Seoul is the capital of South Korea and it is the capital of cool. K-pop, fashion, eating and shopping are very popular with teenagers in Seoul. Around half the population of South Korea lives in the metropolitan area of Seoul and because of this you will find a plethora of things to do in Seoul with teenagers.
While it is the capital of cool and your teen may have to drag you to some of the spots you normally wouldn’t visit, there is so much more to the Korean Culture that is totally missed out on by other countries. It’s not as well known and we had it described to us as the ‘Game of Thrones’ of Asia. So let the adventure begin with our top recommendations for families in Seoul .
Dress in a Hanbok
Close to the Gyeongbokgung Palace, you will find many shops renting out Hanboks. Prices generally start at around 20,000 won for 2 hours. You pick the outfit and they fix your hair and off you go. Entry in Gyeongbokgung Palace is free for those wearing a Hanbok.
It is a great thing for visiting teenagers in Seoul to do. You can get both male and female outfits and make memories that will never be forgotten. Go on a photo tour around the palace taking those once in a lifetime shoots dressed in traditional cloth
A tip for if you are considering hiring a Hanbok in Seoul.
If you are wearing Hanbok and are going into some of the Palaces and Heritage sites you can get free entry so make sure you line up together and the cashier is made aware.
National Museum of Korea
Being the capital of South Korea there are many museums in Seoul. The standout museum is the National Museum of Korea. The National Museum is in a huge modern building in the Yongsan District. The Museum attracts over 3 million visits annually making it one of the most visited museums in the world.
The Museum is dominated by the history of the 2 Dynasties that ruled Korea, The Shila and Joseon kings. The Museum is spread out over 3 floors and covers everything from pre-historic South Korea, art, craft, weapons and more.
The Museum houses a number of what are called National Treasures of Korea. 2 outstanding pieces in the collection are the Fifth-century Silla gold crown was excavated from the North tomb of Hwangnamdaechong in Gyeongju. This is National treasure of Korea number 91 and Ten-Story Pagoda from Gyeongcheonsa Temple, National Treasure of Korea No. 86.
137 Seobinggo-ro, Seobinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu, 서울특별시
Open daily from 10 am until 6pm. Extended opening hours some nights
Entry to the museum is free for all
How to get to the National Museum of Korea
- Take Subway Line 4 or the Jungang Line (Munsan-Yongmun) to Ichon Station. Go out Exit 2, and walk 150m toward Yongsan Family Park.
- Blue Bus 400 and Blue Bus 502 getting off at Yongsan Technical High School
- Also, the ever-popular Seoul Hop on Hop off bus stops at the Museum
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Ghost Tour of Seoul
South Korea was ruled by monarchs and dynasties for thousands of years. Our Seoul Ghost tour guide Joe from Zen Kim Chi Tours described it as the Game of Thrones of Asia. The Drak Side of Seoul will have exploring alleyways, parks and palaces of Seoul.
Joe will lead you on an adventure where you will about the not so pleasant part of this country.
About Kings locking their sons up in boxed till they die, about Ghosts that can still be seen to this day and massacres that were perpetrated by the Japanese.
If you have an interest in the odd, frightening and offbeat side of Seoul, then The dark side of Seoul tour is just for you. Don’t hesitate book this amazing tour right here
Some tips about the ghost tour:
- It is a walking tour but it is not a hard walk to do
- Take some water and snacks just in case
- Get some awesome tips on where to eat from Joe or organise to do one of his food tours as well
- If the weather looks bad take an umbrella or a rain coat
Seoul hop on hop off bus
The Seoul sightseeing bus is a great way to give you an overview of the city. The bus route takes you to all the Seoul attractions where you can get out and visit and hop back on the next bus when it appears.
Seoul is a huge city with attractions that are scattered miles apart at times. Navigating the subway system can sometimes be difficult and not convenient.
The Seoul hop on hop off bus tour runs over 4 different lines plus a DMZ tour. There is line A – downtown Seoul, line B – Seoul Panorama course, Line C – around Gangnam tour and line D – night tour of Seoul. You will visit palaces and museums, shopping districts and sporting arenas.
