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Hong Dae (2-3 hrs)

Seoul Hong Dae
A very trendy neighbourhood in downtown Seoul is Hong Dae. It is known for its urban arts, indie music culture, clubs and entertainment.

Hongtong is a pedestrian-friendly street (no cars between 2 and 10 pm). Around this street you will find many shops and bars. Listen to musicians playing in the street, go to Hello Kitty Cafe, relax in a jazz bar with live music or chill out in a bustling nightclub.

You can reach the area by metro; station Hongik University (line 2), exit 9. Just walk into the small streets. There are many youngsters in the area and you have to take good care of your belongings.

Typical Korean restaurants (1-2 hrs)

Seoul Insadong Restaurants
Insadong is a lovely old neighbourhood. In most side alleys of the main street in this area you will find many small old restaurants serving traditional Korean dishes. Our favourite places are in alley 12 and 14.

Order one of the most famous dishes of Korean cuisine like Bulgogi or Bibimbab and have a local beer or rice wine with your meal. Most places are open for lunch and dinner.

You can go to the street by metro to Anguk station or Jonggak metro station. Anguk station is really at the beginning of Insadong. From metro station Jonggak you have to take exit 11 (via Jonggak Underground Arcade) and walk to the street in two minutes.

Itaewon western-style neighbourhood

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Itaewon is a neighbourhood with many nice restaurants and bars. A large number of Americans (both military and civilian) and other foreigners visit Itaewon to shop and relax.

Most of the places are Western style. Many restaurants serve international dishes including cuisine from India, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Thailand and Mexico, foods that are not widely available in Korea.

In the main street clothing shops and big chain restaurants occupy most ground floors. Many bars and clubs are at the first floor or basement. This is a great neighbourhood if you want something non-Korean and like to hang out.

Itaewon is located in the south of Seoul. You can go there by subway, Line 6 to Itaewon Station. And of course every taxi driver knows where it is.

Dongdaemun Shopping Area (1-3 hrs)

Seoul Dongdaemoon
Looking for endless shopping options? Dongdaemun Shopping area is located near Dongdaemun of which it takes its name. Of course there is Dongaemoon Shopping Complex, but the Dongdaemoon area has 26 shopping malls situated over 10 blocks, 30,000 speciality shops, and 50,000 manufacturers.

The market sells all types of goods but notably silks and fabric, clothes, shoes and leather goods, sporting goods, plumbing and electronics, office supplies, fortune-tellers, and toys. It also has many pet shops.

Some shops are closed on Sundays. Others (for example in Cheonggye Underground Shopping Centre) are open from 10 am to 5 (!) am. Well, let's say there is almost always something open. But best time to go to the area is basically late afternoon or early evening.

You can go there by metro to station Dongdaemun, exit 8 or 9. The area is located along the Cheonggyecheon Stream.

Namdaemoon Market (1-2 hrs)

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Seoul has many nice shopping options. Namdaemun is the old fashioned street market. It occupies many city blocks. Much of the market is outside, but there are also many stores, which line the streets.

Namdaemun street market is located near the downtown area. Goods sold there are mainly clothes, cosmetics, fake stuff and much more. Of course you have to go there for a good bargain.

The market was traditionally a night market. Nowadays most of the shops are open 24/7, so you can go there during daytime as well. Most stores close on Sundays. You can go there by subway, line 4 to Hoehyeon Station, exit 6.

Rodeo Street Gangnam (1-3 hrs)

Seoul Rodeo Street
In the Gangnam neighbourhood you can go to Rodeo Street. There are many small streets filled with loads of (fashion) boutiques, restaurants, (wine) bars and nightclubs in this hot neighbourhood, making it fun to visit during the day and at night.

They call it Rodeo Street but it's more the area between Apgujeong street, Seolleung street, Eonjuro and Dosandaero.

To go there, take the metro to Apgujeong Rodeo station. The area is about a minute walk from exit 5.

Garosu-gil fashion street Gangnam (1-2 hrs)

Seoul Garosu-gil
The most famous street for trendy shopping amongst Koreans is Garosu Gil in the Gangnam neighbourhood. The street has many boutiques of both international and local fashion brands and loads of coffee places.

Garosu-gil is situated between Dosandaero and Jamwonno. It is a three minutes walk from Sinsa station, exit 8. On the street signs you might see: Dosan-daero 13-gil but there are also signs with Garosu-gil.

Hallyu Star Avenue (1-2 hrs)

Seoul Hallyu Star
For your high end shopping you have to go to Hallyu Star Avenue in the Gangnam area. You can go there by metro to Apgujeong Rodeo station, exit 2 or 3.

Gucci, Omega, A&F, LV, D&G, Dior, Burberry, Giorgo Armani, Prada, Cartier, Jilsander and many more brands have a shop here. Even Nespresso, Hästens, Rolls Royce and TL Plastic Surgery have a shop here. And don't forget The Galleria Luxury Hall for more expensive boutiques.

So if you are looking for a place where you can really spend your money? Go here. And if you know any famous Koreans, this is the best place to spot celebrities.

Ssamzigili boutique 'mall' (1hr)

Seoul Ssamzigili
In the Insadong Street you will find a wonderful shopping centre. Halfway the street is a 'shopping mall' with 4 floors full of many mini boutiques, called Ssamzigil. The centre is located in Insadong Street between alley 10 and 12.

The shops sell jewellery, decoration stuff, bags, accessories, eyewear, cosmetics and much more. You can see all shops by walking in a spiral up and go down by stairs again. The opening hours are from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm.

You can go to the street by metro to Anguk station or Jonggak metro station. Anguk station is really at the beginning of Insadong. From metro station Jonggak you have to take exit 11 (via Jonggak Underground Arcade) and walk to the street in two minutes.

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Language of the world

Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Seoul.