5-9 Days Trip Itinerary for First Timers to Seoul, Korea

KoreaToDo has put together a step-to-step detailed trip itinerary for first timers (or any busy travellers with little time for planning) to Seoul, Korea.

 

It offers ONE central page of information for all your key travel needs to Seoul. They include, where to stay, important mobile apps to use, how to get from Incheon International Airport to your hotel in Myeongdong (the most popular and central place to stay in Seoul), day-by-day itinerary with detailed transport/walking guides on getting from one attraction to another, recommended tours, shops and restaurants.

The itinerary covers 4 out of 5 Korea's Top 10 Most Popular Attractions of 2021 in SEOUL (i.e. N Seoul Tower, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok VillageInsadong), as released by Korean Tourism Organization. It also covers 2 previous attraction winners, Myeongdong and Hongdae, excluding another palace (Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden) from the itinerary. 2 other Top 10 winners can be visited on a day tour/trip from Seoul, namely Nami IslandHwadam Botanic Garden.

Itinerary Highlights

N Seoul Tower 🎖
N Seoul Tower 🎖
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Gyeongbokgung Palace 🎖
Gyeongbokgung Palace 🎖
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Bukchon Hanok Village 🎖
Bukchon Hanok Village 🎖
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Insadong 🎖
Insadong 🎖
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Nami Island 🎖
Nami Island 🎖
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Hwadam Botanic Garden🎖
Hwadam Botanic Garden🎖
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Myeongdong Shopping District
Myeongdong Shopping District
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Hongdae (Hongik University Street)
Hongdae (Hongik University Street)
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Seoul Plaza
Seoul Plaza
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Cheonggyecheon Stream
Cheonggyecheon Stream
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Gwanghwamun Square
Gwanghwamun Square
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Tosokchon Samgyetang
Tosokchon Samgyetang
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Ewha Womans University
Ewha Womans University
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Sinchon & Ewha Womans Univ. Shopping
Sinchon & Ewha Womans Univ. Shopping
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Seoul Trick Eye Museum
Seoul Trick Eye Museum
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Ice Museum
Ice Museum
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LOVE Museum
LOVE Museum
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Gwangjang Market
Gwangjang Market
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Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Dongdaemun Design Plaza
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Dongdaemun Shopping Malls
Dongdaemun Shopping Malls
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Before Departure

1. Recommended Activities, Tours & Tickets to pre-purchase before trip (optional)

N Seoul Tower Ticket in Seoul

N Seoul Tower Ticket in Seoul

4.6★

enjoy breathtaking views

4G Pocket WiFi (KR Airport Pick Up) - KT OLLEH (Unlimited Data)

4G Pocket WiFi (KR Airport Pick Up) - KT OLLEH (Unlimited Data)

4.7★

max 3 devices / 24 hrs pick up

4G SIM Card (KR Airport Pick Up) - KT OLLEH (5/10/20/30 days options)

4G SIM Card (KR Airport Pick Up) - KT OLLEH (5/10/20/30 days options)

4.8★

data, calls & texts/24 hrs pick up

4G Pocket WiFi (KR Airport Pick Up) - SK TELECOM (Unlimited Data)

4G Pocket WiFi (KR Airport Pick Up) - SK TELECOM (Unlimited Data)

4.7★

max 3 devices/pickup 6am-10pm

2. Recommended 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)

3. Download Mobile Apps

a) Korea Subway Info App - Metroid HD or KakaoMetro

b) Location/Walking Direction Map - KakaoMap or Naver Map

Day 1: Arrived Seoul / Check in / Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang / Namsan Seoul Tower / Myeongdong

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...)

T Money Card
T Money Card
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CU Convenience Store at Incheon Airport
CU Convenience Store at Incheon Airport
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GS25 Convenience Store at Incheon
GS25 Convenience Store at Incheon
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7-Eleven Convenience Store at Incheon
7-Eleven Convenience Store at Incheon
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T-Money Usage in Taxi
T-Money Usage in Taxi
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Notes: Airport Limousine Bus# 6015 between Incheon International Airport and Myeongdong has resumed operation in 3Q2022. Please check Incheon International Airport official website on the latest bus schedule.

