6-9 Days Korea Autumn Itinerary
KoreaToDo has put together a step-to-step Autumn Foliage itinerary for travellers to Seoul, Korea.
🍂Korea Autumn Tips:
Recommended travel dates: end October to mid November 2019
Plan for overnight stay outside Seoul (recommended)
Weather forecast: Maximum and Minimum Temperature
1. Recommended Activities, Tours & Tickets to pre-purchase before trip (optional)
2. Recommended SEOUL Hotel Location:
anywhere near Myeongdong Station, preferably on the same side of the road as 'Nine Tree Hotel Myeongdong' (i.e. 2 mins walk to airport limousine bus drop off/pick up bus stop, near exit 8 of Myeongdong Station)
2. Recommended OVERNIGHT Stay at SOKCHO:
Kensington Hotel Seorak, the nearest hotel with less than 5 mins walk to Seoraksan National Park's entrance.
Due to limited accommodation near the park's entrance, please book your accommodation early especially during the peak autumn season. Get surrounded in nature and skip the morning and late afternoon heavy traffic to/fro the park.
If you can't find your preferred accommodation near to Seoraksan National Park, you may like to consider to stay with Lotte Resort Sokcho or other accommodation at Sokcho seaside town.
3. Download Mobile Apps
more travel tips....
Day 1: Arrived Seoul / Check in / Haneul Park / BBQ Lunch / Get bus ticket / Express Bus Terminal Underground Shopping
At Incheon Airport - Arrival Hall (public area after collecting luggage)
Pick up pre-purchased WIFI Router & SIM Card at Incheon Airport (where applicable).
Recommend to purchase T-money Card at the 24-hours CU Convenience store near Exit 5 (/11/14) on 1F (arrival hall) of Terminal 1 (T1) or CS25/7-Eleven on 1F (arrival hall) of Terminal 2 (T2). Card deposit is ₩4,000. Suggest to top up at least ₩20,000 to ₩30,000 as the airport limousine fare is ₩15,000.
(The card can be used on airport limousine bus to city, bus, taxi, subway and convenience stores. Top up at any downtown convenience stores or subway stations. More details...)
Take Airport Limousine Bus from Incheon Airport (T1/T2) to City (i.e. Myeongdong Station Bus Stop)
Bus #: 6015
Interval: 4-6 departures per hour
Duration: 80 mins
Fare: ₩15,000 (discount may apply when used with T-money Card)
No reservation required. Just join the queue and it is free seating on board.
Departing from T1 to Myeongdong Station:
First bus 05:45 | Last Bus 23:15
Walk outside of arrival hall (1F) at Gate 5, look for Bus #6015 to Myeongdong at bus platform 5B.
Departing from T2 to Myeongdong Station:
First bus 05:25 | Last Bus 22:55
Go to Basement 1 for platform No. 28
Tab the T-money Card on boarding.
(alternatively, bus ticket can be purchased at arrival hall's counters or by cash to driver)
Note: If you wish to take the non-stop AREX Incheon Airport Express Train from Incheon Airport direct to Seoul Station (T1 - 43 mins / T2 - 51 mins) and transfer to subway line to Myeongdong Station, you may need to carry your luggage up/down the stairs on train transfer and at Myeongdong station.
Check into accommodation booked after alighting from Airport Bus at Myeongdong Station Bus Stop.
For early arrival into Seoul:
Would you like to have something to eat before starting the day? Check out the cafes around Myeongdong Station or near your accommodation.
Take the subway from Myeongdong Station to World Cup Stadium Station (line 6, 34 mins, 1 transfer, exit 1). Use KakaoMetro or MetroidHD app for the applicable train lines and transfer station.
Using KakaoMap (or Map to Haneul Park), turn right on station exit and take a leisure walk round the stadium and cross at the first junction to Haneul Park. 10 mins.
Every October, Haneul Park held the popular Seoul Silver Grass Festival till late at night. Challenge yourself to the 291 stairs up to the sky park or take the easy golf-cart shuttle ride for a minimal fee.
After Haneul Park, walk back World Cup Stadium Station.
Take the subway from World Cup Stadium Station to Digital Media City Station (same line, 1 stop, exit 8/9).
Walk to BBQ Restaurant, 3 mins. See Walking Map to Hansang Gadeuk.
Have your lunch at this unique BBQ restaurant grilling on giant-sized pot lid.