The Hop on hop off night tour is amazing. It takes you through this dazzling city along the river as it lights ups culminating in a stop at Seoul Tower where you can view the skyline of the city.
Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Korea. In the early ’80s the KBO was formed with the backing of some of Korea’s major corporations such as Samsung, LG and Lotte all owning teams.
In Seoul, there are 2 teams The Doosan Bears and the LG Twins. The season runs from March till September each year with games being played every week by the 10 teams across the country. In Seoul, you can catch a game at Jasmil Stadium.
Tickets for the outfield seats are a great price at 8000 kW. There is music, dancing and an all-round exciting atmosphere fills the stadium on game night. It was a great thing to do with teens in Seoul.
How to get to Jasmil Stadium
- You can get to the Baseball via Sports Complex Station on Seoul Subway Line 2 and Seoul Subway Line 9.
Seoul Tv Tower
Like many European cities who have a TV tower, Seoul also has an equivalent version. The Seoul Tv tower dominates the skyline of the city from both sides of the river. Officially called the Namsan Tower.
The Namsan Tv Tower sits over 240 meters high providing some of the best views you can see of Seoul. You will find the usual viewing points with viewfinders to look through.
You will also find the inside Seoul exhibition that presents Seoul via 5-dimensional mapping with over 40 lasers. Teenagers in Seoul will find this very cool. Find all your options here for visiting the Seoul Tv Tower
How to get to Namsan Tower
- Namsan Shuttle Bus 2 from Chungmuro Station and Dongguk University station.
- Namsan Shuttle Bus 3 from Seoul Station and Itaewon station
- Namsan Shuttle Bus 5 from Myeongdong Station
The Cheonggyecheon is a 12 kilometres section of the river that flows through the heart of the city. The most popular section starts just near City Hall. You will find people relaxing with your feet in the water, couples on dates and families eating.
Elevated on either side you will find shops and a market happening. The city looks amazing from this location at night as the lights come on A stroll at night along here after a meal is a real highlight.
K-pop sites in Seoul
K-pop has been blowing up the media lately, with many groups winning awards and breaking records. Many groups such as EXO, BTS, Stray Kids, Blackpink, Red Velvet and Twice being rather popular with teenagers recently. There are many Kpop related places to go in Seoul such as:
The Hallyu K-star Road: located in one of the more upscale neighbourhoods in Gangnam. The route is separated in 4 areas each being covered in GangnamDols or large bear statues holding the names and logos of many k-pop groups and K-actors on them. The route also shows you many restaurants and cafes frequented by kpop idols. Who knows maybe you will see one there!
Myeongdong: the Myeongdong shopping district has many k-pop stores among many other stores in Myeongdong if your family doesn’t enjoy k-pop as much as you, they can browse many other shops as you fangirl to your desire
K-live at lotte fit-in: if you missed the concert tickets to any YG or JYP artists you can come to Lotte fit-in and live out your dreams of going to a concert. they have many holographic shows of the artists of both these companies
SMTOWN coex artium: this is the infamous SMTOWN museum. if you like any SM artist you will love it here! it has anything from posters to figurines to outfits the idols of the company had worn. they also have a gift shop at the end where you could spend all your money in one go
There are many celebrity-owned restaurants and cafes:
Many idols have branched out and opened many establishments of different kinds over the years. You can visit idols cafes such as EXO’s kai at KAMONG cafe and INFINITES Sungyeol at the cafe BBQ
Summer swimming in Seoul
Besides the Han River in the centre of Seoul is a number of swimming pools. In the warmer summer months, one can go swimming Seoul at any of these locations.
The weather in Seoul can get very hot and humid in summer. The outdoor swimming pools at Hangang Parks is a great way to cool off and mix with the locals. There are 7 such sites with amenities such as shower facilities, snack bars and more.
Like most things Korean there is a rule and a way to do it, swimsuit and swimming cap are required to enter the swimming pools in Gwangnaru, Ttukseom, Yeouido, Jamsil, and Jamwon, while the water parks in Nanji Gangbyeon and Yanghwa are a bit more relaxed.
