04 Jan Seoul Itinerary
Note: This post is part of our full Korea Adoption: Guide to Seoul.
Seoul is a bustling, exciting city with so many things to do and see and experience! And I’ve heard the rest of South Korea, if you get a chance to explore outside of Seoul, is just as amazing. Many families choose to travel to the province in which their kiddo was born, so if that’s important to you, be sure to include that in your own itinerary. You won’t see it listed in ours, only because the province where Gideon was born is actually the same province where he lived with his foster parents, so we were able to see both with the same visit!
It was really important to both Brian and me that we soaked up as much of the Korean culture as possible, so much of our trip revolved around palaces, museums, and markets. That also means we walked whenever possible so we could experience the little side streets and alleys that make Seoul even more lovely. Our days were filled from the time jetlag woke us up at 5:30 a.m. until the time the night markets and shops started to close for the day. Even still, we wished we had even more time in Seoul! Because some of you may be able to explore a little more than we did once you have your babies in your arms, I’ve also included some kid-friendly ideas we’ve gathered from other families below our own itinerary.
I really, really had to convince myself not to bold every single item on our list (because I would honestly recommend literally all the places we went), but I’ve bolded some of our very favorite sites and the ones we’d recommend most.
Seoul: Day 1
Note: You can read all of day 1 HERE.
- Myeongdong District: Shops + Exploring
- Gwangjang Market
- Gyeongbokgung Palace
- Bukchon Hanok Village: Shops + Exploring
- Insadong: Shops + Exploring
- Jongno District: Jonggak Avenue of Youth
Seoul: Day 2
Note: You can read all of day 2 HERE.
- Gangnam District
- SWS: First Visit with Gideon!
- Insadong: Korean BBQ
Seoul: Day 3
Note: You can read all of day 3 HERE.
- SWS: Second Visit with Gideon!
- Lotte World
- Hongdae/Hongik University District: All-you-can-eat Korean BBQ + Sulbing
Seoul: Day 4
Note: You can read all of day 4 HERE.
- SWS: Seoul Family Court
- Namdaemun Market
- Bukchon Traditional Culture Center
- Jongno District: Korean fried chicken
Seoul: Day 5
Note: You can read all of day 5 HERE.
- Itaewon: International Clinic
- Namsan Seoul Tower
- Myeongdong Night Market
We didn’t explore much on trip 2, as Gideon was too anxious to leave our hotel room most days. But we did see a few notable sites!
- Hongdae/Hongik University District: Trick Eye Museum
- Hongdae/Hongik University District: Meerkat Friends Cafe
- Jubilee Church in Gangnam
- Family Photoshoot at Gyeongbokgung Palace
Again, we didn’t explore much with Gideon, but below are a few kid-friendly recommendations from other adoptive families with kiddos!
- Children’s Museum of National Museum of Korea: Allows children to experience Korean culture and folk history in an interactive way.
- Children’s Grand Park Seoul: Lots of activities for kids, including a zoo, botanical garden, amusement rides, and diverse performance events.
- Seoul Children’s Museum: Offers various cultural activities, as well as arts and science programs.
- Lotte World Adventure: Largest indoor amusement park in the world.
- Pororo Park in Lotte World Jamsil: Pororo-themed playground and kids’ café inside Lotte World.
- Pororo Park in D-Cube city: Another Pororo-themed playground with activities like a Pororo train and ball pit.
- Everland Amusement Park: Largest amusement park in Korea. Includes a zoo and water park.
- Coex Mall Aquarium: Houses 40,000 sea creatures, including the most sharks and largest varity of species in Korea.
- Namsangol Folk Village: Particularly recommended by other families is the Taekwondo demonstration.
- Gwacheon National Science Museum: Interactive science exhibits; also nearby are the planetarium, observatory, and insect ecosystem center.
- Doosan Bears Game at Jamsil stadium. Note: Need to arrive around 2 hours early to buy tickets.
- Vaunce Kids Cafe (Banpo): Trampoline park.
- Hangang River Park: Outdoor park with lovely paths to walk, jog, or bicycle, as well as soccer fields and basketball courts.
- Legend Heroes: Virtual sports center.