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How to Spend 1 Day in Seoul

How to Spend 1 Day in Seoul

Rich in tradition, yet forward-looking and dynamic, Seoul is a buzzing city of street markets, palaces, skyscrapers, and temples—all set to a K-pop soundtrack. The Korean capital has plenty to fill a week of time, but if you only have a day, you can still catch the highlights. Here’s how to make the most of your limited time in Seoul.

Morning: City Sightseeing

Start your morning at Namsan Tower (N Seoul Tower) to take in the panoramic views over the South Korean capital from the highest point in downtown. After an hour here, explore Seoul’s most notable landmarks on a guided city tour. Admire the architecture of Jogyesa Temple (the main Zen Buddhist temple in the country), watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Presidential Blue House, and learn about the Joseon Dynasty while touring the expansive Gyeongbokgung Palace. If you’d rather see the sights at your own pace, opt for a hop-on hop-off bus tour instead.

Afternoon: Palaces and Markets

After lunch, spend some time touring one of Seoul’s Five Grand Palaces. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Changdeokgung Palace is the best preserved of Seoul’s royal Joseon palaces, and it served as the seat of kings for 270 years. Changgyeonggung Palace, situated in the heart of Seoul, was the residential quarters for many Joseon queens and concubines. After your palace tour, head to the neighborhood of Insadong, known for its traditional teahouses and antiques shops, or Namdaemun, Korea’s largest traditional market and an excellent place to pick up gifts and souvenirs.

Night: Dinner Cruises & Street Stalls

Seoul truly comes alive at night, and you have several options for spending your evening. Board a cruise for a float along the Han River for nighttime views of Seoul’s illuminated bridges and skyscrapers—including Namsan Tower—with narration to point out what you’re seeing. Foodies won’t want to miss a guided night food tour through the streets of Seoul. Sample Korean barbecue, savory seafood pancakes, kimchi, Korean rice wine, and soju from a variety of street stalls and night markets.

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5 Tours and Activities

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Seoul City Sightseeing Tour Including Gyeongbokgung Palace, N Seoul Tower, and Namsangol Hanok Village

Seoul City Sightseeing Tour Including Gyeongbokgung Palace, N Seoul Tower, and Namsangol Hanok Village

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65
This full-day sightseeing tour of Seoul showcases the best of Korea’s history, culture, and traditions. Led by a guide, see the city’s major landmarks, including Jogyesa Temple and Gyeongbokgung Palace, National Folk Museum, N Seoul Tower, and Namsangol Hanok Village. Watch the changing of the guards during a stop at Gwanghwamun Gate and enjoy a traditional Korean lunch with your fellow travelers in Insadong. Your full-day tour also includes a stop at a traditional ginseng center.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$90.00
From
$90.00

Small-Group Korean Night Food Tour

Small-Group Korean Night Food Tour

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277
Learn about Korea’s culinary culture on this tasting tour of Seoul. Stroll through the streets with an expert in local cuisine, stopping at local food stalls and eateries plus a food market or village. Sample a variety of foods like Korean barbecue, savory pancakes, and spicy rice cake stew. Wash it all down with alcoholic beverages such as Korean rice wine and soju (distilled liquor). Your guided small-group walking tour covers plenty of ground in the bustling district of Jongno-gu, with numbers limited to 12 people.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$106.79
From
$106.79

Korean Palace and Market Tour in Seoul Including Insadong and Gyeongbokgung Palace

Korean Palace and Market Tour in Seoul Including Insadong and Gyeongbokgung Palace

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125
Discover the history and cultural traditions of Korea on this full-day tour of Seoul’s palaces and markets. Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace including its National Folklore Museum, and see Jogyesa Buddhist Temple and Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Your informative guide accompanies you to Insadong and Namdaemun to explore these bustling local markets on foot. Enjoy a Korean lunch and convenient round-trip coach transport from your hotel.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.11
From
$84.11

Best of Seoul Tour in the Morning

Best of Seoul Tour in the Morning

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72
Visit top landmarks in Seoul on a morning sightseeing tour with an expert guide. Admire the architecture of Jogyesa Temple, a hub for Zen Buddhism, and explore Gyeongbokgung Palace before observing the changing of the guard ceremony at the palace. Learn about Korean history and cultural traditions at Cheongwadae Sarangchae, and hear about the Joseon dynasty’s long rule. Your local guide shares key facts and fascinating insights throughout your coach tour, which includes hotel pickup as well as drop-off at either City Hall or Itaewon.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$30.00
From
$30.00

Korean Heritage Tour: Palaces and Villages of Seoul Including Gyeongbokgung Palace

Korean Heritage Tour: Palaces and Villages of Seoul Including Gyeongbokgung Palace

star-4
24
This full-day tour of Seoul offers an in-depth look at Korea’s rich cultural heritage. With your guide, tour the gates and pavilions of Gyeongbokgung Palace; browse historical exhibits at the National Folklore Museum; and visit the Korean Folk Village and Jogyesa Buddhist Temple. Enjoy a Korean lunch and comfortable round-trip coach transport from your hotel.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$101.35
From
$101.35