Korea Travel Guide 2018: 5-Day Seoul Itinerary for P18k All-In!
5 Days and 4 Nights Seoul Itinerary: Chill and Easy Trip
Planning for your Seoul itinerary and your budget is limited? You’ve come to the right place!
If you think travelling to Seoul is reserved only for top-level executives or multi-millionaire entrepreneurs, then I’d love to prove you wrong – this Seoul itinerary is for every type of traveler from all walks of life. 🙂 Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to sell your kidney to visit the Land of Kimchi, CC Cream and BTS (or other Kpop groups you’re a fan of).
Korea Tourist Visa for Filipinos
Visa Fee is free so the only costs associated with these are the costs of obtaining your requirements.
Want to increase your chances for approval of your Korea visa for Filipinos?
Airfare (roundtrip Manila to Seoul flight)
I have a rule when booking flights: if it’s less than P3,000/pax, I’ll book it. For my trip to Seoul airfare, I usually book them during piso fare seat sales or using my own GetGo points, so it’s only around P2,500 round trip.
Of course, if you add Travel Tax (P1,620) to your pre-departure expenses, your total would be P4,120. Shocks! P13,880 na lang natitira sa budget. What other essential should you take care of now?
★ Dormitory: If you’re not very particular about the room that you’ll be staying at, since you’ll be outside most of the time anyway, you can stay at a dormitory.
For example, at Chocolate Tree Hostel, one person in a 4-bed dormitory for females is only P800/night or P3,111.40 (4 nights). It already includes free breakfast and a shared bathroom.
Check out the BEST rooms with the CHEAPEST rates here:
★ Private Room: If you’re like me who prefers a private room instead, it’s okay, too! Chocolate Tree Hostel where I stayed at last time offers private room for <P1,800/night or P7,200. Of course, this also includes free breakfast and a private bathroom. Should you want to get this option, you’ll only have P6,680 left in your budget.
★ Best Option: MIXED. For you to take advantage of this budget Seoul itinerary, why don’t you consider this? 2 nights in a dormitory + 2 nights in a private room in the same hostel?
Do most of your sight-seeing activities while you’re staying at the dormitory so that you’d be too tired to care about anything else. You’d just use it for sleeping and bathroom privileges, right?
Then, on the latter part of your trip, consider splurging and getting a private room where you can enjoy your “me-time”: for lunch, order chicken or jajangmyeon, put on a face mask, and watch a K-drama; and then for dinner, go outside to a nearby cafe and order Korea’s specialty coffee, the sweet potato latte. 🙂
Doing this will set you back P5,200, so you’ll still have P8,680 left for your budget.
★★★Other Areas You Can Stay At★★★
Buy a T-Money card from the vending machine found on train stations, or from convenience stores. It costs 4,000 KRW (PHP200). After buying your card, reload it immediately so you can use it agad. If you’ll be staying for only 5 days and you’ll follow this Seoul itinerary guide, reloading it with 30,000 KRW (PHP1,500) is already enough.
Day 1: Arrival
Assuming you successfully secured your cheap flights to South Korea, your flight will be on the afternoon:
3 PM: Depart NAIA going to Incheon
8 PM: Arrive at Incheon International Airport
For you to travel from the Incheon airport to your accommodation at Hongdae or Sinchon, take the Airport Railroad Express (AREX)
All Stop Train ticket which costs 4,150 won (PHP200). You’ll arrive at your target train station within 56 minutes.
You’ll arrive at your accommodation around 10 PM. As I mentioned earlier, it’s better if you booked a dormitory room for your 1st night in Seoul – you’ll arrive at 10 PM already, so the only thing left for you to do is sleep!
If you check out Chocolate Tree Hostel, you can even eat their free food any time of the day. 🙂
Day 2: Gwangjang Market -> Ewha Womans University -> Sinchon Graffiti -> Hongdae Area
Daily Budget: 20,000 KRW = PHP1,000
Because of your transportation expenses, you have P6,980 left on your budget…which is a good thing, since you’ll have free breakfast at your hostel anyway. Don’t eat a lot for now: make a sandwich or two and pack it for your snack later.
10 AM: Leave the hostel and visit Gwangjang Market
11 AM: Eat your favorite Korean food and be amazed with all the varieties that Korean food has to offer! I recommend bibimbap (5,000 KRW = PHP250) and their famous “drug” gimbap (3,000 KRW = PHP150) which is definitely addicting! The sauce they put in it really complements the rice combo. Once you pop, you can’t stop. For your dessert, get hotteok with honey and sikhye drink which cost 1,000 KRW (PHP50) each.
