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Travel Guide: Basic Information You Need To Know Before Going To Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is the capital and largest municipality of South Korea.  It is a famous tourist destination because it has many historic sites and attractions.   This blog will tell you the basic information you need to know when visiting Seoul, the seasons, how to reach Seoul proper, where to stay, and what essentials you need to have in order to enjoy your tour.

Seasons
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South Korea has four seasons, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring.  Each season will give a fascinating experience.

a. Spring - is from April to May.  With an average temperature of 17, the flowers bloom on this season.  It is a perfect time to see the Cherry Blossoms. 
b. Summer - is from June to August. Summer here can be humid which makes you uncomfortable during your trip.
c. Autumn - is from September to November. This is the season when the leaves turn to gold. 
d. Winter - is from December to February. The winter here is so harsh and sometimes very windy.  

Airports

There are two major airports where most tourists arrive to reach South Korea's capital, Gimpo International Airport, and Incheon International Airport.

a. Gimpo International Airport/Gimpo Airport

Gimpo Airport was used to be the major airport in Seoul and South Korea but it has been replaced by Incheon International Airport in 2001.  Gimpo Airport serves both international and domestic flights.  The airport is reachable by Airport MRT and Seoul Metro Subway (Line 5 (purple line) and Line 9 (brown line).
b. Incheon International Airport


Incheon Airport is the largest airport and busiest airport in South Korea.  Most flights coming in and out of the airport are international.  Flights from the Philippines arrive at this airport.  Incheon is accessible via  Airport MRT.

Since most of the international flights are coming from Incheon International Airport, I'll be giving full details on how to reach Seoul from this airport. 
Both airports can be reached by the following mode of public transportation:

a. Airport MRT
b. Seoul Metro Subway except for Incheon Airport.
c. Public Bus
d. Taxi





Reaching Seoul From Incheon Airport


A.  Airport MRT is the fastest way to reach the capital.  There are two types of Airport MRT, Express and All-Stop. All-Stop Train will give you more than 1 hour of travel time to Seoul.  It will stop to 11 stations before reaching Seoul Station.  While Airport Express will bring you directly to the Seoul Station in 45 minutes.

Photo by Arex
All Stop Train

Photo by Arex
Express Train

The fare from Incheon Airport to Seoul

All Stop Train
Adult: KRW 4150/PHP 182/USD 3.5/YEN 392/CNY 25
Express Train 
Adult: KRW 9000/PHP 394/USD 8/YEN 850/CNY 54
Child: KRW 7000/PHP 307/USD 6/YEN 661/CNY 42

Where to buy a ticket?  

There are available ticket machines before you enter the gate for both All Stop and Express Train.
Ticketing Machines

For Express Train, Klook offers a ticket voucher for a discounted price which is a good deal.  I used this one when I went to Seoul. All you need to do is scan/enter the code to the machine and pay KRW 500 for the deposit which you can refund at Seoul Station. Click the image below if you want to get the discounted . 

Discounted Coupon for New Japanese User: KLJPNUC
500 JPY OFF for New Users
Applicable Platform: All
Redeem by:2020-12-31
Use by:2020-12-31
.

Klook.com


Tip! 
Check first the nearest subway line to your hotel and decide if you need to take Airport Express or All Stop Train.  As you can see, all stop train stops at different transfer stations.

B.  Bus is one of the convenient ways to reach Seoul.  If you have too many pieces of baggage to pull, this is the best for you.  You just need to know the nearest stop to your accommodation. Please check the link of Airport Limousine Bus here to know more.  I'll be providing more details of bus routes where most of the tourists stay, Hongdae/Hongik, Myeongdong and Insadong.

Hongdae

Ride the BUS 6002. The fare is KRW 10000/PHP 440/USD 9/YEN 942/CNY 61.

Myeongdong 

There are many buses going to Myeongdong and I will list some of them.

BUS 6015. The fare is KRW 15000/PHP 659/USD 13/YEN 1413/CNY 91

BUS 6001.  The fare is KRW 15000/PHP 659/USD 13/YEN 1413/CNY 91. It also passes Seoul Station






Insadong

Ride the Bus 6005. The fare is KRW 15000/PHP 659/USD 13/YEN 1413/CNY 91. 


