Seoul – Day 1 of a 4-Day Trip in South Korea
We landed at the Incheon International Airport early. Hungry and tired, we took a 1 hour 15 minutes train into Seoul. Although early, we were hopeful that the guesthouse room was ready for us. We were lucky – our room was ready!
We stayed at Lee Kang Ga Guesthouse during our time in Korea. After washing up, we walked around the block to a small family-owned restaurant for lunch. They specialize in noodle soups. I ordered the udon noodle soup, which also came kimbap. The soup was warming and delicious!
After lunch, we actually headed back to our room to rest. We had been traveling for 2+ weeks with very little sleep. However, if you have energy, I would recommend the following stops for the afternoon – Gyeondong Market (a herbal medicine and ginseng market), Ihwa Mural Village, DongDaemun Gate (also known as Heunginjimun), Seoul Fortress Wall, and finally Dondaemun Seonggwak Park.
Once we were rested, we walked to Hongdae, 2 blocks from where we were staying, to browse the shops. The area is home to a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as Hongik University, which Hongdae is named after. The Hongik University is one of the top fine arts colleges in Korea.
For dinner, we headed to 갈비살 전문점 홍대 도마 (translated to Hongdae Chopping Board) for Korean BBQ. Hands down, this is the best Korean BBQ I have ever had. The meat and side dishes were amazing. The meat was so juicy and tender, not chewy at all! One of the side dishes was raw crab (and it was free of charge!). I think the restaurant is a little bit pricier than some of the other restaurants in the area, but definitely worth it.
To finish up the night, we headed to a noraebang (karaoke room) for, you guessed it, karaoke! What a great way to end our first night in South Korea.
Complete Day 1 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary and do not include walking distances to and from train/bus stations. Check Kakao Map for most accurate travel details. Google Maps does not work very well in Korea.
9:00am: Arrive at Incheon International Airport. Head into Seoul.
11:00am: Check-in at the accommodation (Suggestion: Lee Kang Ga Guesthouse). Generally, the trip from the airport to a central Seoul neighbourhood will take 1 hour and 15 minutes.
12:00pm: Have lunch (Suggestion: There are a few family owned options just around the corner of the Lee Kang Ga Guesthouse).
1:00pm: Stroll through Gyeondong Market (6 minute bus from Gyeongseong Middle & High School to Donggyo-dong Samgeori, transfer for 30 minute train from Donggyo-dong Samgeori to Jegi-dong Station).
3:00pm: Wander Ihwa Mural Village (6 minute train from Jegi-dong Station to Dondaemun (Heunginjimun Gate)).
4:00pm: Visit Heunginjimun Gate, Seoul Fortress Wall, and Dondaemun Seonggwak Park (11 minute walk from Ihwa Mural Village).
5:00pm: Head back to Hongdae for Korean BBQ. Suggestion: 갈비살 전문점 홍대 도마 (27 minute bus from Dongdaemun (Heunginjimun Gate) to Seogyodong).
7:00pm: Go Karaoke!