 

Alternative ways to get to Myeongdong from Incheon International Airport:

a) book your Private Airport Transfer by Car  OR

b) take the non-stop AREX Airport Railroad express train from Incheon International Airport direct to Seoul Station (Terminal 1: 43 mins / Terminal 2: 51 mins, ₩9,500) and transfer to subway for Myeongdong Station (line 4, 3 mins, 2 stops, ₩1,250). Luggage carrying up/down the stairs might be required. There are taxi stands outside Seoul Station too.

Airport Limousine Bus - 6015 | KoreaToDo

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.

Incheon T1 - Airport Bus - 6015
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Incheon T1 - Airport Bus - 6015
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Airport Limousine Bus - Using T-money
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Airport Limousine Bus 6015
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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)

Incheon International Airport - T2 - Platform 28 (6015 Bus to Myeongdong)

Check into accommodation booked after alighting from Airport Bus at Myeongdong Station Bus Stop.

For early arrival into Seoul on red-eye flight

If you need to take a rest before starting the day, why not take a short taxi ride (10 mins, ₩6,000) to Siloam, a Korean traditional spa located within walking distance from Seoul Station. ₩11,000 per entry with access to sauna, bath-house, sleeping rooms, restaurant, luggage keeping room, etc.

Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang 실로암사우나찜질방

Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang - Building
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Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang - Rest Area
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Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang - Sleeping Room
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Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang - Giok Bath
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Namsan Seoul Tower - Cable Car
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N Seoul Tower - Linlin Land
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N Seoul Tower - Proposal Staircase
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Tower 4F - A TWOSOME PLACE
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Top 10 Most Popular Attractions in Korea | KoreaToDo

From N Seoul Tower, take the Namsan Shuttle Bus No. 05 back to Myeongdong.

Namsan Seoul Tower - Namsan Shuttle Bus
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Namsan Seoul Tower - In Autumn
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Myeongdong Shopping District
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Myeongdong Shopping District
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Myeongdong Shopping District
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Myeongdong Shopping District
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Top 10 Most Popular Attractions in Korea | KoreaToDo
Myeongdong Kyoja - Kalguksu
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Loco Quan 401 Restaurant - BBQ
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Yoogane Myeongdong - Stir Fried Chicken
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OSULLOC TeaHouse - Myeongdong Branch
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Myeongdong Street Food
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Myeongdong Street Food
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Myeongdong Street Food
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Myeongdong Street Food
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Day 2: Seoul Plaza / Cheonggyecheon Stream / Gwanghwamun Square / Gyeongbokgung Palace / Tosokchon Samgyetang / Bukchon Hanok Village / Insadong

Depart 09.00 or earlier [ in time for the 10:00 changing of guard ceremony at palace]

Using KakaoMap or Naver Map, take an easy leisure walk from your accommodation to Seoul Plaza (15 mins), located right next to City Hall Station (line 1, exit 5) and facing The Plaza Seoul (hotel). The very popular Lotte Department Store (main branch) and the established Lotte Hotel Seoul that every taxi drivers know even in English are located nearby too.

Seoul Plaza
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Seoul Plaza
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Seoul Plaza
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Walk along the straight road, Sejong-daero at the side of Seoul Plaza (passing by City Hall Station, line 1, exit 4/5) towards Gyeongbokgung Palace (20 mins), bypassing Cheonggyecheon Stream and Gwanghwamun Square along the way. This is a nice, spacious and modern area in Seoul.

Gwanghwamun Square
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Cheonggyecheon Stream
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Cheonggyecheon Stream
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Cheonggyecheon Stream
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Cheonggyecheon Stream
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Gwanghwamun Square
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Gwanghwamun Square
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Gwanghwamun Square
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Gwanghwamun Square
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Gyeongbokgung Palace 경복궁

To arrive before 10:00 for the Changing of the Royal Guard Ceremony (20 mins), followed by the optional Free English Guided Tour at 11:00 (1-1.5 hrs). No reservation required.

The next Changing of the Royal Guard Ceremony is at 14:00.

For those who wish 'conserve' energy, you can take a taxi direct from Myeongdong to Gyeongbokgung Palace (20 mins, 6,000) or subway to Gyeongbokgung Station with 1 transfer (20 mins, 1,250). Use subway mobile app Metroid HD or KakaoMetro for the lines and transfer station.

Gyeongbokgung Palace
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Gyeongbokgung Palace
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Gyeongbokgung Palace
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Gyeongbokgung Palace
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Top 10 Most Popular Attractions in Korea | KoreaToDo

Walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace to the popular Tosokchon Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup) Restaurant. 10 mins.

