WRITTEN BY FABIENNE VALMOND | PUBLISHED ON MAY 28, 2018
The Opening and Closing of the Royal Palace Gates and Royal Guard Changing Ceremonies (수문장 교대의식)
The Royal Guard Changing Ceremonies at the various Royal Palace Gates in Seoul are a must see. These ceremonies have taken place since the ancient times, 1469 to be precise and the present reenactment follow the original ceremonies to the letters according to VisitKorea. The ceremonies take place everyday except Tuesdays at various times during the day, so plan your visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace accordingly so you do not miss this rare traditional ritual.
Performance Times & Locations:
Sumunjang (Royal Guard) Changing Ceremony
10:00, 14:00 / 20 minutes per ceremony
Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on-Duty Performance
11:00, 13:00 / 10 minutes per ceremony
Sumungun (Gatekeeper) Military Training (outside Hyeopsaengmun Gate)
09:35, 13:35 / 15 minutes per ceremony
* No ceremonies and performances on Tuesdays.
* Please note that the schedule is subject to change.
* Event may be cancelled in case of rain.
Deoksugung Fair Shop
The Deoksugung Fair Shop, an open marketplace at the Deoksugung Stone Wall Path located between Daehanmun Gate and the circular water fountain is currently open for business and will continue until November 3 of this year, excluding July and August, every week, Thursday to Saturday from 11am to 6pm .
The products for sale at the fair range from leather crafts, accessories, room fresheners and other handmade products, from art and design pieces to clothing apparel.
There will be various cultural performances and hands-on activities, including drawing, flowerpot making and arts and crafts. The cultural performances include Indie and senior bands, drum recitals, magic, mime shows and more. The shows will be on at 12:20pm on Thursdays and Fridays and 2:00pm for 40 minutes on Saturdays. For further performance details, please visit seoulbusking.com.
The Deoksugung Stone Wall Path will operate exclusively as a pedestrian walkway from 11am to 2pm on the weekdays and 10am to 5pm on Saturdays to promote the safety of market-goers.
The Foreign Flea Market held at Namsangol Hanok Village on Saturday May 26th was a success with vendors from many countries around the world, including Russia, the Philippines, Venezuela, and Kenya to name a few.
The Foreign Flea Market is part of a more permanent night market that runs from May 5th, 2018 to Oct. 27th, 2018. Entitled “1890 Namsangol Night Market”, this year is the second season of the market which is held in Namsangol Hanok Village every Saturday. Its name is derived from the similar marketplace that took place in the Joseon Dynasty in the 19th century. In addition to all the booths selling great products, there are a lot of exciting activities and events to experience. There are food trucks and food vendors so you can sample different types of food from all over the world.
Namsangol Hanok Village itself is a must-see sight in Seoul. This traditional village is in the downtown district near the popular shopping quarter, Myeong-dong. The village which is at the foot of Namsan mountain offers an unobstructed view of the mountain and Namsan Tower which is always a pleasant sight especially in the evening. The village ground is an urban oasis with traditional Korean houses, a pavilion, traditional garden and a small stream with gentle meditative sounds.
Once upon a time, I used to be an avid Shakespeare reader. I have read most of Shakespeare’s plays in both English and French. Midsummer Night’s Dream is my favorite comedy as Othello is my favorite tragedy. In high school, I played Cassio. I enjoyed the duel scene most (a girl dressed as a soldier in a sword fight, what not to like?) I like Midsummer’s Night’s Dream’s play within a play sequence which makes it confusing but fun nonetheless. I like the imagery or the forest and costumes. I have been to Shakespeare’s Globe in London and frequented the Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC often. Well, you get the gist, I really love Shakespeare and I am really happy that I can continue to experience the Shakespeare world here in Seoul:
The Eurasia Shakespeare Theatre Company in Seoul is running this Midsummer’s Night Dream production until June, every day except for Mondays and Twice on Saturdays!
Their website direct you to purchase tickets on interpark but this play is not listed on interpark. Contact the Eurasia Shakespeare Theatre company directly on facebook or through their website to inquire about tickets directly. I will update this with better information on how to obtain tickets when I have successfully done so myself.
Baseball season has officially kicked off in Korea. Baseball is a hallmark of Korean culture so if you live here, you should go even if you are not a sports fan. Just like everything else in Korea, baseball games are very affordable – Tickets start at 7,000 won. Depending on seating, regular tickets range from 7,000 to 40,000 won for adults, 5,000 won, (6,000 won on weekends) for students and free to 4,000 won for children.
There are three teams in seoul (LG Twins, Doosan Bears, Nexen Heroes) and you should pick one to cheer at the games. Go Doosan (I don’t know!)
There are three Stadiums in Seoul. There may be a game playing at the different stadiums at the same time on the same day, so if you don’t have a team preference and are just going for the ride, pick the stadium nearest you.
