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Seoul City Tour (Full Day)

Tour Code
Tour No: 14
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Family Friendly
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Min 2 People
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Hotel Pickup

Seoul is a vibrant city rich in history and tradition. No visit to South Korea will be complete without exploring its hidden corners and world-famous landmarks. Our Seoul City Tour will give you the ultimate travel experience! From exploring ancient temples and witnessing one of the most important Korean rituals, to shopping and appreciating hand-crafted art – our day trip is guaranteed to help you create lifetime memories!

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Free Cancellation When cancelling by 5pm the day before most tours. See Details.

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!

Walking around beautiful Gyeongbokgung Palace
Gyeongbokgung arguably the most beautiful of the 5 grand palaces shows off beautiful architecture and colours.

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 one of Seoul’s main palaces – Gyeongbok Palace which is home to thousands of years worth of history and has survived many turbulent events.

After taking a lunch break, we’ll continue with our Seoul City Tour by heading over to two local markets – Insadong Arts and Crafts Market, and Gwangjang Market. Here, you can find beautiful local treasures to bring home to your loved ones and sample quirky little snacks and Korean street food.

Once you’ve had your full of Korean treats, we’ll treat you to some magical views of downtown Seoul on the Namsan Cable Car and Seoul Tower’s observatory.

Finally, we will drop you off at either Myeongdong, City Hall or Dongdaemun 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, introducing you to some popular Korean tasty treats and allowing for plenty of shopping time. Here are the highlights of our experience:

Jogyesa Buddhist Temple – travel back in time

Jogyesa Buddhist Temple located in downtown Seoul. Decorated with beautiful coloured flowers with tall buildings overlooking in the background
Jogyesa Buddhist Temple located in downtown Seoul was first established in 1935.

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

Changing of the guards ceremony taking place outside Gyeongbokgung Palace
Changing of the Guards Ceremony taking place outside Gwanghwamun Gate.

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!

A view of Gyeongbok Palace from above covered in white snow during winter in Seoul
Gyeongbok Palace was the main home of the Joseon Dynasty originally constructed in 1395.

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

Looking at the beautiful Junghwajeon Hall inside Deoksu Palace in Seoul
Junghwajeon Hall inside Deoksu Palace was used for state affairs such as official meetings and receiving foreign envoys.

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.

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.

National Palace Museum of Korea (Monday only)

The National Palace Museum of Korea was initially established as the “Korean Imperial Museum” in 1908; however, it was renamed and relocated many times throughout its history.

Outside the traditonal palace style building with 5 layered roofs which houses the National Palace Museum of Korea in Seoul
Outside the National Palace Museum of Korea in downtown Seoul City

Today the museum holds approximately 45,000 artefacts and royal treasures from Joseon Dynasty palaces and the Korean Empire. In addition, you can find 14 of South Korea’s National Treasures located here.

With 500 years of history on display, you can get a real sense of the past and discover what it was like to live as a Joseon King and Queen.

Insadong Arts and Crafts Market – shop for Korean treasures

Insadong Arts and Crafts Market with bright yellow leaves on the trees in the peak of Autumn
Insadong Arts and Crafts Market is a great place to pickup hand crafted artwork and souvenirs.

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!

Gwangjang Market – get your fill of Korean street food

Next up on our Seoul City tour is another traditional market, but this one is entirely different from Insadong. Gwangjang Market comprises around 5,000 vendors and is one of the oldest and largest in Seoul. It was also the first permanent market in Korea.

A Bindaetteok (Korean Mung Bean Pancake) cut up into 6 pieces accompanies with a soy based dipping sauce and kimchi
Bindaetteok is a local Korean style mung bean pancake which is extremely popular in this market!

This large wholesale market sells various domestic and imported goods, groceries, dried fish and traditional items. However, the street food section is this market’s most popular and well-known area and is why most locals visit. Here you can find a wide range of menus, making it a foodie’s paradise.

Among the wide selection of dishes available here, Gwangjang Market is especially famous for Bindaetteok (a mung bean pancake with vegetables and meat served with a soy, vinegar and onion dipping sauce). So make sure you give it a try and ask your tour guide for recommendations!

