5 Days to Get the DMZ, Winter Sonata, Shopping and Soul Out of Seoul

5 Days to Get the DMZ, Winter Sonata, Shopping and Soul Out of Seoul

For Phebe, she would choose India over South Korea simply for the pleasure of going for a challenging adventure. However, a trip to Seoul has changed her and made her fall in love with the city.

To some, heading to Seoul is like a dream of a lifetime. Watching the autumn leaves fall while enjoying the cool breeze, eating barbecued meat on a heated grill while slurping down bowls of ginseng soup, taking photos with the poster of handsome actor Bae Yong Joon on Nami Island – it is one of life’s simple yet happy moments.


Image Credit: Wikipedia

Planning a five-day itinerary in Seoul

My favourite place in the world is India. I love things that are chaotic, challenging and sometimes crazy. I thought South Korea was a tad too mild for me, but at the request of a Friend, I went along. Never did I expect to love Seoul so much. I discovered that Korea is a country brimming with culture, taste and attitude. I learnt about the sad history of Korea, and I strongly recommend you to include the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)  into your itinerary. In a nutshell, I thought it will be good to share some tips on planning a five-day itinerary in Seoul. Hope you have fun, and a very memorable trip 🙂

Day 1 – Gyeongbokgung / Insa-dong


Image Credit: Josh Hallett

Gyeongbokgung is easily accessible by subway and is just a short 10-minutes walk away from Insa-dong, Seoul’s art and culture street. You can find hot meals there to fill your tummy too. My travel companion fell in love with Insa-dong when we were there. If you love art, street culture and intricate, cute items like keychains and earrings, come to Insa-dong.

Day 2 – DMZ Tour/ Myeong Dong / Bukchon Hanok Village


Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The DMZ Tour is a must-go for first timers to South Korea. If you’re seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, try the Bukchon Hanok Village. It’s a lovely and romantic place. No wonder Winter Sonata was filmed in the school there. Unfortunately, one of the local restaurants which we loved caught fire. Read on to find out more.

Day 3: Nami Island

Fans of the popular drama serial Winter Sonata go there to take photos with Bae Yong Joon’s poster. If you’re not a fan, it’s still a romantic spot and a great way to get in touch with nature. Our only gripe is that it took us two hours just to get there from downtown Seoul. If you’re keen, do set aside a full day to visit Nami Island.

Day 4: Mecenatpolis Mall (메세나폴리스) / Erwa Women’s University / Insa-dong

Mecenatpolis is just a stone’s throw away from the Hapjeong Subway station. It’s like a three-minutes walk when you leave from Exit 10. It’s a great place to have lunch if you’re looking for army stew.

Erwa Women’s University is a great place for shopping and chilling out at cafes. I may even go as far as to say that if Singapore had more spacious and cool cafes to study at, I’m sure my grades would have been better 😉

Day 5: Seoul Grand Park / Dongdaemun / Hongdae


Image Credit: Kaizer Rangwala

I spent a sleepless night in Seoul, in a hostel bitten by mosquitoes. It was not one of the best. But I plucked up some energy to head down to Seoul’s Grand Park at 7.30am the next day and it was worth it : )

Contributed by The Travelling Squid.

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About Author

Phebe Bay

Phebe is the author of The Travelling Squid, a travel blog filled with tips and anecdotes of her "career of travelling", which began at a tender age of 19. Despite having been to many top destinations, India continues to remain as Phebe's favourite place in the world. Phebe has a bad sense of direction but continues to travel, sometimes alone because of her quirky habits and intensely inquisitive mind.

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