Travel Tuesday: Top 5 Things to do in Seoul in the Winter
As a southern California native, I'm not accustomed to the cold weather I've experienced since moving to Korea. Here are my recommendations for what to do on a cold day in Seoul, my new home.
1. Relax in a Unique Café in Hongdae
Seoul is filled to the brim with coffee shop chains. Instead of buying a warm beverage in one of the run-of-the-mill cafes, visit the Charlie Brown Café or Hello Kitty Café. These charming characters each have their own café devoted to them and are sure to warm you up, especially if you love Hello Kitty as much as I do. If you are an animal lover, take a visit to the Gio Cat Café or the Bau House (a dog café), where you can hang out with some furry friends. Lastly, head over to the Dr. Fish Café if you want to have the dead skin removed from your feet by little fishies after your latte.
2. Sing with Friends at a Noraebong
Karaoke is extremely popular in Korea and it is a fun activity to distract you from the uncomfortable, cold temperatures outside. Grab a few buddies and head to a 'singing room' to pretend to be rock stars!
3. Do as the Koreans do and Go Shopping
Shopping seems to almost be a sport in Korea. While there are many outdoor shopping destinations, I suggest wandering around the huge COEX Mall, a massive indoor shopping center, where visitors can catch a movie, have some lunch, shop, visit the aquarium or the kimchi museum, and most importantly, stay warm!
4. Relax at a Korean Spa (Jimjilbang).
For under ten bucks you can enjoy saunas and bathing pools with the locals. If you want to treat yourself, you can purchase special services like a massage or a scrub. Jimjilbangs are usually open 24-7, which means you can go in at the end of the day and actually spend the night sleeping on one of the napping mats.
5. Watch Korean Dramas
Koreans are obsessed with their TV dramas and you will be too after you've indulged in a few episodes. Don't be confused by the title 'drama', there is plenty of comedy in them. They are corny and addictive. I suggest starting out with the extremely popular Secret Garden drama.
This article was written by Danielle Koffler, who has traveled extensively in Asia and lives in Seoul, South Korea, where she teaches English.
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