1 PM: Arrive at Ewha Womans University.
You can take your time exploring this Hogwarts-like school. Take your picture and try out different poses in different Instagrammable angles.
3 PM: Go to Sinchon Graffiti where Goblin was shot.
Sure, if you’re fans of the drama, you can go and visit this area, but when we arrived at the much-awaited venue, this is what welcomed us already. Malay mo ayusin ulit nila, so if you’re a risk-taker, go ahead and visit this spot as well!
4 PM: Since Ewha Womans University is just one station away from Hongdae, you can walk to burn your calories. 🙂 Hongdae is an amazing venue for people-watching and performances. If you’re lucky, you can watch a free concert by Crush, like I did.
Or, you can just randomly bump into your favorite Kpop idol, like Jungkook of BTS, or
my future husband Jay Park.
If you’re feeling peckish, go ahead and drop by 홍콩반점0410 (Hong Kong Banjum 0410) at Hongdae. Their lip-smacking jajangmyeon (black-bean noodles) only costs 5,000 KRW (PHP250) and is already enough for 2 kinda-hungry people or one super-hungry person.
It’s so good, I tell you. Once you taste this, instant jajangmyeon would be second-rate na lang.
For your night cap, you can either:
– Buy banana milk and other touristy snacks at your convenience store, and drink them at your hostel; or,
– Drop by a themed cafe in Hongdae, such as Kakao Friends Store Cafe where you can get their yummy hot chocolate and drink it by the window. You can do sight-seeing here.
Malay mo, makita mo sila Lee Min Ho or Song Joong Ki na naglalakad. #agirlcandream
Daily Budget Breakdown
★ Gwangjang Market food: 10,000 KRW = PHP500
★ 홍콩반점0410 (Hong Kong Banjum 0410): 5,000 KRW = PHP250
★ Convenience store snacks/Cafe: 5,000 KRW = PHP250
Day 3: Theme Park Day! Everland or Lotte World
Daily Budget: 40,000 KRW = PHP2,000
In the past, every single time I searched for a Seoul itinerary, I would always see Everland or Lotte World in the list of recommendations!
“What’s the difference?”, I would think. Sino ba dapat ang piliin ko?
If you also consider the distance, you can reach Lotte World by subway. Take the Subway to Jamsil Station Exit 4 on Line No.2 and No.8.
As for Everland, since it’s a bit farther, you can transfer to the Yongin Ever Line at Gilheung Station on the Bundang Line.
Or, if it’s inconvenient for you or just plain nakakalito, some of my friends told me it’s better to book an Everland Shuttle Bus (optional).
(Everland Shuttle Bus normally costs P579, but if you book using my special link, you get it discounted for only P482!)
For me, if it’s your first time in Seoul, at ayaw mo mawala ka, at may kasama kang kids, it’s better to go to Lotte World. Want a discount?
But if you’re daring, why not try Everland? It’s the biggest theme park in Korea, and is most famous for its T Express ride: the fastest, longest, and steepest (77 degrees!) roller coaster in the country. Also, Everland is 7x bigger than Lotte World. And since mahilig tayo sa discount:
Daily Budget Breakdown
★ Food at the theme park: 10,000 KRW = P500
Day 4: Gyeongbokgung Palace -> Mukshidonna Tteokkboki -> Bukchon Hanok Village -> Myeongdong -> Heo Joon-Jae’s House -> N Seoul Tower ->Unlimited Korean BBQ in Hongdae
Alright, before we proceed, let’s do a budget check first, okay?
If you follow this Seoul Itinerary Guide, your remaining budget would be…P3,980 pa! Okay pa, kaya pa, di ba? 🙂 Kapit lang!
Daily Budget: 60,000 KRW = PHP3,000
Remember, to follow this guide, you need to make sure that you’re staying in a hostel that offers free breakfast! I personally recommend Chocolate Tree Hostel, and if you want to be around Myeongdong area, you can take a look at Starria Hostel also.
8 AM: Take your fill at the breakfast buffet in your hostel. Today’s going to be jam-packed so fill your tummy with filling food! I particularly love the grape juice at Starria Hostel.
9 AM: Mamaya ka na manood ng MV ng bias mo. You need to leave the hostel immediately so you can go to Gyeongbokgung Palace!
