Budget Travel Guide

Budget Travel Guide

Seoul Budget Travel Guide: JONGNO-GU

Gwanghwamun

Seoul is one of the best destinations to visit for first-time travelers in South Korea. But finding a specific area to stay can be a challenge given the wealth of attractions located in the city itself. If you want to make the most of your first trip to Seoul, staying in Jongno district will set you off to a good start. Jongno-gu has a high concentration of interesting sites with some only a walking distance away from each other.

From Incheon International Airport to Jongno-gu
Traveling from Incheon International Airport to Seoul is easy. There are three options available for travelers – by bus, taxi, or train. Taking the bus is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get to Jongno-gu in Seoul. Here are some of the things you need to know:

  • Exit airport from Gate 5B or 12A
  • Take Bus 6002
  • Fare: ₩10,000

Where to stay
Jongno-gu is a popular tourist district so there are plenty of accommodations to choose from. There are many backpackers’ inn and hostels as well as mid-range to high-end hotels around the area. There are also numerous options you can find on Airbnb. Many of the hostels are new, well-appointed, and located near the bus and subway stations.

Where to eat
There is no dearth of dining options around Jongno-gu. There are many local and international chain restaurants to choose from as well as street food vendors that sell delicious Korean dishes and treats at very affordable prices.

Attractions around or near Jongno-gu you can enjoy for free or for cheap

Bukchon Hanok Village
Why visit: A village famous for its hanok or traditional houses
Admission: Free
Location: Gye-dong, Jongno-gu
Nearest subway stop: Anguk Station (Line 3, Exit 1 or 2)

Gwanghwamun Square
Why visit: Public square that offers scenic views of Gwanghwamun, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and Bukaksan Mountain. You can also find the Statue of King Sejong the Great and the Statue of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin. Located nearby is the Cheonggyecheon Stream.
Admission: Free
Location: 1-68 Sejongno, Jongno-gu
Nearest subway stop: City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 & 2), Exit 3; Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6 & 7; Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 1, 2 & 8.

Cheonggyecheon Stream
Why visit: Enjoy a relaxing public recreation space which is part of the over 10-kilometer long stream.
Admission: Free
Location: Cheonggyecheon-ro, Sangwangsimni-dong, Jongno-gu
Nearest subway stop: City Hall, Jonggak, Jongno 3(sam)-ga, Jongno 5(o)-ga, Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 3 and 5); Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5)

Gyeongbokgung Palace
Why visit: One of the most famous palaces in Seoul
Admission: Children (ages 7-18): ₩1,500, Adults (ages 19-64): ₩3,000
Location: 161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu
Nearest subway stops: Gyeongbokgung Palace (Line 3, Exit 5)

Gwangjang Market
Why visit: Traditional market that dates back to 1905. Visit for the food.
Admission: Free
Location: 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu
Nearest subway stop: Jongno 5-ga Station (Line 1, Exit 8); Euljiro 4-ga Station (Lines 2 or 5, Exit 4)

Insa-dong
Why visit: An artsy and culture-rich neighborhood with many traditional arts and crafts stores, cafes, and restaurants.
Admission: Free
Location: 62, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu
Nearest subway stop: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.

Myeong-dong
Why visit: Popular shopping destination with many bars, cafes, and restaurants
Admission: Free
Location: Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu
Nearest subway stop: Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exits 5, 6, 7 & 8