Seoul Day Tour – What to Expect
Our Seoul City Tour is a complete and effortless experience. We provide a complimentary hotel pickup so you don’t have to worry about any logistics. Just be sure to have your camera charged because you’re about to go on an unforgettable journey! You will be in the capable hands of our licensed tour guide who is available to answer any questions at any point, so feel free to ask away!
One of the first stops on our Seoul tour will be the Changing of the Guard Ceremony which is a beloved old tradition. Then, we will visit the two main Seoul palaces – Gyeongbok Palace and Changdeok Palace which are home to thousands of years worth of history and have survived many turbulent events.
Next up on our Seoul City Tour, we will take a break and enjoy a delicious Korean style lunch. After indulging in a traditional meal, we will head over to the local markets – Insadong Arts and Crafts Market, and Namdaemun Market. Here, you can find beautiful local treasures to bring home to your loved ones and sample quirky little snacks. Finally, we will take you back to your hotel after a magical full day tour in Seoul.
Seoul City Tour – Course Overview
Our Seoul Day Tour is a complete experience, guiding you through the most impressive landmarks in town, as well as treating you to a beautiful meal and allowing for plenty of shopping time. Here are the highlights of our experience:
Jogyesa Buddhist Temple – travel back in time
The Jogyesa Buddhist Temple is one of the most important landmarks of Korean Buddhism, first established all the way back in 1935. The temple is located in downtown Seoul and is graced by an ancient white pine tree. There are a few important steps to entering the temple.
First, you must go through “Iljum”, which is the one pillar gate. The “Iljumun” symbolizes the division between the world of the living and that of the holy Buddha world. You will have a beautiful spiritual experience and be able to admire the splendid, golden statues.
Changing of the Guard Ceremony – witness a spectacular Korean tradition
Our Seoul Day Tour would not be complete without witnessing the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. You will see the meticulously choreographed ceremony that takes place in front of Gwanghwamun Gate.
This tradition originated during the Joseon Dynasty and the city decided to bring it back for reenactment in 1996. The soldiers wear colorful blue and red uniforms and gracefully patrol the gates of the palace in protection of the king. The tradition is very elegant and simply beautiful to watch!
Gyeongbok Palace (Except Tuesdays) – live like a royal
Next up on our Seoul City Tour is Gyeongbokgung Palace. This was the main home of the Joseon Dynasty constructed in 1395. This is a stunning building with 7,700 rooms! The palace did take a few hits over the years, which makes it all the more interesting to see today!
It was first destroyed during the Imjin War between 1592 and 1598. Then, Imperial Japan destroyed a large portion of Gyeongbokgung Palace in the 20th century. The palace, however, has been restored time and again, and is now close to its former splendor!
You will be able to walk its magnificent premises and imagine what it was like to be a royal. The exact route depends on our knowledgeable tour guide. Some of the highlights here are Gangnyeongjeon, the king’s main quarters, Geunjeongjeon where the king accepted formal visits, Gyeonghoeru – the special banquet hall, and more!
Please note that Gyeongbokgung is closed on Tuesdays, so it will be substituted for pretty Deoksu Palace.
Deoksu Palace (Only Tuesdays) – absorb the beauty of architecture
Deoksu Palace is a compound of palaces surrounded by a wall. The structures here are nothing short of magnificent with varying styles. If you love architecture, you will appreciate the diverse materials used in Deoksu Palace – cryptomeria wood, stucco, and painted wood. Due to these materials, quite a few of the palaces resemble Western structures.
Take a stroll through the spacious gardens of the palace. Visit the statue of King Sejong the Great and use the opportunity to take photos.
Please note our Seoul day tour will only stop at Deoksu Palace when entrance to Gyeongbok Palace is unavailable.
Presidential Blue House – see what it’s like to be a top official
The Blue House is the residence of the Korean President and the most beautiful government building in the Jongno District of Seoul. In fact, the Blue House is a collection of buildings that are designed according to a traditional Korean fashion with some modern elements added.
The mountain background is simply stunning, as the structure sits upon the royal garden of the Joseon Dynasty! On our Seoul City Tour, you will have the opportunity to walk around its perimeter and take beautiful iconic photos.