After the meal, walk back to Digital Media City Station. Take the subway to Express Bus Terminal Station (line 3/7/9, 1 transfer, 41 mins, exit 1). Use KakaoMetro or MetroidHD app for the train lines and transfer station.
On station's exit, turn right to Seoul Gangnam Express Bus Terminal (Gyeongbu Line).
Purchase your return bus ticket over the counter to Sokcho (속초).
Use www.kobus.co.kr to check for bus schedule, price and seats availability. Departure: Seoul>Seoul Gyeongbu and Destination: Gangwon>Sokcho
It is recommend to get your bus tickets upon your arrival to Seoul during peak autumn season travel.
Online bus reservation is only possible with Korean mobile number and credit card.
Walk back to Express Bus Terminal Station, exit 8-1/8-2.
Shop at the largest underground mall in Seoul with over 600 stores.
After shopping, take the subway from Express Bus Terminal Station back to Myeongdong Station (line 4, 1 transfer, 22 mins). Use KakaoMetro or MetroidHD app for the train lines and transfer station.
Day 2: Olympic Park / Garak Market / Yonsei University / Ewha Womans University / Sinchon Shopping District
Take the subway from Myeongdong Station to Olympic Park Station (line 5, 1 transfer, 36 mins, exit 3 direct to park)
Key attractions at this big park in Autumn includes Cosmos, Pink Muhly Grass, Roses and Ginkgo Trees.
After exploring Olympic Park, instead of taking the longer path back to Olympic Park Station, walk towards Mongchontoseong Station.
Take the subway from Mongchontoseong Station to Garak Market Station (line 3/8, 4 stops, 7 mins, exit 1/2).
Walk towards the building (fish market) next to you upon station exit.
Lunch at Garak Market.
Compared to Noryangjin Fish Market, this market is nearer to the subway station and offers the same wide selection of live seafood and restaurants [& clean].
You can pick your favourite seafood and bring it up to the restaurant upstairs for cooking (charges apply). Alternatively, you can go upstairs to pick your preferred restaurant and they may get someone [like mandarin speaking] to bring you downstairs to assist you with the purchase.
After lunch, you can walk to the wholesale section (vegetables, fruits, etc) of Garak Market next to the fish market building (optional).
Take the subway from Garak Market Station to Sinchon Station (line 2, 1 transfer, 45 mins, exit 2/3).
Upon station's exit, walk straight all the way to Underwood Hall at Yonsei University. 18 mins.
Yonsei University is one of the most beautiful campuses in Seoul and a popular film location. Enjoy the best of Autumn at its three Gothic-style buildings and garden.
Walk to Ewha Womans University, located next to Yonsei University. Its main entrance is located along Sinchon Station (Gyeongui-Jungang line), 20 mins. see map of entrance (or use KakaoMap App if required).
Probably the most visited university in Seoul by foreign tourists. Ewha Womans University is the largest university for women in South Korea and a well-known film location as well.
Spend the rest of the day shopping and have your dinner at Sinchon Shopping District, located just outside Ewha Womans University main entrance.
Depending on your location, you can walk to either Ewha Womans University Station or Sinchon Station to take the subway back to Myeongdong Station (line 4, 1 transfer, 25 mins). Use KakaoMap App if required.
Day 3: Seoraksan National Park
Take the subway from Myeongdong Station to Express Bus Terminal Station (line 3/7/9, 22 mins, 1 transfer, exit 1).
Board the intercity bus to Sokcho (2.5hrs journey) with the bus ticket purchased days before.
TIP: If you have some time to spare before your bus departure time,
Check out the Wholesale Flower Market located on the 3rd floor of the bus terminal building.
Upon arrival at Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, for overnight stay at:
Kensington Hotel Seorak: Take the shuttle bus #7/7-1 across the road (30-40 mins, see walking direction or use KakaoMap App, drop off at Kensington Hotel Entrance - 2nd last stop); or taxi (20 mins). After check in, walk to Seoraksan National Park (5 mins walk).
Lotte Resort Sokcho: Take taxi outside the bus terminal to hotel (7 mins). After check in, take taxi to Seoraksan National Park (23 mins).
Spend your day walking/hiking at Seoraksan National Park. Lunch at the park.
After the walk at Seoraksan National Park, spend the rest of the day at Kensington Hotel (or your accommodation) and dinner at hotel.
Check the Cable Car starting time for the next day. Plan to start your next day early (if possible) especially for the Cable Car ride during peak autumn season.
