Shoestring Budget Travel! Enjoy Seoul on 10 Dollars!
Traveling overseas may seem expensive, but it's also possible to
enjoy a full vacation on a limited budget. Seoul, in particular, is a
popular city to visit, thanks to the multitude of free or nearly free
attractions, as well as the plethora of good eats and the unique harmony
of traditional and modern styles meeting. If you are finding it hard to
believe, keep reading to find out how you can enjoy a variety of areas
in Seoul for just 10 dollars each!
Old Meets New at Insa-dong
Street food and souvenirs at Ssamziegil, landmark of Insa-dong
Ssamziegil and scenery of Insa-dong
Located between Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and Jongno 2-ga
is Insa-dong, a cultural space where traditions and modern life blend
seamlessly. Stretching out on both sides of the approximately 700 meter
main street are shops bursting with crafts, artworks, and souvenirs. In
particular, the square-shaped cultural complex of Ssamziegil is immensely popular. Each floor offers a unique selection of small crafts and clothing as well as snack vendors.
It is extremely difficult to resist the temptation of street foods and
brightly colored souvenirs as you walk through Insa-dong. The street
food is generally priced around 2,000 to 3,000 won for one item, while
fans, bookmarks, pencil cases, and luck pouches are some of the more
popular, inexpensive gifts, available for 3,000 won or less.
Traditional culture at tea houses and Museum Kimchikan
Insa-dong traditional tea house (top) & Museum (bottom)
Another unique way to experience Insa-dong is by visiting one of the
tea houses or small galleries located inside hanok buildings, Korea’s
traditional housing. While exploring Insa-dong, take a moment to stop
into one of these hanok cafés for a short break!
Also located in Insa-dong is Museum Kimchikan, providing an opportunity to enjoy the UNESCO-recognized gimjang (kimchi
preparation) culture. The museum was selected in March of 2015 by the
American broadcasting network CNN as one of the world's top 11 food
museums. The museum includes exhibitions on the history of kimchi and
the many types, as well as a space to try kimchi. Audio guides are
available for free in English, Japanese, and Chinese to facilitate
understanding of the displays.
* 10 dollar budget for Insa-dong!
Street food or souvenir 2,000~3,000 won + Hanok café 4,000~ won + Museum Kimchikan admission 5,000 won
- ☞ Insa-dong
- - Address: Area of Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 인사동길 일대)
- - Directions: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6. Walk approx. 3min.
- ☞ Museum Kimchikan
- - Address: 35-4, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- - Directions: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6. Walk approx. 8min.
- - Operating hours: 10:00-18:00 / Closed Mondays, Jan. 1, Seollal
(Lunar New Year) & Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) holidays, and
- - Admission: Adults 5,000 won / Teenagers & Children 3,000 won / Ages 7 and under 2,000 won
- - Website: www.kimchikan.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Cozy Landscape of Hanok Buildings, Samcheongdong-gil Road & Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village & Samcheong-dong
is the neighborhood located northeast of Gyeongbokgung Palace, and its
main road has become a representative cultural street of Seoul due to
the many cafés, galleries, and unique restaurants. The area is enjoyable
regardless of age or gender, with special attractions like the World
Jewellery Museum, Owl Art & Craft Museum and more.
Enter any one of the countless cafés lining the street that draw your
fancy to take in the ambience of Samcheong-dong over a cup of coffee. We
recommend getting a window seat or a table on the terrace to enjoy the
active street scene.
Within walking distance to Samcheong-dong is Bukchon Hanok Village, a
well-established community of traditional houses that are still lived in
today. Tourists are advised to take special precautions to control
noise level and avoid littering in respect of the residents who live in
the neighborhood. Wandering through the streets and many connecting
alleyways, you can find plenty of things to see, from craft workshops
and museums of all themes to perfect photo spots.
* 10 dollar budget for Samcheongdong-gil Road & Bukchon Hanok Village!
Samcheong-dong café 5,000~7,000 won + museum admission 3,000~5,000 won
- ☞ Samcheong-dong
- - Address: Area of Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울시 종로구 삼청로 일대)
- - Directions: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 1. Walk approx. 15min.
- ☞ Bukchon Hanok Village
- - Address: 37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 계동길 37)
- - Directions: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2. Walk approx. 10min.
Complete record of the capital’s history, Seoul Museum of History
Seoul Museum of History
Seoul Museum of History is a great place to visit for people curious
about the transformation of Seoul into a major international city. The
capital city for over 600 years since the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910),
Seoul has a long history and the museum has a variety of exhibitions and
artifacts showcasing this. Visitors can learn more about the story of
Joseon's kings and royal palaces, as well as see the clothing and daily
items used by citizens in the past.
The outdoor exhibition is popular for the display of a tram car that ran
through the city of Seoul from the 1930s until 1968. The car and
statues of people in traditional clothing bring the vibe of the old city
to life. The museum has a variety of free resources for international
tourists to use. Audio guides are available in Korean, English,
Japanese, and Chinese, and guests can also read about the exhibitions
through a smart phone application.
Palace hidden within the city, Gyeonghuigung Palace
Exiting Seoul Museum of History, the road leads to Gyeonghuigung
Palace. This palace was used in the later part of the Joseon period as a
secondary palace. In the past, Gyeonghuigung Palace had some 100
buildings, both large and small, but most of the buildings were damaged
due to various causes, and the size of the palace has been reduced by
nearly half. These days, many of the buildings have been reconstructed
thanks to the efforts of the city, and the palace is open to the public.
