Exchange Student Life, Korea, Seoul Life

First Few Days in Seoul

We spent a fun 2 days in Seoul before we left for a short trip to Jeju. Since we were going to live in Sinchon and the upper part of Seoul for 4 months, we decided to stay in Gangnam for a few days before school and this was the perfect timing to do it!

We stayed in JA COEX Guesthouse near Samseong Station (삼성역) Line 2. We were in a 6-bed mixed dormitory room. The host was really kind and the place was very clean and cozy. The room was not very expensive too! If you are interested, you can check out more details here. What I appreciate most about the place is that it is really near to the train station, making it really convenient.

Here are the places we went to in our first few days in Seoul:

1. Garosugil Street

It is a street lined with beautiful trees and branded stores. Some of the stores that we went to are the Skin Food Cafe and the Line store. We also ate Bingsu at Homibing (호미빙) to cool down since it was a really hot day when we went there.


To get there, go to Sinsa Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 8 and walk straight, until you see the street on the left. There is also a map for tourist once you start walking straight out of exit 8 on the right.

2. Banpo Bridge

We went to Banpo Bridge to see the rainbow fountain show, which is apparently the world’s longest bridge fountain. The show runs every half an hour and the start time depends on which season and day you come to visit. I will recommend you to come here at least once as it is really a good place to relax. The han river just looks very serene and calming.

Operating Hours
April-June, September-October
Weekdays: 12:00, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
Weekends: 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
Weekdays: 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
Weekends: 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00, 21:30

If you want to eat while watching the show, you can order Chimek (치맥, Chicken and Beer) from the uncle (you will recognise which uncle when you reach because he wears a bright yellow vest going around to visitors offering Chimek) when you arrive. We ordered 3 types of chicken (fried, sweet and sour, spicy and sweet flavour) with 3 litres of beer for 5 people.


There are many ways to get there. You can take train to Dongjak Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 1 or 2 or go to Express Bus Terminal Station (Seoul Subway Line 3,7 or 9), Exit 8-1. If you are going from the Express Bus Terminal Station, go straight for 250m once you exit the station and turn right at the Express Bus Terminal 4-way intersection. Continue going straight for 400m and cross the street at the crosswalk. Go straight through the underpass to arrive at the park. The easier way is to take Bus 405 or 8340 and get off at Banpo Hangang Park, this way you do not need to walk as far.

3. Bugak Skyway

This is a park on top of the Bugag mountain (Bugagsan) in Seoul. Up here you can find really nice view of Seoul and in summer, cooler weather up there! There is also a pavilion with a coffee shop in the park for you to chill after the hike.

To get there you can go to Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 3 and take Bus 0212, 1030 or 7022. Alight at Jahamun Gate (Changuimun Gate) Bus Stop and walk toward the trail head of the path to Bugaksan Mountain. The trail is about 3 km to the pavilion. Alternatively, just take a taxi from Gyeongbokgung Station (about 20min / 6km) or drive up if you have a car.

15 thoughts on “First Few Days in Seoul

  1. Love your blog, it has helped me so much before going to Yonsei for exchange this fall. Thank you!

    I have an obligatory orientation thing the 26th of August, but then ofcourse the classes doesn´t start until the 2nd of September. Do you know if there´s any other events I should stick around for or could I go to Japan and Jeju during this week? Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi! Glad it helped. Just take note that there may be some differences between now & back then when I went for exchange. From what I remembered, there wasn’t anything planned between orientation and the start of classes. However, you may need some time to settle your ARC (alien residence card) which is compulsory for those staying in korea for more than 90 days.

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