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8 Best Things to do in Seoul for Families with Kids – From a Hanok Sleepover to an Alpaca Farm

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I remember my first winter in Seoul, when my parents brought me there years ago. It was unbelievably cold, but unbelievably beautiful as well. As a kid, it was an incredibly fun experience, and I loved the cold. Nothing, however, could compare to my first taste of Korean Barbecue; it was life-changing to say the least.

Seoul is undoubtedly one of the safest cities to travel for families. Whether you’re looking for fascinating history, local traditions or outdoor fun with cute animals, there are endless possibilities in this modern and stylish capital. This hypermodern city also has an extensive transport system that makes getting around superbly easy. We’ve rounded up 8 kid-friendly experiences to try on your next trip to Seoul for the chance to combine educational opportunities with straight-up fun.

1. Unique Stay in a Hanok

Seoul is a sprawling metropolis, with no lack of hotels and towering skyscrapers. You can be assured that there’s an abundance of family-friendly hotels that will be comfortable for the kids. But for a truly invigorating, fun and new accommodation experience for the family, there’s perhaps nothing better than staying at a traditional hanok.

Hanoks are Korean traditional houses, and one of the remaining ties back to the Joseon Dynasty. With serene gardens, wooden beams, and soaring eaves, a hanok presents a unique contrast to the modern-day hotel, allowing everyone to fully immerse in Korean culture. While these traditional houses can be centuries-old, those that have been converted into hotels and guesthomes have been refurbished and renovated to meet the accommodation standards of today, so you can expect a comfortable stay nonetheless.

There are several hanok villages across Seoul that you can choose from. If you have a chance to stay in a traditional Korean house, we’d highly recommend it. It’s something that promises to be new and different, a guarantee of great fun for the whole family, young or old.

2. Visit Bukchon Hanok Village and Gyeongbokgung Palace Dressed in Traditional Costumes

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비가 오는 하루였어요(였나봐요 사실 자서 몰라요?)☔️ . . 오랜만에 학회 과제 하나 말고는 아무것도 없는 날이라서 오후 5시에 기상하는? 매우 여유로운 하루를 보냈어요ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ 눈 뜨고 보니 비가 왔더라구요! 지난 일요일에는 비가 와서 고대하던 행사가 취소됐지만 경복궁에서 한복여행가 분들과 빗속촬영을 했고, 이번주 일요일에는 이불 속에서 행복한 날을 보냈어요☺️? . . 여러분의 비오는 일요일은 어떤 하루였나요?? 우울하기만 한 하루는 아니었으면 좋겠어요✨ . . . . . . GYEONGBOKGUNG, SEOUL (2019.11) 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ ??_ #경복궁 #국립민속박물관 옆 #추억의거리 ?_ @yojin98 HANBOK_ MY DESIGN

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Part of the beauty and charm of Seoul is its blend of modernity and tradition.

Beyond the grey and steel of skyscrapers are the rich and colourful historical monuments interspersed throughout the city that relay the history of Korea. Before Korea was known as the technological giant and Kpop nation it is today, society was vastly different with ruling dynasties not unlike Japan and China.

The Bukchon Hanok Village and the Gyeongbokgung Palace may be two of the few historical landmarks still standing in Seoul that remind us of a time when kings ruled the lands and palaces served as the central seat of power. Both historical landmarks date back to the 14th century Joseon Dynasty serving as important locales for the ruling elites, so their collective history is not one to be glossed over.

It’s one thing to visit these historically significant sites, but it’s another to explore them while wearing the traditional hanbok costumes. It’ll be the perfect chance to dress up the entire family and have some fun while soaking in the beautiful historical architecture and surrounding neighbourhoods of Bukchon Hanok Village and Gyeongbokgung Palace. Wearing the hanbok will also grant you free entries and certain discounts at various attractions, and you definitely do not want to miss out on those!

I remember leaving Seoul the last time with a little tinge of regret as I didn’t get the chance to wear the traditional hanboks. So, if you are able to, take it a step further and explore these historical landmarks in your hanboks for a fuller and richer experience.

And hey, it’s also a perfect chance for a photo-op to capture some truly wonderful and memorable moments which you’ll remember for years to come.

3. Catch the World Famous Myeongdong NANTA Show

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Сегодня был предельно насыщенный день. Хотя мы не вышагивали 20 километров. Этот день был посвящён душе и телу. Про второе позже. Сегодня в первой половине дня мы побывали на театрализованном кулинарном представлении Нанта. Всем, кто планирует посещение Сеула дольше, чем на пару дней, советую запланировать поход в этот театр. Посмеётесь от души, зарядитесь хорошим настроением, услышите живую музыку кухонной твари и и не только? корейцы-актёры этого театра такие зажигалочки???

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I’d recommend without hesitation for anyone who is a first timer to Seoul to check out the Myeongdong NANTA Show.

Within the setting of a kitchen, the NANTA performance explores Korea’s culinary heritage through music, showcasing a blend of contemporary music along with the rhythms of traditional Korean folk music.

