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KOREA TRAVEL GUIDE 2018 with an ₱8,000 Pesos DIY Itinerary and Budget

SEOUL SOUTH KOREA TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG DIY ITINERARY BUDGET

Heading for South Korea soon? Here's a detailed Korea travel guide for Filipinos traveling for the first time to "the Land of the Morning Calm." Just follow this Korea DIY travel guide and make the most of your Seoul itinerary!


My trip to Seoul, Korea on my 38th birthday is one of the most memorable and amazing birthday trips I've had to date. It is one of the items in my bucket list that I've been wanting to visit for the past several years. I am so happy that I finally visited this charming country this year.

Whatever your reasons are, whether it's the food, the culture, or the K-pop and K-dramas, South Korea is definitely an amazing and fascinating country to visit in Asia. If you're traveling to Korea for the first-time, I hope this Seoul Budget Travel Guide 2018 will help you in planning your trip. I've provided here some useful and easy-to-follow information on visa requirements, how to get there, best time to visit, transportation, where to exchange currency, where to stay, top things to do, tourist spots and attractions, sample DIY itineraries, budget and expenses, and more.

First Timer's Travel Guide to Seoul, South Korea



WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS SEOUL KOREA TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG?


Okay, let's get started...


KOREA VISA REQUIREMENTS


Philippine passport holders need to secure a visa to enter South Korea (except for Jeju Island). As long as you have the complete requirements, it's easy to get a South Korea Visa. To apply for a South Korea tourist visa in the Philippines, I have written a guide the lists the requirements and how to apply a visa in 3 easy steps. You may refer to this guide on how to apply for a South Korea Tourist Visa.

Visa application is quick and easy. It takes around 3 to 5 working days for the result of your visa application to be released. Single entry visa is valid for 3 months from the day the visa was granted. Filipinos can stay for a maximum of 59 days upon arrival in South Korea.

How to Apply for a SOUTH KOREA VISA List of Requirements 2018 Philippines
This is how a South Korea Visa looks like

PRE-FLIGHT TRAVEL ESSENTIALS


Here are some of the important information on cheap flights to Seoul (Incheon) from Manila, things you need, tours and activities, and other important travel essentials to book before your flight.

Book your Travel Essential and Activities


For activities, tours, and travel essentials such as airport transfers and internet connection, I always book it using the Klook App. There are many travel apps out there, but Klook is my trusted provider of discounted tickets, affordable tours, transport services, and internet service whenever I travel abroad. I've been using Klook on my travels since last year and I am so happy with the great deals and discounts I get from booking in their app. Best of all, their app is secured, provides instant confirmation on my bookings, and always gives the best value for your money! This is the reason why, I always use the Klook App when booking tours and activities for my travels abroad. And whenever friends asks me for recommendations, I always say to them to "just Klook it" and they'll find the activities they need.

You can download the Klook App for free on Google Play for Android and at Apple App Store for iOs devices.

For ease and comfort on our Seoul, South Korea trip, we booked the following travel essentials, tours, and activities using the Klook App:

Now that we have already booked our tours, activities and travel essentials, it is now easier for us to plan our trip and to create our 6 days and 5 nights Seoul South Korea DIY Itinerary. For sample DIY Itineraries, please refer to the tour itinerary and expenses part at the end of this post.

CHEAP FLIGHTS TO SEOUL KOREA

HOW TO GET TO SEOUL SOUTH KOREA?


There are two major airports servicing passengers visiting Seoul, South Korea. One is Gimpo Airport, which is nearer the city of Seoul and is used mostly for domestic flights and some international flights from China, Japan, and Taiwan. Most international flights going to Seoul arrive at Incheon International Airport which is the largest and considered as the primary gateway to South Korea.

Cheap Flights to Seoul


Local airlines such Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines, Air Asia Philippines, and other international airlines have daily flights from Manila to Incheon, as well as direct flights from Kalibo to (Seoul Incheon).

To give you an idea on how much is the flight going to Seoul, here's a sample search on Traveloka.com for a Manila to Seoul (Incheon) flight. Airfares could go as low as PHP 3,855 one-way even without seat sale. How cool is that?!

CHEAP FLIGHTS TO SEOUL SOUTH KOREA

To search for cheap flights to Seoul, South Korea, I highly recommend booking via Traveloka.com - one of Southeast Asia's leading travel booking sites. I've been using it in my travels and I can assure you that you'll always get the best deals and promos on flights! And don't forget to use their weekly promo codes to get more discounts!

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR CHEAP FLIGHTS TO SEOUL


The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Seoul, South Korea

HOW TO GET TO SEOUL FROM INCHEON AIRPORT


To get to Seoul from Incheon International Airport, you have several options: Airport Railroad Express (AREX) Train, All-Stop Train, Shuttle Bus, Taxi, or Private Car Transfer. For me, your option depends on how many are you in the group and what time will you be arriving in Seoul.

AREX INCHEON AIRPORT EXPRESS TRAIN


The AREX Incheon Airport Express Train is the fastest way to get to Seoul from Incheon Airport. With the airport express train, you can get from the Incheon Airport to downtown Seoul in just 43 minutes. You can buy discounted ticket at Klook.com for only ₱322 pesos per way. [ BOOK AN AIRPORT EXPRESS TRAIN TICKET HERE ]

ALL-STOP TRAIN


You can also take the All-Stop Train from the airport to Seoul Station. This is the second fastest way to get to the city which takes about 58 minutes and costs around 4,100 KRW (₱196). Please note that trains from the airport only run from 5:23 AM until 11:40 PM. So, if you're arriving in Incheon beyond the train operation time, your options to get to the city are the taxi, and private car transfer.

KAL SHUTTLE BUS:


The KAL Shuttle Bus is one of the most convenient ways of reaching the city center from Incheon International Airport but it takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach Seoul. This is the best and convenient option if your accommodation is located near one of the several bus stops in Seoul. From the airport, the first bus departs at 4:50am and the last bus departs at 10:40pm. You could get discounted tickets via Klook for ₱694 pesos per way. [ BUY SHUTTLE BUS TICKETS HERE ]

METERED TAXI OR PRIVATE CAR TRANSFER:


If you're traveling with a group, with children or with senior citizens or if you're traveling with huge luggage, the most convenient way to get to the city is to take a metered taxi or get a private car transfer. You can also book a Private Car Transfer via Klook.com for ₱3,842 per car. The best thing with a private car transfer, you can book it any time of the day. This is ideal if you're arriving late night in Incheon. This is what we took when we arrived in Incheon because it's already late night and the AREX Incheon Airport Express Train is already closed. [ BOOK A PRIVATE CAR TRANSFER HERE ]

KOREA BUDGET TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG 2018

WHERE TO EXCHANGE CURRENCY?


South Korea's currency is called Korean Won (KRW). Exchange rate is about 0.00091 US Dollar (USD) or 0.048 Philippine Peso (PHP) per 1 KRW. Upon arrival at Incheon International Airport, you can change a small amount and change the rest of your money when you arrive in Seoul. You can exchange currency at the money changers found in Myeongdong where the exchange rate is good.

Alternatively, you can also withdraw Korean Won directly from the many ATMs in Seoul. To avoid any inconvenience, before flying to South Korea, make sure to advise your local bank that you will be withdrawing money from ATMs abroad. What we did is we changed our $100 USD to KRW when we arrived in Incheon just have some cash. When we ran out of cash, we withdrew KRW from the ATM using our Philippine ATM card.

KOREA BUDGET TRAVEL GUIDE 2018

HOW TO STAY CONNECTED IN KOREA?


South Korea has the fastest internet connection I've ever experienced in my travels abroad. To stay connected, you can either buy a local SIM card or rent a travel pocket WiFi. A Korea 4G SIM Card costs around 1,200 for 5-days unlimited internet use. If you're traveling with a group, your best option is to rent a 4G Pocket WiFi for 149 pesos per day which you could share the connection with 3 other people, as well as the cost.

BOOK HERE:

Discover Seoul Pass Korea on a Budget Travel Guide

DISCOVER SEOUL PASS + T-MONEY CARD


If you want to really save on your travel expenses in Korea, I highly suggest that you get a Discover Seoul Pass. It's a "smart card" that gives you convenient and hassle-free access to 35 top attractions, experiences plus exclusive discounts and freebies. Designed for foreign tourists by Seoul Tourism Organization and Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Discover Seoul Pass is definitely a must-have when traveling to Seoul.

The pass functions both as admission ticket and transportation top-up card with its T-Money function. All you need to do is top up the card so you could use it in riding the trains and buses in Seoul. You can use immediately the T-Money function of the pass even before using it for the included attractions. The pass also comes with a one-way AREX Train ride to or from Incheon Airport, Seoul city tour bus, Hanbok experience, and many other discounts and freebies.

For the list of the attractions and discounts included in the Discover Seoul Pass, click HERE.

You can top-up the T-Money card at any convenience store or at the subway stations. Any unused balance in cash on your T-Money can be refunded once your visit has ended. This card is definitely very useful when visiting South Korea and I highly recommend that you get one for your trip.

You can purchase a Discover Seoul Pass online at DISCOUNTED RATE via Klook.com.

BUY A DISCOVER SEOUL PASS HERE


The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Seoul, South Korea

HOW TO GET AROUND SEOUL?


Transportation in Seoul can be overwhelming, especially for first-timers. With Seoul's extensive subway system and organized bus trasportation, going around and getting to the different tourist spots and attractions is easy and convenient. During our tour, we mostly used Seoul's Subway to explore the city. Just be sure that you have a T-Money Card with enough load so you could simply tap the card when taking the trains. Alternatively, you could buy train tickets at the ticketing booths at the subway stations. Using a T-Money Card, you can save 100 KRW in every subway ride and you don't need to get a ticket and then refund the card's deposit every time you take the train. Your T-Money Card can also be used when taking the bus or taxi.

We used Google Map to search for the location of the attraction we want to visit and to see the nearest train stations. We also downloaded the Seoul Subway App which helped us in finding how to get to a certain destination using the subway. From the app, you just simply enter your location of origin and the location of your destination.

It will then provide you with the following information:
  • Popular route to your destination
  • Estimated travel time
  • Number of stations and changes
  • And a map of the train stations with instructions on how to get there

Here's a sample search if you want to go to Buckon Hanok Village from Myeong-dong.

SEOUL TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG 2018

SEOUL TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG 2018

SEOUL TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG 2018

SEOUL TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG 2018

You can download the Seoul Subway app for FREE on Google Play for Android and at Apple App Store for iOs devices.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT KOREA?


Korea enjoys 4 seasons. In general, spring is from March to May, summer from June to August, autumn from September to November, and winter from December to February. The best time to visit may be subjective, but weather-wise, from March to May (Spring) and from September to November (Autumn), is best considered because the weather in Korea is mild and generally pleasant.

Travelers to Korea should also consider timing their visit according to what they want to see and do during their trip. If you want to see cherry blossoms, you should schedule your trip during Spring time which falls between March and May. It is one of the more popular seasons for traveler visiting Korea.

Summer is from June to August which is generally warm but rains are also often. If you don’t want to find yourself always wet, then this time of the year is best avoided.

Autumn in Koreaoffers cool and crisp weather and you'll get to see the beautiful autumn foliage. The best months to see the autumn leaves are in October and November, but the peak season of Autumn leaves only lasts up to two weeks. Take this into consideration when planning your trip - especially when booking your airfare.

