2022 Year End Seoul, Korea Family Trip Itinerary

Our five day trip to Seoul, South Korea was our first international family trip since the pandemic.

In the two years that had passed, Paul had turned from a crawling infant to a walking, talking pre-schooler. Hannah had learned to read, and Mati moved up from kindergarten and was entering Grade 1.

Why Korea?

We won a contest sponsored by BonChon Chicken Philippines last year, and the prize was a 4D/3N trip for four. Since there were still travel restrictions, we chose to get the cash equivalent, with a plan to just go on our own when things get better. (And we are a family of five, after all hehe. Can’t leave Paul.)

When Korea opened up with a lot of conditions, we took the chance and didn’t regret it. Seoul is one of the most kid-friendly and tourist-friendly places for a young family.

Here is our itinerary below if you want to check out what we did (and what we planned)

Day 1

Afternoon flight from Manila to Seoul

Arrived at Seoul 7pm

Took the mandatory PCR test for everyone at the testing center just outside the airport doors (cross the sidewalk and choose between the east or west testing center). Note: the test is a bit steep at about 80,000 krw per person (approx P3,300, kids not exempted) but it also made us feel safer traveling around the city. It’s a relief to know that the tests will be waived soon as they are so expensive and time consuming!

Had dinner at the airport, we booked a private van and checked in to our hotel at Hotel 28 Myeongdong. More about the hotel in future posts, cannot recommend it enough!

Day 2

Seoul Grand Children’s Park

This is an amazingly huge park dedicated for children. It took us about 30 minutes to get there from our hotel via subway (Achasan Exit – Children’s Park Main Gate). Since the kids were fresh from a good night’s rest, we figured it was a great way for them to be exposed to public transportation and looking at maps and figuring out which way to go.

Our first stop was a playground which was simply amazing! They don’t make playgrounds like this here in the Philippines, unfortunately. The kids spent almost an hour before it was time to make our way to the Seoul Grand Children’s Park Zoo. The zoo is inside the park and divided into different areas.

What shocked me first of all was that they didn’t sell tickets to the zoo, it was just free! And there was a decent variety of animals to see. I felt sorry for the elephant and wild cats as the space didn’t seem to be big enough for them, but the zoo was well-maintained and very clean.

Tip: Bring a stroller if your kids aren’t used to walking. We purposely didn’t bring one because it would cause a “discussion” between our kids on who gets to ride it, and we wanted to train our kids to just go with the flow and deal with everything that comes with traveling.


Take note also, there are no restaurants inside the Seoul Grand Children’s Park. There are a lot of small stalls selling snacks, so it’s a good idea to bring a picnic lunch (which we didn’t) if you plan on going there. We assumed there were restaurants inside the park, so we had to go back through the Main Gate and go to Sejong University across the road.

Seoul Children’s Museum

I wrote a separate post about the Seoul Children’s Museum here, which was easily one of the highlights of our trip! There were so many floors to explore, with each floor having it’s own theme.

No Time

Part of our itinerary was to hit Common Grounds Seoul for their modern coffee and snack shops and Instagrammable blue containers, but the kids were just exhausted from the day’s fun activities that we took a cab back to the hotel. Tip: Download Kakao Taxi and get a wifi device from the airport on your first day to save yourself trouble from hailing taxis!

Nanta Show

After a long nap (for both the kids and adults!) we had dinner at Din Tai Fung at our hotel’s 2nd floor (so convenient, and hotel guests get a 20% discount), and walked over to the Nanta Theater, Myeongdong. Make sure you have correct directions as we got lost looking for the theater (my fault), and arrived a few minutes before the curtain opened.

Here’s a review of the Nanta show, which we absolutely loved!

Day 3

Morning at Gyeongbukgang Palace

Gyeongbukgang Palace is huge! We took a taxi going here and met with our photographer, Winsoon to have our hanbok rentals. Admission to the palace is free. Make sure to check the weather as hanboks can get too hot, but thankfully the weather cooperated. Explore the many buildings and relax by the beautiful lake. There were so many instagrammable places and you can truly feel the culture and proud Korean history behind the walls.

Afternoon around Myeongdong

We had a relaxing afternoon around Myeongdong, trying out a variety of food from local sellers and exploring locally-owned shops and international chains. For families with older kids, you can explorer further out of in the Cheonggyecheon stream.

Evening at DDP

Paul and Hannah were tired so we let them stay behind after dinner with our Yaya Girly. We took the train with Mati to explore the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) where there are limited-time exhibits. During our stay there was a Tim Burton exhibit which was already closed when we got there (so do your Google research!)

Day 4

Starfield Library and COEX Aquarium

This was a highlight for me as the Starfield Library was one of the prettiest libraries in the world. The COEX Aquarium was in the same complex on the other side. The Starfield Library was so beautiful and it was truly a library, so silence was important!

I loved to see how the kids were excited to see so many books!! We visited the COEX Aquarium was impressive, the kids also enjoyed stamping their booklets. Look for the small fishes that eat dead skin tissue cells for food. It gives a good tickle!

Seoul Children’s Grand Park (South Entrance)

After a quick lunch at COEX, we went back to Seoul Children Grand Park but at the opposite end. The entrance was beautiful with a fountain and it was a beautiful walk to the amusement park.

Seoul Children’s Grand Park Amusement Park

The amusement park is just a small park compared to the bigger brand names, but it was so much fun, and Mati and Hannah loved the “log jam” ride especially.

Day 5

This was the day we were flying home so we chose to keep it chill with less exhausting plans.

Double Deck Hop On Hop Off

Seoul Namsan Tower

Fly Home

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