Right here’s part of my far-off work shuttle collection the place aside I review areas I plod to as a digital nomad.

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Hear, at the same time as you’ve been following my Substack publication you’ve already discover about how Seoul correct hits numerous in so many systems. You be aware up to the gymnasium: workout dresses are ready for you. You’re performed with a hike: no pick up 22 situation, correct blow the mud off your sneakers at the mud-blowing location!

The subways and metropolis streets are detached and handsome, the bus is a pleasure to trail on — and the Blue Bottle. Don’t rating me started on Blue Bottle Coffee right here. I’ve never tasted espresso so appropriate, and Korean Blue Bottle places the US variations to shame.

Nonetheless, existence isn’t all sunshine and roses in Seoul: it’s a extra difficult metropolis to are living for longer sessions of time in, and it’s one in every of the least vegetarian-pleasant cities I’ve ever been in — it’s very anti-vegetarian. Once you’ll want to eat one thing as an alternative of meat right here, you’re in overall ostracized from the culture.

But Seoul is an infinite discipline to plod to for nomads, so let me portion all of my systems and tricks with you in this complete shuttle data:

The place aside to Set up in Seoul, South Korea for Digital Nomads + Distant Workers

We stayed in the Yeonnam-Dong neighborhood, which is a college neighborhood in the coronary heart of Seoul. I loved this neighborhood because there are so critical of amazing coffeeshops, restaurants, and dessert areas — nevertheless it’s loads quieter and cuter when put next with other extra urban parts of Seoul. I certainly felt the college town vibes, and it nearly felt just like the “Brooklyn” to the New york of Seoul, Gangnam, which is a 40-minute whisper trail away.

Once you’re staying for longer than every week in Seoul, I’d imply staying in the red square above. You’re a short bus trail to the palaces and museums, and Gangnam isn’t too far, both.

While we did plod to Gangnam just a few situations for events, dinners, and activities, I didn’t essentially feel like I change into lacking out on one thing by now no longer staying there. I felt just like the brunch areas and coffeeshops own been system better in Yeonnam-Dong when put next with the reduction of the metropolis.

There are some co-are living areas in this space, nevertheless you more than doubtless would perchance well per chance additionally rating Airbnbs as successfully.

4 Things to Know About Seoul, South Korea for Digital Nomads + Distant Workers

There are just a few stuff you’re going to must square away at the same time as you first advance:

  • Salvage a T-Money Card from a Local Convenience Retailer. You’d like a T-Money card to trail public transportation (buses and the metro) which is the finest and absolute top system to rating spherical Seoul. Chase to any local comfort retailer and query for a T-Money card you would possibly well presumably load up with cash there in-retailer.

  • Procure Naver Maps and KakaoMap. Frustratingly, Google Maps doesn’t essentially work in Seoul. Nationwide security or one thing. (Don’t query me: I don’t know why North Korea would make an upper hand by shiny the place aside the finest cafes are in the metropolis.) You’ll must download both Naver Maps and KakaoMap so to navigate the metropolis, rating areas to eat, and use public transportation. I tranquil ancient Google Maps to connect my favourite areas, nevertheless you’ll want these local scheme apps to contemptible-reference instructions, hours, and rating areas that aren’t on Google. Even extra tense, there are areas which would perchance well be on Google Maps that aren’t on Naver or Kakao! To develop issues extra spicy, Naver and Kakao own sections of their apps which would perchance well be finest in Korean, so discovering issues like restaurant hours would perchance well per chance additionally be a little bit of a puzzle. The turnover of restaurants and coffeeshops is also beautiful high right here, so there own been higher than just a few situations the place aside I’d follow Naver’s instructions and end up at a building role or an empty building. Right here’s why Seoul wins my private award of “least accessible metropolis” — an honor pondering I’ve traveled to pretty just a few in my 4 years of full-time shuttle.

  • Google Translate Works… Infrequently. Translating Korean is a blended acquire at situations, leading to just a few silly mistranslations. Wait and see — and grateful for the locals who focus on English. Once you’re going to be in Seoul for a while, I imply the usage of Duolingo to rating the fundamentals of the Korean alphabet so that you would possibly well presumably at the least be taught Korean, nevertheless in any other case the Google Translate app will more than doubtless be your finest friend 🙂

  • Learn Korean etiquette. One among the tip etiquette systems I looked up earlier than arriving change into that at the same time as you hand somebody one thing, give it to them with two hands. Once you finest own one hand available in the market, contact your arm with your other hand. Right here’s polite in Korean culture. You’ll pick up onto this lickety-split at the same time as you compare the locals operate this as successfully. To boot to this, trash sorting is a big deal and a little bit of a anxiety, and so they rob recycling severely right here.