Namsan Cable Car – take a flight over downtown Seoul

What better way to end our Seoul City Tour than a ride up to Seoul Tower on the iconic Namsan Cable Car.

This well-known Korean landmark offers captivating views of Namsan Mountain and downtown Seoul as you ascend the 605-metre-long cable to the top.

Namsan Cable Car taking passengers up to North Seoul Tower during Autumn in Korea
Enjoy the view of downtown Seoul as you ascend up the mountain towards Seoul tower

The Namsan Cable Car was the first commercial cable car service for passengers in South Korea. It first opened on May 12th, 1962 and has been running daily for over 60 years.

Seoul Tower – be impressed by this skyline staple

A gorgeous view of the city from Seoul Tower
On clear days you can see a gorgeous view of the city from Seoul Tower

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 observatory, which you can explore. The Love Padlocks is also a quirky highlight. Located on the second floor’s terrace is a trendy place for people to hang padlocks with their names written as a symbol of their love.

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!

Seoul City tour Itinerary

  • Seoul Hotel Pickup
  • Jogyesa Buddhist Temple
  • Changing of the Guard Ceremony
  • Gyeongbok Palace (Except Tuesdays)
  • Deoksu Palace (Tuesday Only)
  • Cheongwadae Sarangchae (Closed every Monday)
  • National Palace Museum of Korea (Monday only)
  • Free time for lunch
  • Insadong Arts and Crafts Market
  • Gwangjang Market
  • Namsan Cable Car
  • Seoul Tower
  • Drop-off at Myeongdong, City Hall or Dongdaemun

Our Seoul day tour includes

  • Free Hotel Pickup service
  • VIP tour guide
  • Transportation
  • Entrance Fees and Tickets
  • Round Trip Cable Car
  • Seoul Tower Observatory

Excludes

  • Lunch (your guide can recommend restaurants and menus)
  • Hotel drop-off

4 reviews for Seoul City Tour (Full Day)

  1. Avatar photo
    5 out of 5

    Cielo

    What a brilliant day in the city with Moon guide. She was our best guide. So funny and knows wells about all of the Korea, landmarks, palaces and not just Seoul. Lunch was delicious, weather was bit cold, but the heart was warm. Markets are busy and active with people and smells were all yum. Try the hodok at markets its kind of korean style warm donut. Ask your guide to show it.

  2. Avatar photo
    5 out of 5

    Betty

    We had such a great tour, very great time. I only had a few days in Seoul and wanted to learn about the history of Korea. Our tour guide was very informative when explaining about the palaces, and about the legacy of their king and queen. Definitely great value for money with what’s included. Hope I have a chance to return one day and can highly recommend anyone visiting Seoul to take this tour with VIP travel Korea!

  3. Avatar photo
    5 out of 5

    Lamos

    Very happy with this tour. Alice our tour guide was polite, very knowledgeable and answered all our questions and even gave us some tips for the rest of our stay in Seoul. It was an action packed day. We got to see a lot of the city and I feel like I have a better understand of Korean culture too.

    • Bora is part of our customer support team here at VIP Travel

      Bora VIP Travel

      Dear, Lamos

      Thank you for your review. Glad to hear that the tour was good.
      Joining our tour with the guide would be so many things to learn about the history of the Joseon Dynasty and custom.
      Specially when you are doing the tour in the Place in Seoul.
      Hope you see you next time with other tour.
      Thank you.
      Regards, Bora.

  4. Avatar photo
    5 out of 5

    Diane S

    We were a group of 4 and all had a fantastic time on this tour. It was pretty comprehensive full day tour and felt like I saw most of the main places in Seoul. To top it off Jenny guide was very kind and knowledgeable. Thank you.

    • Jane is a member of our help desk team at VIP Travel

      Jane VIP Travel

      Dear Diane S.

      Thank you for your comments!
      We are happy to hear from you regarding Seoul City Full day tour with our guide, Jenny 🙂
      Hope to meet next time again.

      Regards, Jane.

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