How to Spend a Week in Seoul on a Budget

This article provides information on how to spend a week in Seoul: things to do in Seoul on a budget, where to stay in Seoul, and how to get around Seoul.

 

South Korea : our second country in our Asian adventure ! Seoul is modern, hip and fun. Food is amazingly delicious, people are nice and the city is clean and innovative. You can easily spend five days to a week in Seoul.

See photos from Seoul, here. 

Dongdaemun Design Plaza Seoul Photo Ooaworld
Dongdaemun Design Plaza Seoul
Pyounghwa Market Seoul Photo Ooaworld
Pyounghwa Market, Seoul

How To Get from Incheon Airport to Downtown Seoul

 

Incheon Airport to Downtown Seoul by Train

 

From Incheon Airport, you can get to the Airport Railroad Express (AREX), which stops at 11 stations (including Hongjik/Hongdae University) and arrives at Seoul Station, where you can catch a connection – cost is 4,050 KRW (about USD $4). The airport clearly indicates the way to the railroad. There is also an express train that gets to Seoul Station directly in 45mins for 14,500 KRW (about USD $14).

 

Seoul Airport Photo Ooaworld

Incheon Airport to Downtown Seoul by Bus

Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth just outside of the arrival terminal. The ride can take from an hour to an hour and a half depending on traffic. Cost is between 9,000 to 15,000 KRW (from USD $8-15) depending on the type of bus.

 

How to Get Around In Seoul– Local Transportation in Seoul

 

It is very easy to navigate around Seoul using public transportation. The underground metro system is clean, modern and efficient. You can purchase single ride tickets. A ride cost about 1,150 KRW (under USD $1.20) for an adult. Purchasing your ticket is extremely easy – every machine is equipped with English instructions.

Seoul Subway Photo Ooaworld

Where to Stay in Seoul: Hotels in Seoul

 

Patio 59 Yongsan – near Seoul Station. Starting price is USD $26 for a double room for two people. Private bath, air-conditioning, and free WiFi. Close to Itaewon.

 

Patio 59 Hongdae – near Hongjik University. Starting price is USD $29 for a double room for two people. Private bath, air-conditioning, and free WiFi.

 

Couchsurfing: a great way to meet locals and save up on accommodations.

 

 

Seoul Old City Temple Photo Ooaworld
Seoul Old City Temple

Things to do in Seoul on a Budget – Sights and Activities in Seoul

 

Visit the DMZ and the North Korea border: You cannot visit the DMZ on your own, you have to sign-up for a tour. If you want to visit Panmunjeom (closed on Mondays, Sundays and National Holidays), you will need to sign up at least a couple of days ahead of time. Really recommend this informative tour if you have the time. You will need to bring your passport on this tour. We weren’t able to go to Panmunjeom but did the DMZ tour which included the 3rd Infiltration tunnel tour- cost per person was 46,000 KRW (roughly USD $42).

Watch the video from our DMZ Tour here.

South Korea DMZ Peace Photo Ooaworld

DMZ Sculpture South Korea Children War Memorial Photo Ooaworld

DMZ Sculpture South Korea, Children War Memorial

North Korea Border Photo Ooaworld

South Korea DMZ Photo Ooaworld

South Korea DMZ

DMZ South Korea Photo Ooaworld

 Dorasan Station DMZ Photo Ooaworld

Bukhansan National Park: A great day (or afternoon) trip out of the city for a quick hike. Beautiful mountains and national park. About 30 minutes away from Seoul. Metro station: Gireum and then ride bus #110B or #143 to Bukhansan.

 

Bukhansan National Park Seoul Photo Ooaworld

Bukhansan National Park Seoul

Bukhansan Seoul Photo Ooaworld

Gyeongbok Palace: Korea’s most famous Royal Palace. Closed on Tuesdays. Entrance Fee: 3,000 KRW (about USD $3) for adults and 1,500 KRW (about USD $1.50). Metro station: Gyeongbokgung

 Gyeong Bok Palace Seoul South Korea Photo Ooaworld

Bukchon Village: An architecturally traditional village next to the Palace. Stroll through the alleys and enjoy the charming little homes. Metro station: Anguk

Itaewon: expat-friendly neighborhood with thrift stores, boutiques, bars, clubs and American-chain restaurants. If you’re lucky you can spot the filming of a Korean soap-opera. Metro station: Itaewon

 Itaewon Seoul Photo Ooaworld

 

Cheonggyecheon Stream: A nice and peaceful stroll along the 8.4km-long stream in the center of Seoul. At night, parts of the stream hold a laser show. Metro station : Gwanghwamun

 

Cheonggyecheon Stream Seoul Photo Ooaworld
Cheonggyecheon Stream, Seoul

Namdaemun Market: Perfect for street food and souvenirs shopping. Metro station: Hoehyeon Station

Namdaemun Market Seoul Photo Ooaworld

Namdaemun Market Seoul

Namdaemun Street Food Seoul Photo Ooaworld

Namdaemun Street Food Seoul

Gangnam: Not just a song but an actual neighborhood. Take a quick stroll through this upscale area of the capital filled with shopping malls and high-rises.

Gangnam Seoul South Korea Photo Ooaworld

Gangnam Seoul South Korea

 

Gangnam Style Seoul Photo Ooaworld

Gangnam District, Gangnam Style Seoul

N Seoul Tower: For a panoramic view of Seoul from the Namsan Park. Entrance Fee: 7,000 KRW (about USD $7) for adults and 3,000 KRW (about USD $7) for children.

Find out how to get there by bus.

War Memorial of Korea: Dedicated to the weaponry used during the different wars in Korea. Entrance Fee: 3,000 KRW (about USD $3). Closed on Mondays. Metro station: Samgakji

 

City Hall Seoul Photo Ooaworld

City Hall Seoul

And of course, feast on Korean barbecues, bibimbap and kim chee – it is delicious !

 South Korean Food Seoul Photo Ooaworld

 

We would have loved to visit more of South Korea. What other cities/regions would you recommend ? What did you do in Seoul? Anything else that could be added to the list of must-dos?  Share your travel experience with us! We love to hear from you.

Happy Travels !!xx

Catch up on our stories, photos and videos from South Korea here.

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