Looking for the best cheap things to do in Seoul, South Korea?
What’s my qualification for making this Korea travel blog, you may ask?
As of this writing in 2023, I’ve been to Seoul for 8 times now. 🙂
After all, what’s not to love, right? With the abundance of cheap face masks, delicious and lip-smacking Korean street food, and presence of cute Korean cafes everywhere you go, I’m sure that Seoul will always have a special place in every first-time traveler’s heart.
And with all the options available, all the travel blogs trying to answer the questions:
– What are the things to do in Korea?
– What activities do I put in my 5-day Seoul itinerary?
– What K-pop boys groups should I stan be a fan of?
The 3rd question is simple… (Answer: EXO, BTS and Monsta-X!)
But the first two questions are confusing and overwhelming, right?
That’s why we made this Korea Travel Blog in the first place.
Top 7 Cheap Things to Do in Seoul for the First-Time Traveler
If you’ve already gotten your Korea tourist visa, and it’s your first time to go to Seoul and you want to make the most out of it, here are seven fun and cheap things that you definitely must do.
1. Witness the guard-changing ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)
One of the best and free things to do in Seoul for young adults is to personally see the guard-changing ceremony held at Gyeongbokgung Palace.
You’ve never actually been to Seoul without witnessing the mesmerizing guard-changing ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace!
Here, you’ll be blessed with an auditory and visual feast as you feel yourself getting transported back in time to the Joseon dynasty.
Don’t forget to take your pictures with the castle guards. But remember, selfies are not allowed, okay?
Budget: The palace is free to visit. To enter inside of the palace, it’s ₩3,000 ($3 or P150).
How to Get Here: Gyeongbokgung Station, Exit 4 (Closed on Tuesdays!)
2. Climb the top of N Seoul Tower
“Heo Joon Jae!”
“Boys Over Flowers~”
“My Love From Another Star”
…and many more!
Always any Korean drama would have the characters go on a date here, wait for each other through the freezing snow here, or have one character be kidnapped while the other one is unaware on this very spot.
Are you a solo traveler, couple traveler, family traveler or “I’m-waiting-for-my-bias-to-go-here” traveler?
It doesn’t matter. N Seoul Tower is perfect for any trip to Korea.
Tip#1: Bring a padlock with you. Last time I went there, it’s around $15 (₱750) just to buy one! Some couples I know just use their phone case. As for us, a black ball pen was enough. #paraparaan
Tip#2: To stay away from lines, get your cable car tickets online.
3. Eat your body weight in Korean street food at Gwangjang Market
This next tip on cheap things to do in Seoul is all about yummy food.
If you’re going to Seoul, and you’re just going to spend all your eating time in McDonald’s or KFC for the whole trip…why did you even bother going to South Korea in the first place?
If there’s only one thing you take from this Korea Travel Blog, it’s this: eat as many authentic Korean food as you possibly can!
Don’t know which Korean food you need to try out?
Head on over to Gwangjang Market and try out all the Korean food that you can possibly eat.
Aside from the delicious, lip-smacking taste, another great thing about Gwangjang Market is the price. You can eat a hearty meal for $3 (₱150) and you can even finish it up with a dessert worth $1 (₱50).
4. Visit Korea’s famous theme parks: Everland or Lotte World
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?
Price-wise, Lotte World is cheaper by ₱150 compared with Everland.
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.
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: Click here to get ₱1,300+ OFF your Everland tickets!
How to Get Here:
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.
5. Watch free performances + enjoy unlimited Korean BBQ at Hongdae
Another awesomely cheap thing to do in Seoul is to check out Hongdae.
If you’re in your 20s or 30s, there’s absolutely no question that you’re definitely going to love the vibrant area of Hongdae.
Talented Seoul millennials are scattered all over – singing a soulful ballad, mouthing the words to an R&B rhythm or dancing eagerly to the latest K-pop tune that’s hitting the charts.
Confused about which Korean BBQ to go to?
Here are two restaurants that I’ve personally reviewed:
- Meat-Ing, Hongdae has appetizing Korean BBQ – unlimited! – with yummy mushrooms and eat-all-you-can food. Want to get the best value of your money? Get the beef and pair it with garlic and mushroom~!
- Another unlimited Korean BBQ that I loved was the one in Hongdae – it even has eat-all-you-can doenjang jjigae (soybean stew) that you can sip together with your unlimited meat.
6. Enjoy breathtaking views at Nami Island + Petite France
Every K-Drama fan knows Nami Island:
It’s such an Instagram-worthy photo spot that most Filipinos going to Korea dedicate one whole day just to explore it.
The inconvenient part? It’s expensive.
The great part? You can get a huge discount when you use our link below! 🙂
7. Buy cheap pasalubong (souvenirs) at Myeongdong
What souvenirs do you need to bring home from Myeongdong?
- Face masks: Usually, you can buy 10 + get 10 for only $10 (₱500). That’s like ₱25/face masks only!
- Hand cream: Just pop into Daiso/Mumuso and buy their yummy-scented hand cream. My favorite banana-scented lotion is only $1 (₱50)
- Facial wash/Cleanser: The Face Shop sells 5 pieces for around ₱800, so it’s like you’re buying one for only ₱160! So cheap, considering that it’s The Face Shop and it’ll last you for three-six months.
And so, that’s it! In this Korea travel blog, we talked about the best cheap things you can do in Seoul as a first-timer. 🙂
How about you, have you been to Seoul lately? What are the top things you want to do in Seoul?
For more travel tipid tips: