Seoul was so much fun I've been twice within the last 6 months! I would say in all of Asia it has some of the best and affordable shopping, tons of great food, and a youthful and lively energy to the city. Also Korean skin is on another level. I've never been to a city where everyones skin was literally glowing and glistening... I was in awe. I left the Seoul with a total Korean makeover, a suitcase full of super cute clothes, and lots of great skincare.
To and From Airport:
The more cost-efficient options are the train and bus but they drop you off at different designated areas and you will have to find your hotel. Since wandering around looking for our hotel with luggage wasn’t ideal we decided to book a taxi upon arrival. In the Arrivals Hall of Terminal 1 counter no.23 we booked an International taxi for about $50-60 USD one way (flat fare, no additional luggage/toll fees, and English-speaking driver). I believe you can catch a taxi outside of the airport but its metered and they might not speak English and charge extra for luggage and tolls so I found it easier to just book the taxi inside the airport. Our driver was really nice so we asked him for his card and set up hotel pick up to take us to the airport before we left.
If you have bigger groups its cheaper to get to and from the airport. My second trip to Seoul was a group of 5 so I set up pick up and drop off using Black Link which was great. It cost $30 per person roundtrip with a private van for all of us and our luggage. The driver was waiting for us outside the arrival hall once we arrived, walked us to the van, and dropped us off directly at the hotel.
Where to Stay:
Both my trips to Seoul were short 3 day trips so we only had time for Myeongdong and Hongdae. Myeong dong was great for tons of skincare/makeup/name brand shopping and Hongdae was great for more affordable boutique-ish clothing shopping/accessories/souvenirs (I found it to be a little cheaper than Myeongdong also). Hongdae is also close to the university so it’s a poppin area with lots of youngsters hanging, street performers, and lots of good food options. Our first trip we stayed in Myeongdong and would take 10-15 min taxi rides to Hongdae (cost about $10usd each way). Since I preferred Hongdae my second trip we stayed in Hongdae and only spent a day in Myeongdong.
Address: 24, Supyo-ro, Jung-gu, Jung-Gu, Seoul
This hotel ended up being a nice location 10-minute walk from the shopping area. It was on a quieter street with a couple café’s in walking distance. The staff was helpful and the rooms were good size and really clean. Definitely would stay here for the price and convenience.
Address: 31 World cup buk-ro, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Great location about a 5-minute 2-3 block walk from the main shopping street in Hongdae. The hotel was really clean, staff was helpful/pleasant, and would definitely stay here again. We ended up having their lunch buffet before we left for the airport our last day and for $16USD it was a really good buffet with tasty options like sushi, pasta, bimbimbop, desserts, and etc. Great deal!
Where to Eat:
For Breakfast we would just get pastries/carb load at Paris Baguette since it was quick & easy option close to both hotels we stayed at. For lunch we snacked on all the street food options both areas offered.