My Top Recommended Places to Visit in Seoul:
Chicken Baengi – We have to say, after being all over the world and trying all kinds of food, this place, hands down, has the best fried chicken on the planet! Okay okay, so that’s a pretty bold statement, but seriously, you will be blown away by what you will eat here. Chicken and beer restaurants/bars are probably Korean’s best kept secret. We aren’t talking KFC or Popeyes, we are talking about fried chicken that you have never experienced. It’s just too difficult to try to explain. Put it this way, if we had 500 bucks to burn, and we could only do one thing in Seoul, it would be to go here and eat a plate of regular fried chicken, bbq sweet and sour chicken, and a few pints of Cass. It’s seriously that good, do not miss it!
Two Two Chicken – Another chicken and beer joint. Just in case you can’t find our number one pick Chicken Baengi.
Yookssam Naengmyeon – We love this place for 3 reasons, the menu is super simple, it’s incredibly cheap, and it’s delicious! What more could you ask for you!
New Village Restaurant – Ah the dependable New Village Restaurant. New Village is a Korean BBQ chain and can literally be found all throughout Seoul. If you walk 15 minutes in one direction you will probably find one. The reason why we love this place is just because the food is great, the price is spot on and they just seem to always be open somewhere. Oh yeah, and we L-O-V-E Korean BBQ!
Myeongdong Street Food – Korean street food is amazing! If you see a cart (especially one with a line) try it out and enjoy the local cuisine! Be sure to try Toppoki, Sundae (Soondae), and Pappinsu. You can’t go wrong with these!
Glam Lounge – Glam is a trendy bar/lounge with one super long bar down the middle and just packed with good looking 20 and 30 year olds. If you want a good time out in Itaewon away from all the tourist/military bars, this is the place. It’s also next door to a very cool club which you can pop into to get your groove on until the early hours of the morning! They are both part of the same place called District but the club area has a cover charge you need to pay to get inside.
B One Lounge Club – One of the best places to get down and get your groove on. After you have done the bar hopping thing in Hongdae, Apgujeong, Gangnam, and Itaewon. And you are ready to dance your ass off, head over to B One Lounge Club, one of the hottest clubs in Seoul
Haeundae Beach – Is the sun out and is it warm? Wanna break from the hustle of the city? Then head down to Haeundae beach and chill with the locals!
Dongdaemun – Dongdaemun is one of the cities in Seoul. It’s famous for it’s 24/7 shopping malls that never close. This city never sleeps and you can walk through massive complexes that operate 24/7. We aren’t talking about designer brands, just a bit of everything. And since this area never stops, there are tons of restaurants, bars, and outdoor activities always taking place.
Lotte World – Korea’s answer to not having a Disneyland. Lotte World is a HUGE indoor amusement park with rollercoasters, children rides, shows, and more. It’s a pretty impressive site to see how much they fit inside this mega complex. The island which is connected to the main park of the amusement park has more of the adult rides and roller coasters. Funny thing is, each of the rides look suspiciously similar to Disneyland’s rides. For example Sinbad’s adventure looks like a straight copy of Indiana Jones with just different characters. 😉 But we still love it and it makes for a fun place to visit in the evening with their half day discounted passes!
Paradise Walker Hill – Fancy trying your luck at the card tables? Yep, Korea does have a casino and it’s right in the middle of the city.
Namsan Park – Seoul’s largest parks. You can enjoy a nice walk through the park and head up to the tower for a view of the city!
Apgujeong – Apgujeong is a cool trendy city where the 20s and 30s crowd hangs out. It’s filled with upscale restaurant, shops, and bars.
Myeondong – Where the teenagers and early 20s hang out. The feeling is very similar to Japanese Harajuku area, with tons of fast fashion retailers, fast food joints, and street vendors.
Hongdae – Oh Hongdae, you are what really make Seoul for us. Hongdae is a college town but at night feels like just one big CLUB. If you go to only one place, go here, eat at Chicken Baengi and then drink or dance your ass off. Basically colleges are scattered throughout this area and in between all of the colleges it’s just PACKED with restaurants, bars, and clubs. Literally, any night of the week, this place is pumping. Just get dropped off on the main street that leads into this area and then just walk around. If you know what a fraternity row feels like (an area with a lot of fraternity houses in it), well it’s like that but the size of the area covers something like a 5 by 5 street block area.
