The Top 15 Places to go on a Date in Seoul
By: Jenny MaxwellSeoul is full of interesting and unique places to go on a date, places you probably wouldn’t go anywhere else in the world. With so many options to choose from, I’ve narrowed down the list to the top 15 places to go and how to get there.
The (Almost) Free Date
- Cherry Blossom Festival
Ah, cherry blossoms! Who doesn’t like cherry blossoms?! With all their being pink and romantic looking, it’s the perfect place to take a date for a wander. The only problem is, you can only go once a year, in mid-April, if the weather is on your side. One of the best places to see the cherry blossoms is during the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival. With over 1,500 cherry blossom trees creating a canopy of pink around the island, Yeouido becomes a cocoon of pink flowers and blossoms. The streets are lined with vendors and there are musical performances to watch and enjoy. It can get a little crowded though so if sharing your date with crowds of people isn’t your thing, check out the Children’s Grand Park (below) which is filled with cherry blossom trees, colorful spring flowers and a zoo, if the flowers get too much for you.
Directions: Yeouinaru Station, Line 5, Exit 1
- Han River
A stroll along the Han River, a picnic by the lapping water with a blanket and some drinks, what more could you ask for? Well, if that’s not enough, try duck boating. Don a lifejacket, hop in a duck shaped pedal boat and take your date for a spin around the river. Be careful not to crash into any other ducks along the way. A lesson in working together if anything! My boyfriend and I were useless. Our duck went in circles some of the time and then we crashed into a family nearby…we didn’t tip over though so I’d call it a win.
If you don’t like the water, try biking. Rent a bike, hit the pathway and go exploring along the river. Check out the restaurants and abundance of convenience stores along the way and wave to the people in the cruise boat chugging along in the water…or the other duck boaters.
Bike Rental: 3,000won per hour
Duck Boats: 15,000won per 45 minutes (includes life-jacket)
Directions: Ttukseom Park Station, Line 7, Exit 2 or 4
- Cheonggyecheon Stream
How about a meander along ‘Seoul’s Pristine Stream’? Flowing through the heart of Seoul, this stream starts at City Hall and flows for 5.8km past some amazing places. On your walk you’ll pass Insa-dong, a host of stone bridges for you to show off your balance skills on, Gwangjang Market and Dongdaemun Market. Dotted with cafés along the way and situated just below street level so it feels like you’re in a world of your own, I highly recommend this place for a way to cool down on a hot summer’s day.
Directions: City Hall Station, Line 1, Exit 1
- Children’s Grand Park
Situated right next to a subway exit, this hard-to-miss park boasts a plethora of things to do on a date. It contains a small zoo, a Music Fountain complete with a musical water and lights show, an amusement park, tennis courts, and a botanical garden. There’s even a water playground for kids, where you can watch small children run around on water in giant hamster balls if you’re so inclined. When all the walking around gets a bit too much for you, there are ample picnic areas to sit, eat and lounge around. While there, you can also check out the famous merry-go-round from the Gangnam Style music video.
Directions: Children’s Grand Park Station, Line 7, Exit 1
- Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain
It’s a fountain coming out of a bridge. In fact, it’s the longest bridge fountain in the world! With over 380 water jets and 200 colorful lights, this spectacle is sure to impress any date. Timed to music and full of color and life, this really is a must-see for anyone living in Seoul, be it on a date or not. Best to see it at night as the accompanying light show is fantastic. After watching the show, how about a coffee at one of the riverside cafés overlooking the water? If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get to see the next show.
Check out their website for the times of shows as they change throughout the year.
Directions: Donjak Station, Line 4, Exit 1 or 2
The Adventurous Date
- Lotte World
Recently, I went to Lotte World. Plonked in the center of Seoul, this half indoor / half outdoor amusement park is the perfect place for adventure on a winter’s day. Inside boasts a rollarcoaster, bumper cars, restaurants, one of those pirate swing ship things (you know them) and four floors of entertainment. Outside they have another rollarcoaster, a gyro drop, a gyro swing (when you see it, you’ll know why I didn’t get on it), a haunted house and a magic castle that looks suspiciously like another magic castle we all know and love…
Tickets are 40,000 for adults BUT my boyfriend and I went during the week of White Day (like Valentine’s day but in March), and tickets were only 52,000 for a couple. They always have promotions going on so check out their website before you go.
Directions: Jamsil Station, Line 2, Exit 4
How about trying your hand (or feet, rather) at some ice-skating? Korea has a bunch of ice-skating options in the wintertime, the most popular of which is the Seoul Square Ice-Skating Rink. Set up on Seoul Plaza, this giant ice-rink is open from December to February each year and hosts numerous shows and performances on the ice. At 1,000won per hour including skate rental and open from 10am-10pm most days, there really is no excuse for not going. Other ice-skating options include the Grand Hyatt Ice-Rink (open Dec-Jan) and the Lotte World Ice-Rink (open all year round).
