Welcome to Seoul


Design Matters

Over the last decade Seoul has worked hard to soften its industrial hard edges into an appealing urban ideal of parks, culture and design. Glass, concrete and steel are crafted into natural forms at the spectacular Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park and City Hall. The popularity of the beautifully landscaped parks alongside the central Cheong-gye stream and the Han River has spurred on the creation of more green spaces and cycle routes. Join Seoulites enjoying time out shopping in stylish boutiques and drinking at cool cafes and convivial bars.

Historical Fragments

Gaze down on this sprawling metropolis of around 10 million people from atop any of Seoul’s four guardian mountains and you’ll sense the powerful pungsu-jiri (feng shui) that has long nurtured and protected the city. History clings tenaciously to the ‘Miracle on the Han’, a phoenix arisen from the ashes of the Korean War. So while Seoul has its eye clearly on the future, you'll also encounter fascinating fragments of the past in World Heritage–listed sites such as Jongmyo shrine, in the alleys between the graceful hanok (traditional wooden homes) in Bukchon, and striding along the magnificent Seoul City Wall.

24-Hour City

Whatever you want, at any time of day or night, Seoul can provide. An early-morning temple visit can lead to a palace tour followed by tea-sipping in Bukchon and gallery-hopping in Samcheong-dong. Soju (a vodka-like drink) and snacks in a street tent bar will fuel you for shopping at the buzzing Dongdaemun or Namdaemun night markets, partying in Hongdae or Itaewon, or singing in a self-service karaoke noraebang. Follow this with steaming, soaking and snoozing in a jjimjilbang (sauna and spa). By the time you look at your watch, it will be dawn again.

Beyond the Walls

Public transport is brilliant, so there’s no excuse for not stretching your travel horizons beyond the city limits. The fearsome Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), splitting South from North Korea, exerts a powerful attraction and makes for a compelling day trip. To the west, Incheon is a fascinating port where the modern world came flooding into Korea at the end of the 19th century, and today whose Chinatown and waterfront are still an interesting fusion of people. To the south is Suwon, home to impressive World Heritage–listed fortifications, built by King Jeongjo, that snake 5.7km past majestic gates and pavilions.


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Seoul activities

$45.50 Day Trips & Excursions

Half-Day Korean DMZ Tour from Seoul

You will be picked up at your accommodation in Seoul and taken to Imjingak Park. Once you arrive at the park, you can see the Freedom Bridge and an old steam train that shows the extremity of the tragedy that was the Korean War at Imjingak Park. Then, the DMZ bus will head to the 3rd Tunnel that North Korean Army built to infiltrate South Korea in 1970s. You will walk down to the tunnel wearing a safety helmet. After coming out of tunnel, you will have some time to look around the DMZ Exhibition Hall which shows the Korean War, old weapons, and a brief film about Korea's history. After the Exhibition Hall, you will head to Mt Dora to see North Korea from the Observatory. There are many telescopes to look at North Korea’s propaganda village. Then you will move to Dorasan Station, the last station before entering North Korea from South Korea. You can get a stamp that resembles the immigration desk in the airport, as a souvenir (You will not be entering North Korea).  On the way back to Imjingak Park, your vehicle will pass by the Unification Village before heading back to Seoul. Once you return to Seoul, you will stop-by a Korean Ginseng Center (skip if you choose no shopping tour option) before you will be dropped off at the City Hall.You can choose 1 of 2 half day tours with morning or afternoon departure.

$46 Cultural & Theme Tours

Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour from Seoul

After pickup from your Seoul hotel at your selected departure time, you will be taken by comfortable coach to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a strip of land splitting North and South Korea, becoming one of the tensest fronts during the Cold War and the Korean War.Stop first in Imjingak, a park located in the banks of Imjin River where you’ll see artillery and war artifacts that were used during the Korean conflict. Proceed to Freedom Bridge, crossed by nearly 13,000 Korean POWs on their return back to freedom. As you explore by foot, learn from your guide about the powerful significance of this bridge.Re-board the coach and head to the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, located beneath the border of North Korea and South Korea. Here, learn about the role of these tunnels, which are believed to have been planned as a military invasion route by North Korea. See where the South Koreans have blocked the actual Military Demarcation Line with concrete barricades. Continue to the DMZ exhibition hall to browse photographs and war artifacts. This hall now stands as a symbol of peace – an attempt to mend the damages wrought by Korea's history. You’ll then be taken to the Dora Observatory, where you can use binoculars to scope out North Korea. Listen to your guide explain the lifestyle across the river as you observe the village of Kijongdong. Next, head to Dorasan Station, a historic and symbolic spot that marks both the division and a gateway of exchanges between the north and the south. Proceed to the Unification Village to observe the daily life of this small farming community, which specialized in creating soybean milk, traditional soy sauce and corn goods. Then you'll stop by the Amethyst Factory or Ginseng Center before being dropped off at the Seoul City Hall.If you choose the morning tour or afternoon tour only, you’ll end back in Seoul at City Hall. If you choose the morning tour with lunch, you’ll stop first at a local restaurant for lunch. If you choose the full-day tour, you’ll enjoy lunch and then head to Insadong Antique Market, which was once the largest market for antiques and artworks in Korea. Browse the various shops, peruse crafts and bargain for that perfect souvenir with the help of your guide. Your tour will end here.

