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Walking Tours in Seoul: A Luxury Tour vs. A Budget Tour
Seoul Luxury Tour – Sightseeing and Shopping in Style

The luxury course combines sightseeing with high-end shopping. The itinerary includes sightseeing at a royal palace, a walk by Cheonggyecheon Stream, and shopping for luxury brands in Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong. The evening can be spent in a jazz café (it appears frequently in Korean popular dramas) enjoying a live performance and then to your hotel spa to recover from the day's fatigue. Below is an overview of sightseeing, shopping, and leisurely activities of this luxury course.

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Day 1
▶10:00~12:00 Visit Changdeokgung Palace Ongnyucheon
The tour starts with a visit to Changdeokgung Palace. Seoul is home to numerous palaces of the Joseon Dynasty (from the late 14th century to the end of the 19th century). These include Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, and Gyeonghuigung, which are all located in the Jongno area. One could even contemplate a royal palace theme tour that would take an entire day.
If you only have half a day, however, we recommend Changdeok Palace. Designated as a World Cultural Heritage in 1997, Changdeok stands at the foot of a mountain. This palace is often praised for the harmony between its architecture and nature surrounding it. Ongnyucheon Stream, opened to the public since 2004, is the highlight of this tour and takes about an hour and a half to sightsee.
→ For more information on the Changdeokgung Palace, click!
→ Read about Matthieu's visit to Changdeokgung Palace! Click here!
▶12:00~14:00 Lunch in Insa-dong

After the visit to Changdeok Palace, take a taxi and head to Insa-dong for lunch.
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▶14:00~19:00 Sightseeing of Insa-dong~ Cheonggyecheon ~ Myeong-dong
The main attractions of the tour around downtown Seoul are Insa-dong, Cheonggyecheon, and Myeong-dong. If Insa-dong represents Seoul's traditional past, Myeong-dong embodies the present, and Cheonggyecheon Stream can be said to link the past to the present. First, get a good feel of Korea's traditional culture by strolling along the streets and alleys of Insa-dong. The tour, which takes about an hour, is highly recommended for those wanting to buy traditional accessories and gifts.
From Insa-dong, cross Jongno 2-ga to Cheonggyecheon, where you can relax by the stream that flows through Seoul's busy downtown. After taking a rest, head to Myeong-dong, known as the shopping paradise of Seoul. If you want to buy luxury goods, visit Lotte Department Store, Lotte's high-end store AvenueL, or Shinsegae Department Store near Namdaemun Market. Don't miss the duty-free shops on the 9th and 10th floors of Lotte Department Store. And while you are at it, why not take a break between stores to have dinner in the Myeong-dong area. There are many great restaurants in this area.

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→ Interested about Insa-dong, Myeong-dong, and Cheonggyecheon? Click below!
     Cheonggyecheon Stream
▶19:00~22:00 Hotel Spa

If you feel weary after sightseeing, there is nothing better than relaxing at a spa. The Hyatt Hotel on Mt. Namsan (near Myeong-dong) recently opened a facility called "The Spa," offering personalized service for every customer. A one-on-one consultation allows each client to choose a preferred treatment, time, and even background music.
Another advantage is that only organic products are used. Programs vary, from one-hour half courses to the full 4-hour treatment. Reservations are required. After the spa, you can enjoy a cocktail in the lobby lounge on the hotel's first floor while gazing out at the night view. Since the hotel is located high atop Mt. Namsan, the views are fantastic. Open until midnight, the lounge serves cocktails averaging around 13,000 won.

[Visitor Information]
Hours 10:00~22:00 / Spa price: 135,000 won (1 hour)~580,000 won (4 hours, 10% VAT not included) / Information +82-2-799-8808 (Korean, English) (English, Japanese) / Directions: From Myeong-dong, take a taxi (10 minutes).
▶22:00~ Hotel Accommodations

A number of hotels are concentrated in the Myeong-dong area including Lotte, Westin Chosun, Seoul Plaza, Seoul Hilton, and Grand Hyatt. Farther south, the Gangnam Coex area has the Intercontinental, Ambassador Seoul, and Park Hyatt hotels. If you are in Seoul just for sightseeing, we recommend staying in Myeong-dong; if you are here on business, Gangnam may be more convenient.
→ Interested in Seoul's hotels? Click here!
Day 2
▶10:00~13:00 Walk in the Hangang River Park

After spending your first day in the Gangbuk area, visit Gangnam the following day. We recommend Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong. But before heading to Gangnam, visit the Hangang River and 63 City Building in the morning. You can either rent a bicycle or enjoy a leisurely walk along the paved riverbank, the most popular area for these activities being Yeouido. Here, you can visit Yeouido Ecological Park, the major broadcasting stations, 63 City building, and the National Assembly building. (If you decide to go in the evening, take a sightseeing boat for some breathtaking night views.
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▶13:00~15:00 Lunch in Apgujeong-dong

After visiting the Hangang River, take a taxi and head for Apgujeong-dong for lunch and shopping.

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▶15:00~19:00 Shopping in Apgujeong-dong Rodeo Street & Cheongdam-dong Luxury Street
In Korea, fashion trends start in Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong, which are magnet areas for the most fashionable youth. The best route for sightseeing is Apgujeong-dong Rodeo Street ~ Galleria Department Store (Myeongpumgwan) ~ Cheongdam-dong Luxury street. From the Galleria Department Store to Cheongdam Intersection, the streets are lined with high-end brand stores such as Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Missoni, Prada, DKNS, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Ralph Lauren, each with its own fabulous exterior. If you crave leisurely shopping for luxury brands, this is certainly the place to go.

