Jogyesa Buddhist Temple, the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.


Seoul is the capitol city of South Korea with a metropolitan population of 25.6 million people.  It contains a mix of ancient temples and palaces with highly modernized buildings and infrastructure.  There are many street food vendors, nightlife districts, shopping malls, and restaurants.  However, during my short two day stopover, I was only able to book an all day tour of Seoul.  Thankfully, Seoul has a robust tourism industry which provides ample amount of tour options.

For this trip I booked an all day tour using  Normally, I prefer to contact at least a dozen tour agencies and work out an itinerary and find the best deal.  However, in this instance I did not have time so I just chose a tour with the highest ratings.

Jogyesa Buddhist Temple

Places to Stay

Seoul has plenty of hotel options available for free hotels stays using hotel points.  For my trip I stayed at the Hyatt hotels but as you can see on, just about every major hotel chain is in Seoul.

Things to Do

My all day tour (8 hours) had the following Itinerary:

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • Changdeokgung Palace
  • National Folklore Museum
  • Jogyesa Buddhist Temple
  • Insadong Antique Market
  • Namdaemun Market
  • Ginseng Shop Tour
  • Drive by of the Blue House

Jogyesa Buddhist Temple

Jogyesa Buddhist Temple

Gyeongbokgung Palace built in 1395 by the Joseon Dynasty.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

National Palace Museum of Korea

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Blue House

Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Namdaemun “Great South Gate”

Whatever country I’m in, I always try to visit local markets to see all the various unique items and food products the local people purchase on a daily basis.

Namdaemun Market  

Other popular things to do in Seoul include:

  • Organized Pub Crawl
  • Bukhansan National Park
  • DMZ and JSA Panmunjom Tour
  • Bukchon Hanok Village
  • Food Tours


There are thousands of great places to eat in Seoul, so much so it is hard to choose where to eat.  For cities like this, I always try to do a food tour, however I was unable to book one on this trip.  Also, there is so much great street food so, trying some is a must.  My favorite meal was at a Korean BBQ place which has always been my favorite type of Korean food.

Great dish to eat to cure a hangover

Street Food in Seoul


In conclusion, Seoul, South Korea is the perfect place to tour on a stopover.  On a full day, its possible to visit a half dozen different ancient sites, stroll through markets, do some shopping, stuff your face with delicious food, and top it off with some great drinks at the end of the day at one of the thousands of bars in Seoul.  The robust tourism industry makes finding a hotel using points and booking tours a breeze.  The best part is how easy it is to plan and execute your trip with almost no planing required to have a great time.