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Top 29 Hidden Attractions & Secret Places to Explore in Seoul

How many times have you returned from your holidays in Seoul only to find out that you have missed a nice cool place close to where you have visited?
 
Have you been to Seoul a few times and wonder what other unique or hidden places that you can do for that Instagram-perfect shots and be the first to share among your friends?

Which are the popular local places and things to do in Seoul that are not covered on the official tourism websites or guides?

Here are KoreaToDo's TOP Hidden Attractions & Secret Places to Explore in Seoul
(not in any particular order):

Starbucks The Bukhansan offers stunning view of Bukhansan Mountain peaks. It is located near the popular Bukhansan National Park in the city center of Seoul.

Opened on 15 February 2023, the store spans across 2 floors with a rooftop terrace at a massive 1,100 sqm and 253 seats.

Starbucks The Bukhansan - External-2 crop G7.jpg
Starbucks The Bukhansan
Starbucks The Bukhansan - Rooftop View 2 G1.jpg
Starbucks The Bukhansan

Opened on 16 December 2022 and now a hot spot in Seoul, Starbucks Kyungdong 1960 is remodelled from an abandoned theatre located in the traditional Gyeongdong Market, Dongdaemun-gu.

The coffeehouse spans across 2 floors (3F & 4F) at a massive 805 sqm with 200 seats.

Starbucks Gyeongdong 1960 - 2nd Entrance G1.jpg
Starbucks Kyungdong 1960
Starbucks Gyeongdong 1960 G10.jpg
Starbucks Kyungdong 1960

Ikseondong, the oldest hanok village in Seoul was once to be demolished and replaced with a multi-storey residential complex. It survived and in March 2018, it was designated as the last hanok village, Ikseondong Hanok Village in Seoul.

Today, it has successfully transformed into a hot place with great shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Ikseondong Hanok Village | Seoul, South Korea
Ikseondong Hanok Village
Ikseondong Hanok Village - Nakwon Station Cafe | Seoul, South Korea
Ikseondong Hanok Village

Bring home your favourite paintings or hunt for your best buy at this largest underground mall with 600 shops in Seoul.

Express Bus Terminal Underground Shopping Mall - Clothing Store 6.jpg
Express Bus Terminal Underground Shopping Mall
Express Bus Terminal Underground Shopping Mall - Paintings 2 KTD.jpg
Express Bus Terminal Underground Shopping Mall

Opened in July 2020.

Walk across the outdoor bridge, 541m above the ground at Korea's tallest building, Lotte World Tower.

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Sky Bridge Tour | KoreaToDo
Sky Bridge Tour
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Sky Bridge Tour | KoreaToDo
Sky Bridge Tour

Visit the real-time historical prison located at Seodaemun Independence Park, within 5 mins walk from its nearest subway station.

Besides its large compound and red-brick building structures, Seodaemun Prison History Hall is also a popular filming location for many Korean dramas (e.g. Goblin, Hide and Seek, Doctor John) for scenes when the characters are released from the prison.

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Seodaemun Prison History Hall | KoreaToDo
Seodaemun Prison History Hall
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Seodaemun Prison History Hall | KoreaToDo
Seodaemun Prison History Hall

You might have come across 'Seongsudong Cafe Street' with industrial vibes in Seongdong District. However, just one subway station away from Seongsudong Cafe Street and unknown to many foreign travellers to Seoul is the lovely 'Seoul Forest Cafe Street'.

 

Pretty chic shops, cafes and restaurants lined on both sides of the cafe street. Queues can be spotted outside popular restaurants too!

Seoul Forest Cafe Street | Seoul, South Korea
Seoul Forest Cafe Street
Seoul Forest Cafe Street - Teddy's Oven | Seoul, South Korea
Seoul Forest Cafe Street

The cultural park was once a hidden petroleum reserve base of 5 oil storage tanks, holding enough oil reserves to power Seoul for 1 month, if needed.

Now, this strictly controlled area for 41 years is open to the public.

Explore the transformed huge oil tanks and cultural spaces at Oil Tank Culture Park, within walking distance to Haneul Park and World Cup Stadium Station. 

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Oil Tank Culture Park | KoreaToDo
Oil Tank Culture Park
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Oil Tank Culture Park | KoreaToDo
Oil Tank Culture Park

Dined at the famous Ginseng Chicken Soup Restaurant, Tosokchon Samgyetang?

 

Packed your lunch box at Tongin Market?

Yes, Seochon (Sejong) Village is in the same area. Besides its many quaint cafes, it is also the birthplace of King Sejong, the creator of Korean alphabets (& the face on the green Korean 10,000 won bank notes). Seoul's oldest bookstore, Dae-o Bookstore is here too!

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Seochon (Sejong) Village | KoreaToDo
Seochon (Sejong) Village 
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Seochon (Sejong) Village | KoreaToDo
Seochon (Sejong) Village 

Once the official office and residence for Korean Presidents since 1948.

On 10 May 2022, it was opened to the public for the first time in 74 years, on the day of inauguration of President Yoon Suk-yeol.

Visit the Blue House by making an online appointment or on-site application.

