I am trying something new today. Instead of writing about all the hip Seoul districts, which you can find in any good tourist brochure or guidebook (such as mine for hikers and day strollers)
I am helping to let you figure out where you should be heading to first! Especially if you only have a short stay in South Korea’s capital. So here is my first travel quiz. Let me know if you are keen for more.
After having taken the test and seeing your result, scroll down to find your number one Seoul district that suits your character most. Of course, this should be taken with a grain of salt and a visit to all my personal top five is highly recommended regardless of your result.
You’ve got Hongdae! That means you got some serious Korean-style street cred and love coffee. So don your ghetto cap, grab a snack while strolling through the foodie and clothing stands until the cubs welcome you in.
Being the campus of the Hongik University is not the only reason students hang out here. Who knows, you might be the next superstar and could just as well join in with the street dancers and musicians. Entertained you certainly will be.
Classy choice. You like vibrant nights just as much as the Hongdaesters, but prefer to frequent more high-end designer stores, edgy local Korean creations and dine out in the World Food Street.
Every last Sunday of the month will see you roam through the Antique Furniture Street on the hunt for flea market finds and unique additions to your vintage interior. And if the fancy takes you, you might stop by the Samsung Art Gallery to look for the latest exhibitions of old and new masters.
Crazy food is your forte and you will make a beeline to the busy main street of Insa-dong. There are plenty of sights in Insa-dong so that you can spend some time exploring this Seoul neighbourhood.
Don’t just jealously eye all the passersby with their iconic j-shaped ice cream cones. Get them from Jipangeilcecream.
Next, stop by the quirky shopping centre to try out the poop bread and take selfies on the roof garden with hundreds of pink wishing plates. To get new bags, typical Korean souvenirs and artsy statues, you know where to look for. One street is enough to satisfy your need for the ‘different’.
Bukchon Hanok Village
You are the artsy type and/or history lover and feel most at home between the traditional wooden houses overlooking the city and upholding its rich heritage among the many Seoul districts.
On the cobblestone walks you feel taken back into a different time and place and will most likely be wearing your hanbok to strengthen this feeling. Or you might be headed to the next workshop, where you are inducted into the art of time-old handcrafting.
You hate THAT song. It has been falsely interpreted as a dance about horse riding and sexy women. The world might hold on to that belief but not you, no sir!
You are fully educated just as this district is and are a worldly being. Stylish to the bone and meaning business, you will go shopping for cheap finds in the underground malls.
Then you might stock up on fashionable accessories in the glass-fronted exclusive stores. Or sit in hip coffee shops, doing some people watching.
Gangnam is all about seen and being seen but not seeming fazed. And you know you might run into international celebrities and who wouldn’t like that?
Plus, you can pick one of the many luxury hotels in Seoul‘s Gangam district to really feel like a celebrity yourself.
Shoppingqueen, I hail you! You know the best places to go for cheap finds (underground malls) and show up to free samples. Don’t forget to hug the mascots distributing flyers and stroll the streets with a 3 foot long ice cream.
I didn’t manage it without it tumbling down to the streets. Meh. Crazy is your second name and you soak up the hustle and bustle of lively streets and the noise of people’s chatter.
I loved my visit to Seoul and even if you don’t have enough time to go on a few day trips and hikes from Seoul, you should at least explore a few of the many different districts as they all have their very specific charme.
I would love to hear your thoughts in case you have been to any of thr Seoul districts before.
Interesting post! Have never been to Korea, but will keep these suggestions in mind when I do:)
Travel on the Brain says
Hi Menorca, thank you. What district did you get? If you like more information on where to go etc, I even made a little eguide for Seoul. :)
Awesome post! I’m in Asia right now and I wasn’t really planning ongoing to Korea but after reading this I just might.. I have some friends who worked as english teachers there and they had a brilliant time :)
Travel on the Brain says
Hi Rachel! I am happy you find my post useful. Teaching English is a huge deal in Korea and I have heard fun stories as well. If that’s what you would like, I say go for it! Seoul has so much to offer and day trips to nature and surrounding villages and towns are easy. Public transport is very convenient. Let me know if you do end up going. :)
Help! I read your post and loved it.
It is going to be my daughter and my first time going to Seoul- even though my excitement is great I am a little scared. I have questions on money exchange and the ride back to where we decide to stay.
Hi Irene, thanks so much for your lovely comment! The first time in Seoul?! It’s gonna be so great. I hope you two love it as much as I did. Don’t be scared! It’s a very safe city and people are friendly. It’s always best to exchange money at your bank at home. But you can also do it at official money exchange stands at the airport. The metro covers a lot of Seoul and it’s super easy to navigate and affordable. Plus, it’s very walkable, too.