Hwaseong Fortress – This cool area makes you feel like you have just gone back in time. If Seoul gets snow on the ground, we highly recommend this place as it looks really cool! It’s a walled city and you can walk the entire perimeter along the stone walls and check out the look out points and where the soldiers once slept and defended the area.
Seoul Lantern Festival – If you are in Seoul around November, this festival should not be missed. It consists of what feels like hundreds of lanterns that are floating in the water way around city hall.
DMZ – Go to the border of North and South Korea. See where the North Koreans built underground tunnels to try to infiltrate and attack the South. Go to the look out point and look into North Korea. There are a lot of tour agencies that do tours to the DMZ. We recommend either the full or half day. The half day sees more than enough though if you are short on time.
The Story of King Sejong – A very cool museum dedicated to King Sejong. He was the one that invented the Korean’s current writing system and introduced many things in the fields of science, art, and music.
Gyeongbok Palace – This symbolic palace with the mountains in the background is a perfect destination to snap a photo to remember your visit to Korea.
Food you Must Try!
We are probably butchering the spelling, so we apologize in advance.
- Yamyom Ghalbi (Marinated Ghalbi): Delicious beef served at Korean BBQ restaurants
- Samgyopsal – Delicious pork Korean BBQ
- Samgetan – It’s a hot soup, similar to chicken noodle soup, but different. It includes usually a half chicken boiled with rice and some vegetables and herbs. It’s delicious and healthy!
- Bulgogi – You definitely need to order this when you are at a Korean BBQ restaurant. It just goes without saying…but we thought we would remind you here.
- Toppoki – Delicious sticky rice usually served in a spicy sauce with chicken or pork
- Korean Fried Chicken – You can’t beat Korean fried chicken. Try it!
- Korean Hot Pot – Delicious spicy soup with various ingredients
- Bibimbap – A Korean hot stone rice dish. It’s beef with vegetables over rice, served in a hot stone bowl. Add your spicy korean paste, mix everything up and enjoy!
- Chijimi – Nicknamed the Korean pancake. This is usually made with seafood and the base is egg and vegetables. Very delicious!
Words and Phrases you Must Know!
Again, we are probably butchering the spelling, but we thought it would be best to spell the words in a way that non speakers of Korean could hopefully pronounce them as best as possible.
- Yogio – This means “here” and used in restaurant settings when you want to call to the waitor or waitress to have them come to your table. Similar to the word Sumimasen in Japanese. Unlike western countries, in Asia, you call the waiter or waitress over to your table. If it’s a loud and noisy restaurant, yelling it to your waitor/waitress is perfectly fine! Isn’t Asia fun! Can you believe you get such great on-demand service and there is no expectation of a tip.
- Juseyo – Please. Used when making requests like when ordering food. Beer Juseyo for example. Similar to the Japanese word Onegaishimasu
- Mul – Water. You can say Mul Juseyo to ask for a glass of water in a restaurant
- Fahjunshil – Toilet
- Odiiminika – Where is…? So mix and match what you have learned thus far…Fahjunshil odiiminika? Where is the toilet. Isn’t language fun. You’re gonna have a blast in Korea!
- Mashisoyo – Delicious! Staff and chefs love to hear compliments. If you are eating some amazing food in Korea, which you will be, tell them, Mashisoyo!!
- Andeyo – Can’t do it.
- Ul Maeo – How much is it?
- Pisao – Expensive
- Gakka Juseyo – Discount please – great for bartering. Remember, people wont expect you to be fluent, actually they will be surprised you know this much. Don’t worry if you can’t hold a conversation. Just the fact that you are utterly a few words here and there, means you are trying. And people respect and enjoy that!
- Umishi – Food
- Keisanso – Check / The Bill – in a restaurant
- Iige Moyeyo – How do you say…X? The first phrase we ALWAYS learn when we visit a country. It’s the rosetta stone to any language. With a bit of charades and point and this phrase you can pretty much learn anything and then expand on your sentence. Let’s say you want to know the word for water. You can point to your glass of water and say Iige Moyeyo? Or if they know a word in English you can say, Iige Moyeyo…dog?
- Ee – Yes (affirmative)
- Mwoh – What?
- Wue (wae) – Why?
- Chiruhada – Boring
Visiting a new country and learning about the local people is an amazing experience. Multiply that experience by 100x if you throw in a little local lingo. You will be amazed by how much more fun you will have. Enjoy!