Tosokchon Samgyetang
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Tosokchon Samgyetang
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Tosokchon Samgyetang
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Tosokchon Samgyetang
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Walk 5 mins to Gyeongbokgung Station (line 3).

Take the subway from Gyeongbokgung Station to the next stop, Anguk Station (line 3, exit 2). Walk to Bukchon Hanok Village (10 mins).

Bukchon Hanok Village
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Bukchon Hanok Village
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Bukchon Hanok Village
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Bukchon Hanok Village
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Top 10 Most Popular Attractions in Korea | KoreaToDo

Walk from Bukchon Hanok Village back towards Anguk Station to Insadong. 3 mins walk from exit 6.

Insadong - Street
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Insadong - Souvenir Shop
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Insadong - Ssamziegil
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Insadong - Street food
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Top 10 Most Popular Attractions in Korea | KoreaToDo

Dinner at one of the quaint restaurants at Insadong.

After dinner, complete the walk along Insadong-gil to the main road, Jong-ro. Turn left at Jung-ro, walk straight forward until you reach Jongno-3 ga station (5 mins). Take the train with 1 transfer back to Myeongdong Station (12 mins, ₩1,250). Use subway mobile app Metroid HD or KakaoMetro.

Alternatively, at any point along Insadong, you can take a taxi back to Myeongdong (10 mins, ₩5,000).

Day 3: Day Trip from Seoul

1. Recommended Day Tours from Seoul

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour

4.5★

bird’s eye view of North Korea

Nami Island, Garden of Morning Calm & Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour

Nami Island, Garden of Morning Calm & Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour

4.7★

Nami Island, Petite France & The Morning Calm Day Tour

Nami Island, Petite France & The Morning Calm Day Tour

4.7★

Namhansanseong Fortress, Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm Day Tour

Namhansanseong Fortress, Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm Day Tour

5.0★

multiple fabulous attractions

Day 4: Ewha Womans University / Sinchon Shopping District / Hongdae / Gwangjang Market / Dongdaemun

You can start the day any time you wish. Also, you can go to all the places recommended today or pick and choose your preferred. They are all on the same subway line (line 2), allowing you to travel from 1 place to another place easily. ☺

Take the subway from Myeongdong Station to Ewha Womans Univ. Station (line 2, exit 2/3, 18 mins). Use subway mobile app Metroid HD (search for "ehwa women's univ.") or KakaoMetro. Walk 5 mins to Ewha Womans University, by passing the shopping street along the way.

Ewha Womans University
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Ewha Womans University
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Ewha Womans University
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Ewha Womans University
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Sinchon & Ewha Womans Univ. Shopping
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Sinchon & Ewha Womans Univ. Shopping
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Sinchon & Ewha Womans Univ. Shopping
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Sinchon & Ewha Womans Univ. Shopping
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Take the subway from Ewha Womans Univ. Station to Hongik Univ. Station (2 stops away on the same line, line 2).

Hongdae (Hongik University Street)
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Seoul Trick Eye Museum
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Ice Museum
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LOVE Museum
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Top 10 Most Popular Attractions in Korea | KoreaToDo
Handmade Ring Making Workshop Hongdae

Handmade Ring Making Workshop Hongdae

4.4★

Nail Art & Hairstyling Experience at OLRANG, Hongdae

Nail Art & Hairstyling Experience at OLRANG, Hongdae

4.5★

onsite English translation

Trickeye 3D Museum in Hongdae

Trickeye 3D Museum in Hongdae

4.5★

Love Museum Hongdae

Love Museum Hongdae

4.4★

adults only

Take the subway from Hongik Univ. Station to Euljiro 4-ga Station (8 stops away on the same line, line 2, 15 mins). Walk 5 mins to Gwangjang Market.

Gwangjang Market
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Gwangjang Market
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Gwangjang Market
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Gwangjang Market
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Walk back to Euljiro 4-ga Station. Take the subway to Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station (next stop on the same line, line 2).

Designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the building's exterior attract many photographers and keen travellers. The site of Igansumun Floodgate of Seoul City Wall, almost entirely preserved in its original form.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza  - Oullim Square 2
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Dongdaemun Design Plaza
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Dongdaemun Design Plaza  - Exterior 3
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Dongdaemun Design Plaza - Igansumun
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Dongdaemun Shopping Malls
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Dongdaemun Shopping Malls
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Dongdaemun Shopping Malls
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Dongdaemun Shopping Malls
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After shopping, take the subway from Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station to Myeongdong Station (line 4, 2 stops, ₩1,250).

