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Picnic in the city feature

Best things to do for free in Seoul

After all, they say the best things in life are free.

By Hahna Yoon

Whether you're broke as a joke or tired of champagne and caviar, here are the best things to do for free in Seoul. 


Walk it off

Things to do

As the late great Dr. Seuss once said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”

Here are the best walks to go in the city!


Learn some Korean

Things to do Classes and workshops

Struggling to learn Korean? Worried about the costs? Here are some free (or almost free) classes that'll have you no-excuses.


No troubled waters here

Things to do Banpo-dong

The Rainbow Fountain at Banpo Bridge... Sure, it's a tourist attraction but it's a free one! And great for summer nights, too!

Read about the no money life

A day without a “won”

News Harmless Fun

(Michelle spends a day in Seoul with no money) 9:30am On an empty stomach, I headed out with a camera and a T-Money card. 10:00am I walked over to the Cheonggyecheon to get my ride. As a program offered by the Seoul City government, I rented a blue bicycle for free in exchange for my name, ID and phone number. 10:40am I rode along the stream towards Seongsu Bridge. There were a decent number of riders darting by the sea wall, as the sun was out in a yellow blaze. As hard as I pedaled on, the bike didn’t catch much wind or speed. I guess that’s what you get for a free bike. 11:15am Overlooking the bridge, I rode into a dark tunnel towards Seoul Forest. Sandwiched in between a couple and a family of three, I lay down on the grass but couldn’t fall asleep knowing that I had to return the bike within three hours. Instead, I dragged my bike over to see the deer. The dispenser for the food pellets were down, as the poor deer were infected with foot-and-mouth disease. It made me insanely sorry and hungry all at once. 1:00pm I took the same path back to the bike rental booth. Getting my ID back, the water dispenser in the corner of the booth caught my attention. I made a detour to the bathroom, but ended up coming back to ask for a glass of water. To my thirsty lips, it tasted as good glass of whiskey. 1:40pm My rib cage was about to give, like how I imagine pregnancy contractions. I immediately headed over to the nearest Emart in Wangsimni. The sign at the sample stands read “

Penniless travels

Things to do

Last month, while on vacation on Jeju-do, my friend Oskar was waved over by a man wearing a cat head and his friend carrying a sign that read “Penniless Travels.” I soon came to learn that they were part of a community called “없는놈들의 있는무전여행” (the broke guys that have nothing but their penniless travels) that relied on the charity of strangers to travel domestically and that they had made it all the way here from Seoul. Back at work, I got a chance to talk to the group’s founder and leader Han Chul-hee and member Lee Chang-kyu. 


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