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) | KoreaToDo
Cheong Wa Dae

Ever wonder where the beautiful photos of the autumn tree-tops along Deoksugung Stone-wall Road and Deoksugung Palace are taken?

Have you been looking for a observatory in Seoul that is free or conveniently located with subway access?

Jeongdong Observatory & Cafe Darak - KTD - View 9.jpg
Jeongdong Observatory
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Jeongdong Observatory & Cafe Darak | KoreaToDo
Jeongdong Observatory

Want to experience traditional Korean village life but Korean Folk Village is far while there is too much walking (esp. uphill) at Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul?

Check out the surprisingly pleasant Namsangol Hanok Village so near to Myeongdong Station (1 subway stop / 15 mins walk).

 

💡From there, you can walk to N Seoul Tower, particularly beautiful in Spring and Autumn.

Namsangol Hanok Village - Hanok 11.jpg
Namsangol Hanok Village
Namsangol Hanok Village - View of N Seoul Tower in Autumn-2 bright.jpg
Namsangol Hanok Village

If you are at Seoul Station or shopping at Lotte Mart or Lotte Outlets don't miss out Seoullo7017!

Seoullo 7017 was once 'Seoul Station Overpass', a road for cars. It has since transformed into a beautiful sky garden with different seasonal plants and flowers. One of the sky trails conveniently leads to Namdaemun Market!

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Seoullo 7017 | KoreaToDo
Seoullo 7017
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Seoullo 7017 | KoreaToDo
Seoullo 7017

Experience the beauty of a Seoul Mountain walking along the 7km elevated wooden deck that encircles the entire Ansan Mountain, passing through forest of sky-tall trees and scenic lookout points in 2.5 hrs or exit halfway to the popular Sinchon Shopping Street.

 

This barrier free forest trail is accessible from a subway station and is wheelchairs and baby carriages friendly too!

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Mountain Ansan Jarak-gil Trail | KoreaToDo
Ansan Jarak-gil Trail
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Mountain Ansan Jarak-gil Trail | KoreaToDo
Ansan Jarak-gil Trail

Have you been to most of the well-known shopping places like Myeongdong, Dongdaemun and Gangnam? You have also been to the popular university shopping districts like Edea, Hongdae and Kondae?

If so, check out Sungshin Women's University Shopping District, only few subway stops away from Dongdaemun and stop by their traditional Donam Jeil Market for the popular local eats.

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Sungshin Women's University Shopping District | KoreaToDo
Sungshin Women's University Shopping District

BBQ on a king-sized pot lit?

The best hidden BBQ restaurant, uniquely in Seoul. Located within 5 mins walk from Sangam DMC (Digital Media City) subway station.

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Hansang Gadeuk Korean BBQ Restaurant | KoreaToDo
Hansang Gadeuk BBQ
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Hansang Gadeuk Korean BBQ Restaurant | KoreaToDo
Hansang Gadeuk BBQ
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Hansang Gadeuk Korean BBQ Restaurant | KoreaToDo
Hansang Gadeuk BBQ

A hilltop park of many surprises!

Golf-cart shuttle service available to take you to the top of the park too!

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Haneul (Sky) Park @ World Cup Park | KoreaToDo
Haneul Park
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Haneul (Sky) Park @ World Cup Park | KoreaToDo
Haneul Park
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Haneul (Sky) Park @ World Cup Park | KoreaToDo
Haneul Park

Wanna ride on duck boats on the beautiful Han River or rent a bicycle?

Check out the 240m long J-Bug cultural complex and paintings on the pillars below the bridge.

Enjoy the Hangang park with direct subway access and full of activities.

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Ttukseom Hangang Park | KoreaToDo
Ttukseom Hangang Park
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Ttukseom Hangang Park | KoreaToDo
Ttukseom Hangang Park

Enjoy cruising along Han River with the seagulls! 

 

Surprisingly affordable with many theme cruises (from 40 mins day cruise to 90 mins dinner cruise) for your picking.

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Han River Cruise | KoreaToDo
Han River Cruise
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Han River Cruise | KoreaToDo
Han River Cruise

A rustic village located at one of the entrances (/exits) to Inwangsan Mountain hiking trail.

Hongje-dong Gaemi Village is a favourite photography hot spot for murals (artwork on wall) and Korean village scenes by the local photographers and photo enthusiasts.

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Hongje-dong Gaemi Village | KoreaToDo
Hongje-dong Gaemi Village
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Hongje-dong Gaemi Village | KoreaToDo
Hongje-dong Gaemi Village

Wanna do something different in Seoul?

 

Why not walk across the bridge overlooking the beauty of Han River?

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Dongho Bridge Walk | KoreaToDo
Dongho Bridge Walk

Have a sumptuous local meal at the base of a mountain near Gangnam and be impressed.

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Cheonggyesan Mountain | KoreaToDo
Cheonggyesan Mountain
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Cheonggyesan Mountain | KoreaToDo
Cheonggyesan Mountain

If there is one photo that always stay on your mind and you wish you can be there, Gwanaksan Mountain would have to be one of them!