If you want to experience winter in Korea, the best time to visit is from December to February with the coldest month of January having an average temperature ranging between negative 6 degrees and negative 3 degrees Celsius.

Also to be considered when traveling to Korea are the attractions’ closing days. There are many attractions and tourist spots in Seoul that are closed every Mondays or Tuesdays. Be sure to consider these when creating your itinerary. You may check the opening hours and opening days of the attractions in the things to to do in Korea section below.

KOREA TRAVEL GUIDE 2019

USEFUL KOREAN WORDS AND PHRASES FOR TOURISTS


Here are some basic Korean words and phrases that you should learn before traveling to Korea.
  • Hello/Goodbye – 안녕하세요 – An-nyeong-ha-se-yo
  • Thank you – 감사합니다 – Kam-sa-ham-ni-da
  • Please – 주세요 – Ju-se-yo
  • It’s delicious! - 맛있어요! - Mas-shis-su-hyo!
  • Yes - 네 - Ne
  • No - 아니요 - Aniyo
  • How much is it? – 얼마예요 – ol-ma-ye-yo
  • Give me a discount – 깎아주세요 – Kka-kka-ju-se-yo
  • Nice to meet you – 반갑습니다 – Bahn-gap-sum-ni-da
  • How are you? - 어떻게 지내세요? - Uh-dduh-keh ji-neh-seh-yo?
  • I can’t speak Korean well – 한국말 잘 못해요 – Han-guk-mal jal mot-hae-yo
  • I don’t understand - 잘 모르겠네요 Jal mo-reu-geht-neh-yo
  • Do you speak English? - 영어 할 수 있어요? - Yon-guh-ha-se-yo?

KOREA TRAVEL GUIDE 2019

WHERE TO STAY IN SEOUL?


When booking for a place to stay in Seoul, you may consider areas such as Myeong-dong and Jongno. With the help of the Traveloka App, we searched for a hotel that is within our budget, near the tourist spots, and walking distance from a train station so it will be easy to go around.

After searching and reading guest reviews online, we chose to stay at two different hotels in two different locations - Jongno and Myeong-dong. Here are the hotels we stayed at.

LIST OF TOP HOTELS IN SEOUL CHEAP AFFORDABLE


HOTEL ICON


Address: 20, Samil-daero 32ga-gil, Jongno-gu, Jongno, Seoul, South Korea, 110-340
Room Rate: 1,500 per night for a Standard Double room good for 2 persons
BOOK HERE: Check room rates and room availability

We chose this hotel for the following reasons:
  • It's near a subway station (Anguk Station)
  • It's location is walking distance to the shrines and palaces
  • Breakfast for 2 persons are included
  • It's near convenience stores
  • Impressive online reviews with a rating of 9.2 (Superb) on the Traveloka App


K GUESTHOUSE MYEONGDONG 2


Address: 4-6 Floor, #33 Myong-dong 8ga-gil, Jung-gu, Jung, Myeongdong, Seoul, South Korea
Room Rate: 2,000 per night for a Standard Double room good for 2 persons
BOOK HERE: Check room rates and room availability

We chose this guesthouse for the following reasons:
  • It's near a subway station (Myeong-dong Station)
  • It's location is within the shopping district of Myeong-dong
  • Breakfast for 2 persons are included
  • It's near convenience stores and restaurants
  • Impressive online reviews with a rating of 9.2 (Superb) on the Traveloka App

Note: Room rates are subject to change and depends on the dates booked.

BUDGET HOTELS IN KOREA
Photo from Traveloka.com

TOP BUDGET HOTELS IN SEOUL BELOW ₱2,000 PESOS


Open Guest House


Korstay Guest House


Hotel Maui Dongdaemun


Seoul Tower Family Guesthouse


ISTAY


BUDGET HOTELS IN KOREA
Photo from Traveloka.com

TOP HOSTELS IN SEOUL BELOW ₱1,000 PESOS


Yacht guesthouse - Hostel


G guesthouse Itaewon - Hostel


Cocoon Stay Hongdae Guesthouse


Backpackers INSIDE


Fortune Hostel Jongno


THINGS TO DO, TOURIST SPOTS AND ATTRACTIONS IN SEOUL

THINGS TO DO, TOURIST SPOTS AND ATTRACTIONS IN SEOUL


Here are some of the must-visit tourist spots and attractions and top things to in Seoul. I've also included some useful information, travel tips, and the nearest train station to get there for easy reference.

Discover Seoul Pass Korea on a Budget Travel Guide

EXPERIENCE WEARING A HANBOK


Hanbok is an example of traditional Korean attire characterized by vibrant colors and intricate designs worn by men and women. Experience the lives of the king, queen, and noblemen during the Joseon Dynasty by wearing a hanbok.


TRAVEL TIP: Renting a Hanbok usually costs 741 pesos for a 4-hour rental. You can also book it via Klook.com. But you can also experience wearing a Hanbok for FREE if you have a Discover Seoul Pass.

Seoul Korea Budget Travel Guide

VISIT GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE


Built in 1395 as a residential palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace was the first palace of the Joseon Dynasty. Commonly referred to as the Northern Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful, and remains the largest of all five palaces. It is open everyday (except Tuesday) from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM.


ADMISSION FEES:
Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 KRW / Groups (10 people or more): 2,400 KRW
Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 KRW / Groups (10 people or more): 1,200 KRW

TRAVEL TIP: If you have a Discover Seoul Pass, you can enter Gyeongbokgung Palace for FREE.

NEAREST SUBWAY STATIONS:
Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and Exit 5 or Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and Exit 1.

