I travelled to Korea last easter and had an amazing time! I went there to visit my friend Juno who I met back packing through southern Taiwan over Chinese New Year. Korea is an amazing place to visit. Although it is cold ass place to live- I think it's perfect to visit! (As long as you have a nice warm jacket!!!)
Here are my top 5 things you MUST do in Seoul
1. Stay in a Guest House.
Fancy hotels are fine and all that, but at a guest house you'll get to meet the local people, get some great tips about some hidden gems in the city and they are SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper. My guest house was 30 US a night and included drinks all day and free breakfast in the morning. Sure, I had to share my room with 3 other people. But that's how you make friends travelling!
2. Suwon Fortress
Suwon is a subdivision of Seoul. There is the Suwon fortress which is like the Korean "Great wall of China". It protected the city for more than 400 hundred years before the city branched out and built outside the fortress walls. Also, in Suwon is the BEST place to eat Korean BBQ ribs. Korea is famous for their beef ribs, and across the street from the world cup stadium is a place that will make you want to eat until you pass out!
3. Tea in Insadong
I drank more tea than I ever have in my life on this trip. The local plum tea is amazing and something that you can only get in Korea. You can order the powder online but TRUST me, nothing compares to a hot cup of plum tea in Korea. It's like the cure for what ails you.
4. Hongdae Market
A place where funky, college age students hang and local fashion designers try to sell you one of kind peices. I bought a hell of a lot in the Hongdae. It's also a hopping place for dancing, drinking and karaoke.
5. Buy some local culture
Sure you can get that tacky ass tshirt but in Seoul you can buy local art, hand carved masks, hand sewn blankets and handboks for the same price as you would the tacky stuff in NYC. I got a custom made Handbok for myself for about 50 US dollars. A Kimono in Japan will cost you three times as much. Displaying hand crafted items in your home is a way to bring the trip home and support local artists in Seoul. Rather than the mass tourist industry!