12 Family friendly things to do, eat and see.
1. Visit the Five Grand Palaces
The palaces are nice place to explore especially if you have little ones. The grounds are expansive and you can get a glimpse of how Korean royalty used to live.
Deoksugung palace is bound by skyscrapers so it’s a piece of tradition in the middle of modern city living.
There’s an interesting art exhibit at the Deoksugung palace. Special reflective pieces dance in the wind making colorful patterns on the ground. Our toddler had a blast chasing them around. We didn’t make it to all five palaces but if you have time, it’s a super affordable activity. Entrance fee is only $1.
2. See the Bukchan hanok village
Here you can visit traditional Korean dwellings called hanok. The village is 600 years old nestled next to the concrete jungle.
People still live in these houses so you have to be quiet and respectful when walking around. You will also find tea houses, museums and restaurants there.
3. Eat your way through Myeongdong
We could not stay away from this popular shopping destination. Our hotel was a short walk to it and at night there are food stalls that line the streets. We didn’t do any shopping here, just eating. The grilled meat on a stick was our favorite.
You also have to try the beautiful flower petal ice cream from a shop called Milky Bee. It tastes just as good as it looks.
We tried little fried soft shell crabs with a sweet chili sauce. So crunchy!
4. Climb the steps to K tower
This popular tourist activity is an uphill battle of about a mile worth of steps to get to the famous K tower where you can get panoramic views of the city. On the way up to the tower you will stumble upon a free workout station! Lionel could play there all day.
5. Eat at Gwangjang market
Gwangjang market is filled with crowded stalls of Korean street food. Dumplings and kimchi galore!
Eat at the Gohyang Kalguksu Stall where you will find Yoonsun Cho making her famous hand-made knife cut noodles. It was amazing to see her working her magic and such a treat to get a seat to eat. It was very crowded!
6. Rent a hanbok
Hanbok is the traditional Korean dress worn to special events or festivals. They are made with vibrant colors with endless options to match the top and the bottom. I love color and really enjoyed wearing one of these for my friend’s wedding in Seoul. There are many rental shops you will probably pass one strolling through the streets. One popular place to wear the hanbok is in the traditional Korean village bukchan hanok. We saw many people renting and wearing beautiful hanbok.
7. Eat Korean BBQ!
This was more like the #1 thing we did in Seoul. The Korean BBQ places are endless you literally can’t walk down a street without passing one. Andy wanted to have it for every meal.
Even though there are many Korean BBQ restaurants, they’re all different and each has their own assortment of sides that come with your meat or maybe they have a specialty item to grill, like scallops. The best part (and my husband’s favorite thing) is that you grill everything yourself on a grate in the table. Such a fun experience.
8. Visit a cute animal cafe
There’s several animal themed cafes in Seoul and we checked out Thanks Nature Cafe in Hongdae. It was so cute! Lionel got to play with the sheep and I got a yummy garlic toast snack.
9. Get a Korean haircut
This might sound random but my husband got a hair cut in Hongdae and it turned out really good! We would recommend Bay by Heoseulgi. Hongdae is the trendy college university part of town. It’s so colorful, young and hip!
10. Play on art
Everywhere you walk in Seoul there is interesting art and architecture. We found one structure across from a palace on some nice turf ground and we relaxed in the sun and let our toddler run wild.
In Hongdae Lionel and Andy got snatched up by king kong.
11. Walk in Cheonggyecheon park
Located near city hall Cheonggyecheon is an urban park space with a path built along a small canal. It is a great place for the littles to run and play. There are stone steps for you to cross the water and our toddler had so much fun hopping across.
12. Have brunch in Itaewon
Itaewon is the party district so if you don’t have littles, this is the perfect place to get your drink on. We however had brunch at The Flying pan Blue. It’s a small American style breakfast place. It was so delicious and definitely hit the spot.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found some family friendly inspiration for your visit to Seoul. Obviously there is way more to do and see (and eat!) than what we did in a few days but we had a blast.