Things to do in Seoul Korea Budget Travel Guide

BE AMAZED AT CHANGDEOKGUNG PALACE


Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Changdeokgung Palace was built in 1405 during the reign of King Taejong as the second royal villa, following the construction of Gyeongbokgung Palace. It was the principal palace for many kings of the Joseon Dynasty, and is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal palaces is Seoul South Korea. It is open everyday (except Monday) from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM. Last admission is one hour before closing time.


ADMISSION FEES:
  • Adults (ages 25-64): 3,000 KRW / Group (over 10 people): 2,400 KRW
  • Students (ages 24 and under): Free (* Except for foreign visitors)

TRAVEL TIP: If you have a Discover Seoul Pass, you can enter Changdeokgung Palace for FREE.

NEAREST SUBWAY STATION: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 3

Things to do in Seoul Korea Budget Travel Guide

VISIT CHANGGYEONGGUNG PALACE


Built in 1483 by the ninth king of the Joseon Dynasty (King Seongjong), the Changgyeonggung Palace was primary built to serve as residential quarters for queens and concubines. It's located east of the primary palace of Gyeongbokgung, so it is also referred to as "Donggwol," or the "East Palace." Changgyeonggung Palace is open everyday (except Monday) from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM. Last admission is one hour before closing time.


ADMISSION FEES:
Adults (ages 19 and more): Individual 1,000 KRW / Group (over 10): 800 KRW
  • Children and Teenagers (ages 7-18): 500 KRW
  • Children under age 6: Free

TRAVEL TIP: If you have a Discover Seoul Pass, you can enter Changgyeonggung Palace for FREE.

NEAREST SUBWAY STATION: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 3

Things to do in Seoul Korea Budget Travel Guide

TRAVEL BACK IN TIME AT UNHYEONGUNG ROYAL RESIDENCE


Formerly the private residence of Emperor Gojong's father, the prince regent Heungseon Daewongun, a prince regent of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty in the 19th century. It is one of Seoul's smaller palaces and it is an important historic site. It is currently a museum and is open to the public everyday (except Mondays, but if Monday falls on a public holiday, the palace will be open) from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM.


ADMISSION FEE: Free

NEAREST SUBWAY STATION: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 4

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART, SEOUL


The newest of the four branches, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul (MMCA Seoul) was opened to the public in 2013. It aspires to be a “comprehensive museum integrating the past and future in the present,” a “central museum for Korean art in enhancing global diversity,” and an “open museum inducing cultural development.” MMCA Seoul is open everyday except on January 1st, Lunar New Year’s Day and Korean Thanksgiving Day.

MUSEUM HOURS:
  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday : 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, Saturday : 10:00 am - 9:00 pm (18:00 - 21:00 : free)

TRAVEL TIP: General admission is 4,000 KRW. If you have a Discover Seoul Pass, you can enter MMCA Seoul for FREE. Also, it's FREE ADMISSION every last Wednesday every month - "Culture Day."

NEAREST SUBWAY STATIONS:
Gwanghwamun Station take Exit 2 or Anguk Station take Exit 1.

Things to do in Seoul Korea Budget Travel Guide

EXPLORE BUCKHON HANOK VILLAGE


Located between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine, Buckhon Hanok Village is the best place in Seoul to see traditional Korean wooden houses.

ENTRANCE FEE: Free

NEAREST SUBWAY STATION: Anguk Station (Line 3, Exit 1 or 2)

Things to do in Seoul Korea Budget Travel Guide

VISIT JONGMYO SHRINE


Jongmyo is a royal shrine dedicated to the performance of ancestral rites for the deceased kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty. It is where the memorial service, called Jongmyo Jaerye is held which is considered as "the oldest complete ceremony in the world." In December 1995, ceremony was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site which is "National Intangible Cultural Asset." Jongmyo Shrine is open everyday (except Tuesday) from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM. Last admission is one hour before closing time.

ENTRANCE FEE: Adults (ages 19 and over): 1,000 KRW / Youth (ages 7-18): 500 KRW. But if you have a Discover Seoul Pass, you can enter Jongmyo Shrine for FREE.

TRAVEL TIP: Visitors are only allowed to enter on a guided tour, except on Saturdays where you can explore the shrine on your own. Be sure to visit it at 10:00 AM, 12:00 NN, 02:00 PM, 04:00 PM for the English guided tours. Other languages such as Korean, Japanese, and Chinese guided tours are also available in different times.

NEAREST SUBWAY STATION: Jongno-3-ga Station (Exit 8 or 11)

Things to do in Seoul Korea Budget Travel Guide

SEE THE CITY FROM N SEOUL TOWER


Located on Namsan Mountain in central Seoul, the N Seoul Tower is a popular tourist attraction in South Korea. Considered as the highest point in the city, it also takes pride as "one of the tallest towers in the world" at a height of 480 meters above sea level. It is open from 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM (Sunday to Friday) and from 10:00 AM to 12:00 MN every Saturdays.

ENTRANCE FEE: Adults : 10,000 KRW / Children and Elderly: 8,000 KRW. But if you have a Discover Seoul Pass, you can climb the N Seoul Tower's Observatory for FREE.

TRAVEL TIP: If you don't have a Discover Seoul Pass, you can buy discounted N Seoul Tower ticket via Klook.com for only 300 pesos per person. [ BUY TICKETS HERE! ]

HOW TO GET THERE: There are two ways to get to the N Seoul Tower, either by cable car or by bus. From Myeongdong Subway Station, take exit number 3 and walk towards bus stop 02149. From here, take bus number 5 that will bring you to N Seoul Tower for 1,200 KRW. If you want to take the cable car, just take exit 3 from Myeongdong Station and just walk down the street on the right side of Pacific Hotel and you'll find the boarding station after about 15 minutes. When you see an elevator, take the elevator then get to the boarding point. Cable car operating hours is from 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM and it round-trip ticket costs 8,500 KRW (adults) and 5,500 KRW (Children).

