A little while ago, aileefadzlee asked me to recommend her a few places for when she visited Seoul, so I decided to create a text post with some of my favorite places to check out in Seoul, South Korea!
This list will include names, photos, locations, and little tips to make life a little easier + fun in a city that never sleeps :)
Hope this helps some of you future travelers out there!
The difficult thing about recommending places is that there are countless numbers of amazing locations to visit in this big city. I swear, you’re never going to be bored, even if you’re aimlessly wandering with no destination in mind! That’s the beauty of travel. Don’t be afraid of getting lost. You might stumble across your next favorite “go-to” spot. With that being said, this will be part 1 of my recommendations of the places to visit in Seoul. I’ll probably make more posts in the future, but this is a start! Also, this is not a food recommendation post, a things to do outside of Seoul post, a Korean beauty products post, or a guide to kpop post. This is simply a guide of cool places to visit if you’re traveling to Seoul for a quick stay. If you’d like a separate post on any of those topics (or even something else!), just let me know and I’ll make one! Don’t be shy :)
Anyway, let’s begin! Shall we?
1. Yonsei University/Sinchon/Edae
Photo credit to my friend anhuangg for taking these 3 photos from Yonsei ft. me and my roommate k-vuu :)
One if the SKY universities in Seoul, Yonsei is one of the places I spent the most time at. Located in Sinchon, it’s an area filled with young, college students, since there is another major univeristy (Ewha University) literally right across the street from the SK Global dorms at Yonsei Uni. If you’re curious about what Korean schools looks like, this is definitely the place to go. The campus itself is beautiful, with nice architecture and scenic walks through the mini park that Yonsei has to offer. Back in the heart of Sinchon, you can find plenty shops, cafes, and bars to keep yourself occupied for a good day/night. The U-Plex mall is also located here, if you want to get away from the heat. At night, street performers enjoy flocking the streets, so it’s never a boring time in this area! During the weekends, the main road is usually closed because many events are held in the area. One time, there was a giant water gun fight in which Suzy from Miss A and Henry from SUJU decided to participate in. I actually look videos; I’ll upload them later! Located walking distance from all these is a shopping paradise for girls. The commercial street between the Ewha Station and Ewha Women’s University is considered to be one of the hottest shopping areas for young women in Korea. Edae has lots of clothes for really cheap, if you’re looking to buy cute girly clothes and shoes. You can cut through the University to get here.
You can take subway line 2 to get to Sinchon. You’ll know which exit to take once you see the cute figurines near the stairs ;3; but if you want numbers, exit 1 and 2 are both a safe bet.
*Random note: There is a tunnel, right across the bridge located by the Yonsei Severance Hospital that you can use as a shortcut to get to Edae. It’s covered in graffiti and is considered an awesome spot for pictures. You should take a stroll if you’re into street art!
2. Hongdae/Trick Eye Museum/Hello Kitty Cafe/Bau House
If you’re more into night life, then Hongdae is one of the places you may be interested in. Despite Seoul being a city that never sleeps, shops, cafes, and other stores do close. Shocker, right? However, if you find yourself bored in the middle of the night and aren’t sure where you can at such a late hour, have no fear! Hongdae has people roaming about literally 24/7, so you need not worry about finding people for company. Hongdae is known for it’s bustling night life, underground culture, and shopping. It has a grungier feel to it than other places give off, and it’s an area, again, filled with street performers at any time of day or night, so there’s always something to keep you entertained. Not only that, but if you’re into the indie, or underground music scene, this is definitely the place for you. There’s a band playing at local clubs and venues just about every night, so it’s a great place go grab a drink and discover some new bands and music to listen to. Get away from all the kpop that floods the streets of Korea and try something new! To get here, take subway line 2, the green line, and take exit 9. It’s personally my favorite and it gets you places the fastest. Also located in Hongdae is the famous Trick Eye Museum, Hello Kitty Cafe, and Bau House Dog Cafe. They’re a bit tricky to find, as Hongdae has many alleyways to explore, and neither of them are located near each other, so I don’t recommend going to all three in one day, but if you’re crunching on time, then by all means, go ahead and try; I just feel like Hongdae is a place that needs more than one day to fully explore and appreciate.
Anyway, Trick Eye Museum costs 15,000원 (approximately $15) to get in, but it’s a two for one deal. With the purchase of a ticket, you can also enter the Ice Museum, which is pretty neat, but I recommend you dress warmly if you want to spend over 5 minutes in there. It is located in between the Holika Holika and TONYMOLY. A word of caution to people going to Trick Eye…be patient. This place is packed with foreigners who don’t understand the meaning of forming single filed lines to calmly take photos at every exhibit. The place is honestly like a zoo, and is a free for all with regards to who can run and push people aside to get to an exhibit first to take photos. My friends and I got quite frustrated and ended up leaving after a few photos. At the end of the exhibit, you’ll be faced with a mirror maze, which was pretty neat. It’s hard to see since it’s so dimly lit so be prepared to smash your face against a few mirrors or two until you manage to find your way outside.