Where to Stay in Seoul

If you are going to search for accommodation in the booking sites, you'll get plenty of options and it is overwhelming.  I'll be suggesting hotels/Inns that you can choose from, and some reasons to stay in that area.





Myeong-dong

Myeong-dong is very popular among tourists.  It is very lively during the night because it is the main shopping district in Seoul.  You'll see a lot of cosmetic shops e.g Tony Moly, Faceshop that offer different promos. Good deal, I bought a lot of beauty products.  There are loads of street foods you get to enjoy.  Most stores close at 12 midnight.

Hotels around Myeong-dong

1. Vestin Residence Myeongdong
Vestin Residence Myeongdong is a popular choice amongst travelers in Seoul, whether exploring or just passing through. The property features a wide range of facilities to make your stay a pleasant experience. To be found at the hotel are free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas, valet parking. Each guestroom is elegantly furnished and equipped with handy amenities. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. A welcoming atmosphere and excellent service are what you can expect during your stay at Vestin Residence Myeongdong.



2. 24 Guesthouse Namsan
Ideally located in the prime touristic area of Myeong-dong, 24 Guesthouse Namsan promises a relaxing and wonderful visit. The hotel offers a wide range of amenities and perks to ensure you have a great time. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms, laundromat, postal service, taxi service, kitchen are just some of the facilities on offer. Designed for comfort, selected guestrooms offer television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless, internet access – wireless (complimentary), non-smoking rooms, air conditioning to ensure a restful night. Recuperate from a full day of sightseeing in the comfort of your room or take advantage of the hotel's recreational facilities, including hiking trails, solarium. No matter what your reasons are for visiting Seoul, 24 Guesthouse Namsan will make you feel instantly at home.

3. Hotel Myungdong
Hotel Myungdong is conveniently located in the popular Myeong-dong area. Featuring a complete list of amenities, guests will find their stay at the property a comfortable one. To be found at the hotel are free Wi-Fi in all rooms, photocopying, daily housekeeping, 24-hour front desk, express check-in/check-out. Designed for comfort, selected guestrooms offer television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless, non-smoking rooms, air conditioning, heating to ensure a restful night. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. A welcoming atmosphere and excellent service are what you can expect during your stay at Hotel Myungdong.

Ideally located in the prime touristic area of Myeong-dong, Guest House the Hill Myeongdong promises a relaxing and wonderful visit. Featuring a complete list of amenities, guests will find their stay at the property a comfortable one. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas, shared lounge/TV area, shared kitchen are on the list of things guests can enjoy. Guestrooms are designed to provide an optimal level of comfort with welcoming decor and some offering convenient amenities like television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless, internet access – wireless (complimentary), non-smoking rooms, air conditioning. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. Friendly staff, great facilities and close proximity to all that Seoul has to offer are three great reasons you should stay at Guest House the Hill Myeongdong.

Hongdae

Hongdae/Hongik University will give you youthful vibes as this is a university belt.  It has a lot of themed cafes that you'll enjoy.  Street performers during Friday night till Sunday, dancing and singing to your favorite KPOP songs.  If you are into this, this is a place for you.