THINGS TO DO IN SEOUL KOREA TOURIST SPOTS
Photo from Klook

EVERLAND DAY TOUR


One of South Korea's most popular theme parks! If you wish to visit Everland, it is highly recommended that you book a tour with round-trip transfers from Seoul from ease and convenience.


TRAVEL TIP: Purchase discounted tickets online via Klook.com.

BOOK AN EVERLAND DAY TOUR HERE!


Things to do in Seoul Korea Budget Travel Guide

EXPERIENCE THE YOUTH CULTURE AT HONGDAE


Hongdae is the best place for you to experience the youth culture in Seoul. Located near Hongik University, it is known for its urban arts and indie music culture, clubs, shops, and many more.

HOW TO GET TO HONGDAE: Take the subway to Seoul Station and then take the Airport Train (All-stop) to Hongik University Station.

Things to do in Seoul Korea Budget Travel Guide

SHOPPING AT MYEONGDONG


This is a shopping haven for shop-a-holics. With its many shopping malls, boutiques and trendy shops, Myeongdong is an ideal place to be for trendsetters and global travelers.


NEAREST SUBWAY STATION: Myeong-dong Station

Things to do in Seoul Korea Budget Travel GuideThings to do in Seoul Korea Budget Travel Guide

HAVE A TASTE OF THE STREET FOOD AT MYEONGDONG


When in Seoul, Myeong-dong is one of the best places to immerse yourself in some authentic and mouthwatering Korean street food. It's tasty, delicious and available everywhere you look. Definitely the best place in Seoul for foodies!


NEAREST SUBWAY STATION: Myeong-dong Station

Things to do in Seoul Korea Budget Travel Guide

SOUVENIR SHOPPING AT INSADONG


Known for its extensive array of shops and restaurants, Insadong is a must-visit for all tourists visiting Seoul for the first time. Here, you find alleys lined-up with art galleries, tea houses, small shops selling arts and crafts, and many more! This is the best and most popular time to visit is during weekends when the streets are closed to traffic.


NEAREST SUBWAY STATION: Jonggak Station (Exit 3)

THINGS TO DO IN SEOUL KOREA TOURIST SPOTS
Photo from Klook

LOTTE WORLD


If you're looking for a theme park that is near Seoul, visit Lotte World! It's a place where visitors could enjoy an array of classic theme park rides combined with other exciting indoor amusements.


TRAVEL TIP: Purchase discounted tickets online via Klook.com.

BUY DISCOUNTED TICKETS HERE!


DAY TOURS FROM SEOUL


If you want to explore other interesting sites outside the city, here are my suggestions.


NAMI ISLAND + PETIT FRANCE TOUR


When visiting Seoul, South Korea, a day trip to Nami Island is a must. This half-moon shaped islet is a popular destination among tourists because of its beautiful scenery, peaceful environment, and as location of popular Korean telenovela such as Winter Sonata which became a hit in the 2000's. Located in Chuncheon, South Korea, Nami Island is about 1.5 to 2 hours away from the city of Seoul. But getting here is not a problem. Just join a group tour for easy and convenient Nami Island + Petit France tour.


BOOK THIS TOUR HERE!


OTHER OPTIONS:


Korea on a Budget Seoul Travel Guide and DIY Itinerary

DMZ DAY TOUR


Want to have a glimpse of North Korea from the Demiliratized Zone in Gyeonggi-do? Getting to the DMZ is not possible if you do it yourself (DIY), it's better if you get an authorized travel guide or join a group tour. The DMZ Tour offered by Klook includes private transportation from Seoul to DMZ, a visit to Imjingak Park, Freedom Bridge, 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, DMZ Theater and Exhibition Hall, Dora Observatory, Unification Village, Dorasan Rail Station, and to a Ginseng Center. Transportation back to Seoul is also included. And you can also choose to end the tour with a good lunch at a restaurant in the city.


BOOK THIS TOUR HERE!


OTHER OPTIONS:


Other Popular South Korea Experiences


First Timers Travel Guide to SEOUL KOREA

Nanta Show Seoul

Watch Korea's longest running show at a theater in central Seoul. A show blending acrobatics, martial arts, music and culinary skills – that's got to be a unique combination!

BOOK HERE!

First Timers Travel Guide to SEOUL KOREA

Gyeongju Historical and Cultural Tour

Visit South Korea’s ancient capital and explore the cultural relics of a powerful dynasty

BOOK HERE!

First Timers Travel Guide to SEOUL KOREA

Lotte World Kids Park Undersea Kingdom

Discover brand-new experiences at Lotte World Kids Park Undersea Kingdom. Enjoy 4 rides and 11 play zones for kids to experience and play in.

BOOK HERE!

First Timers Travel Guide to SEOUL KOREA

Boryeong Mud Festival

Experience the benefits of Boryeong's mud in one of Korea's most popular summer festivals. Forget about pressure and fatigue while enjoying the atmosphere of mud wrestling and mud sliding!

BOOK HERE!

First Timers Travel Guide to SEOUL KOREA

Seoul Joseon Palaces & Folk History Day Tour

Choose between two immersive tours and begin either tour with the beautiful pavilions and spacious grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Then, your informative guide will lead you on a guided tour of the National Folk Museum to find out about the daily lives of Koreans spanning pre-historic times to the end of the Joseon Dynasty.

BOOK HERE!

First Timers Travel Guide to SEOUL KOREA

SBS MTV "The Show" Tour

KPop fans in Seoul should never pass up a chance like this: get to go behind the scenes of one of South Korea's most famous music shows: SBS MTV The Show, which showcases some of the biggest names in K-Pop onstage. Step onto the set of this popular music television program produced by Korea and China.

