1) Seoul Metro transit system. My routine would normally be take the bus to Gyeongbokgung station and take the subway. Typical travel time would be 30-45 min to get you where you need to go to most places but can take an hour or more depending upon distance and waiting on the train. Also, it can take a few minutes to transfer to different lines because you have to walk awhile to get there and then there’s stairs and crowds.
2) Korean traditional style food and teahouse. I ate a lot of good food and tried traditional style dishes about 3 times or so. I still prefer K-BBQ but the tea house at Kyeung in in Insadong was a pleasant experience.
3) Partied in Hongdae til 6am. I made new random friends. Theres so much nightlife but Thursday Party, Cocky Pub, Club FF and Mike’s Cabin were foreigner friendly and tons of fun. You just need an ID or passport. I always used my US passport card.
4) Korean war museum (Free). You need a good 3-4 hours because it’s very comprehensive. I got to learn a lot about not only the Korean War but prior to that as well.
5) Train to Busan. The KTX which takes you from Seoul Station to Busan Station takes 2 hrs; 45 min and makes like 4 stops along the way. Costs like W54,000 one way. I recommend the Yongungsa Temple (Free) and the BUTI bus tour W15,000.
6) About over a year ago, I met a Korean waitress at a restaurant in DC. I talked with her for a bit and thought she was really cool so I got her contact info. Fast forward to my time in Korea, I end up going out for someone’s going away dinner and connected with a Korean girl there who is coincidentally the best friend of the Korean waitress I met in DC over a year ago. She moved back to Korea and I ended up reuniting with her again in Seoul! Reminds you that it’s a small world!
7) I went to two Korean music festivals: Greenplugged Seoul Festival in Nanji Han River Park and the Seoul Jazz Festival in Olympic Park. I got to see my favorite Hip-Hop and R&B artists such as Jay Park, Dean, Crush, Zion.T and Zico.
8) Inwangsan Mountain. I went hiking on the mountain a few days while in Seoul and it gives you a great scenic view of Seoul from the top. Don’t forget your camera!
9) Shopping in Seoul. You goto Insadong for art and antique souvenirs such as name stamps and handmade bags while you goto Dongdaemun for expensive and cheap fashionable clothes. Sellers in Dongdaemun malls can be more aggressive in getting you to buy their stuff. Itaewon has pretty cheap leather stores and a lambskin jacket can run you $250.
10) Met Talk To Me in Korean’s host and founder, Hyunwoo. I’ve spent many hours listening to their podcasts, watching their Youtube videos and studying from their lessons. With this, I was able to practice my Korean with local people. Although, I still struggle with listening comprehension and pronouncing certain things, it was nice exposure and only motivates me more to become fluent.