Lotte World Seoul
One thing you will see all around South Korea is Lotte, weather it is Lotte supermarkets, Lotte Cinemas or Lotte Hotels. Lotte World is a major recreation complex in Seoul, South Korea. Seoul Lotte World consists of the world’s largest indoor theme park, an outdoor amusement park called “Magic Island”, an artificial island inside a lake linked by monorail, a shopping mall, a luxury hotel, a Korean folk museum, sports facilities, and movie theatres
This Seoul theme park is divided up into 4 different lands depending on what sort of attractions and rides you like. You will even find a familiar-looking castle that a well known western chain of theme parks uses.
Lotte World Tower is a 123-floor, 555-metre skyscrapper located in Seoul. Lotte World Tower in Seoul opened to the public on April 11, 2017. It towers over the Seoul skyline and is currently the tallest building in South Korea, and is the 6th tallest building in the world. Seoul Sky is located on the 117th – 123rd floors of Lotte World Tower. The view floor has prominent views of the city, as well as a glass floor and a telescope. This is highest such glass floor viewing platform in the world.Book tickets for Lotte Tower today here
Shopping in Seoul
Shopping in the Korean capital can be an overload of your senses. There will be the big brands you know and love, there will be boutique and Korean brands you will come to love. Shopping can be done in many of the big shopping malls, markets, on the streets and literally anywhere there is space there is a shop or stand to sell something.
A visit to Myeong-dong is a must for travelling shoppers. It is the centre of shopping in Seoul and famous all over South Korea, with big names such as H&M, ADIDAS, and Lotte all set up here
Hongdae is, on everyone’s list while you are in Seoul. Located near Hongik University, shopping here is known reasonably cheap. You will also find amazing street food and entertainment going on in Hongdae.
Apgujeong Rodeo Street is for the teenager with plenty of money (or the parent). On Apgujeong you will find Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada. If you like big-name big price brands the Apgujeong is probably where you will be happiest. Located in Gangnam, this street is designed to push your credit card to the limits.
Escape rooms in Seoul
For those new to Escape rooms, this is a quick run down.
An escape room, also known as an “escape game”, is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.
Escape rooms may consist of a large, single room, or span multiple rooms. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms. If your teen likes this stuff it is definitely one of the top things to do in Seoul with teenagers.
You will have 60 minutes to solve the puzzle and find the truth. Below you will find a map with locations of Seoul Escape rooms.
Cinemas in Seoul
Watching a movie is popular with teenagers anywhere in the world. Going to the cinema in Seoul with teenagers is a great evening activity. A few of the biggest operators are CGV, Megabox, and Lotte Cinema. You will find state of the art screens and sound at Should Cinemas. Movie theatres in Seoul are located in commercial centres with department stores, shops and restaurants, so moviegoers can also enjoy shopping and other activities.
Day trips close to Seoul for teenagers
There are so many amazing things to do in Seoul with teenagers that you may not think you need to do any day trips from Seoul but we really think you should consider a trip to some of these places.
Nami Island day tour from Seoul
Nami Island is one of the Koreas most visited tourist sites. It is a small Island with 5 km of shoreline. Nami is really hard to explain, besides its natural beauty and tree-lined lanes. It is like they have tried to stick a whole heap of odds and ends attractions together on the island.
You will see lily pad ponds, artificial waterfalls, ropes courses, Korean gardens, swimming pools, little museums, statues, a mini-train and mornorail. One of the strangest museums was dedicates to the work of Danish writer Hans Christian Anderson. I am not sure it adds or distracts from the charm of Nami Island.
Anyway, you and teenagers can grab a bike and ride around Nami Island. It is one of the most popular things to do on the Island. Nami Island with teenagers make a great day trip from Seoul
DMZ half-day tour
Whether your teenager follows world affairs or not a visit to the DMZ is a must when visiting Seoul. The North Korean border is only 6O kilometres from Seoul and perfect for a short tour.
On a VIP travel half-day tour, you will hit up 4 sites in including the peace bridge, the infiltration tunnels, the lookout into North Korea and the last train station on the border.
The train station has arrivals from Seoul and is ready for the day unification happens. It has signs suggesting boarding for Pyongyang is this way. In reality, the North Korean border is only 500 meters from the station
The view into North Korea and the DMZ is an unforgettable experience for kids in Seoul.