BOOK HERE!

First Timers Travel Guide to SEOUL KOREA

Trickeye 3D Museum in Seoul

Get ready to enter an incredible dimension of original 3D artworks! Trickeye, short for ‘trick of the eye', refers to an art technique where two-dimensional paintings are turned into three-dimensional images through the use of optical illusions.

BOOK HERE!

First Timers Travel Guide to SEOUL KOREA

Hanbok Portrait Experience by Z-and in Seoul

Go in for an affordable high-quality professional photo session in the heart of Seoul. Have your photos taken wearing a traditional Korean costume, Hanbok. Best of all, you can have your printed photos conveniently delivered to your hotel within 3 days!

BOOK HERE!


HOW MANY DAYS TO STAY IN KOREA?


For me, it depends on the tourist spots and attractions you want to visit and activities you want to do in South Korea. For first timers, 6 days and 5 nights are enough to enjoy Seoul and other nearby cities in South Korea. But if you have a limited time, a 3-day / 2-night trip to Korea is also quite good. Below, I have sample DIY itineraries that you can follow. Just adjust or tweak it depending on your preferences.

KOREA ON A BUDGET TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG 2018

SAMPLE SEOUL KOREA DIY ITINERARIES


Sample 6 Days / 5 Nights Seoul South Korea DIY Itinerary


Here's a sample 6D/5N Seoul DIY Itinerary. You can adjust it depending on your flights, the things you want to do, and the tourist spots you want to visit.

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL

  • 05:10 PM - Departure from Manila via Cebu Pacific
  • 10:40 PM - Arrival at Incheon International Airport, redeem Discover Seoul Pass and SIM card
  • 11:00 PM - Travel to Seoul via Private Car Transfer
  • 12:00 MN - Check-in at Hotel Icon in Jongno

DAY 2 - CITY TOUR USING THE DISCOVER SEOUL PASS


  • 07:00 AM - Breakfast at the hotel
  • 09:30 AM - HANBOKNAM (You can wear your hanbok of choice outdoors for 90 minutes)
  • 10:00 AM - Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • 11:30 AM - Walk to Changdeokgung Palace
  • 12:00 AM - Changdeokgung Palace
  • 12:45 AM - Changgyeonggung Palace
  • 01:30 PM - Lunch
  • 02:00 NN - Jongmyo (Royal Shrine)
  • 03:00 PM - Travel to N Seoul Tower
  • 04:00 PM - N Seoul Tower
  • 06:30 PM - Namsan Seoul Tower Hanbok Experience Center
  • 07:00 PM - Dinner
  • 08:00 PM - Back to the hotel and sleep

DAY 3 - NAMI ISLAND + PETIT FRANCE


  • 06:00 AM - Breakfast at the hotel
  • 07:00 AM - Travel to Myeong-dong for Nami Island Day Tour via Klook
  • 08:00 AM - Depart from Myeongdong Station exit 2
  • 09:30 AM - Arrive at Petite France
  • 12:00 NN - Depart for Nami Island
  • 12:30 PM - Arrive at Nami Island, Explore
  • 03:00 PM - Depart for Seoul
  • 04:30 PM - Arrive at Myeongdong Station
  • 05:00 PM - Street Food / Early dinner at Myeong-dong
  • 08:00 PM - Travel back to hotel and sleep

DAY 4 - DMZ TOUR + INSADONG + HONGDAE


  • 06:30 AM - Breakfast at the hotel
  • 8:00 AM - Hotel pick up for DMZ Tour
  • DMZ Day Tour via Klook.com
    • Imjingak Park
    • Freedom Bridge
    • 3rd Infiltration Tunnel
    • DMZ Theater & Exhibition Hall
    • Dora Observatory
    • Dorasan Station
    • Pass by Unification Village
    • Amethyst factory or Ginseng Center visit
  • 02:30 PM - Drop off at City Hall / Lunch in a local Korean Restaurant
  • 03:30 PM - Explore Insadong and shop for souvenirs
  • 05:00 PM - Travel to Hongdae
  • 06:00 PM - Enjoy The youth culture and shopping at Hongdae
  • 10:00 PM - Travel back to your hotel
  • 11:00 PM - Back at the hotel and sleep

DAY 5 - EVERLAND


  • 07:00 AM - Breakfast at the hotel
  • 09:00 AM - Depart from Myeongdong Station Exit 2
  • 10:10 AM - Arrive at Everland
  • 10:30 AM - 04:00 PM - Enjoy Everland
  • 04:30 PM - Depart for Seoul
  • 06:00 PM - Arrive in Myeong-dong
  • 06:30 PM - 10:30 PM - Shopping and Dinner at Myeong-dong
  • 11:00 PM - Back at the hotel and sleep

DAY 6 - DEPARTURE

  • 06:00 AM - Breakfast at the hotel
  • 07:00 AM - Check-out
  • 07:30 AM - Travel to Seoul Statio via Subway
  • 08:00 AM - Arrive at Seoul Station
  • 08:30 AM - Take the AREX Airport Express Train to Incheon Airport
  • 09:30 AM - Arrive at Incheon Airport, check-in
  • 12:55 PM - Dpeart for Manila via Air Asia

KOREA ON A BUDGET TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG 2018

Seoul Trip Budget and Expenses


You may adjust this itinerary depending on the number of days of your travel, the tourist spots you want to visit, and the things you want to do during your trip. Also, always have extra budget for emergencies and unexpected expenses.

