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Top Tips For Visiting Seoul

My friend Franny has just come back from her minibreak to Seoul, South Korea with her 2 kids and here’s her trip report.  It’s fairly detailed so I’m splitting it in 2 posts:

 

 

While it wasn’t top of my list for a weekend break from Hong Kong with two kids, my brother has been living in Seoul for 4 years now and our excuse for not visiting him of having two small boys is wearing a bit thin (especially as we will quite happily skip down to Malaysia or Thailand on a whim).
So we took a four-day break the first weekend in June. BOOKING
We flew with Cathay, and although there were Cathay hotel deals available, we found booking a hotel separately worked out a lot cheaper for us this time, mostly as we were quite picky about the location being quite near my brother’s flat.

FLIGHTS
Finally we seemed to have cracked the flights. Hong Kong to Seoul is a 3.5 hour flight (maybe why it seemed quite so easy after all the long-haul we’ve been doing recently). We chose our flight times very carefully, leaving Hong Kong at 9.30am on the way out, and leaving Seoul at 3.15pm on the way home. We took quite a few small toys with us, as well as stickers, magazines and a couple of books. Getting our 3-year-old to carry these in his new backpack helped a lot! But TV and snacks remain our lifesavers on any flight.

HOTEL

We were travelling with a 3-year-old and a 17-month- old, and it took some time to find a hotel that had one room that big enough for an extra bed and a cot at a reasonable price. Hotels in Seoul don’t guarantee cots for children over 12 months, so we had to bring our own travel cot. We stayed at Hotel Lotte City in Mapo:
It was great for our needs with a pool and a decent breakfast buffet (but no room service), but there are definitely better hotels in terms of location and facilities if you don’t need to be in that part of town.GETTING AROUND TOWN

We used both the subway (excellent but a LOT of steps, so not good for buggies) and taxis (cheap) to get around. Seoul is pretty easy to navigate as long as you give taxi drivers very precise instructions in Korean. We didn’t find one who spoke English, and had to rely on directions written down from the hotel and my brother’s Korean to help us.TOP TIPS

We had absolutely perfect weather for our trip in early June. It was warm, sunny and dry and a very welcome escape from hot and humid Hong Kong. The summer in Seoul is very wet and warm, the winter is freezing, so the autumn/spring months are definitely the best choice for a visit.
 
The main thing we found with this city break is that we really needed to slow down! We headed back to the hotel for downtime in the afternoons, and took a lot of cafe breaks in order to avoid meltdowns, which we managed pretty well.
 

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