The view of a Korean temple on the cliff edge is simply extraordinary.

Over the years, with the stairs built, this mountain is more accessible and you can enjoy the temple's view right from the observatory.

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Gwanaksan Mountain | KoreaToDo
Gwanaksan Mountain
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Gwanaksan Mountain | KoreaToDo
Gwanaksan Mountain

Seoul Grand Park offers many attractions. It can easily be reached on subway line 4 from Seoul Station in about 26 mins.

From its subway station, you can take the sky lift across the beautiful Gwacheon Lake with mountainous view. There are Seoul Zoo, Seoul Land Theme Park, Theme Garden and nature walking trails for you to explore and have fun.

Seoul Grand Park - Gwacheon Lake & Sky Lift G25.jpg
Seoul Grand Park
Seoul Grand Park - Sky Lift G3.jpg
Seoul Grand Park

Hidden away at the traditional Yeongcheon Market and a short 6 mins walk from Dongnimmun Station (line 3, exit 4) is the famous freshly-made Kkwabaegi (Twisted  Korean Doughnuts) and a must-eat in Seoul!

 

The store is well-loved by the locals and has appeared in many TV shows like SBS and KBS.

Yeongcheon Market - Kkwabaegi (Twisted Korean Doughnuts) 1 KTD.jpg
Yeongcheon Market
Yeongcheon Market - Kkwabaegi (Twisted Korean Doughnuts) 3 KTD.jpg
Yeongcheon Market

This nature beauty is easily accessible on Seoul subway. Go on a walk or rent a bicycle to explore the area, including strawberry picking (Nov-Jun) at one of the farms around.

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Yangpyeong Dumulmeori | KoreaToDo
Yangpyeong
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Yangpyeong Bukhangang Railroad Bridge | KoreaToDo
Yangpyeong
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Semiwon Garden | KoreaToDo
Yangpyeong

Want the best jajangmyeon (black bean sauce noodles) in Korea? Look no further than Incheon Chinatown, the birthplace of jajangmyeon in Korea.

After a hearty Chinese meal, have fun at Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village and Wolmido Island's Wolmi Theme Park.

Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Incheon Chinatown | KoreaToDo
Incheon Chinatown
Incheon - Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village 10.jpg
Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village
Top Hidden Places in Seoul - Wolmido Island | KoreaToDo
Wolmiido Island
KoreaToDo TOP PICKS - Tours, Activities & Discount Tickets

➥ Handpicked experiences by KoreaToDo for their uniqueness, value, popularity, price competitiveness and at times, tedious to reach by public transport.

Seoul Zoo Ticket & Scenic Sky Lift Rides (across Lake / top of Zoo)

Seoul Zoo Ticket & Scenic Sky Lift Rides (across Lake / top of Zoo)

4.6★

Korea's largest zoo

Starfield Library Suwon, Hwaseong Fortress & Gwangmyeong Cave Tour

Starfield Library Suwon, Hwaseong Fortress & Gwangmyeong Cave Tour

5.0★

new library & UNESCO site tour

Eland Han River Cruise & Ashley Marine Buffet at Dock

Eland Han River Cruise & Ashley Marine Buffet at Dock

4.5★

multiple cruise timings

IN THE SOOP BTS Ver. (PyeongChang) Filming Location Tour

IN THE SOOP BTS Ver. (PyeongChang) Filming Location Tour

4.9★

incl. official merchandise gift!

Cheongwadae Blue House & Gyeongbokgung Palace Walking Tour

Cheongwadae Blue House & Gyeongbokgung Palace Walking Tour

4.8★

former presidential residence

Nami Island, Alpaca World & Chuncheon King Canoeing Day Tour

Nami Island, Alpaca World & Chuncheon King Canoeing Day Tour

4.7★

Top 100 Must-Visit Spots

DMZ 3rd Invasion Tunnel & Korea Traditional Boat Voyage Day Tour

DMZ 3rd Invasion Tunnel & Korea Traditional Boat Voyage Day Tour

4.9★

river flowing out of North Korea

​​Korea Rail Pass (KR PASS): KTX Bullet Trains to Busan & others (2, 3, 4 or 5 Days)

​​Korea Rail Pass (KR PASS): KTX Bullet Trains to Busan & others (2, 3, 4 or 5 Days)

4.8★

instant pass & tourist exclusive!

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

🎵 SEASONAL HOT PICKS 🎶 Handpicked Experiences from Seoul

2024 Boryeong Mud Festival Day Tour

2024 Boryeong Mud Festival Day Tour

20 Jul - 4 Aug 2024

₩82,300

Sat & Sun departures

2024 Boryeong Mud Festival, Daecheon Beach & Oeam Folk Village Day Tour

2024 Boryeong Mud Festival, Daecheon Beach & Oeam Folk Village Day Tour

19 Jul - 4 Aug 2024

₩94,000

famous summer festival in Korea

Hongcheon Starlight Music Beer Festival & Alpaca World

Hongcheon Starlight Music Beer Festival & Alpaca World

31 Jul - 4 Aug 2024

₩58,700

beer coupons & limited beer mug

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