Sample Seoul Korea Budget for 6 days and 5 nights for 19,986 pesos budget


Below is a sample 6D/5N Seoul DIY itinerary for PHP 19,986. This assumes the following:
  • You will be staying for the first 3 nights in a private room that is good for 2 persons at Hotel Icon for PHP 1,500 per night with breakfast.
  • For the last 2 nights, you'll be staying at K Guesthouse Myeong-dong 2 for 2,000 pesos per night good for 2 persons, breakfast included.
  • You are a group of two.
  • Your maximum expense for food is 250 PHP or 5,000 KRW per meal per person.
  • You'll be using a Discover Seoul Pass for 24 hours.
  • You'll be using a T-Money Card

PRE-TRAVEL EXPENSES


Activities were booked via Klook.com and hotel accommodations were booked via Traveloka.com.

TOTAL - 17,231 per person


DAY 1 EXPENSES

  • Private Car Transfer - pre-booked
  • Hotel Icon (1st night) - pre-booked
  • TOTAL - 0

DAY 2 EXPENSES


  • Breakfast - complimentary at the hotel
  • Hotel Icon (2nd night) - pre-booked
  • HANBOKNAM - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Gyeongbokgung Palace - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Changdeokgung Palace - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Changgyeonggung Palace - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Lunch - 5,000 KRW
  • Jongmyo (Royal Shrine) - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Travel to N Seoul Tower
    • Subway: Jongno-3-ga Station to Myeongdong - 1,250 KRW
    • Bus: Myeongdong to N Seoul Tower - 1,200 KRW
  • N Seoul Tower - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Namsan Seoul Tower Hanbok Experience Center - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Bus: N Seoul Tower to Myeongdong - 1,200 KRW
  • Subway: Myeongdong to Anguk Station - 1,250 KRW
  • Dinner - 5,000 KRW
  • Back to the hotel and sleep
  • TOTAL - 14,900

DAY 3 EXPENSES


  • Breakfast at the hotel - complimentary
  • Hotel Icon (3rd night) - pre-booked
  • Travel from Anguk to Myeong-dong - 1,250 KRW
  • Nami Island + Petit France Day Tour - pre-booked
  • Lunch - 5,000 KRW
  • Dinner - 5,000 KRW
  • TOTAL - 11,250 KRW

DAY 4 EXPENSES


  • Breakfast at the hotel - complimentary
  • K Guesthouse Myeongdong 2 (1st night) - pre-booked
  • Hotel pick up for DMZ Tour - included in the package
  • DMZ Day Tour via Klook.com - pre-booked
  • Lunch in a local Korean Restaurant - included in the DMZ Tour package
  • Travel to Hongdae from Insa-dong
    • Subway: Jonggak Station to Seoul Station - 1,250 KRW
    • Subway: Seoul Station to Hongik Station - 1,250 KRW
  • Dinner - 5,000 KRW
  • Travel back to your hotel in Myeong-dong
    • Subway: Hongik Station to Seoul Station - 1,250 KRW
    • Subway: Seoul Station to Myeongdong - 1,250 KRW
  • TOTAL -15,000 KRW

DAY 5 EXPENSES


  • Breakfast at the hotel - complimentary
  • K Guesthouse Myeongdong 2 (2nd night) - pre-booked
  • Everland Day Tour - pre-booked
  • Lunch - 5,000 KRW
  • Dinner - 5,000 KRW
  • TOTAL - 10,000

DAY 6 EXPENSES

  • Breakfast at the hotel - complimentary
  • Travel to Incheon Airport
  • Subway: Myeongdong to Seoul Station - 1,250 KRW
  • Subway: AREX Airport Express Train to Incheon Airport - pre-booked
  • Lunch - 5,000 KRW
  • TOTAL - 6,250

SUMMARY OF EXPENSES

  • DAY 1 - 0 KRW
  • DAY 2 - 14,900 KRW
  • DAY 3 - 11,250 KRW
  • DAY 4 - 15,000 KRW
  • DAY 5 - 10,000 KRW
  • DAY 6 - 6,250 KRW

TOTAL - 57,400 KRW or 2,755 PHP per person

PRE-TRAVEL BOOKINGS - 17,231 PHP per person


GRAND TOTAL - 19,986 PHP per person


KOREA ON A BUDGET TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG 2018

Sample 3 Days / 2 Nights Seoul South Korea DIY Itinerary for 8,000 pesos


If you're on limited budget and time, you can still explore the best of Seoul South Korea's tourist spots and attractions. Here's a sample 3D/2N DIY Itinerary that you could follow.

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL

  • 07:10 AM - Departure from Manila via Air Asia
  • 12:10 PM - Arrival in Incheon International Airport, redeem Discover Seoul Pass and SIM card
  • 01:00 PM - Travel to Seoul via AREX Airport Express Train to Seoul Station
  • 01:45 PM - Travel from Seoul Station to Anguk Station
  • 02:00 PM - Check-in at Hotel Icon in Jongno
  • 03:00 PM - Explore Insadong, have lunch
  • 04:30 PM - Travel to Hongdae
  • 05:15 PM - Explore, eat, and enjoy in Hongdae
  • 09:00 PM - Go back to the hotel
  • 10:00 PM - Arrive at the hotel and sleep

DAY 2 - NAMI ISLAND + PETIT FRANCE


  • 06:00 AM Breakfast at the hotel
  • 07:20 AM Travel to Myeong-dong
  • 08:00 AM Depart from Myeongdong Station exit 2
  • 09:30 AM Arrive at Petite France
  • 12:00 NN Depart for Nami Island
  • 12:30 PM Arrive at Petite France
  • 03:00 PM Depart for Seoul
  • 04:30 PM Arrive at Myeongdong Station
  • 05:00 PM Street Food / Early dinner at Myeong-dong
  • 07:00 PM Travel back to hotel and sleep