[Visitor Information]
Hours 11:00~20:00 (Each store may have different hours) / Directions: Take subway Line 3 to Apgujeong-dong, and go out of Exit 5. Then take a taxi and get off in front of the Galleria Department Store.

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→ Interested in the Abgujeong Rodeo Street? Click here!

Recommended! Looking for second-hand luxury goods? Try a Used Luxury Goods Shop!
As you browse along Rodeo Street in Apgujeong-dong, you will often find stores with signs saying 중고명품 (junggo myeongpum: used luxury goods), where the names of luxury brands are displayed in the windows. In these stores, you can find slightly used bags, clothes, accessories, and wallets at more affordable prices, from 30 to 60% off the regular retail price. If you love luxury brands, you may want to check out these shops.
Recommended! Want to try on cosmetics? Visit the Amore Gallery!
If you want to learn about Korean cosmetics, visit the Amore Gallery. Here, you can try on the full line of Amore cosmetic products from toner to makeup products. Customers can experiment with all the latest Amore products for free – No wonder it's such a popular store. The gallery is located on Rodeo Street, so it is easy to find.
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▶19:00~21:00 Jazz Club 'Once in a Blue Moon'

Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong are both famous for their stylish cafes and restaurants. In the evening, be sure to visit a jazz club in Cheongdam-dong. Housed in a three-story building, Once in a Blue Moon seats up to 150. Here you can enjoy a meal and a live jazz performance.
As one of the first jazz cafes in Korea, Once in a Blue Moon is not only famous for its regular live performances by leading Korean jazz musicians, but this is also where international jazz musicians hang out after their performances. It is also a film location for a number of Korean commercials and dramas including Marrying the Mafia. Jazz performances start at 7pm and 10pm.

[Visitor Information]
Hours: 17:00~02:00
Prices: Course menu: 65,000 won ~ 70,000 won; house wine: 12,000 won~17,000 won (10% VAT not included)
Information +82-2-549-5490 (Korean, English) website: (Korean)
Directions: At the Galleria Department Store intersection, walk about 100 meters in the direction of Dosan Intersection. It is located on the left-hand side.
Recommended! Apgujeong-dong Café Street
If a jazz café seems too expensive, go to "café street" in Apgujeong-dong. From the entrance of Dosan Park, you'll find numerous trendy cafes and restaurants, where tables are set up al fresco, reminiscent of the outdoor cafes in Paris. Popular cafe is movie star Bae Yong-Jun's restaurant, Gorilla in The Kitchen.
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▶22:00~ Accommodations at Hanok Hotel: Rakgojae

On the second night, we recommend that you stay in a Korean traditional style accommodation. Rakgojae is a hanok (a traditional Korean-style house) hotel where visitors can rent a whole hanok building or just a room. Visitors can also listen to traditional performances of pansori, gayageum, and daegeum (traditional Korean vocal and instrumental music), or enjoy a relaxing sauna in a Korean-style jjimjilbang. This is where Daniel Henney stayed at in the popular Korean drama, My Lovely Samsoon.

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Day 3
▶10:00~14:00 Namsan N Seoul Tower & Revolving Restaurant N Grill
Wrap up your last day with a trip to Mt. Namsan, where you can catch a bird's-eye-view of Seoul. Before going up the mountain, stop at the Namsangol Hanok Village to view some traditional houses, and then take a Namsan shuttle bus to the top of the mountain. At the top of Namsan Tower witness a breathtaking view of Seoul, and visit the tower's revolving restaurant for lunch. Here, you can enjoy a nice steak while gazing at the wide vista of the city. The restaurant has become more popular since it appeared in the drama Witch Amusement.

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→ Interested in the Namsangol Hanok Village? Click here!
Other Alternative Options! Other Available Activities

Experiencing a traditional Korean performance while enjoying traditional Korean food at Korea House

Korea House offers a traditional Korean meal with traditional performances. Located near Myeong-dong, this a great place to visit after a shopping spree. Various performances include Buchaechum (fan dance), Pansori (traditional Korean narrative song), Talchum (mask dance), and Janggu (drum dance).

→ For more information, click here!
Samcheongak – Experience traditional culture

Samcheongak offers experiential programs in traditional Korean music, tea ceremony, and traditional knotted work. Each program lasts about 80 minutes and costs between 50,000 won and 70,000 won. For reservations, call at least one week in advance, since classes require a minimum of 6 people. For foreign language translation, please inquire by phone at +82-2-765-3756 (Korean, English, and Japanese).

→ For more information on the Samcheongggak performance "Tea"
Exiting Amusement Theme Parks: Everland & Caribbean Bay
A 50-minute bus ride from Seoul, Everland and Caribbean Bay in Yongin are the leading theme parks in Korea. Everland offers many thrilling rides, and Caribbean Bay has a great variety of water rides for all ages. This is an excellent one-day program for families, couples, and friends.

→ Interested in visiting Everland? Click here!
→ Interested in visiting Carribbean Bay? Click here!
3 Need-to-Know Tips for Sightseeing in Korea
Tourist Information Center Transportation  
Date 06/07/2007

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