Alternatively, you can take a short taxi back to Myeongdong (10 mins, ₩5,000).

Day 5... : Self-explore based on your interest

1. Recommended Day Tours from Seoul

Yongmunsa, Dumulmeori, Dreamy Camera Cafe & River Cruise Day Tour

Yongmunsa, Dumulmeori, Dreamy Camera Cafe & River Cruise Day Tour

5.0★

Gwangmyeong Cave, Hwadam Forest, Ranch & Ice-Cream Making Tour

Gwangmyeong Cave, Hwadam Forest, Ranch & Ice-Cream Making Tour

4.5★

Jebu Island Cable Car, Uiwang Railbike & Starlight Village Day Tour

Jebu Island Cable Car, Uiwang Railbike & Starlight Village Day Tour

5.0★

Legoland & Alpaca World Day Tour

Legoland & Alpaca World Day Tour

5.0★

largest Legoland in Asia!

3. or Explore more on North of Han River / South of Han River (i.e. Gangnam)

Day before departure: Last Minute Shopping / Chilling Out

Last Minute Shopping

or Chill Out...

Seoul Eland Hangang River Cruise (Sunset Cruise)

Seoul Eland Hangang River Cruise (Sunset Cruise)

4.4★

40 mins, 6pm

Korean Top Celebrity Hair Styling Experience at Jenny House

Korean Top Celebrity Hair Styling Experience at Jenny House

4.5★

onsite eng/chn translation

SPA 1899 Daechi Branch (SPA G Gangnam Cheongkwanjang SPA)

SPA 1899 Daechi Branch (SPA G Gangnam Cheongkwanjang SPA)

4.7★

signature Red Ginseng!

Seoul City Tour Bus: Night View Course (Mt. Namsan, Han River Bridges...)

Seoul City Tour Bus: Night View Course (Mt. Namsan, Han River Bridges...)

4.5★

non-stop course with photo time

Last Day: Getting to Airport...

Take the Airport Limousine Bus, #6015 (or #6001) from the same drop off stop (Myeongdong Station) to Incheon Airport (T1/T2)

Bus stop location: near exit 8 of Myeongdong Station and right in front of KB Bank.

Interval: 4-6 departures per hour

Duration: 80 mins (T1) / 90 mins (T2)

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.

First bus 04:35 | Last Bus 20:15

Myeongdong Station Airport Bus Stop
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Myeongdong Station
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Myeongdong Station - Airport Bus
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Map of Airport Bus Stop @ Myeongdong
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Alternatively, you can book on a private car transfer to Airport as well.

Private Transfer: Incheon Intl. Airport (ICN) to Downtown Seoul (1-3pax/car)

Private Transfer: Incheon Intl. Airport (ICN) to Downtown Seoul (1-3pax/car)

5.0★

Myeongdong (Jung-gu, yellow)

🍂AUTUMN PICKS 🍂 Handpicked Experiences from Seoul

Nami Island, Garden of Morning Calm & Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour

Nami Island, Garden of Morning Calm & Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour

₩75,000

Classic Naejangsan National Park Day Tour

Classic Naejangsan National Park Day Tour

25 Oct - 15 Nov 2022

₩67,700

only for this autumn season

Alpaca World, Nami Island & The Garden of Morning Calm Day Tour

Alpaca World, Nami Island & The Garden of Morning Calm Day Tour

₩80,600

walk with adorable alpacas

Nari Park, Pink Muhly Grass & Dumulmeori Day Tour

Nari Park, Pink Muhly Grass & Dumulmeori Day Tour

23 Sep - 17 Oct 2022

₩63,600

incl. Dumulmeori special lotus hotdog

Namhansanseong Fortress, Nami Island & Namyangju Water Garden Day Tour

Namhansanseong Fortress, Nami Island & Namyangju Water Garden Day Tour

till 19 Nov 2022

₩55,000

multiple fabulous attractions

Seoraksan National Park Autumn Day Tour

Seoraksan National Park Autumn Day Tour

17-31 Oct 2022

₩64,800

popular autumn viewing destination

 KoreaToDo recommends Klook.com, Asia leading in-destination service provider.

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