong is going to make your heart beat faster. Among the many items you can purchase there are for example traditional clothing (hanbok), traditional paper (hanji), Korean teas, pottery, and folk crafts. A must-see is also the famous shipping mall Ssamziegil with a beautiful rooftop covered in hundreds of love locks hung up by local and visiting couples.

You’ll also find one of my two favorite restaurants here in Insadong:

Seoul Itinerary Day 2

The Ultimate Seoul Itinerary

Hike Around Seoul City Wall

There are 18.6 kilometers of Seoul City Wall trails around the city – which means a lot of smaller sections to choose from for all types of hikers! My favorite trail is the Heunginjimun Gate Trail, which is 1.8 kilometers long and takes around 1 hour to complete. This section is also on the lowest ground of the entire wall (which is probably why I like it…). The view from this trail is absolutely stunning and really showcases the vibe of Seoul – a mix of modern and tradition. For more information about Seoul City Wall Trails, check out their official website.

Have Lunch at Gwangjang Market

After your hike, you are probably going to be hungry! Get back onto the subway and head straight to Jongno-5-ga station. From there make your way on foot to Gwangjang Market, one of the largest markets in South Korea. Here, you can try an incredible selection of Korean specialties like Mung Bean Pancakes, Tteokbokki (Korean rice cake), and Gimbap (seaweed rice rolls). Also be sure to check out the Korean handmade noodles featured on Netflix’s “Street Food” by the wonderful Korean cook Cho Yonsoon.

Gwangjang Market

Shop in Myeongdong

Myeongdong has to be part of your Seoul itinerary. It’s a major shopping district in Seoul and a place where you can find Korean knick-knacks and the latest skincare trends. It’s also a hub for delicious restaurants and street foods to try out! Life comes to this street after sunset when the lights are illuminating your way to the most Korean shopping experience.

Visit Namsan Tower

If you’re looking for a great spot to view the entire city from above, Seoul Tower is one of the best addresses to do so. There are a few gift shops and restaurants but the main selling point are the views. It’s a wonderful site to visit during the day as well as for sunset or at night. To reach the tower, you can either hike up along a neat trail or take a cable car.

Nightlife in Hongdae

This wouldn’t be the perfect Seoul itinerary without including some nightlife options! After exploring Namsan Hill, get on the metro and get to Hongik University station for a night out in one of Seoul’s most fun university neighborhoods.

Besides some great bars and restaurants, Hongdae also has a lot of cool shops and cafés catering mostly to the college students nearby. It’s a great place to be when the sun goes down.

Hongdae is the perfect place to do some bar-hopping until the early hours to try all of Korea’s unique alcoholic beverages, such as soju and makgeolli. If you are traveling alone or simply want to make some new friends, I recommend joining this cool bar crawl in Hongdae or Itaewon.

You will also find a lot of great places to grab authentic Korean BBQ (like this Charcoal Meat Restaurant!) or Korean Fried Chicken for dinner!

korean BBQ

Seoul Itinerary Day 3

The Ultimate Seoul Itinerary

Explore Bongeunsa Temple

Bongeunsa is one of my favorite temples in Seoul, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only does it have a long history (it was founded in 794!) but it also features one of the largest standing Buddha statues in the country at 23 meters tall.

The temple offers a popular templestay program, allowing visitors to experience the life of a monk for a day or two. Moreover, the area around Bongeunsa has a large concentration of vegetarian and vegan restaurants.

Shop at COEX

The COEX complex contains various COnvention centers, EXhibition halls, a large mall and underground shopping areas. Covering an area of about 154,000 square meters, COEX is the largest underground shopping mall in the world.

Besides the hundreds of shops, the mall also houses two food courts, a MegaBox movie theater, COEX Aquarium and a large bookstore that is a popular photo spot for photographers and visitors.

Starfield Library

Have Afternoon Tea

There are a lot of great places to have afternoon tea in Seoul but one of my favorite places is at the Park Hyatt in Gangnam. The afternoon tea lounge is located on the 24th floor with amazing views of Gangnam.

I especially love their seasonal strawberry themed afternoon tea. This unique tea set is available during strawberry season in Korea from January until the end of April.