How to buy tickets:
Getting tickets for the game online is not very straightforward as the ticket site is only in Korean. You can buy tickets on English sites like stub hub but they do not seem to offer the very affordable seats. If you can read Korean or have a Korean Chingu, you can buy tickets from this site: http://ticket.interpark.com/Contents/Sports. You can can sign up for an account using your Kakao Talk login information. You will see the Kakao Talk logo, click on it and it will take you to a screen where you set up an account. After you set up the accounts, you should go back to the main page of inter park and navigate to the sports tab again. Click on the game you want to go to and you will be redirected to page with three options, use the first options to sign in with your phone number or the third option to sign up with your Alien Registration card. Depending on the browser that you’re using you can right to translate the page or you can copy and paste sections of the page into Google Translate. The other, easiest option, would be to buy tickets at the stadium.
Jamsil Baseball Stadium
Gocheok Sky Dome
Mokdong Baseball Stadium
Monday, May 28th
8:30pm-10:30pm, The Hidden Cellar, Free
Have you got talents? The Hidden Cellar bar in HBC is always looking for performers for their open mic nights. If you don’t have any talents, don’t worry, you can just go to get rid of the Monday’s blues! It’s on every second Monday!
To participate, post on the event page on Facebook or inbox the organizer Kim Schroeder. Otherwise, just show up and go have a good time!
Tuesday, May 29th
7:30- 8:30pm, Sattva Yoga, ₩15,000
Are you looking for an affordable Yoga class. Sattva Yoga in Apgujeong offers an English Vinyaa Flow yoga on Tuesdays. This class typically explores some pranayama (breathwork), lots of dynamic movement with one or two challenging postures and some longer releases towards the end of class. Expect to build some heat and leave feeling relaxed and refreshed. All Levels are welcomed!
About the teacher: Eithne is a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher. She underwent her first yoga training in Goa, India in 2015 where she specialised in Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga. She enjoys sharing her passion with everyone who practices together with her.
Wednesday, May 30th
1:30pm – 3:00pm, Seorae Global Village Center, Free
Do you have a green thump? Go plant herbs with the Seorae Global Village Center every Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning. You will be working on the village rooftop garden and Yongsan family park. The herbs and DIY products made from them are sold at local markets and the proceed redistributed to charities in Korea. Go learn how to garden while also contributing to the community.
2pm – 3:30pm, Seoul Global Cultural Center , Free
Hanji is the name of traditional handmade paper from Korea. Hanji is made from the inner bark of Paper Mulberry, a tree native to Korea. Learn how to make a beautiful hand mirror at the next Hanji Craft Class at the Seoul Global Cultural Center. The great thing about the Hanji classes is that you get to make something with functionality. Last week I made my own cardholder which I now use for business cards. This class is completely free of charge due to the generosity of the Seoul Global Cultural Center. The only caveat is that the event is limited to foreigners living in Korea. The center is strict about this requirement and ask that you bring your Alien Registration Card (or Passport with SOFA stamp for SOFA Members, or diplomat ID for Diplomats) to verify your status. You have to register for an account with the Seoul Global Cultural Center before you can RSVP to attend any of their many events. Follow the link to their site to register and RSVP. The events fill up fast so register soon. Please contact the center directly with questions about this specific event. Learn a new skill and make new friends!
4pm – 5:30pm, Seoul Global Cultural Center , Free
Have you ever wanted to move like Psy? You know, Gangnam Style! I have two left foot but that will not stop me from trying. Let’s learn how to dance K-Pop at the Seoul Global Cultural Center. Make sure to arrive 5 minutes before the class and prepare comfortable clothing, shoes and a bottle of water! This class is free of charge thanks to the generosity of the Multicultural Division of Seoul Metropolitan Government This event is restricted to foreign residents in Korea only. The center ask that you bring your Alien Registration Card (or Passport with SOFA stamp for SOFA Members, or diplomat ID for Diplomats). Follow the link to their site to register and RSVP. Please contact the center directly with questions about this specific event but feel free to leave a comment after about how much fun you had.
Thursday May 31th
2pm – 3:30pm, Seoul Global Cultural Center , Free
Do you see that painting of the Phoenix up there? I created that masterpiece, and so can you! Join the Korean folk painting class at the Seoul Global Cultural Center and you will be guided through a step-by-step process of how to paint beautiful creatures like that by the most patient instructors. Since this is a folk painting class, the animals or objects painted are symbolic in korean culture. You will also learn what each painting represents in Korean folklore. The next painting will be the Morando. This event is restricted to foreign residents in Korea only. The center ask that you bring your Alien Registration Card (or Passport with SOFA stamp for SOFA Members, or diplomat ID for Diplomats). These classes fill up fast so sign up quickly or sign up early for the next class. All levels are welcome. This course and all of the other courses are free of charge through the generousness of the Seoul Global Cultural Center. Please contact them directly with specific questions about any events. Leave us a comment to tell how you like the events and send us a picture to feature on our site or social media.
8pm – 10:00pm, Strange Fruit Seoul, ₩3,000
Lisa Trebs, a young singer/songwriter from Leipzig, Germany will playing with Matías Macías Gómez at Strange Fruit Seoul on Thursday May 31st. The event promo claims that her years of traveling around Europe and the world has inspired her music style, which is powerful yet gentle with meaningful lyrics.
This is her first show in Seoul. Go and give this Seoul Newbie a chance and support local acts!
