From authentic Korean cooking classes to mountain hikes with stunning sunset city views, there’s a little something for every traveler on Airbnb’s Seoul experiences list. If you’re not familiar with the concept, Airbnb experiences are one-of-a-kind activities created and hosted by locals who want to share their knowledge, passion and unique skills with travelers. You’ll find market tours, cooking classes, costumed photoshoots, guided hikes and more that allow you to explore the seen and unseen through the eyes of the locals. Amongst the over 400 experiences listed on the Airbnb site, we’ve selected a few of our favorite, can’t-miss excursions that allow you to stop and savor the best of Seoul.
Former actress turned ultra-talented chef, Yang Chul’s personality is equal to that of her food: warm, inviting and inclusive. Step into her restaurant—Yang Chul Cooking—and you’ll instantly feel all those things. Classically trained at the Hattori Nutrition College in Japan, her food blends the friendly feel of a home-cooked Korean meal with Japanese flair. In Homestyle Seoul Cooking 101, Chef Yang Chul translates classic Korean dishes into easy home-cooked meals that you can recreate on your own. (At the end, she’ll even give you the recipes!) She also gives tips on Korean dinner etiquette, which always comes in handy no matter where you travel.
Recognized by the Korea Tourism Organization, OME Cooking Lab is simply the best resource when it comes to learning about traditional Korean food. Founder and chef Kim Min Seon takes you on a journey from market to table while introducing you to ingredients beyond sesame oil and gochujang. Chef Kim and her team are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable, and make the cooking part easy and enjoyable. For an experience that offers a basic Korean language lesson, market tour, and cooking class all in one, it’s something you don’t want to miss out on.
To understand and experience true hansik—Korean cuisine—any local will tell you to go to the market. If you’re slightly daunted by the daytime crowds or unfamiliar with the language, opt for Jay’s nighttime food tour through the famous Gwangjang Market. You’ll experience all the best the market has to offer: getting a seat at Cho Yoonsun’s famed kalguksu (“knife-cut noodles”) stall highlighted on the Netflix show Street Food, tasting the phenomenal combination of raw beef and live octopus, and discovering unique facts about the market.
For arguably the best sunset views in Seoul, we suggest lacing up your sneakers for this amazing hiking experience that treks alongside Seoul’s oldest fortress wall and up Inwangsan Mountain. Hiking guide and food enthusiast Sam Sangchun sets an easygoing pace that both first-timers and seasoned pros will enjoy, all while giving historical tidbits on the fortress wall itself. The post-hike meal is equally as rewarding as the city views with a makgeolli (Korean rice wine) tasting paired with traditional Korean food.
Art thrills abound in this one-of-a-kind tour that spotlights a once run-down neighborhood in Seoul, which was revitalized in 2006 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Hallie Bradley, the creator of The Soul of Seoul blog, hosts a number of highly unique, art-focused excursions through her Soul of Seoul Tours. Extremely knowledgeable and passionate about art, Hallie’s created a one-of-a-kind Airbnb experience that’s a little off the beaten path.
Back in 1968, Sewoon Market opened as the first electronics market in Korea. Since then, it’s become a vacant shell of what it once was, but recently the Seoul Metropolitan Government stepped in to revamp the unique space. Renaming it Maker City, it’s currently evolving into a hub for artists, artisans, and startups who want to partner with craftsmen. Guide and local artist Q takes you on a nostalgic tour through this hidden side of the city sharing a different side of its history and culture along the way.
OTHER NOTABLE FAVORITES
Although the assortment is constantly growing and changing, here are some additional experiences you might enjoy: