The Seoul attractions are Gyeongbokgung and Changeokgung palace and Bukchon village. It's good to combine these three in one day in the order mentioned. Start at Gyeongbokgung stop (exit 5). From here you can view the palace and possibly the associated museum. It is advisable to explore the palace grounds in all directions. Certainly, if you go further into the park, the number of (Korean) tourists becomes less and you will encounter a few gems of temples. Entrance to the palace is 3000 won (+/- € 2.40). From the palace, at the folk museum turn right to explore Bukchon village from here. Not only are there streets with traditional Hanok houses, but there are numerous shops, coffee tents and good (local) restaurants. So you can enjoy delicious dumplings, noodle soup or Korean barbecue during lunch. Ultimately, you'll come across the streets at the Changeokgung Palace. Here too the entrance is 3000 won + 1000 won to see the actual palace. Definitely worth it! Especially in autumn (late oct / early nov) when the trees are orange and red colors or in spring during the blossom (late April / early May).
Bosingak is a large bell pavilion on Jongno in Seoul, South Korea. The program of bell ringing ceremony takes place at noon daily (except Tuesdays) and gives locals and international visitors the experience of ringing the bell 12 times. The program is run regularly and foreigners can also participate in the special program without the need to register. Foreign visitors can come before 11:40 a.m. and apply on-site at Bosingak Belfry, where participants will be able to experience a bit of Korean culture through the ceremony. The bell was named Bosingak Bell in 1895 during the 32nd year of King Gojong. The belfry was originally called Jongnu (bell pavilion). A special program called ‘Showing Love for Cultural Assets’ is held on the second and fourth Saturday of the every month. The program is available only to student volunteers. It involves cleaning the area around Bosingak Belfry and participating in a history lesson regarding Bosingak Bell and the bell-ringing program. Foreign visitors may participate in the program on Tuesdays but you may need to pre-register. If you want to see the new year's eve bell ringing ceremony then visit in December, bell ringing ceremony take place on December 31, 2014 – January 1, 2015 (23:30 – 00:30), It is recommended to take public transportation as there will be road closures during the event. the bell-ringing ceremony ushers in the New Year by ringing the bell 33 times at the stroke of midnight.
Jeonju Hanok Village
Day 7: Onward to Jeonju! The city that brought you BibimbapLocated 1.5hours by KTX from Seoul, Jeonju is also known as a foodie city. In just Jeonju Hanok Village (Jeonju Hanok Maeul) alone, we were able to sample so much unique, and delicious food. Jeonju Hanok Village is made up of more than 800 traditional Korean houses (hanok), which makes it the largest hanok village in Korea. The hanoks have been converted to homestays, restaurants, shops, and museums. We stayed in one, and it was a wonderful experience. All the floors are heated, which makes it a blessing in the winter. Sleeping on the floor was comfortable and not difficult to get used to.
Sungnyemun Gate (Namdaemun Gate)
Any reference to Seoul would remain incomplete without the mention of its diversified cultural heritage and treasures. As you'd probably know, most original Korean artifacts were either destroyed or burned by the Japanese and the Chinese. Few that are left survive to tell the tale of Korea's long-lost and stark history. Sungnyemun or "the Gate of Exalted Ceremonies," which was built by the King Taejo during the Chosun dynasty, stood tall as the front gate of the capital. The locals still refer to it as the symbol of Seoul. Imagine how distressing it must've been for them to see the gate burn in front of their eyes.
Day 4: The Secret Garden & InsadongChangdeokgung Palace was the 2nd most important palace in Joseon times, and according to the palace brochure, loved more than any of the other palaces because of its huge garden in the palace grounds. Well, after visiting, I can see why. This garden, known as the Secret Garden (or, Huwon) takes up 2/3 of the entire palace, and was used by the royal family for relaxation, hunting, other outdoor activities and creative pursuits like poetry writing. I would totally chill in this palace. The garden is spacious, beautiful, and peaceful. The trees kind of shade you from what's outside. The secret garden is named as such not because it's a secret, but it refers more to it being "private", since only the royal family and their personal servants were allowed inside. The pictures below are all parts of the secret garden.