$87.99 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Small-Group Korean Night Food Tour

Take your appetite for a ride on this 4-hour journey through Korean food culture! Your night food tour will take place in the popular district of Jongno-gu. Begin in the neighborhood of Nagwon-dong, brimming with food outlets and stalls, and continue to Jongno (Bell Street), one of the most historic and cultural areas of Seoul.With your culinary guide, an expert in local Korean food and culture, stop at three different restaurants and food stalls, as well as a shijang (traditional Korean flea market), along Nagwon-dong and Jongno-gu. Try traditional Korean eats like dubu and kimchi appetizers and Korean BBQ and spicy braised chicken entrees. Visit a shijang for some savory North Korean pancakes, which closely resembles an egg omelet.Wash everything down with traditional Korean liquors like makgeolli and soju while enjoying some fun Korean drinking games with your group, your guide and possibly a few new local friends!To see a map to the school location, please click on the 'View Additional Info' icon.

$95 Day Trips & Excursions

Full-Day Essential Seoul Tour

Meet your guide at your Seoul hotel in the morning and board your transportation for the day. Begin your tour with a visit to Jogye Temple, famous for its beautiful lotus lanterns hanging from the ceilings. Next, Pass by the nearby presidential residence, called The Blue House.Pass through Gwanghwamun Gate and back in time with a tour of Gyeongbok Palace, former residence of Joseon Dynasty royalty. Your guide will tell you about the history of each building on on the scenic grounds. After you've walked up an appetite, head to the artistic neighborhood of Insadong, famous for its antique stores, galleries, and traditional restaurants. While you're in the neighborhood, feel free to pick up some gifts or souvenirs from the National Korea Souvenir Shop.Your guide will take you to one of the most famous hanbok shops in Seoul, where you can try on this typical Korean dress and wear it during your visit to Bukchon Hanok Village, a residential area with a collection of well-preserved traditional Korean buildings. Be sure to snap a few photos before changing back into your modern clothes. Next, make your way to one of the highest points in Seoul, Bugak Skyway atop Bugak Mountain, where you can take in panoramic views of the South Korean capital below.Finish your city tour with some time in Myeongdong, a popular shopping area teeming with street vendors, boutiques, department stores, shops, and restaurants. You'll be returned to your Seoul hotel at around 5:30pm.

$82 Cultural & Theme Tours

Seoul Palace and Market Tour: Insadong and Gyeongbokgung

After pickup from your Seoul hotel in the morning, travel by air-conditioned coach past the Blue House, the residence of the South Korean head of state and the President of the Republic of Korea. Your first stop is Gyeongbokgung Palace, constructed in 1395. Because much of this royal palace was destroyed during the Japanese occupation, there are many restoration projects underway. With your guide, marvel at the grandeur of the original and new portions.Inside, visit the National Folklore Museum, whose historical replicas illustrate traditional Korea. Browse the extensive artifacts to learn what life has been like for Koreans from ancient times to the 20th century. You’ll also learn about the deep roots of Confucianism in Korean culture.(Please note that Gyeongbokgung Palace is closed on Tuesdays, in which case you’ll visit Deoksugung Palace instead. This walled compound of traditional palace buildings, forested gardens and a statue of King Sejong the Great is home to the Seoul Museum of History, where you’ll discover Seoul's traditional culture as you browse the exhibits with your guide.)Next up is Jogyesa Buddhist Temple, the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. Admire the lovely locust and baeksong trees lining the entrance and enter the main temple, dating back 500 years, to see the statue of Seokgamoni, the historic Buddha at the moment of enlightenment before stopping by a Ginseng Center.At midday, you'll enjoy a tasty Korean lunch at a local restaurant before driving to Changdeokgung palace, a perfectly preserved palace from the Joseon Dynasty. As you explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, discover the grand pavilions, massive gate, several halls and the Geumcheongyo Bridge – the oldest bridge in Seoul. At the Huwon (Rear Garden), marvel at the beautiful landscape of lotus ponds, lush lawns, trees and flowers. (Please note that on Mondays, you’ll visit Changgyeonggung Palace instead. It is another one of the ‘Five Grand Palaces’ of the Joseon Dynasty, featuring incredible ancient structures.)Head next to the Insadong Antique Alley in central Seoul . With your guide, wander down alleys to browse traditional Korean restaurants, teahouses and galleries full of antique artifacts and local artwork. Afterward, stop by the Duty Free Shop before heading to Namdaemun.Finish your tour at Namdaemun Market, the largest traditional market in Korea, opened in 1964. with various goods in store. You can find great bargains here and snatch up the perfect souvenir to remind you of your trip to Korea! You’ll then be taken back to your hotel.

$27.49 Transfers & Ground Transport

Seoul Airport to Hotel Private Arrival Transfer

When you land at Seoul's Incheon International Airport, you'll be met by your English-speaking driver at the arrivals gate. Whether you're traveling individually, with a partner or in a group, your ground transportation needs will all be covered by this private arrival transfer. When making a booking, you will need to advise your flight number and arrival time and your Seoul accommodation details. Your one-way private transfer will be confirmed instantaneously and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver. It's that easy!Price is per person, based on 9 adults per car/vehicle.