World on a Budget: Seoul
Seoul is probably one of the most sought after destinations in Asia. It happens to be the capital city and the largest metropolitan city of South Korea. Word has it that you’ll need quite a lot in your pocket in order to truly enjoy the city, but that’s not the case. There are actually free things you can do in Seoul that will let you experience the culture of the city and more.
The city offers free walking tours of some of the best tourist attractions Seoul is known for. You won’t get shoddy service either. The tour guides are professional and can offer tours in English, Korean, Chinese, or Japanese. Take your pick.
Shuttle Bus Rides to Jeonju
The city itself isn’t the only attraction in South Korea. It is also near many other great destinations that warrant your attention. If you don’t have the budget to go area hopping, you can hop on the free shuttle bus rides from the city to Jeonju. This is in coordination with the Visit Korea Committee but is only available for foreign visitors. Their pick up points are at Gwanghwamun and you’ll need to take your passport with you. You also need to book 10 days before, but that’s a minor detail you won’t miss for a free transport in exchange.
Free Concierge Services
One thing you’ll definitely be grateful for when vacationing in Seoul is its free concierge service. If you need any information or tips about a restaurant to visit, directions, or anything along those lines simply dial 1330 from any phone. There will be operators to pick up your call and answer your queries. If you’re a foreigner living in Seoul, you can enjoy this service too.
Free Phone Calls
Speaking of making phone calls for assistance, if you don’t have a phone with you, you don’t have to go into panic mode. All you need to do is to go any major subway station in the city and pick up the designated phones to dial.
Free Korean Lessons
If you’re only going to be in the city for a short time, it’s doubtful you’ll find this service of much use. But, if you’re staying for quite a while, then you’ll most likely want to sign up for a service. There are Korean lessons totally for free given in a classroom setting. These classes are run by volunteers and are taught by professional teachers sometimes. This will definitely be helpful so you can communicate a lot easier and find your way in the best places in Seoul.
Free Goodies in Myeongdong
Shopping is always part of a tourist’s list of things to do. If you’re strapped for spending money, it shouldn’t stop you from getting wonderful loot – especially make up! To get your hands on one, simply visit Myeongdong. Myeongdong is one of the primary shopping districts in the city and millions of people flock to this play a year. If you’re a fan of make-up some stores give you freebies just for looking into their products.
The Olympic Park
If you have the energy to walk for quite a distance, you might as well go to the Olympic Park. It is a 2,000,000 square meters worth of space. There are a lot of open spaces and trees so you can relax pretty easily here. There are some sporting arenas that are still in use that you can visit. While in the area, you should also visit the Olympic Museum to catch up on some interesting facts. If you have a set of wheels or know where you can borrow one, you might want to bring it along with you on a visit to the Olympic Park.
For a taste of Seoul’s culture, the Baedari Brewery is a good place to visit. Here you can find out how they make magkeolli or milky rice beer. The brewery opening in 1915 and is still up to this day. There are no free samples, but you can buy some Korean food that will go perfectly with the makgeolli if you have the budget to spare.
BK Plastic Surgery Museum
Korea is known for the value they put into aesthetics and a good place to learn about it is the BK Plastic Surgery Museum. It’s kind of a weird place to visit but you’ll leave the place not regretting it one bit. There are even breast implants you can get your hands on just to get the feel of what it will feel like to have bigger or smaller breasts.
Street Arts in Hongdae
Hongdae is the Hongik University Neighborhood and beckons to the young and hip tourist. While the clubs may not be free of charge, there are a lot of street arts to be found in the neighborhood. Strike your best blogger pose on any of these walls and it’ll be a keepsake to treasure… and boast with your friends.
Declare your love for one another (if you’re traveling with a partner that is) in the Namsan Tower. It’s not exactly free because you have to spend for the cable car going up to the top. But, you can always do that in the ground and take an awesome selfie with your partner as a substitute instead.