Booked your trip to Seoul and don’t know what to do? Or you don’t want to spend a lot of money? You can still enjoy Seoul’s beauty without spending a lot. So here are some exciting, affordable, very budget-friendly activities in Seoul! To take it up another notch, there are other things you can do in Seoul that cost nothing!
Visit Street Food Markets
Street food markets in Seoul are a must-visit for foodies as they offer a unique culinary experience. They are a great place to try a wide selection of Korean foods. You can find food stalls and markets on every corner of the city. Street food markets in Seoul are affordable and a great way to experience the local cuisine.
Many vendors sell delicious foods at low prices! From tteokbokki (떡볶이), or spicy rice cakes, to dakgangjeong (닭강정), or Korean fried chicken, you’re sure to leave with a happy stomach and a full wallet. The prices range from as little as ₩5,000 for a good amount of food.
Here are some of our favorite markets you can try out!
Love Locks at Namsan Tower
Namsan Tower, also known as N Seoul Tower, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Seoul. It overlooks the beautiful city of Seoul and is best viewed in the morning or just before sunset, with friends and family or even alone. Taking the cable car to the top is as cheap as ₩11,000, but if you prefer walking, it’s free!
The tower is also known for its Love Locks, where you can purchase a lock (the cheapest one being around ₩4,5000), write something on it, and lock it on one of the many railings. The Love Locks at Namsan Tower has become an iconic part of the tower’s landscape. The fence is now covered in thousands of locks, creating a beautiful and unique display of love. Visitors can spend hours wandering through the Love Locks, admiring the different locks, and reading the messages that couples have left for each other.
While the Love Locks are a romantic tradition, they have also faced criticism for their environmental impact. Over the years, the weight of the locks has caused damage to the fence, and there have been concerns about the effect on the surrounding wildlife. As a result, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has introduced measures to reduce the number of locks on the fence and encourage visitors to use digital locks instead.
An affordable and one-of-a-kind experience!
Rent Hanbok and Take Pictures
Hanbok (한복) is traditional Korean clothing that dates back to the Three Kingdoms of Korea. The most popular areas include Bukchon Hanok Village, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and Insadong. Most rental shops offer various colors and styles of Hanboks for men, women, and children. The staff at the rental shop will help you select the correct size and style and will provide accessories such as hairpieces and bags to complete your look. Some rental shops even offer makeup services to help you achieve a traditional Korean look.
Nearby the palaces of Seoul are dozens of hanbok rental stores where you can rent clothing pieces, get your hair done, and even take pictures! Some places have discounts that can lower the cost of your hanbok rental (₩23,000 for the outfit, hair, and unlimited hours at the palace).
When you finish your Hanbok rental, you must return it to the rental shop. Most rental shops have a drop-off box for after-hours returns, but some may require you to return the Hanbok during operating hours. Not only is this experience affordable, but it’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the rich Korean culture!
Sing your Heart out in a Karaoke Room
Want to live your K-POP idol dreams? Try going to a noraebang (노래방) or a karaoke room! Some popular areas include Hongdae, Gangnam, and Myeongdong. Many karaoke rooms are located on basement levels or upper floors of buildings, so keep an eye out for signs and take the stairs or elevator up or down. Most noraebangs are open 24 hours a day so that you can enjoy karaoke any time of day or night.
Most karaoke rooms in Seoul have Korean and international songs, but some may not have English song titles or menus. If you’re unfamiliar with Korean songs, look for the “International” or “English” section in the songbook. Some noraebangs even have iPads or tablets for song selection, which can be easier to navigate than traditional songbooks.
Some places charge by the hour while others charge by how many people are in your party– as low as ₩15,000. There are also cheap snacks and drinks available to purchase as well! Many karaoke rooms have songs from all over the world, so go on and sing as you’ve never sung before!
Hang out Near Han River
The Han River is a beloved landmark in Seoul, and for a good reason. Spanning over 300 kilometers, the river flows through the heart of the city and offers a variety of activities and attractions for locals and tourists alike.
There are so many things to do, from riding bikes to watching live performances, renting out duck boats, or even just enjoying the beautiful scenery– the list goes on.
However, most go to have a nice picnic. Many locals flock to the river with blankets, snacks, and drinks to enjoy a lazy afternoon in the sun. Plenty of parks and grassy areas along the river, such as Yeouido Park and Banpo Hangang Park, are perfect for picnicking.
The best part is that these activities can run you as little as ₩20,000– depending on what you do! The Han River has plenty of paths to explore if you prefer a leisurely walk or a brisk run. Many locals enjoy the scenic riverfront to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. You can choose from different routes depending on your preferred distance and difficulty level.
So for our outdoor-loving friends, this is a must!