Directions: City Hall Station, Line 1, Exit 6
- Seoul Racecourse Park
Dating and gambling, the two just go hand in hand…right? On one of our first dates, my boyfriend and I hit the race track and I taught him how to bet on horses. No judging, I worked in a bookies in my early twenties. Also, I’m Irish. I feel like that should be explanation enough.
Once inside, head to the 4th floor information desk where you can pick up a form guide in English and then head on out to the track and pick your horses. I base my horse picks on their names. This is not a good way to pick horses.
The grandstands also have a variety of restaurants to choose from such as a Chinese restaurant and a Korean Buffet. There’s also a family area where you can get coffee, snacks and ice-cream. No alcohol is allowed to be sold or brought onto the premises and smoking is banned in all buildings.
Directions: Seoul Racecourse Park, Line 4, Exit 1 or 2
- Bike Rental
Seoul is a fantastic place to explore via bike and the best place to explore is Jamsil. A ride through Olympic Park, around the Sports Stadium, through the busy streets avoiding the shoppers and on down to the riverside, where a bike ride along the Han River is where the adventure really takes off. For a break, you can stop at one of the 7/11s on route for snacks and ice-cream.
Places to rent bikes:
Jamsil Bike Rental, Free but bikes must be brought back by 5:30pm and your ID must be left as deposit.
Directions: Jamsil Station, Line 2, Exit 2
SangGyeFree Bike Rental, Free for three hours and your ID must be left as deposit.
Directions: Jamsil Station, Line 2, Exit 1
- Baseball Game
Take me out to the ballgame! Oh yes, here in Korea, they loooove their baseball. During baseball season, there’s a game almost every day (except Mondays) with tickets ranging from 8,000-50,000won. Between the snacks and the chanting and all the excitement of a game, you’d have a hard time not impressing a date with a day out at the ballpark. There’s also beer and what is baseball without the beer? Most people bring their own but you can buy some inside the stadium from vendors as well as from the draft beer people that wander the stadium. Tickets are sold up to an hour INTO a game.
Directions: Sports Complex Station, Line 2, Exit 5.
The Not-Just-A-Movie Date
- Board Game Café
A Board Game Café is exactly what it sounds like on the box, a café where you play board games. Upon arrival, you pay roughly 1,000-2,000 won per person per hour and you get a table and a menu of board games available. All your favorites are present and you just pick which one you want to play and the waiter brings it to you. Now, if there are any discrepancies between how to play the game and who is right and who is wrong (She. Is. Always. Right.) your waiter will happily explain the rules of every game to you. Avoid Monopoly. Nobody likes a good ol’ Monopoly fight on a first date. Nobody.
Directions: Look out for ‘Board Game Café, especially in Hongdae and Gangnam areas
- Pet Cafe
If board games aren’t in your wheelhouse, try pets. Seoul is filled with cafés filled with pets. There are cat cafés, dog cafés, bird cafés, my boyfriend even once saw a sheep going into a café. The two most popular pet cafés are, Giocat Cat Café and the dog café, Bau House, both situated in Hongdae. While Bau House has no cover charge, Giocat Cat Café does charge a small fee. Both are filled with multitudes of different cats and dogs for you to play with. Sip coffee, play with a puppy, get a snack (there are special snacks on sale for the pets) and have a casual chat.
‘Bang’ in Korean means ‘room’ and a Multi-Bang is an awesome way to while away a few hours. One of the best dates I’ve ever been on was to a Multi-Bang. (insert own dirty joke here) A Multi-Bang, is basically a room filled with all things electronic. For 20,000won for two hours, you can play Nintendo WII, Playstation 3, roam the Internet, watch a movie or sing karaoke. Early in our relationship, my boyfriend and I spent a good portion of an afternoon playing Mario Kart and WII tennis. By far, the most popular chain of Multi-Bangs is Smile Multi-Bang which are dotted all over the country and a quick Google search will show up your nearest one.
- DVD Bang
Similar to a Multi-Bang but only with movies. Known mainly as a place for college kids to hook-up, these rooms are like having your very own movie theater. In a room about the size of a small bedroom, you have a full wall-sized screen, a couch and your pick of a movie to watch. Mostly old title are available and it’s around 10,000-15,000 per movie. Look for DVD방, they’re everywhere!
This hilarious, nonverbal stage performance was one of my favorite things to see in Korea. The story follows three cooks as they frantically prepare a wedding feast by 6 o’clock. Told through rhythm, comedy and onstage antics, this show is a must see and they usually have discounts each month for various reasons. One month it was 10% off if you wore something green. Showing at several locations around Seoul, check out their website for more information on show times.
If all else fails and you DO go see a movie, don’t forget, CGV now sell beer and Jagarbombs along with their popcorn and nacho menu.
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Contest Comments » There are 4 comments
How lovely and romantic! I really enjoy the idea of a board game cafe!
How fun!! This is a great compilation of things to do in Seoul, not just for dates :)
Definitely agree with Julienne! I want to go to Seoul and visit these places even if I am dateless!
Brings back some awesome memories :) Lotte world is so much fun. People watching in Itaewon is pretty fun too--and free!