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Lindsey from Venice Beach asked

Things to do on a 20 hour layover?

I get in a 8pm on a Monday and leave at 4pm the following day.  Where is the best neighboor to find a quick/simple crash pad in the heart of the city?  I want to be immersed in the culture, have authentic food options, and ideally it would be all walkable despite their wonderful transportation system.  Thanks!


4 Answers
top answer by
Karla from Montreal

Hi Lindsey,

one of the best areas you can stay in Seoul is Gangnam-gu 

You can take the any airport limousine (luxury bus) straight from Incheon International Airport and head to the hotel for the night. 

I suggest Samjung Hotel which is right next to the Ritz Carlton & is half the price ;)

You will find excellent restaurants, nightclubs, shopping areas in the neighborhood. So you can spend some time there after settling in.

The following morning, you can take the subway and go north of the Han river to the most visited tourist attractions:  Gyeongbokgung Palace which is absolutely stunning.

Very close by is the most beautiful art street Insa-dong You will find arts & crafts and don't hesitate to go into nice tea houses! If you venture out into the tiny alleys, you will find traditional restaurants. You could try bibimbap (rice with vegetables served in a hot stone pot (dol sot) or just a regular bowl. It is quite an experience!

If you are a shoppaholic or want to go people watching, head over to  Myeongdong and you will find yourself in the middle of the heart of Seoul ;)

To admire the city below, there is  Namsan tower and trust me it will be unforgettable!

Now it may seem like a lot for such a stop over and even though you may be worn out, it is worthwhile.

You can take a shuttle bus to the airport from the major hotels anywhere in town, so give yourself at least an hour or two to get there (traffic in a city of 15 million can be difficult somedays).

Hope this helps you!

All the best,

K :)

Comments (2)

YES! This is exactly the info I needed about the city and good to know about the traffic. Do you think it's better to take public transportation to and from the airport? Frommers said there is no direct rail service from Incheon Airport to Seoul, which I'm flying in/out. But that the train service (AREX) connects Incheon to Gimpo Airport, where you can transfer to Seoul's subway. Which do you think is more time conservative? I'm mostly concerned with the following day. I would take a helicopter to the airport if it would mean I could spend more time in Seoul. ;)

Ah yes I forgot about AREX which connects ICN to Seoul Station and it takes about an hour. Well it depends how much luggage you will have with you. I said the bus because you won't worry about it & no crowds until you reach your destination. There are more stops on the train and gets pretty crowded as you approach DT Seoul. BTW do you know where you will stay or still looking? I found this great link for you: Where you have all the options from the airport and also the fees. If I were you I would get to my hotel at night, check-in, drop bags, refresh, then go for a nice walk around the area where you will be (nightlife in Seoul is incredible) maybe grab late dinner or snack! Then get a good night sleep and get ready to leave early the following morning (I think but you could you leave your luggage in storage until you are ready to head to the airport) to visit some of the sites I suggested. Yes you might have to squeeze as much as you can but hey, enjoy every minute of it! Ha ha taking a helicopter ride would be fabulous, never though of it :) Hope it works out P.S: You have to be at the airport a few hours before the flight right? Sorry, the responsible traveler in me remembered this!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Gangnam-gu (attraction)
  2. Incheon International Airport (hotel)
  3. Samjung Hotel (hotel)
  4. Gyeongbokgung (attraction)
  5. Insa-dong (attraction)
  6. Myeongdong (attraction)
  7. Namsan tower (attraction)
comments (2)
likes (5) thanks
answered by
Melissa from St. John's, Newfoundland

I'd actually recommend checking out one of the "theme motels" (aka love motels) near  Sinchon Station (not to be confused with Sincheon on the other side of town). I've stayed at a few of these places and the prices are usually really good (about $40-$125) and the amenities can be better than some tourist hotels. Don't let the name keep you away. FYI: these motels are located near most major train and bus stations.

Sinchon is also a great neighbourhood with restaurants and bars. Try the samgyeopsal at one of the bbq joints. If you want some shopping, check out  Myeongdong. I love all the cosmetics stores there. Speaking of shopping,  Namdaemun Market is also a crazy spot where you can buy almost anything.

A hike up  Namsan tower is a good idea to get an idea of the scope of the city.

If you don't want to be surrounded by Western ex-pats steer clear of  Itaewon-dong and  Haebangchon.

The two times I've visited I've taken a bus into the city. It was under $20 and took about 90 minutes. I just bought my ticket at the airport when I arrived.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sinchon Station (attraction)
  2. Myeongdong (attraction)
  3. Namdaemun Market (attraction)
  4. Namsan tower (attraction)
  5. Itaewon-dong (attraction)
  6. Haebangchon (attraction)
likes (3) thanks
answered by
JinHyuck from Insadong

Itaewon and nearby hongik-university!!

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Itaewon (attraction)
likes (1) thanks
answered first by
Karlo from Philippines

Find a place near Insadong. You'll find everything you mentioned there.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Insadong (neighborhood)

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