DAY 3 - CITY TOUR USING THE DISCOVER SEOUL PASS


  • 06:00 AM - Brekfast at the hotel
  • 07:00 AA - Check-out, leave bags at the reception
  • 07:30 AM - Start City Tour using the Discover Seoul Pass
  • 09:30 AM - HANBOKNAM (You can wear your hanbok of choice outdoors for 90 minutes)
  • 10:00 AM - Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • 11:30 AM - Walk to Changdeokgung Palace
  • 12:00 AM - Changdeokgung Palace
  • 12:45 AM - Changgyeonggung Palace
  • 01:30 PM - Lunch
  • 02:00 NN - Jongmyo (Royal Shrine)
  • 03:00 PM - Travel to N Seoul Tower
  • 04:00 PM - N Seoul Tower
  • 06:30 PM - Namsan Seoul Tower Hanbok Experience Center
  • 07:00 PM - End City Tour, have dinner
  • 08:00 PM - Shopping at Myeongdong
  • 09:30 PM - Go back to the hotel and get your bags
  • 10:00 PM - Travel to Seoul Station
  • 10:50 PM - Travel to Incheon Airport via AREX Express Train
  • 11:40 PM - Arrive at Incheon Airport, check-in and wait for your flight
  • 03:05 AM (the following day) - Depart for Manila via Cebu Pacific Air

You may adjust this itinerary depending on the things you want to do, and on the tourist spots and attractions you want to visit in Seoul.

KOREA ON A BUDGET TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG 2018

Sample Seoul Korea Budget for 3 days and 2 nights for 8,000 pesos budget


In this Korea budget travel guide I will try to give you the best possible DIY Itinerary at the most affordable budget I could think of. Below is a sample 3D/2N Seoul DIY itinerary for PHP 8,000. This assumes the following:
  • You will be staying for 2 nights in a private room that is good for 2 persons at Hotel Icon for PHP 1,500 per night with breakfast.
  • You are a group of two.
  • Your maximum expense for food is 5,000 KRW per meal per person.
  • You'll be using a Discover Seoul Pass for 24 hours.
  • You'll be using a T-Money Card

PRE-TRAVEL EXPENSES


Activities were booked via Klook.com and hotel accommodations were booked via Traveloka.com.

TOTAL - 5,953 per person



DAY 1 EXPENSES

  • AREX Airport Express Train - pre-booked
  • Subway: Seoul Station to Anguk - 1,250 KRW
  • Hotel Icon (1st night) - pre-booked
  • Subway: Anguk Station to Jonggak (Insa-dong) - 1,250 KRW
  • Lunch - 5,000 KRW
  • Travel to Hongdae from Insa-dong
    • Subway: Jonggak Station to Seoul Station - 1,250 KRW
    • Subway: Seoul Station to Hongik Station - 1,250 KRW
  • Dinner - 5,000 KRW
  • Travel back to your hotel in Jongno (Hotel Icon)
  • Subway: Hongik Station to Seoul Station - 1,250 KRW
  • Subway: Seoul Station to Anguk - 1,250 KRW
  • TOTAL - 17,500 KRW

DAY 2 EXPENSES

  • Breakfast at the hotel - complimentary
  • Hotel Icon (2nd night) - pre-booked
  • Travel from Anguk to Myeong-dong - 1,250 KRW
  • Nami Island + Petit France Day Tour - pre-booked
  • Lunch - 5,000 KRW
  • Dinner - 5,000 KRW
  • TOTAL - 11,250 KRW

DAY 3 EXPENSES


  • Breakfast - complimentary at the hotel
  • HANBOKNAM - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Gyeongbokgung Palace - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Changdeokgung Palace - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Changgyeonggung Palace - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Lunch - 5,000 KRW
  • Jongmyo (Royal Shrine) - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Travel to N Seoul Tower
    • Subway: Jongno-3-ga Station to Myeongdong - 1,250 KRW
    • Bus: Myeongdong to N Seoul Tower - 1,200 KRW
  • N Seoul Tower - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Namsan Seoul Tower Hanbok Experience Center - included in the Discover Seoul Pass
  • Bus: N Seoul Tower to Myeongdong - 1,200 KRW
  • Dinner - 5,000 KRW
  • Subway: Myeongdong to Anguk Station - 1,250 KRW
  • Subway: Anguk Station to Seoul - 1,250 KRW
  • Subway: AREX Airport Express Train to Incheon Airport - pre-booked
  • TOTAL - 16,150 KRW

SUMMARY OF EXPENSES

  • DAY 1 - 17,500 KRW
  • DAY 2 - 11,250 KRW
  • DAY 3 - 16,150 KRW

TOTAL - 44,900 KRW or 2,155 PHP per person

PRE-TRAVEL BOOKINGS - 5,953 PHP per person


GRAND TOTAL - 8,108 PHP per person


Not included in these computations are the following:
  • Round trip airfare Manila-Seoul-Manila
  • NAIA terminal fee and travel tax
  • Food expense for snacks
  • Budget for pasalubong, souvenirs and shopping expenses

Please note that exchange rates, ticket prices, airfare, hotel rates, tour prices, bus and train fares, and other expenses are subject to change and depend on the date of your trip. You can adjust this budget depending on how many are you in the group, the tourist spots and activities you want to do in Seoul, and how many days is your vacation.

I hope this Seoul Korea Budget Travel Guide 2018 will help you in planning an unforgettable and exciting South Korea Adventure! Enjoy and have fun!


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2 comments :

Mishayne Retrita said...

Hi Mervz.. Thank you for this post.. question lang, anong day kayo nag travel? may nabasa kase ako na different blog, parang advise nya around tues or wednesday ang better day of travelling kase most of the attraction are close on Mondays / Tuesdays? Ano pong ma-advise nyo? thanks a lot

maricris cuison said...

Sir, yung 19,986 for 6 days and 5 night di p kasama airfare dun right?

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