Hotels around Hongdae

1. Grape Garden House
Ideally located in the prime touristic area of Hongdae, Grape Garden House promises a relaxing and wonderful visit. Offering a variety of facilities and services, the hotel provides all you need for a good night's sleep. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms, kitchen, express check-in/check-out, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas are there for guest's enjoyment. Television LCD/plasma screen, complimentary instant coffee, complimentary tea, mirror, towels can be found in selected guestrooms. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. Convenience and comfort make the Grape Garden House the perfect choice for your stay in Seoul.
2. Ewha Guest House Hongdae
Ewha Guest House Hongdae is perfectly located for both business and leisure guests in Seoul. Both business travelers and tourists can enjoy the hotel's facilities and services. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms, laundromat, postal service, daily housekeeping, taxi service are just some of the facilities on offer. Television LCD/plasma screen, cleaning products, clothes rack, fireplace, the mirror can be found in selected guestrooms. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. A welcoming atmosphere and excellent service are what you can expect during your stay at Ewha Guest House Hongdae.
3. Moststay Hotel
Moststay Hotel is perfectly located for both business and leisure guests in Seoul. Featuring a complete list of amenities, guests will find their stay at the property a comfortable one. All the necessary facilities, including free Wi-Fi in all rooms, daily housekeeping, grocery deliveries, portable wi-fi rental, private check-in/check out, are at hand. Each guestroom is elegantly furnished and equipped with handy amenities. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. Moststay Hotel combines warm hospitality with a lovely ambiance to make your stay in Seoul unforgettable.
4.Sam Stay
Set in a prime location of Seoul, Sam Stay puts everything the city has to offer just outside your doorstep. The hotel has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Take advantage of the hotel's free Wi-Fi in all rooms, Wi-Fi in public areas, concierge. Television LCD/plasma screen, towels, internet access – wireless, internet access wireless (complimentary), air conditioning can be found in selected guestrooms. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. Convenience and comfort make Sam Stay the perfect choice for your stay in Seoul.
Insadong

If you are into history of South Korea, this location is for you.  It is surrounded or near palaces e.g Gyeongbokgung palace.  It is a home of traditional houses in the Hanok Village. A lot of hanbok rental shops here.  There is little to no nightlife here and it is quiet at night.

Hotels around Hongdae

1. Insadong Hostel
The 1.5-star Insadong Hostel offers comfort and convenience whether you're on business or holiday in Seoul. The hotel offers a high standard of service and amenities to suit the individual needs of all travelers. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms, express check-in/check-out, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas, airport transfer are there for guest's enjoyment. Television LCD/plasma screen, internet access wireless, air conditioning, heating, balcony/terrace can be found in selected guestrooms. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. Insadong Hostel is an excellent choice from which to explore Seoul or to simply relax and rejuvenate.
images

Stop at K-Guesthouse Insadong to discover the wonders of Seoul. The hotel offers guests a range of services and amenities designed to provide comfort and convenience. To be found at the hotel are free Wi-Fi in all rooms, taxi service, wheelchair accessible, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas. Some of the well-appointed guestrooms feature television LCD/plasma screen, clothes rack, linens, mirror, slippers. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. Convenience and comfort make K-Guesthouse Insadong the perfect choice for your stay in Seoul.


3. Yehadoye Guesthouse
Yehadoye Guesthouse is a popular choice amongst travelers in Seoul, whether exploring or just passing through. The hotel offers a wide range of amenities and perks to ensure you have a great time. To be found at the hotel are free Wi-Fi in all rooms, private check-in/check-out, express check-in/check-out, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas. All rooms are designed and decorated to make guests feel right at home, and some rooms come with internet access wireless (complimentary), non-smoking rooms, air conditioning, heating, desk. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. For reliable service and professional staff, Yehadoye Guesthouse caters to your needs.

4. MINI HOTEL INSA
MINI HOTEL INSA is a popular choice amongst travelers in Seoul, whether exploring or just passing through. Both business travelers and tourists can enjoy the hotel's facilities and services. Take advantage of the hotel's free Wi-Fi in all rooms, laundromat, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas, 100% non-smoking. Each guestroom is elegantly furnished and equipped with handy amenities. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. No matter what your reasons are for visiting Seoul, MINI HOTEL INSA will make you feel instantly at home.
Super Single Room

Above are the suggested hotels you can choose from.  You can click the link on each hotel to know the current rate and availability.  If you want to check for more hotels, you may click the link below.




Essential Items You Must Have Traveling in Seoul
1.  Seoul Metro Subway Map. This is very helpful as must of the tourist spots are accessible via Subway. Click the link to download the map
2.  Naver Map - this is the google map of South Korea and it is accurate. 

3.  WI-FI.  Though WI-FI is pretty much available in public spaces, having your own wi-fi is a must to have a consistent connection and continue to use your Naver Map.  

Klook.com
4.  South Korea's currency is called won.  They have money exchangers at the airport.  In my case, Philippine peso to Korean won is available in Incheon Airport and even in Currency Exchange in Myeong-dong.

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