Continue from the previous post Things To Do In Seoul – Day 1 (Gyeongbokgung Palace, National Folk Museum, Insadong, Kimchi Museum).
If you missed that post, you can read it here.
Things To Do In Seoul, Korea, Day 2
1. Namsangol Hanok Village
Namsangol Hanok Village is also called “A Village of Traditional Houses in the Namsan Valley“. A peaceful historic traditional garden in the middle of busy Seoul city.
It consists of 5 villages, Gugakdang (Traditional Theater), traditional garden and Seoul Millennium Time Capsule Square. We find it quite peaceful to walk around this place on a not-so-busy weekday.
1.1 Hanok (Korean Traditional Houses)
“Hanok” means “traditional Korean houses”.
This Hanok Village was a famous summer vacation spot during Joseon Dynasty. It was called “the place where the gods live” because of its beautiful scenery. These 5 historic hanok houses have been restored and it is now a traditional culture and art space for the local and visitors to learn about the lives of the Korean ancestors.
1.2 Traditional Garden
This traditional garden has been restored by growing native trees of Namsan and created a valley. Now it has beautiful pond and pavilions everywhere. Walking through the garden we definitely found a sense of deep calm and peaceful moment here. What a moment! 🎋
1.3 Seoul Millennium Time Capsule
If you didn’t already know, Seoul was celebrating its 600th anniversary as the capital of Korea in 1994. To mark that milestone, 600 items were buried here and to be opened after 400 years, which will mark Seoul’s 1000th anniversary. Hence the name “Time Capsule”.
Namsangol Hanok Village was really interesting for us and we enjoyed the place very much. It was quite hot during the summer day so bring your own water and umbrella would be helpful.
2. Namdaemun Market (Street Eats and Shopping)
This is the largest and oldest traditional market in Seoul. Namdaemun means “Great South Gate” as it was the main southern gate to the old city.
We spent 3 hours there in the afternoon and had a good feast of local food there. This market is huge and has so much to see. From traditional kitchenware, clothes, fresh kimchi and seafood, and many street foods. Such an eye-opener.
You can watch the video below about our experience in Namdaemun and Myeongdong.
Inside one of those dark, dirty looking small street in Namdaemun, we found the best cold noodles we had in Seoul on this trip. So don’t be scared away by the alley like this. They are crowded for a reason! 🤔
Her cold noodles were really good. Spicy, of course authentic! A big bowl of delicious cold noodles, with free flow cold green tea, with complementary kimchi side dish and tofu seaweed soup. Total S$6.6 (5500 won)!
Of course, there were so many other fresh street foods to fill us up as seen in my video above and you will know why.
4. Myeongdong (Shopping Streets)
Myeongdong being the main shopping and tourism district is the “must-visit” place in Seoul! The shopping here is a little bit more expensive than Namdaemun, which is predominantly street eats and cheap bargain.
If you ask what to buy in Seoul? Answers are often: Korean skincare and cosmetic products like Faceshop, Misha, Nature Republic, Skin Food etc. You can do all your skincare product shopping here in Myeongdong, as well as pick up some Korean fashion items like clothes, accessories, shoes etc.
Since our hotel was literally just 5 minutes walk away (we were staying at Aloft Hotel Myeongdong (A Starwood hotel), we came here almost daily for food, coffee and sometimes foot massage. Too convenient! 😬
The street gets alive at night when food stalls are lined up in the middle of the street. So it’s best to come here from 4pm onwards where you can do your shopping first and then have your dinner here. Either street foods or there are so many restaurants around (ie: Korean BBQ, Ginseng Chicken etc.)
I wrote a full post about What To Eat in Seoul (Near Namdaemun and Myeongdong) if you are interested you can read it here.
- What To Do in Seoul Day 1- Royal Palace, Insadong, Kimchi Museum
- Our hotel stay in Aloft Hotel (Myeongdong, Seoul) – $150/N