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27 Sep 2023 - 10 min read

7 Areas to Stay in Seoul For First-Timer

Especially if you are a K-Pop or K-Drama fan, you will be very enthusiastic if you have to visit.

Seoul is one of the most famous cities in the world, with various unique things, from places that can be visited to various exciting attractions, delicious culinary delights, and unique cultures.

Besides that, Seoul is also one of the cities in Ginseng Country, with many prestigious universities. Before visiting, you must find information about where to stay in Seoul, which you must adjust to your vacation.

For example, if you like shopping to hunt, you must find where to stay in Myeongdong. Therefore, this review will explain the best areas to stay in Seoul for the first time, which will be your reference.

Where to Stay in Seoul?

1. Itaewon

At first glance, Itaewon may appear to be a metropolitan area with lively life, especially its nightlife. This area is the residence of expatriates in Seoul and a former United States military base, Yongsan Garrison.

That's why an international feel is felt in Itaewon, even though the military base has moved since 2018, where you can see many antique shops, nightclubs, museums, and various international culinary delights.

Don't miss visiting the Namsan Tower, which is the Icon of the city of Seoul, or enjoying the Samsung Art Museum. You can also find places to stay according to your budget in this area because it is a holiday destination. The Grand Hyatt Seoul is a luxury hotel with an indoor pool or a budget hotel like the Hamilton Hotel.

2. Gangnam

For K-Pop fans, Gangnam is a familiar area where you can find everything. Including the K-Star Road Apgujeong Rodeo area where you can meet bear statues representing EXO, BTS, and others. You can also find the most elite shopping places to hunt for branded goods in this area.

You can also visit the Lotte World and Seonjeongneung recreation parks or the famous Buda Bongeunsa Temple. Seeing this area that never sleeps also makes it easy to find restaurants, clubs, and accommodations. Find luxury accommodations like the InterContinental Seoul COEX or the best views like The Riverside Hotel.

3. Hongdae

The name Hongdae is taken from the abbreviation Hongik Daehangno, where you can find the famous Hongik University. This area is called the hipster area in Korea, so, unsurprisingly, you will meet many young people.

You can easily find contemporary cafes with unique designs and menus where young people hang out. The area is also known for its urban art galleries and some tastefully done graffiti art. Visit the Trickeye Museum to see works of art from a unique perspective where you can capture photos.

Don't miss visiting the Han River, where you can take a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or get around by bicycle. The accommodation options are varied, including the Mercure Ambassador Seoul Hongdae, which can be reached from Hongik University on foot.

4. Myeongdong

Myeongdong is very popular with international tourists because there are many interesting places to visit. Not only Itaewon, but you can also visit Namsan Tower from Myeongdong and other interesting places.

This area is known as a shopping paradise where you can find many branded goods and various skincare brands. You can visit Myeongdong Shopping Street and Lotte Department stores to find your coveted items.

Besides the hustle and bustle of the city, you can also tour history by visiting Myeongdong Cathedral or Bukchon Hanok Village. To visit many of these places, the method is also very easy because you can use the Myeongdong Subway Station. Meanwhile, for accommodation, you can choose LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong or Stanford Hotel Myeongdong.

5. Gwanghwamun

Gwanghwamun may not be as popular for foreign tourists as other international areas. However, Gwanghwamun is actually considered the central area of Seoul. This area is a little more expensive, but you don't need to worry because the mobility here is quite easy.

You can even still find several tourist destinations that can be visited for free. For example, the Gwanghwamun Square area which is home to King Sejong the Great, the inventor of the Hangul letters.

Not far from Gwanghwamun Square, visit the Cheonggyecheon Stream, a modern river in the middle of Seoul. Come in winter when you can participate in the lively lantern festival at night. Stay at Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun or Hanok Residence if you want a traditional Korean atmosphere.

6. Insadong

Apart from being a sparkling city, Seoul has an authentic side that shows traditional South Korean culture. You can find it in the Insadong area, where you will see the atmosphere of this authentic culture.

Visiting Jogyesa Temple can be a historical destination or a tea house that serves many types of tea. Or visit art galleries such as the Gana Art Space Kyung-in Fine Arts Museum, which is interesting to visit.

Don't miss visiting photo studios that you can find in Insadong to take pictures using Hanbok, South Korean traditional clothes. For accommodation, choose a luxury hotel like Nine Tree Premier Hotel Insadong or a budget hostel like Hi Guesthouse Insadong.

7. Jamsil

Unlike other areas which are famous for international tourism and history, you can find another side of Seoul. This area is located in Songpa-gu and holds South Korea's role in world sports events. You can find the popular Jamsil Olympic Stadium, where various prestigious matches are held.

However, you can still find other tourist destinations that are no less popular, namely Lotte World. The largest indoor playground in South Korea also houses the Lotte World Tower, which is the tallest skyscraper in South Korea. As the closest accommodation, you can choose Lotte Hotel World or Signiel Seoul, which offers beautiful views.

That's a review of recommended areas when you visit Seoul so you can get the best experience. More specifically, you can find plane tickets and hotels in the area only through Traveloka at affordable prices.

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