Now you’re ready to go into the Ice Museum. As I previously stated, wear warm clothing for this!! It’s honestly really neat, but if you aren’t dressed accordingly, you won’t last long. I barely lasted 10 minutes cause I wasn’t dressed accordingly, but hey, look how cool this is!
Also, if you wear glasses, well, that sucks for you. You won’t be able to see.
If you’re into the clubbing scene, I recommend you trying out Cocoon. It’s the most popular club here, and there’s always a line to get in. Girls, dress nice and you’re most likely either going to get discounted, or just simply get in free. Oh, and wear white. Trust. It’s considered the party color. Not sure why. Classy, maybe? It’s like a status.
Hello Kitty Cafe is another place many tourists find themselves wandering to during their stay in Korea. Also located in Hongdae, just take subway line 2 and get off at Hongik Station. The good thing about Hongdae is that it is located just one stop away from Sinchon, two major college zones, filled with young people. Anyway, once you get off the subway, make your way to exit 9.. nothing different than before. Turn left and continue to walk straight. You should see a Dunkin Donuts on your right if I remember correctly (?). When you see this, turn right and walk through the street with all the shops lined up. Have fun and shop around on your way, but Hello Kitty Cafe will be on your left. To be quite honest, I’ve never gone in here. It’s usually packed and from what I’ve heard, it gets pretty musky cause of the tight space and excess number of bodies. But hey, it’s an experience!
Another popular attraction in the Hongdae area is Bau House Dog Cafe! I’ve actually done a separate post on this, so I’m just going to link you to it to save myself from typing cause I’m lazy as fuuu—- :) But on your walk there, you’ll come across some pretty neat architecture, if you’re into that kind of stuff.
Let me just jump right into things. When we start talking about “10 Step Korean Skin Care” and similar multistep routines, the order in which you use those 10+ products can get confusing. This is a guide that incorporates a fusion of Western and Eastern skin care.
Step 1: Point Makeup Removal (Night)
This is the specific removal of difficult makeup, such as mascara. A makeup remover can be used, but if you feel comfortable, then you can use the following oil cleanse to remove all of your makeup and skip this step.
Face masks that you keep on for a period of time and then wash off. Ex. Clay masks, exfoliating masks, etc.
Step 5: Acids (Day +/or Night)/ Retinols (Night)
This is where you would use BHAs (ex. salicylic acid, betaine salicylate) and AHAs (ex. glycolic acid, lactic acid). In that order if you’re using both at the same time. A 20 minute wait time after each acid allows for them to have the most effect (unless otherwise directed by the product). SUNSCREEN IS ESSENTIAL WHEN USING ACIDS/RETINOLS. I would not recommend using retinols and acids on the same night.
Step 6: Vitamin C (Day)
Vitamin C serums can be photo-protective, so its good for use during the day. They also work best at a low pH, thus their place early on in the routine. Works best with a 20 minute post-application wait time.
Wait 20-30 minutes after application before going out into the sun.
Obviously, you would not use all of these products every day and this guide doesn’t touch on the interactions some of these steps might have with each other. You do not need all of these products to have a good routine. This guide can be flexible in some cases. I’ll update this guide if I create dedicated posts for these steps.
▫ Too Faced Brow Envy Kit - I love this brow kit because it has everything needed for a flawless brow (wax, browbone highlight, brow pencil, brow stencils, brow powders in blonde & brunette, a spooly brush, wax brush, and tweezers).
▫ NYX Butter Gloss in “Creme Brulee” - This is probably my most worn lip color ever. I love that it’s pigmented without being too difficult to apply. The shade is almost a perfect match for my natural lip color so it goes with any makeup look I decide to do.
▫ Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base - In one easy step you’ve got a moisturizer, sunscreen, redness canceler, and a primer. I use this stuff everyday whether I wear makeup or not!
▫ Urban Decay Naked Palette - This is definitely my most used palette of all time. I love the warmth, pigmentation, and quality of the shadows in this palette. There are plenty of gorgeous looks you can create and if I want something quick and easy, this palette is perfect.
▫ Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer - Whether I want an exaggerated contour or something soft, this bronzer does it. It’s easily blendable plus it smells super sweet!
▫ NYX Butter Balm in “Panacotta” - This is probably the easiest wearing lip product I own - not too thick, not too dry, not too wet. It’s the perfect texture and shade for a natural look.
▫ Too Faced Lip Injection in “Bee Sting” - This is (once again) a really natural lip color for me. The cool part about this product is that it actually plumps your lips and helps them look fuller.
▫ MAC Beauty Powder in “Pretty Baby” - This makes a super natural and matte pinky-peach blush shade that works well with any look.
▫ ELF Studio Blush in “Tickled Pink” - I love the way this blush brightens my skin, it makes my complexion look fresh and doesn’t take away from any look I decide to do.
▫ Urban Decay Eyeshadow in “Sin” - I absolutely adore this shadow, and yes, it can be found in the Naked palette (but I used all of mine up so I purchased the single and have already hit pan on that too). The reason I love this shadow so much is because it’s so brightening and gorgeous on the eye. I like to use it in my inner corners or all over the lid.