Day 4: Seoraksan National Park, Sokcho Market & Beach
Get to Seoraksan National Park early in the morning and hopefully to beat the crowd to Seorak Cable Car ride (highly recommended).
TIP: Check out your accommodation where required. [For stay at Kensington Hotel, leave your overnight pack at hotel and collect it later].
Take the cable car ride to enjoy the autumn spectacular of Mt. Seoraksan. The ride will take you to Gwongeumseong (Gwongeumseong Fortress) Platform and you can make a 10 mins walk to the top, Bonghwadae.
After completing Seoraksan National Park [& collect your overnight pack at Kensington Hotel], take the bus (40 mins) or Taxi (23 mins) to Sokcho Tourist & Fishery Market.
TIP: Try to depart after noon (12pm) before the late afternoon traffic picks up during the peak autumn season.
The market is listed as the 'Best Traditional Markets for Foreign Tourists' by Korea Tourism Organisation. You can have seafood lunch at any of the basement restaurants or check out is popular Korean Fried Chicken at the market.
From your whereabouts, use KakaoMap App:
take the bus to Sokcho Express Bus Terminal (12 mins) and walk 7 mins to the beach; OR
get a taxi direct to the beach (11 mins).
Enjoy the beach and perhaps have a picnic of your market food right on the beach.
Walk back to Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, 7 mins (use KakaoMap App if required).
Take the intercity bus back to Seoul.
TIP: Check with the ticketing counter if you need to change your ticket for an earlier bus back to Seoul.
Upon arrival in Seoul, take the subway from Express Bus Terminal Station back to Myeongdong Station (line 4, 1 transfer, 22 mins).
Dinner at Myeongdong.
Day 5: Ttukseom Hangang Park / Gwangjang Market / Cheonggyecheon Stream / N Seoul Tower
Take the subway from Myeongdong Station to Ttukseom Resort Station (line 7, 2 transfers, 33 mins, exit 2/3 arriving directly at Hangang Park) or 18 mins on taxi.
Enjoy a relax morning at this park along Han River. Rent a bicycle just outside the subway station, ride the duck boat on Han River, enjoy coffee at the cafe inside the unique 240m long cylindrical complex, etc.
Take the subway from Ttukseom Resort Station to Euljiro 4-ga Station (line 2/5, 1 transfer, 21 mins, exit 4, 5 mins walk crossing Cheonggyecheon Stream along the way).
Lunch at this market known for its many delicious food like Mung Bean Pancakes, seaweed rolls, Spicy Rice Cakes, etc.
After lunch, walk back to Cheonggyecheon Stream that you have passed by along the way to Gwangjang Market.
Get down to the stream and walk on the right side towards Euljiro 3-ga Station. Use KakapMap App for direction. 8 mins walk. For travelling on 1-17 Nov 2019, catch the Seoul Lantern Festival at the stream.
Exit the stream and walk towards Euljiro 3-ga Station. 2 mins walk.
Take the subway from Euljiro 3-ga Station to Dongguk Univ. Station (line 3, 2 stops, exit 6).
U-turn upon station exit. Walk towards the bus stop for bus 02, 03 or 05 to N Seoul Tower. 1 min walk. see walking map or use KakaoMap App.
Take bus 02, 03 or 05 to the last stop at N Seoul Tower.
TIP: For those up to the challenge, drop off at the 2nd bus stop (Namsan Northern Circuit Entry Stop) for the 30-40 mins walk up to N Seoul Tower. Enjoy the autumn foliage along the way.
Explore the many activities available like Ryan CHEEZZZBALL Adventure, Hello Kitty Island, Observatory, Proposal Staircase, etc. Enjoy the beauty of autumn from the top at N Seoul Tower.
Dinner at one of the many restaurants at N Seoul Tower.
Recommended Activities & Discount Tickets for N Seoul Tower
Take Bus 05 back to Myeongdong, 14 mins.
TIPS: If you are leaving before sunset,
you may even catch the autumn foliage on the bus ride down!
OR walk on the road in the same direction as the bus going down to enjoy the autumn foliage & catch Bus 05 at the bus stop (Namsan Library) ahead back to Myeongdong.
OR take Bus 03 to Seoul Station (2 subway stops away to Myeongdong Station, line 4). From there, you can walk on the Sky Walk (Seoullo 7017) to Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang (Korean Traditional Spa) or shop for your favourite Korean snacks at Lotte Mart.