Compared to the other royal palaces, Gyeonghuigung Palace is rather
small, but the palace is gradually growing as more and more buildings
* Touring Seoul Museum of History & Gyeonghuigung Palace is free!
- ☞ Seoul Museum of History
- - Address: 55, Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 새문안로 55)
- - Directions: Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 7. Walk approx. 10min.
- - Operating hours: Weekdays 09:00-20:00, weekends & public
holidays 09:00-19:00 (November-February 09:00-18:00) / Closed Mondays
& Jan. 1
- - Admission: Free
- - Website: www.museum.seoul.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
- ☞ Gyeonghuigung Palace
- - Address: 1-2, Sinmunro 2-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 신문로2가 1-2)
- - Directions: Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 7. Walk approx. 10min.
- - Operating hours: 09:00-18:00 / Closed Mondays & Jan. 1
- - Admission: Free
Symbol of Joseon Royalty, Gyeongbokgung Palace
Scenery of Gyeongbokgung Palcae
Gyeongbokgung Palace is a symbol of the Joseon era in the heart of
the city. Exceptionally beautiful structures within the palace grounds
include Geunjeongjeon Hall, where the king conducted court affairs, and
Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, a large open pavilion appearing to float atop a
man-made lotus pond. Enjoy a leisure stroll through the palace to take
in the many attractive buildings.
Exchange brass coins for food in Tongin Market’s Dosirak Café!
Yeopejeon and food at Tongin Market
Located next to Gyeongbokgung Palace is Tongin Market, a traditional
market that is popular among tourists. Visitors to the market absolutely
must try the dosirak (lunchbox) café! The café offers a fun experience where you exchange cash for yeopjeon, brass
coins that were used as currency in the past, and use these coins to
purchase foods from the vendors for your own personal lunchbox.
The dosirak café is located in the middle of the shops lining the long
market alley. For just 5,000 won, you get 10 yeopjeon and a dosirak
container to start filling up. Take your time walking through the market
and looking at the many food vendors to find things you want to eat.
When you find something you'd like to try, buy it with your yeopjeon! If
you spend all your coins but still want to buy more, you can also
purchase it with cash. After completing your lunchbox, return to the
dosirak café to eat. The café has chopsticks, spoons, and forks to use,
and sells rice and soup to round out your meal.
* 10 dollar budget for Gyeongbokgung Palace & Tongin Market!
Gyeongbokgung Palace admission 3,000 won + Tongin Market yeopjeon
dosirak 5,000 won + additional snacks and drinks at Tongin Market
- ☞ Gyeongbokgung Palace
- - Address: 161, Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 사직로 161)
- - Directions: Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5. Walk approx. 2min.
- - Operating hours: Mar-May, Sep-Oct 09:00-18:00, Jun-Aug
09:00-18:30, Nov-Feb 09:00-17:00 (Last admission one hour before
closing) / Closed Tuesdays
- - Admission: Adults 3,000 won / Teenagers & Children 1,500 won
※ Free admission when wearing hanbok and last Wednesday of every month
- - Website: www.royalpalace.go.kr (Korean, English)
- ☞ Tongin Market
- - Address: 18, Jahamun-ro 15-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 자하문로 15길 18)
- - Directions: Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2. Walk approx. 10min.
- - Operating hours: 09:00-22:00 / Closed third Sunday of every month
- ※ Dosirak Café hours: 11:00-17:00 (Yeopjeons are sold until 16:00, Closed Mondays and third Sunday of every month)
Take a Much-deserved Break at Olympic Park
1988 Seoul Olympics. To this day, the park is used as a venue for a
multitude of sporting events and concerts. The park is also home to over
200 sculptures from internationally famous artists, and was the site
of Mongchontoseong Fortress, a relic from the Baekje Period (18 B.C. – A.D. 660).
When visiting the park, we highly recommend stopping by one of the
information centers first to pick up a free map of the park. The map is
extremely helpful when choosing which of the park’s many attractions and
facilities to visit, as well as finding the best way to get to all of
them. There are two information centers, located on opposite ends of the
park at Meeting Plaza and Peace Plaza. After picking up your map, be
sure to head to the park’s major attractions, namely Mongchontoseong
Fortress, Wild Flower Garden, Rose Garden, and One Tree Hill.
Walking through the entire park would take around two or three hours.
For a special experience and a more enjoyable way to get around, take
advantage of the bicycle rentals available at the park! Visitors can
rent bicycles for two, three, and six people. The rental fee varies by
bike and day of the week, but weekend and public holiday fees for one
hour are as follows: two-person bicycle 8,000 won, three-person bicycle
15,000 won, and six-person bicycle 25,000 won.
* 10 dollar budget for Olympic Park!
One hour rental of two-person bicycle over the weekend 8,000 won (4,000 won per person)
- ☞ Olympic Park
- - Address: 424, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 424)
- - Directions: Olympic Park Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 3 or Mongchontoseong Station (Seoul Subway Line 8), Exit 1.
- - Operating hours: 05:00-22:00 (Plaza area 24:00) / Open all year round
- - Website: www.olympicpark.co.kr (Korean, English)
- ☞ Visit Seoul website: www.visitseoul.net (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
- ☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)