Seoul is a great place to travel to and spend a few days but of course as many other big cities, it can get quite expensive. That’s why I wanted to put together a list of 10 free things to do in Seoul that you can add to your bucketlist.
I hope I will be able to give you some tips you haven’t heard of before and that will help you in your planning for your trip to Seoul.
1. Watch the Sunset from Namsan Mountain
One of my top favorite free things to do in Seoul is to go up to Namsan Mountain (not the tower itself) when it is still bright outside and wait for the sunset. The sunset from up there is truly breathtaking and I have watched it so many times. You can either take a bus up the mountain, or if you want to save money, you can also walk up. This will of course take a bit longer but it’s what many people do before enjoying the amazing view.
2. Visit a Palace on the last Wednesday of each month
Did you know that you can get free entrance to the palaces in Seoul on every last Wednesday of the month? The last Wednesday of the month is culture day so you will get free admission. However, keep in mind that the Secret Garden is not free and you would still need to pay for a guided tour ticket. If you happen to be in Seoul around that time, it’s a great way to save some money.
3. Stroll through the old Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village is a place that cannot be missed on a list of free things to do in Seoul. It’s an area that is beautiful no matter the season you visit. The area is located between Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, and Jongmyo Shrine and is great to explore on the same day.
Bukchon Hanok Village is a traditional Korean village comprised of many old Hanok houses and people do still live inside of them. That’s why you will also see many signs around about staying quiet when walking around in order to not disturb the residents.
There are also many great viewpoints to take great pictures of Seoul.
4. Relax at one of the Han River Parks
Seoul has many Han River parks that are great for relaxing both in the evening and during the day. Especially on weekends you can find many people doing picnics in the park and enjoying each others company. There are places to rent picnic equipment at the major parks like Yeouido Hangang Park but to save money, you can also bring your own picnic blanket or sit on your jacket – whichever you prefer.
Han River is a great place to hangout by yourself or with friends. During the warmer period I sometimes went to the Han River to draw or just enjoy the river and park and get away a bit from the bustling city life.
5. Watch busking and dancing performances at Hongdae and Sinchon
I am sure you have seen pictures or videos of busking and dancing performances in Seoul. These usually happen around Hongdae and Sinchon and are always fun to watch. Even if you are not interested in KPop, it is still such a fun and unique experience. That why I wanted to add this to the list of free things to do in Seoul.
6. Go hiking in and around Seoul
I am not the biggest fan of hiking but one of the things that a lot of travelers as well as locals enjoy doing is to hike one of the many mountains in and around Seoul. Some of the popular hiking areas within Seoul are the following:
- Inwangsan Mountain
- Bukhansan Mountain
- Namsan Park
- Dobongsan Trail
Some of these hiking trails are more difficult than others but I heard the view from the top are just as stunning everywhere.
7. Explore one of Seoul's many Museums
Seoul has many many museums and exhibitions. And while most exhibitions are paid, you can visit almost any museum for free. One of the museums I definitely recommend visiting if you want to learn more about Seoul and Korea are the following:
- National Museum of Korea
- Seoul Museum of History
- War Memorial of Korea
8. Visit the Blue House
Address: 1 Cheongwadae-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 청와대로 1)
Since the president of Korea moved his offices to the Yongsan district and no longer resides in the Blue House, the Blue House has now officially opened to the public. Just make sure that you reserve your ticket online as they do not sell tickets at the site.
9. Watch the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain Show at night at Banpo Bridge
From May to October you can see a beautiful night time rainbow water fountain show at Banpo Hangang Park. The fountain show happens every Saturday from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm and lasts 20 minutes. The actual time of the show varies from month to month so make sure to check beforehand. The rainbow water show is accompanied by different kinds of music that perfectly matches the movements of the water.
10. Take a stroll along Cheonggyecheon Stream
Cheonggyecheon is a stream that goes through the middle of Seoul and can be reached from many different spots. It’s a 10.9 km long recreational area in downtown Seoul and very popular especially for night time walks. It starts (or ends depending where you come from) at City Hall and empties into the Han River around Hanyang University. And if you’re luckiy, you might see a few cranes flying around the stream or walking inside of it.
I hope this guide on free things to do in Seoul was helpful for you and that you found some things that you can add to your travel itinerary.
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