Much in the same way non-verbal comedy that has been popularised by Mr Bean and Charlie Chaplin in the West, the brilliance of the NANTA Show is its ability to transcend any language barrier to entertain the crowd. It doesn’t matter if you can’t speak or understand Korean, this is one comedy show in Korea that you’ll enjoy.

An enthralling and exciting performance from start to finish, the NANTA Show will draw laughter and applause from the oldest to the youngest in the family.

4. Have Fun at the Alpaca World and Lotte World

Well, at the end of the day, we all know that kids just want to have fun and play so it’s certainly a blessing that Korea offers a bevy of theme parks for you to choose from. From the famed Lotte World to Seoul Land, there are numerous theme parks and attractions across Korea.

Lotte World truly needs no introduction. Perhaps the number one theme park of Korea, it’s essentially Korea’s answer to Disneyland. Boasting the largest indoor theme park in the world along with a sizeable outdoor “Magic Island” area, Lotte World will have the kids jumping with excitement for the entire day.

If they are into cute furry animals (honestly, who isn’t) and more outdoor fun however, Alpaca World may be the dream theme park you never knew you needed. Located on one of the largest experience farms in Korea spanning some 110,000 square feet, Alpaca World has free roaming alpacas that you can feed and interact with. They are docile and friendly, so you don’t have to worry about them biting.

Of course, there are more theme parks available, but we’d recommend Alpaca World and Lotte World as both tend to be more toddler friendly than others.

Also, have you seen how cute the alpacas are?

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5. Take A Day Trip to Pocheon – Pocheon Herb Island and Pocheon Art Valley

Northeast of Seoul lies the Gyeonggi Province where the city of Pocheon resides. Relatively unknown by most travellers to Korea, Pocheon offers a nice change of pace to the electric speed of the capital of Seoul, and is a great choice for a nice day trip.

Two highlights would undoubtedly be the Pocheon Herb Island and the Poncheon Art Valley. The former is a picturesque theme park hidden in the mountainous areas of Pocheon. Herb Island is best described as a mishmash of various themes from old Korean villages to Santa Village, a Venezian-inspired canal, and a botanic herb garden and museum.

As for the Poncheon Art Valley, think a quarry that has since undergone an environment restoration project, turning the area into a culture and arts space. Museums act as the perfect pitstops for the kids as you explore the scenic nature the valley has to offer. Fans of K-drama will recognise the iconic quarry backdrop from shows such as the The Legend of the Blue Sea and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo.

6. Take a Day Tour Out to Gapyeong – Nami Island, Petite France, and the Garden of Morning Calm

It seems that Nami Island has cemented itself as one of the top places to visit when in Seoul. From humble island to being the set of famed Korean drama Winter Sonata, Nami Island is undisputedly a must-visit for many people when they travel to Seoul, especially if it’s their first time.

While a self-planned trip is entirely possible, there are all-inclusive tours that are available, allowing you to see and explore so much of Gapyeong sans the stress of planning. These tours will bring you to the signature Nami Island, the picturesque town of Petite France (a French-inspired village), and the serene and beautiful landscape of the Garden of Morning Calm, touted to be one of the 50 most beautiful places in Korea.

Each attraction will sure be sure to amaze everyone in the family and a day tour out to Gapyeong is highly recommended to see these iconic spots, with all having been filming locations for various shows.

7. Get Expansive Views of Seoul Atop the Iconic N Seoul Tower

The N Seoul Tower is perhaps one of Seoul’s most iconic landmark, and one of the top tourist attractions. Built on the highest point of Mount Namsan, there’s truly no better vantage point overlooking the city of Seoul than here.

Aside from the panoramic view you get of the city, many who visit the tower are drawn by the “love lock trees”. Inspired by, no doubt, and answer to Paris’ Pont Neuf Bridge, many couples flock here to padlock their love in hopes that it will remain forever.

With a 360° view of Seoul along with cafes, restaurants, and various attractions, even the kids won’t find themselves being bored at one of Seoul’s top attractions.

8. Try Local Food at Gwangjang Market

One of the ways to understand a country’s culture is through its food, and one of the best ways to understand a culture’s food is through its local markets.

One of the most popular markets in Seoul, the Gwangjang Market warrants an early rise to experience the vibrant bustle that takes place every morning. A traditional market that was established in 1905, Gwangjang Market has retained all its allure and activity. Walking through the market makes one forget that outside are futuristic skyscrapers.

The market has since evolved to sell a host of various goods and products from clothes to fresh vegetables, and prepared food. You’ll be able to find anything from kimbap to tteokbokki, and everything in between.

If you’re looking for a place that contains all of Seoul’s heavenly street food, Gwangjang Market is where you’ll want to go.

Discoverist Special: Enjoy Changi Recommends WiFi Router rental at just $3.50/day (U.P. $5) in Korea! Simply enter KTOWIFI during checkout. *Terms and conditions apply.

*Terms and conditions for KTOWIFI promotion

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  • Travel period – 1 Dec 2019 to 31 May 2020
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