Cheongwadae Sarangchae (Closed on Mondays) – dive into rich Korean history
Next up on our day trip of Seoul, we will take you to Cheongwadae Sarangchae which serves as an exhibition hall to important Korean artifacts and documents. Here, you can learn about politics, history, and culture. Located just in front of the Blue House, this museum is a two-floor building that has a souvenir shop, so you can buy thoughtful gifts for the history lovers in your family.
On the first floor, there is a permanent exhibit that presents traditional Korean clothing, food, and music, and is a must-see! The second floor is where you will go to learn in-depth information about the Korean presidents and their legacies. You will also be inspired by the geography section which displays photos of the regions of the country that every traveler should visit!
Please note that Cheongwadae Sarangchae is closed every Monday.
Korean Lunch – indulge in a fresh, local meal
Food is a vital aspect of culture! We want to make sure that you taste the best of Korean cuisine, so we will take you to a local restaurant in Seoul. Our tour guide will choose the menu and location based on live conditions. There will be a vegetarian option for those who prefer to have a meat-free meal.
Our lunch break will give you the opportunity to rest after a busy morning of exploring Seoul, talk to one another, and fuel up for the next stops on our Seoul City Tour!
Changdeok Palace (Except Mondays) – a palace set within a scenic park
Refreshed by lunch, our group will continue on to Changdeokgung Palace. What becomes immediately clear is that this place is simply stunning, as it is located amid the park of the Jongno-gu district.
Often referred to as the “East Park,” this palace was the favorite of the Joseon kings and this is not surprising, as the palace is surrounded by Mt. Bugaksan and the Geumcheon River. The secret behind the beautiful location and organization is the “baesanimsu” principle that comes from Feng Shui and is aimed at creating harmony and peace. Explore the grounds for yourself and feel the tranquility of Changdeok’s premises!
Please note that Changdeokgung closes every Monday, and so this stop will be substituted with a visit to iconic Seoul Tower.
Seoul Tower (Mondays Only) – be impressed by this skyline staple
With its thin base and spiky top, Seoul (Namsan) Tower is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. At 236 meters high, the tower is the second-highest point in Seoul. As you can imagine, on a clear day it therefore provides some of the most incredible views of Seoul city.
The structure is also used for communication and is responsible for keeping Seoul’s radio and TV stations going through the signal waves it transmits.
The tower has its main lobby, plaza, and tower, which you can explore. The Love Padlocks is a quirky highlight. Located on the terrace of the second floor, this fence is a very popular place for people to hang padlocks with their names written as a symbol of their love.
Please note that our Seoul day tour will only stop at Namsan Tower on days when Changdeokgung Palace is unavailable.
Insadong Arts and Crafts Market – shop for Korean treasures
If you appreciate art, you will fall in love with the Insadong Arts and Crafts Market where most of the goods are hand-crafted! Here, you will be able to walk down a long street full of various stalls and shops. At the top of the street, you will see a poo-themed cafe which is quite funny! You will be able to indulge in little treats as well such as waffle bars made with matcha and plum tea.
Feel free to stray from the main street a bit and explore the alleys which have cute ceramics shops and more food vendors. You will have lots of fun talking to the lovely locals who are extremely friendly and helpful!
Namdaemun Traditional Market – a wonderful spot for gift shopping
What better way to end our Seoul City Tour than with a shopping spree at the Namdaemun Traditional Market! Here, you will find a wide variety of gifts, including clothes, food, and souvenirs. This is the largest traditional market in South Korea with over 10,000 vendors! By shopping here, you support local craftsmen and artisans so you really are making a contribution!
The vibrant market is quite large at 66,000 square meters and is full of stalls that form paths and mazes. The beauty of the market are its surprises. You can visit every week and still discover a new corner that you hadn’t seen before!
Don’t miss the chance to explore Seoul, South Korea’s vibrant capital on our Seoul City Tour! You will discover a mix of art, delicious cuisine, tradition, natural beauty, and a deeper understanding of culture. This is a wonderful opportunity to create lifetime memories with your loved ones!