Do you want to travel without breaking the bank? Then you should take a visit to Seoul! Seoul is a great place to have fun and there are many things you can do and see for a low price! Read on to discover the top 8 things to do in Seoul for under $15!
1. Gyeongbokgung Palace
Price: ₩3,000 ($3) **Free if you rent a hanbok (see #3)**
Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Gyeongbokgung Palace is the most famous palace in Korea. For as little as $3 you can purchase a ticket and tour the main palace grounds. If you rent a hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) and wear it there then the entrance fee is waived, and you can visit the palace grounds for free! If you don’t mind spending a little more money, you can purchase a ticket book that gives you access to all of the palaces around Seoul for a limited time.
There are many things you can do at Gyeongbokgung palace. You can watch live performances of traditional Korean music and dance. You can tour old traditional Korean buildings and architecture. Additionally, you can also take pictures by the scenic ponds and nature within the palace grounds. Being at Gyeongbokgung makes you feel like you’re being taken back to the Joseon dynasty! The palace is well preserved and there are plenty of tour guides who can offer you a formal tour of the grounds if you like.
Also at Gyeongbokgung is the National Palace Museum of Korea. This museum features exhibits on Korea’s history, art, and national treasures.
2. Namsan Seoul Tower
Price: ₩11,000 ($9)
Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The view of Seoul from Namsan Tower is one of the most beautiful sights you can see in Korea. For as low as ₩11,000 ($9), you can buy a ticket for entry to Namsan Seoul Tower’s observatory deck, which stands at 774 feet from the ground. The best time to visit Seoul tower is just at the fall of dusk. To get to Seoul tower, you can take a bus up Namsan mountain 1 to 2 hours before dusk and get to the observatory deck just in time to see the city of Seoul light up. The view from up top speaks for itself, and inside the observatory deck are restaurants and gift shops to memorialize the experience. You can visit the official Namsan Seoul Tower website to learn more about its hours and admission.
3. Wear a Hanbok
Price: Varies/₩10,000 ($8) ~ ₩15,000 ($13)
Address: Varies/shops located along Gyeongbokgung Station
No visit to Korea would be complete without dressing up in traditional Korean hanbok. Hanbok is a Korean clothing garment that’s been worn for centuries by royalty and common folk alike. You can find numerous hanbok rental shops all across Seoul.
Pro tip: We recommend to wear hanbok when you visit Gyeongbokgung as the entrance fee to the palace is waived.
Hanbok rental shops are scattered all across the streets of the palace outside of Gyeongbokgung station. For no more than ₩15,000 ($13) you can rent and wear a hanbok all around the city for a few hours. Just pick out what color hanbok you like and take it to the shop attendants. These shops carry both women’s and men’s hanbok for all sizes. The attendants will fit the hanbok over the clothes you’re already wearing, and you can choose some traditional Korean accessories and headwear to complete your look! Just make sure to bring it back in time after you’re done snapping pics for your Korean Dream Travel board on the Travilous App.
4. Myeongdong Night Market
Address: Jung-gu, Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, 8-3-ga, Seoul, South Korea
If you’re in the mood to try some of the tastiest and most delicious street food in all of South Korea for a low price, then you should head over to Myeongdong Night Market. You can find everything here including hot and cold foods, traditional Korean dishes, and trendy snacks. You can also buy clothing, accessories, souvenirs, and off-brand items here if you’re looking for gifts to take back home. Myeongdong Night Market can get crowded, but it is so worth it. The night market opens at 3 pm every day and closes at midnight. It’s recommended to head over around 8 pm right before the evening rush.
5. Hongdae Busking
Address: Hongdae, Seoul, South Korea
Hongdae is known as the epicenter of everything cool and hip in Seoul, and that’s because it lies right outside of a university named Hongik. This trendy district is filled with fashionable youngsters, trendy boutiques, and of course buskers! While in Hongdae you’re bound to see street dancers, singers, musicians, and others performing in the district’s epicenter. Known as the testament to the Hallyu wave and a huge tourist attraction for those who enjoy Korean pop and Korean TV dramas, Hongdae has recently been featured all over various social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Some of these street performers are so famous that they have their dedicated hordes of fangirls who come to their performances to cheer them on. You’d think these street dancers were actual celebrities! After watching a cool busking performance, you can visit one of the many restaurants, bars, and arcades lining the district’s epicenter and enjoy a fun night out!
6. Coin Karaoke
Price: ₩500 ($0.50)
Coin Karaoke is exactly what it sounds like. For as little as fifty cents, you can enjoy your favorite songs with friends. Coin karaoke emerged as a way for young people to cheaply enjoy their favorite songs without having to pay by the minute or hour like at traditional Karaoke spots (noraebangs). You just insert your loose change into the coin karaoke’s vending machine, step inside the booth, and belt your heart out! You can find these coin karaoke tucked away in alleys scattered all around Seoul, but they are more abundant and readily available in none other than Hongdae.
7. Gwangjang Market
Address: 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 4(sa)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
If you’re looking for a food emporium with walls lined up with food stalls, then Gwangjang is where you need to go. Gwangjang market hosts vendors who will serve hot food right in front of you. Gwangjang also has small shops where you can buy hot or cold food, drinks, and some snacks and candies to give to friends back home. Gwangjang Market usually gets very crowded around noon, which is lunchtime for most in Seoul. So, if you’re looking for something cheap to eat for lunch, Gwangjang is where you should go!
Some of the more well-known Korean foods you can find here are soondae (blood sausage), kimbap, and my personal favorite, sannakji (chopped raw octopus). Sannakji has become somewhat of a tourist attraction. The octopus is chopped in front of you and is meant to be eaten raw. But even after being chopped up, some of its tentacles are still moving, and so it’s recommended to thoroughly chew before swallowing to avoid choking.
If you’d like to learn more about his dish and other tasty Korean foods you can try in Korea, then you should check out our other article on the Top 10 Must-Try Korean Foods.
8. Dongdaemun Market
Address: Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Dongdaemun is one of the biggest markets in all of Seoul. We recommend visiting Dongdaemun Market right after having lunch or a meal in Gwangjang. Both markets are right next to each other! You can find just about anything at Dongdaemun Market and for a cheap price. Many vendors sell traditional Korean clothing, linens, and souvenirs and you can find bargains for off-brand clothing and accessories. Additionally, many toy shops sell vintage collector toys from the 1960s, when the market was re-opened. As they say, “the early bird gets the worm.” You should visit Dongdaemun preferably in the morning to find and bargain for the best deals before this market gets crowded.
We hoped you enjoyed this article on the top places to visit in Seoul on a budget. Now you know how to budget-travel like a pro! If you’d like to read more about traveling in Korea then don’t forget to sign up for our email list and join the Travilous App.