Hello Seoul,

You’re humid, hot and hectic but I’m enjoying it so far!

As my younger sister is taking an exchange year in Seoul it is the perfect time to visit. I didn’t know much about the city beforehand but after some research I’m excited for the many things to do, see and eat.

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

We went to Paju and visited Mimesis Art Museum designed by Álvaro Siza. Stunning!
If you only go to one museum in Seoul it should be this one, the bus ride only takes 30 mins from Hapjeong.

Make it a day trip and stop by:

Heyri Art Village, a cultural community of writers, artists, architects etc., which is visible
in the many interesting buildings, book shops, cafés and galleries.

Plenty of interesting and modern buildings in Heyri Art Village.
Examples are White Block Gallery and BMOCA. Visit the galleries or simply take a look at the architecture from the outside.

PS. I also wanted to go to Paju Book City but messed up the directions and didn’t have wifi..
If you’re in this area and you’re a book lover – please go!

Nice cafés are everywhere in Seoul and there are plenty to choose from.
My favorite, Avec El is a cute café and mini-shop combined, tucked away in a residential neighbourhood.

MMCA – National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Incredible and well worth the visit.

One of my favorite stores is Millimeter Milligram.
Here you’ll find homewares, stationary, furniture, clothing and Post Poetics who has a great
selection of art books.

In the same building is Anthracite Coffee.

aA Design Museum, a museum dedicated to furniture design ! — but to my disappointment it was closed
while preparing for the upcoming exhibition.

Instead I settled for a coffee in the lovely and huge café where they have all kinds of design
chairs spread throughout.

The Leeum Museum houses both traditional and contemporary art.

The subway is convenient, easy and clean.
As you can see they also provide for super cute subway cards :) Lots of things here are just simply cute haha.

We checked out Common Ground, a shopping mall made out of containers.
The clothing is trendy, young and fun – not really my style but it goes well with the concept of the mall.

QueenMama Market
Don’t let the name QueenMama fool you – their store is actually great and has a nice selection of
clothing, skin products, homeware and kitchenware.

On their top floor is Manufact Coffee where you can enjoy your drink at a large communal table under bright skylight.

The National Museum of Korea is huge, beautiful and will take up a few hours of your day.

Another café, Luft, where the concept seems to be Hawaii in Seoul with some seating areas is set in a ‘swimming pool’.

In Hongdae you’ll find Sobok, a place for ice cream made of brown rice, milk and grains. Mmm.

La Ferme
A delicious vegan spot. There’s not a lot of salad at Korean restaurants so you definitely
begin to crave a huge bowl of vegetables.

Details of Gyeongbokgung Palace.

My sister <3

Next to Gyeongbokgung Palace you’ll find Insa-dong and Bukchon Hanok Village.
These three areas make a good 1-day itinerary.

Insa-dong is a street filled with plenty of traditional tea houses. Of course we had to
stop by one and we chose 반짝반짝빛나는. Above is a green tea set, a cold drink and persimmon smoothie.

Bukchon Hanok Village – an area with narrow streets and traditional korean houses dating
back to year 1600. People still live in this area so you have to be respectful and quiet.
There were a lot of tourists around when we were here so I would try to avoid the crowds
and go during odd hours if possible.

Here’s a poop pancake from Insa-dong by the way.
This is with chocolate, they also come with red bean flavor.

One In A Million Café Pink and picturesque, like most.

Hangang Park
There are several parks you can go to that overlooks Han River but we went to this one that
has a view of Mapo Brigde. Located next to Yeouinaru Subway Station.
We brought a blanket, watched the street artists perform and enjoyed the breeze.

Blüte Café filled with greens, flowers and a large seating area both in- and outdoors.

Being real tourists and visited Namsan Tower. The view is pretty stunning with the urbanized city of Seoul built on hilly grounds and then surrounded by incredible mountains.

We ate more at..
Plant A tiny vegan restaurant with yummy food and a selection of cakes. Try the soba bowl.
Sulbing The best bingsoo aka shaved ice can be found at this chain you’ll find in every neighbourhood.
Loun Shabu Shabu 로운샤브샤브. It’s not that I’m not exploring by going to another chain restaurant but this place is just really good you guys.
– The very best dessert will cost you 50 cents and can be found at most markets and grocery shops, this Melon Bar Ice Cream is heaven haha.

I’m excited to explore more of the city!
Let me know if you have any recommendations :)



  • Reply Aliya July 24, 2016 at 1:08 AM

    That ice cream looks SO good. I’ve never had any made from brown rice.

  • Reply Liz Nguyen July 24, 2016 at 5:56 AM

    Seoul is one of my dream destinations. I guess you had a great time!


  • Reply Malu July 24, 2016 at 10:59 PM

    Seoul is seriously so breathtaking and as I see more photos I fall more in love with it more and more. The architecture is so beautiful and so cool to see the differences in them between America and Asia. Your style was so cool throughout the trip and I thought went perfectly with you surroundings. I hope you enjoyed your stay and I hope you had a fun experience venturing out in Seoul!

  • Reply Audrey July 25, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    I love all your guides, but this one especially because I want to visit Korea soon! Totally saving to bookmarks! I absolutely love the design culture in Korea.

  • Reply Ingeborg July 25, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    I would recommend visiting Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) if you haven’t already been there :)

    For cafés and shopping I like the area around Sangsu st. If you get off line 6, exit 1 and walk down the road ‘Dongmak-Ro’ a few hundred meters and then turn right, into a narrow street (there is a small sign) you will get to a really cozy area filled with cafés. It’s close to Hongdae area, but less crowded and much quieter.

    Ehwa Womans University at night is also really beautiful.

    Hope you have a great time in Seoul!

    • Reply Maria Van Nguyen July 25, 2016 at 3:50 PM

      Hi Ingeborg. Awesome! Thank you for the recommendation – I’ll be sure to check out Sangsu street. DDP is already on my list!

  • Reply Sophia Nguyen July 25, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    LOVE Seoul! Just got back to Europe after spending two years in South Korea. So many things to see. If you don’t mind me asking, what camera did you use for these photos? :)
    Much love from Sophia

    • Reply Maria Van Nguyen July 26, 2016 at 10:25 AM

      Oh wow, that sounds amazing :)
      I use a Canon Powershot G1 X Mark II for all my pictures – it’s just easier and more convenient than a DSLR!

  • Reply MIN July 31, 2016 at 7:03 PM

    I love your blog, Nice pictures!
    If you have a car, I would like to recommend to visit Museum San.
    Actually it’s not in Seoul. It takes about 2hours from Seoul. Quite far, but it’s really great place. And another recommended place in Seoul is Korea furniture museum. you need to book online if you want to visit there. I hope you have great time in Seoul :)

    • Reply Maria Van Nguyen August 3, 2016 at 4:01 AM

      Hi MIN, thank you for the recommendation :)
      Wow I would love to visit Museum San! Unfortunately I don’t have a car here but I’ll look at other transportation possibilities. Perhaps I’ll go to the furniture museum, it looks beautiful as well. Thank you!

  • Reply Seoul Pt II – Maria Van Nguyen September 19, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    […] More recommendations Seoul Pt I […]

  • Reply Cynthia December 5, 2016 at 7:15 PM

    Hi Maria,

    I’m going to Seoul in a few week and I can’t wait to follow your guide. I was wondering if you had any recommendations about where to stay?


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