07/19/2015 09:29 EDT | Updated 07/19/2016 05:59 EDT

How to Spend 24 Hours in Seoul



There's something magical about the East, and Seoul is no exception. Only have a day and night to spend in this dynamic city? Here are some 24-hour itinerary musts:

Stay: For a unique experience, stay in a hanok--a traditional wooden house with a small garden -- at WWOOF Korea Guesthouse, nestled between Gyeongbok Palace and the Bukchon Hanok Village. Looking for something a little more modern? Hotel PJ offers comfortable digs in downtown Seoul with a handy shuttle bus to popular spots.


See: Gyeongbokgung Palace can't be missed. Today, this 14th century royal structure includes a garden and museum but when it was first constructed, it boasted more than 500 buildings. Stroll through and spot the throne room, marvel at the impressive gates or spend a quiet moment by the pond. After, take a walk to the Bukchon Hanok Village to see traditional hanok houses. Head to the top of the hill for a great photo opp.


Shop: Visitors and locals alike flock to Myeongdong to get the best Korean beauty products, which are said to be years ahead of North American goods. Shop brands like Holika Holika, Etude House, Tony Moly, THEFACESHOP and more. Snap up some wildly popular face masks, sold in singles or packs of 100, that do everything from moisturize to even out your complexion. Bonus if you can get a mask with snail essence.


Snack: You can't leave Seoul without sampling the city's street food. Boiled or fried Mandu dumplings are filled with juicy ground pork or tofu. Deep-fried potatoes are spiraled on a skewer and then doused with powdered cheese. Want to rest your legs? Relax in a stylish or themed café. We recommend Cath's Café, kitschy and decked out in Cath Kidston florals. Curl up with a cup of honey grapefruit tea and indulge in a pastry.

Even on a stopover, Seoul's got soul. --Amanda Nunes


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