So are you about to hop on the plane to Seoul, South Korea, but you still don't have an organized itinerary? Don't fret! I'm sharing my itinerary with you, hoping that you'd find it helpful. Depending on your preference, you can opt to follow it as it is or mix and match them.
Before I continue, please note that the schedule below took the following conditions into play:
- This isn't my first time to go to Seoul. I already had my taste of the Korean village and temples, so I'm skipping those this time around.
- I had to consider the Seollal holiday. It's Korea's biggest holiday, a la New Year, so several establishments were announced to be closed. Therefore, I planned my out-of-Seoul tours on those days.
- I want it to be chillax. Chill. Relax. I don't like very tight schedules, so I can relax and enjoy the beauty of Korea.
And so let's jump right to my itinerary...
February 04, 2016 (Thursday)
03:00 PM - Flight from Manila to Incheon International Airport via Cebu Pacific
09:00 PM - Arrival at Incheon Internationa Airport, South Korea
10:00 PM - Withdraw money from ATM (read this) and dinner at Bong Ju inside the airport. They are known for their congee and bibimbap. Note that most restaurants close at 10PM, but this one's until 11PM)
11:00 PM - Travel to Myeongdong via subway, bus or taxi
12:00 AM - Check-in at Metro Hotel Myeongdong
February 05, 2016 (Friday)
08:00 AM - Breakfast
09:00 AM - Trickeye Museum and Love Museum at Hongdae (Board at Euljiro 1-ga station, get off at Line #2 Hongik Univ. Station Exit 9, walk straight about 151m. Cross the first traffic light towards SPAO and walk towards Hongik University on the left. Make a right turn at Tony Moly corner and walk into the alley straight 105m until you reach the museum.)
12:00 PM - Lunch at Myeongdong Kyoja back in the Myeongdong area. They are famous for their Kalguksu (handmade noodles)
02:00 PM - Watch the NANTA Cooking Show at the NANTA Myeongdong Theater
04:00 PM - Free time to roam around Myeongdong
06:00 PM - Drop by Lotte Plaza and Lotte Young Plaza, which are walking distance from Myeongdong street
07:00 PM - Dinner
February 06, 2016 (Saturday)
09:00 AM - Breakfast
10:00 AM - Visit the Kyobo Bookstore Jongno, Korea's largest chain of bookstore to check out international books
12:00 PM - Walk towards Insadong from Kyobo Bookstore for lunch, then stroll around the alley to see traditional goods, paintings, and other art-related items.
06:00 PM - Go to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza to see the cutting-edge modern multicultural facilities. The DDP is like a huge donut-shaped architecture with different sections. Visit the Design Lab for artsy-fartsy items for sale.
07:00 PM - Dinner (option to eat street foods from Myeongdong)
08:00 PM - Stroll around Myeongdong for skin care products, food, and apparels
February 07, 2016 (Sunday)
07:00 AM - Breakfast
08:00 AM - Pick-up from hotel en route to Yongpyong Ski Resort, around 3 hours away from Seoul. Tour was booked from Klook.com (read more)
10:30 AM - Arrival at the ski rental place to get footwear, clothes, and head gears
11:00 AM - Arrival at the Yongpyong Ski Resort, the resort with the highest slope. Once settled, learn basic ski lessons from tour guide, included in the package. Ski on your own.
12:00 PM - Lunch
01:00 PM - Take the Ski Lift to go to the top of the mountain, which is more than 1,250m above sea level. Get tons of photos and enjoy the snow. One way takes about 30-minutes each.
03:00 PM - Depart Yongpyong Ski Resort to go back to the city.
06:00 PM - Dinner, then rest
February 08, 2016 (Monday)
07:00 AM - Breakfast
08:00 AM - Pick-up from hotel en route to Nami Island, which is about 2 hours away from Seoul. Tour was booked from Klook.com (read more)
10:00 AM - Arrival at the Nami Island port to ride a 5-minutes long ferry to the other side. Take a lot of photos. Find the right locations and angles to avoid noise in your background
12:00 PM - Lunch
01:00 PM - Travel to Petit France, a French-inspired tourist spot with lots of photo opp areas and interesting locations where Koreanovelas were shot
02:30 PM - Depart Petit France to go back to the city.
04:30 PM - Drop by the Ginseng Center or Duty Free or COEX Mall, the largest mall in Seoul for tea tasting or shopping
07:00 PM - Dinner, then rest
February 09, 2016 (Tuesday)
11:00 AM - Wake up late and check out from the the hotel, then leave your luggage in the hotel lobby.
12:00 PM - Lunch
01:30 PM - Visit the N Seoul Tower (Board at Euljiro 1-ga station, transfer to Line#1 at City Hall station, get off at Seoul Station exit 9, then ride the Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 3)
04:00 PM - Ride back to Metro Hotel Myeongdong to get the luggage
05:00 PM - Walk a meters away to look for Ibis Hotel to ride the Airport Limousine Bus 015 worth KRW10,000 (~Php390) going to Incheon International Airport
07:00 PM - Claim tax refund and have dinner inside the airport
10:00 PM - Depart from South Korea to Manila, Philippines via Cebu Pacific
There you have it - a very chillax itinerary for non-first timers. For the free days, you can also opt to try the strawberry picking tour or visit the popular theme parks, such as Lotte World and Everland. They do have cheaper entrance fees starting 4PM onwards.
Enjoy your trip!