Go to Royal Palace Wearing Hanbok
As shown in the picture above, wearing hanboks and taking pictures inside the palace is a very common thing to do in Korea. There are five different palaces you can visit in Korea (Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, and Gyeonghuigung Palace). If you wear a hanbok you can enter the palaces for free! Although the palace entries are only $3 versus a 2-hour rental for $15, the pictures and scenery makes it worth it!
Visit the Bukchon Hanok Village
This village is full of traditional houses, which are located in close proximity to the palaces. These traditional houses date back to the Joseon Dynasty, so you feel reminiscent of the old era. You can also rent hanboks and take pictures here if you'd like. These traditional houses are a national treasure, many people come here to take wedding pictures and just to have a nice scenic background. There also a lot of fun snack and souvenir shops you find on your way there, so the trip is nothing short but exciting.
Hongdae is the place to be, every night. There are street performers who come to entertain the crowd by dancing, singing, or playing instruments. Also, there are many places to eat at, snacks on every corner, karaoke places for you to belt out your favorite songs, clothes stores, cafes, games, a trick eye museum, and virtual reality rooms. Hongdae is a place where you can find and do anything you desire. I never get bored here, I guarantee you won't either.
Hang out in Sinchon
Sinchon is similar to Hongdae but on a smaller scale. There are more restaurant choices to eat from, claw machine games all over, and games rooms. Sinchon is usually the place where many surprise performances occur. By this, I mean K-pop idols usually perform here about once or twice a month as a surprise event by 1theK. Besides that, Sinchon also has more department stores and is close to Ewha University and Yonsei University in case you'd like to tour the schools. I usually hang out in Sinchon with my friends after class is over due to the close proximity. It's always a fun place to be, especially on the weekends. They always hold some kind of festival or event on the weekends, which is a nice treat to those who live close by.
Eat Fried Chicken at the Han River
The Han River is the place to be during Spring and Summer. Nothing beats the heat than going to the river and soaking your feet (or body) into the recreation streams and small-scale pool they have next to the actual river. It is a wide spacious place where people come with mats they buy from Daiso or right by the river. People typically have food delivered to them at the river since there are many people that pass out flyers for you to call their business. If your Korean is not that good, you can buy chicken from a nearby business near the river. It's a lot of fun and a nice way to welcome you to Korea.
Nevertheless, there are so many more things to do in Korea, but these are some of the most popular things most people do once they arrive. Hope you enjoy your stay and make the most out of it!
Author: Ashley Beteta