Doors at 7.30 pm, concert starts at 8pm.
Join Seoul Hike Nature Group for another great night hike. They will be hiking along Bukaksan 북악산, Seoul Fortress 서울성곽, Kim Shin-jo north korean spy trail 김신조스파이길. This hike is meant to be meditative as you walk mindfully and peacefully in the night.
Meet the organizers at: 730PM at Hanseong Univ.(한성대입구) station/line4, exit 6, next to Hyehwa station. Don’t be late, as they leave right on time.
Contact hiking leader Minje Park for more information or if running a little late 01098504554
Visit the page below for more information about what to wear but prepare comfortable shoes, extra layer of clothes to wear on top to enjoy view!
You must RSVP on Meetup to join this hike! You can pay the 10000(10K) won which is used as a trip voucher whenever they organize weekend trip for which they need to charter a bus or book accommodation, on the day of the hike.
8:00pm- 10:00pm, Rt 66 (Old Dillinger’s), Free
Western pub culture is synonymous with casual and friendly atmosphere, good food and drinks, sports, and live music but one thing that is becoming extremely popular in pubs is Trivia Nights. Most people don’t usually associate pubs with learning but trivia or pub quiz nights are a great way for people to show their friends how clever they are in a laid back and fun environment. The good news is you don’t have to go out west to enjoy this popular pastime. The Route 66 has a really popular Trivia Night every Thursday night. Participation is free and you have a chance of winning 50,000 won if your team wins first place, 25,000 won for second place and a pitcher of beer for third place. The host gives away shooters all night so you don’t even have to win to have a good time. Dillinger’s is a great local bar to hang out with friends and satisfy your craving for western food. Their loaded french fries with pulled pork is the best. GO have a good time with your friends and you might even learn a thing or two!
8pm- 10pm, The Hidden Cellar, ₩3,500
It’s Jazz Night at the Hidden Cellar tonight and every Thursday night! I checked out this cool little gem for their Tuesday language exchange program and I was immediately smitten by the charm of the place and the staff. The minute you walk in you become part of a tight little community. I am looking forward to attend more of their events, especially Jazz night! And the cool thing is they have really affordable food and drinks, 3500W for a glass of wine on Jazz Nights. They also just announced that their delicious pies with fries are 8,000w on Jazz Nights. I am really excited about this because I really like their pies. If you are looking for something to do on a Thursday night, this is the thing to do! Hopefully, i’ll see you there.
Friday, June 1st
Saturday, June 2nd
Spring is here which means summer is coming! Are you planning to hit the beach at Gangneung, now less than two hours from Seoul thanks to the new KTX line? Start working towards that beach body now by joining Seoul City Crew Cross Training (CXT). This event is completely free and all levels are welcome. The coaches are training for the upcoming Spartan Race on June 30th so you get to train like a spartan even if you are not planning on doing the race. I have been training with Seoul City Crew for two weeks now and each week, we meet at a different location, thus discovering a different spots in Seoul. The coaches are very personable and motivating. They really do accommodate every level. We are normally split up into 3 groups and you get to select which level you feel more comfortable at. There is always one coach at the back to make sure no one is left behind and each group is accorded enough time so that every member gets to do at least one rotation of each obstacle. The team work and camaraderie is really what makes this a great group to be a part of.
5pm – 8Pm, The Hidden Cellar, Free
Join Irish Session in Korea to play traditional Irish Music. Their music sessions are informal gatherings where they focus more on playing together than ‘performing’, and they say that they their sessions are generally quite social events. All musicians are welcome, regardless of ability or instrument. If you have an interest in learning to play traditional Irish music, you are invited to attend!
Sunday, June 3rd
Trivia Night at the Wolfhound
7pm- 10pm, Wolfound Pub, ₩3,000
The first time I went to Ireland, I went to this little city called Dublin. When I arrived to Dublin, I went straight to the little known area called Temple bar and walked into a bar called, The Temple Bar. I walked in at noon and didn’t walk out until the wee hours of the next morning. I got sucked into the Irish pub culture, the live music, the food, and the Guinness, oh my! A new Irish friend I made there introduced me to the Irish concept of a local pub. When I moved to Korea, Wolfhound Pub instantly became my local pub where I would often return for the great food, the atmosphere and the warm friendly familiar faces. Sadly, this is not an advertisement for the Wolfhound Pub. This is after all a site about free and low-cost things to do in Seoul. Luckily, the Wolfhound Pub does have a great low-cost event every week—Sunday Night Trivia at the Wolfhound! Yay! If you are looking to stimulate your mind, come to the weekly Sunday Nights Trivia. It’s only KRW 3,000 to participate. Basically, each participant throws in 3,000 won into an empty pitcher. At the end of the night, the winning team gets to take home the contents of the pitcher! Second place gets a free pitcher bought by the first place team. And the last place team chooses the Karaoke song that the winning team must sing to collect their money. My team, this time the “Seoul Bitches” continues our losing streak and had the honor once again of choosing the Karaoke song “Single Ladies” which the winning team (two guys) happily sang . To be fair, there were only two of us in the team. Go have your mind expanded, have a pint of Guinness and some good ole Irish “craic”.