Explore Garosugil

Garosugil is a trendy Seoul neighborhood in Gangnam and one of my favorite places to hang out. The lovely tree-lined street has countless side alleyways with lovely cafes, stores and interesting things to see, do and eat. If you have some time to spare, I’d definitely add it to your Seoul itinerary.

Check out my complete guide on the best things to do in Garosugil here.

Strawberry Afternoon Tea in Seoul At Park Hyatt Seoul

WOW, 3 DAYS IN SEOUL GOES BY SO FAST!

With this itinerary, you will get a good scope of Seoul and its different areas and places to see.

If you are an efficient traveler and get through this itinerary quicker than my suggested itinerary, check out the experiences below for more things to do in Seoul.

Recommended Hotels in Seoul

Where to Stay in Seoul

Best hotel in Seoul for families, groups and couples alike. The hotel has a fantastic location right next to the beautiful Heunginjimun Gate and within short walking distance to Dongdaemun. The rooftop bar offers breathtaking views of Dongdaemun and delicious cocktails in a sleek atmosphere. I also love the hotel’s amazing Strawberry Barbie Dessert Buffet! Book your room now on Booking.com.

Top location for first-timers in Seoul. The Pacific Hotel Myeongdong is literally a stone’s throw from the bustling shopping center of Myeongdong. if you are alooking for shopping, cute cafes, delicious eats and fun, this location is perfect.

Best for budget travelers. Having personally stayed here, I like Plan A Hostel‘s highly strategic location close to Dongdaemun Design Plaza and their affordable single hostel rooms. There are tons of affordable and authentic Korean restaurants and shops outside the hotel’s doorstep. If you plan to attend Seoul Fashion Week, this is also the perfect option because you can reach the venue within a 2-minute walk. Check rates on Booking.com.

Best place to stay in Seoul for luxury travelers. This 5-star hotel offers all of the luxurious amenities you can think of. The hotel also has an incredible afternoon tea experience and an even more fabulous weekend brunch. The indoor pool offers sweeping views of the surrounding Gangnam business district. Samseong subway station is right next door and COEX, a convention center that also houses an incredible shopping mall, is only a short walk from the hotel. Check rates in Booking.com.

Best for travelers who wish to experience Korean style accommodation in Seoul with all the modern comforts. Bonum 1957 is also located in a fantastic location in the heart of the famous Bukchon Hanok Village surrounded by traditional Korean houses and a short walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace. This is the most memorable hotel in Seoul for me. Check rates on Booking.com.

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. It’s the perfect addition to this Seoul itinerary!

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3 days in Seoul

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Linda

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.

7 Comments

  1. Lorry on February 4, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    There is so much to see and do here! The food looks amazing. I Imagine that 3 days would not feel like enough time to do and see everything, but you’ve tough on the highlights to get the most from the experience.

  2. travelsandwandering on February 5, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    I’d love to visit Seoul, I remember having a stopover and wishing I had given myself more time. So interesting and beautiful. I want to visit Jogyesa Temple to.

  3. bye:myself on February 6, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Ever since I’ve been to Japan a bit over a year ago, I’ve been planning on visiting South Korea – to check out the similarities and, most of all, the differences. Also, I think that it’s still a bit under most traveller’s radar, hence, I should take advantage of that 😉

  4. Jayati | Between Longitudes on February 6, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    So glad to read about Seoul and interesting to find so many exciting things on offer. Modern and traditional.
    I visited Seoul long ago as part of a business trip and didn’t have much time to explore.

    Your post brings back Seoul memories and certainly a place to visit.

  5. Jacqueline on February 6, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    You look beautiful in a Hanbok! Your blog honestly inspires me to go back to South Korea. The first time I went I was underwhelmed, mostly because we had a freak wind storm that made everything less enjoyable, even during cherry blossom season. Your photos make it look super warm and inviting and I am ready to give Seoul another chance.

  6. carolcolborn on February 7, 2021 at 2:28 am

    Wow, fabulous itinerary! This should be my daughter and son-in-law’s next traveliving!

  7. Kat on February 7, 2021 at 5:45 am

    I love that visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace is free when wearing hanbok! What a great way to indulge in local culture – and get amazing pictures as well. Thanks for sharing this handy travel tip.

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