A Korea 1 Week Itinerary
I‘m going to be giving several Korea travel itineraries in the coming weeks, but this is the first! If you need a Korea 1 week itinerary, this is crafted from my experience coming here for school, travel, and work! This is not nearly as in-depth as my full itineraries for Seoul, or other places in Korea like Gyeongju. This is a brief post to give you an idea of where to plan on going. If you want more details for each place, please check out the posts for each city!
If you are coming to Korea for only a week I highly recommend you stay just in Seoul. Seoul is a massive, spread out city. To get from one attraction to the other can take you upwards of 40 minutes to an hour. It’s also the best place to find cheap hostels. I’d say the average hostel price in Seoul is 10,000won but elsewhere it can be as high as 20,000.
Here’s my personal Seoul Itinerary. But let me give you a quick breakdown of my recommendations.
Day 1: I recommend you stay in Hongdae. It’s very well located and also has a ton of nightlife. If you’re looking for a more traditional/relaxed experience, stay in one of the hanok villages. Spend your day simply wandering around, getting a feel for this crazy place. Then, head to the clubs or bars to really experience the city!
Day 2: Pick one of the palaces to visit, Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung are probably the best choices. Once you’ve seen one palace you’ve basically seen all of them. Dress up in hanbok (traditional clothing) to get free access to palaces and discounts at many of the cafes in the area. Check out Insadong for some traditional shopping, meals, and excellent street food.
Day 3: If you can’t do an actual temple stay overnight (somehow I have yet to check this off my bucketlist…) you can get a three hour experience at Jogyesa Temple. Tea and chat with a monk, and explanations of Buddhism 🙂 Afterwards, keep up the relaxation and make your way to Siloam Sauna, my favorite sauna in Seoul. But, be prepared to get naked before soaking in female/male only baths and saunas.
Day 4: Gangnam. I personally don’t think Gangnam actually has a ton to do. But if you like Kpop most of the buildings and sites will be here. Additionally, there is a very nice Buddhist Temple (Bongeunsa) that is absolutely lovely to wander through in the evenings.
Day 5: Do some hiking! You can “hike” Namsan tower, walk the Seoullo7017 (Like the Highline in NYC), or choose something more challenging. Hiking is the national pastime and your trip won’t be complete until you give it a go! Finish off your day with a Han River evening cruise to soak in more of that nature.
Day 6: Cafes! Ikseon and Hongdae have some of the best cafes. So do like the locals and cafe hop! I have watched Koreans move from cafe to cafe all day on a weekend, give it a go! Head to Myeongdong for the StyleNanda flagship store and shop ’till you drop.
Day 7: Check out the Bukcheon Hanok village to get your taste of traditional architecture. And hten. Cheonggycheong stream. This is probably my favorite spot in Seoul and its a good place to end on. It’s set down from the rest of the city and seems entirely separated. Light music, trickling water, the occasional fish, stick your feet in a cool off. There are also several BBQs in the area and if you haven’t tried KBBQ yet, you’re missing out~
If you have any additional days, those are the days I would use for daytrips from Seoul. You can easily fill 7 days just in Seoul but if you have more than 7, I would recommend getting out of the city.
Nami Island: One of the most common daytrips, this one is fairly difficult to navigate if you’re not very familiar with Korean transportation. You would be better off taking a tour. It’s very pretty, cute, and fun, I recommend it!
Suwon: If you’re looking for more history, Suwon is a walled city about an hour from Seoul that has an excellent fortress and is known for their fried chicken. Give it a look!
Paju: An adorable art town about an hour north of Seoul. Tons of lovely cafes and Korean art absolutely everywhere.
And that’s my Korea 1 week itinerary! Stay tuned for a two week itinerary coming soon!
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