Take On Seoul In 24 Hours (Part 2 of 2)

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This is Part 2 of “Take On Seoul In 24 Hours”, if you have not read Part 1, please click here to read it.

Some say that the most intense travel experiences make the best ones. It’s your first time visiting Korea and you are ready to make the most of the next 24 hours in Seoul, one of the most vibrant cities in the world. With so much to do, and so little time, taking on the big city can be tricky.

#6 Hongdae Free Market
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Image Source: http://www.exploringkorea.com/hongdae-free-market/hongdae-free-market-3/

Set up in 2002, Hongdae Free Market has come to represent the artistic free spirit of the district. Open every Saturday from 1 and 6pm in the months from March to November, the open air market is a hothouse of activity with vendors selling handmade crafts and street performers. However, if you are visiting Seoul during the winter months, you might have to give this pit stop a miss.

Getting There: Take line 2 (the green line) to Hongdae University Station and take Exit 9.

#7 Korean BBQ
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Image Source: http://sabinec.wordpress.com/category/food-sparkles/korean/

A trip to Seoul will not be complete without trying authentic Korean BBQ. Whether a chain restaurant or a little family run establishment, the variety of dining spots to try Korean BBQ is astounding. Do note that looks can be deceiving when it comes to restaurants in Korea, with non-descript or seemingly dodgy restaurants offering some of the most authentic cuisine in the city. Generally speaking, though not always, price correlates with the quality of the meat so use this as a gauge when finding a place to eat.

A decent meal will cost approximately W8,000 per serving. Remember that most barbecue-style restaurants require a minimum order of two servings (since the meal is intended to be shared) so if you’re traveling alone, be prepared to eat a significant portion of meat. For the real dining experience, order at least one bottle of soju to complement your meal.

#8 Seoul Tower
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Image Source: http://irene-travelogue.com/tag/seoul/

Since its opening in 1980, Seoul Tower has become an icon of the city. Located at the top of Namsan Mountain, it offers visitors the most panoramic views of Seoul and the surrounding area. A round-trip ticket on the cable car to the top of the mountain costs W7,500. The real highlight of the visit will be the observatory but visitors can also enjoy the various performances, movies, exhibitions as well as upscale restaurants and snack bars available.

Getting There: Take subway line 4 (light blue line) to Myeongdong station and take Exit 3. Take the wide road next to the convenience store and walk straight passing the Pacific Hotel on your left. Continue walking until you reach a stairway and follow it keeping to your right. You will see a vacant parking lot on the right. This is where you will find the cable car platform.

#9 Party in Hongdae
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Image Source: http://hangchungtee.blogspot.sg/2012/07/chapter-14-hongdae-release-your-youth.html

Paint the town red and soak up some of the electric nightlife atmosphere centred around the area surrounding Hongik University, otherwise known as Hongdae, which resonates with a good mix of hofs (Korean-style pubs where you order drinks with food), bars, and clubs serving up cheap drinks. Some of the hot spots include Club Naked, Cocoon, Papa Gorillas, and Mama Gorillas. The best thing about Hongdae’s club scene, though, is Club Day. During this span of twenty-four hours (that happens on the last Friday of the month), you can experience ten of the district’s hottest clubs for only W15,000.

Getting There: Take line 2 (the green line) to Hongdae University Station and come out Exit 9.

#10 Rest at a Jjimjilbang
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Image Source: http://learnkoreanwithlily.blogspot.sg/2012/12/the-place-that-you-should-go-when-you.html

After a night of partying, unwind for the night at one of Seoul’s many jjimjilbangs (찜질방). These 24-hour full service spas are a cheap alternative to a hotel with an average rate of between W6,000 and W15,000 per night. With shower and sauna facilities on-site as well as the usual spa services such as massage services available, one can certainly relax in comfort. Like barbecue joints, jjimjilbangs are a dime a dozen. But if you’re ending the night in Hongdae, the best place to go is Happy Day Spa, where W10,000 will buy you up to 12 hours usage of the facilities.
Getting There: The subway stops running after midnight, so you’ll have to take a taxi to wherever you decide to spend the night. Happy Day Spa is located at Seoul-si Mapo-gu Seogyo-dong 371-10 Gyusyudang Wedding Hall B1 (02-322-3399).

So there you have it, this is how to take on Seoul in 24 hours!

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