07:40 Palace tour
The day starts early at Gyeonghuigung Palace, as visitors arrive to see one of Seoul’s most renowned landmarks. During Korea’s Joseon period, the palace was the king’s second home.
It may be a teeming metropolis, but Seoul’s 11km Cheonggyecheon Stream, which leads all the way into town and is a popular route for morning commuters, provides cool respite from the craziness.
Come lunch time, Gwangjang Market fills up with locals seeking Korean fare. Try some pajeon pancake, jokbal – pig’s trotters – or for the brave, san-nakji – raw, still-twitching octopus tentacles.
Once the post-lunch slump has passed, you’re ready to comb through the accessories, clothing and tasty treats at Common Ground, Seoul’s trendy container market.
It’s quite obvious why Dongdaemun Design Plaza is Seoul’s most Instagrammed landmark. Come afternoon, the Zaha Hadid-designed space is the place to digest the city’s unique street style.
The moutains that surround Seoul provide a calming backdrop that’s all the more necessary as the city’s notorious traffic starts to build up on the roads.
Korea loves its coffee and Reissue Coffee Shop in Yeonnam-dong is the coolest spot in town to take in a caffeine hit and soak up some rockabilly vibes.
For a quiet moment and a deep breath, head to Bongeunsa temple to walk among the monks and enjoy the beauty of the ancient architecture.
As the light begins to fade, Seoul’s denizens head to Gyeongui-Jungang Line Park, to kick off the evening with street food and the sounds of street musicians.
The always-bustling Hongdae Shopping Street is particularly busy come evening as stores spill out onto the pavement.
No trip to Korea is complete without visiting one of the many karaoke rooms. For a total K-pop experience, try Su Noraebang.
With walls filled with LPs, and neon lighting the bar, Gopchang Jeongol is a late-night oasis where you can spend the hours before dawn listening to Korean pop hits of the past.