Some tips for a DMZ tour with teens
- Take some water and snacks. Lining up at the stops will take away from your time
- You must have your passports on you at all times
- You will need good walking shoes if you plan on walking in the infiltration tunnel
- You can leave things on the bus while you visit some of the sites so if you need to bring extra things if should be ok
- When at the train station buy the ‘ticket’ to North Korea and go out onto the platform. It is a heap of fun.
Suwon could nearly be classified as part of Seoul. It is a 35-minute high-speed train ride away. Suwon is known for 2 things, being the headquarters of Samsung and the Hwaseong Fortress .
Teenagers who are interested in electronics will be interested in the Samsung Innovation Museum. The museum exhibits the history and the future of such innovations brought by the electronics industry. You will see the latest and greatest products bought to us through endless research and innovation.
The World Heritage-listed fortress wall encloses the original town of Suwon. The fortification wall stretches a scenic 5.7km past four majestic gates, command posts, pavilions, observation towers. The best way to see if you don’t want to walk is by a little train that takes around the wall. Built by King Jeongjo and completed it in 1796.
What to eat in Seoul
South Korea is all about 2 things, Korean Bbq and fried chicken. You will find both on nearly every corner. Korean bbq is something to be experienced but can be expensive with teens. Korean chicken, on the other hand, is tasty and way more affordable when travelling in Seoul with kids.
We can personally recommend the 3 following Korean chicken restaurants
- Chuncheon Shin Sutbul DalkGalbi 춘천신숯불닭갈비 who do Korean bbq chicken. Located at 38-3 Dohwa-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Phone+82 2-717-9992 for bookings
- Nureungji TongDalk 누룽지통닭 who do woodfired roasted chicken with baked rice at Nureungji TongDalk. Phone 02-711-8892 for bookings
- Two-Two Chicken 둘둘치킨 for classic fried chicken. 255-16 Gongdeok-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Phone+82 2-7012237 website: www.22chicken.co.kr
The weather in Seoul
The weather in Seoul experiences a huge temperature difference between summer and winter. Summer in South Korea starts in May in Seoul and ends in September. The temperatures are warm, with daytime temperatures of 22°C in May, 28°C in August, and cooling to 24°C in September.
The cold air from the arctic arrives in November, January is the coldest month in Seoul, with nighttime averages of -9°C. Daytime temperatures have an average of 1°C.
The shoulder seasons are the best time to visit Seoul, the temperatures are mild, there are less rain, less humidity and more sunlight
Money in South Korea
The South Korean unit of currency is the won (₩), with ₩10, ₩50, ₩100 and ₩500 coins. Notes come in denominations of ₩1000, ₩5000, ₩10,000 and ₩50,000.
ATMs are widely available, and credit cards are accepted by most businesses. We had a few issues with finding ATM’s that would allow foreign card withdrawals. We found that the airport and trains stations were the best places to withdraw money with a foreign card.
Getting around Seoul
Seoul has a comprehensive metro system consisting of 10 numbered lines and numerous special lines such as the airport railway. Buses move around the city to fill the gaps that the metro does not cover. Taxis in Seoul are numerous and well priced for foreigners.
Where to stay in Seoul
We stayed in the Itaewon area. It is a very multicultural area with a large number of ethnic groups and ex-pats. It is only 4 stops on the metro from Seoul Central Station.
A recent Skyscanner article listed the following neighbourhoods as the best places to stay in Seoul for tourists
- Myeongdong: For shopaholics and foodies.
- Hongdae: For the fashionistas and indie lovers.
- Gangnam: For the well-travelled and well off.
- Itaewon: For the party-people, bars and clubs.
- Jamsil – For the families and sports enthusiasts.
For more options and booking search below
How to get to Seoul
Seoul is service by 2 international airports Gimpo and Incheon. Incheon is one of the worlds busiest airports with thousands of flights arriving and departing daily.
South Korea has a high-speed rail network that covers most of the country called the KTX. You can travel from Busan in the South to Seoul in the north in a little over 2 hours.
The highways in South Korea are of high quality making hiring a car a great option. You can pick a car up at any of the international airports. Search for your rental car below.
Buses connect Seoul with all corners of Korea. Bus travel is usually the cheapest option for long-distance travel.
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