Why do you need to go there early? It’s because of the guard-changing ceremonies. Sayang naman punta mo kung hindi mo ‘to makikita.
You’ll have plenty of time before the ceremony starts, so make sure to take your picture with the palace guards. Remember, no selfies allowed, though!
Treat yourself to a blast from the past by watching the ceremonies first-hand. Ang galing. Nakakatuwa. Plus the ceremony has English translation, so you won’t be too lost. I felt like I was transported back in time~
12 NN: Time to have lunch! Go to my favorite restaurant in the Anguk area. 🙂 Grab a couple of friends and head on over to Mukshidonna Tteokkboki. For a sumptuous treat, order the budae jjigae (20,000 KRW good for 3 people, or 7,000 KRW per person = P350) You and your special friend can eat this, too, but I don’t recommend it for just one person. Hindi mo kaya ‘tong lahat. Please.
After eating the stew, you can also fry rice in the tteokkboki sauce! If only I could eat my monitor…
I made sure to book my next flight to Seoul while working on this article. 🙂 #SeatSaleForever
2 PM: Are you full now? Let’s go to Bukchon Hanok Village and have your picture taken wherever you fancy! Don’t be to loud since it’s still a residential area, okay?
To be honest, once you’ve seen Bukchon Hanok village, you can proceed to the next attraction already. It’s basically a collection of houses, and some houses even had the digital locks already 😀
4 PM: Let’s go to Myeongdong where the street food are plenty and the skin care items are abundant.
Getting too tired? You can take a break and eat eomuk (1,000 KRW = P50) and hotteok (1,000 KRW = P50) first.
Wala ka pang pasalubong? Don’t worry. Myeongdong pasalubongs are actually cheaper. You can buy small packets of Honey Butter Almonds for 1,000 KRW (P50) each and Market-O Real Brownie for only 4,500 KRW (P225).
It’s time to go to N Seoul Tower, but before that, you can drop by Heo Joon-Jae’s house first:
Halika na sa N Seoul Tower. I wouldn’t advise you to go hiking, especially if it’s winter or summer. I rode the cable car and it’s far! It’s better to take the round-trip cable car as well. At least this way, you get to enjoy the view. For round trip, the adult ticket costs 8,500 KRW (P425).
I’ve only been here during the day, but I imagine it’ll be romantic during sunset, too. 🙂 It’s not actually full of couples. Some of the tourists there are families.
Okay, the night is still young. You thought you’re going home already?
Babalik ka na sa Pilipinas bukas kaya magpuyat ka na lang today.
9 PM: It’s the best time to go back to Hongdae! This area comes alive during night time, and what better way to spend your last night in Seoul by enjoying Korean BBQ?
If you want to enjoy eat-all-you-can Korean BBQ, I’d recommend this place.
Daily Budget Breakdown
★ Budae Jjigae at Mukshidonna: 7,000 KRW = P350
★ Food Pasalubong 19,000 KRW = P950
★ N Seoul Tower cable car 8,500 KRW = P425
★ Face masks at Myeongdong (20 pcs) 10,000 KRW = P500
★ Myeongdong Street Food 3,000 KRW = P150
★ Eat-All-You-Can BBQ in Hongdae 11,800 KRW = P590
Day 5: Free Day + Flight Back to Manila
Daily Budget: 20,000 KRW = PHP1,000
This day’s itinerary depends entirely up to you.
If you’re a K-pop fan, you can visit the entertainment agencies all over Gangnam area.
Personally, I’d eat my free breakfast at the hostel in the morning, pack everything neatly, check out promptly and leave my luggage at the hostel. Then, I’d visit the entertainment agencies in the afternoon in Gangnam (or do last-minute shopping at Myeongdong/Hongdae/Ewha).
Or if you love chilling out at a cafe and people-watching, you can do that too. Buy coffee or hot chocolate at Ediya Coffee and sit outside, if the weather is cooperative. If not, sit by the window and mag-emo. 🙂
Here, you can write your next travel on your planner so you won’t get too depressed because you’re leaving. Is it just me, or do you also get extremely sad when you’re about to leave Seoul? I cope with it by planning for my next travel. #rebound
So, there you go, we’ve already finished this Korea Travel Guide for your Seoul itinerary. I hope this post has inspired you to visit Korea – you can also have an amazing time in Seoul without breaking your bank account! 🙂 If you can save P18,000 this year, you can visit it next year na!
Any questions on visiting South Korea? Leave them in the comments below and I’d love to answer them!
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Live the life you love,