What to Attain in Seoul, South Korea for Digital Nomads + Distant Workers

Ripoff Disneyla—I imply, Lotte World!

There is so critical to dangle out in Seoul. We did loads, nevertheless below are my favourite activities in the metropolis:

  • Fortress Evening Hike. This tour change into unbelievable: we started with some snacks at an area market which own been luscious — and one thing we certainly couldn’t own performed on our bear as it change into a arduous-to-rating local’s market. Then, we ascended a internal attain mountain by the fortress walls for a evening hike to pick up sundown and the views of the metropolis at evening. One among my favourite tours: the mountain mountain climbing part change into essentially beautiful and far wanted after our prolonged flight over right here!

  • KPop Dance Class. I’m a extensive K-Pop fan, and this dance class change into taught by an infinite trainer. To boot they filmed the final 10 minutes of class, and the video change into a stress-free souvenier of our commute.

  • Evening Market Tour. There are so critical of a model of alternatives for evening market tours, so I’ll enable you to come to a probability your bear on Viator or Airbnb Experiences. Myeong Dong is one in every of the most neatly-liked evening markets, and I imply visiting with a tour as it’s loopy packed and arduous to stumble on to your bear: it’s better to own an area data enable you to navigate and highlight the finest stuff!

  • Free Tour at the Gyeongbokgung Palace and Explore the Bukchon Hanok Village. You would possibly perchance well use a full day at the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the place aside entry is one thing like $3. There, you would possibly well presumably rating a free tour in English (take a look at the situations earlier than you plod!) after which afterward stumble on the internal attain Bukchon Hanok Village and cultural center. I imply grabbing a snack to-plod at Onion Cafe (to defend far off from the prolonged lines). Their sweet garlic bread change into to die for. You would possibly perchance well rating extra in-depth tours for both of these areas, or you would possibly well presumably correct drag spherical your self.

  • Explore Gangnam. I, like all people now no longer living below a rock, had heard the tune Gangnam Style and change into uncommon about this contemptible neighborhood. If truth be told, it feels equal to Rodeo Power nevertheless extra downtown-ish. Many of big constructions, areas of work, and busy streets. The mall over right here is cold with the Starfield Library, nevertheless the entirety is beautiful touristy. Nice for a short plod to or at the same time as you’re right here for a planned whisper, nevertheless in any other case I don’t cherish Gangnam.

  • Lotte World Amusement Park and Mall. Imagine that any individual with amnesia went to Disneyland 15 years ago, after which made up our minds to rebuild the park in a 6-legend mall in the center of Korea. Welcome to Now no longer-Disneyland! Lotte World is a silly, queer half-indoor, half-outside amusement park with forgettable rides like Pharoah’s Revenge (an Indiana Jones Ripoff) and Comet Explain (Location Mountain, nevertheless every seat spins! So queer!). The big design right here is that all people involves the park dressed in rented school uniforms. Ewha College Uniform is what folks imply as they’ve a red-themed photoshoot space. I skipped because I didn’t desire to position on a miniskirt in the cold, nevertheless at the same time as you desire a checklist opp you already know the place aside to head! I’d give this discipline a 4/10 nevertheless it’s a stress-free discipline to plod to at the same time as you desire a queer little abilities to revel in with friend for a day.

  • Coloration Matching and Skeletal Evaluation. I’m doing this later this week, nevertheless I’ve heard broad issues about the color matching abilities right here in Korea. Will update this put up subsequent week after I essentially own my color matching performed!

  • Head Spa. I didn’t operate this individually, nevertheless a model of folks come to Korea for a scalp diagnosis and 10-step head spa abilities. You’ll must e-book upfront, and heaps of of the areas that operate this require you to e-book by device of Instagram DM.

  • Chase to Olive Younger and store skincare products. Once you’re into skincare, you’re in the factual metropolis! Olive Younger is this metropolis’s Sephora — nevertheless with snacks! — and so they’re all over. My favourite product line is Class of Joseon, and their sunscreen and sunscreen stick are out of this world. I needed to head to a flagship retailer to rating their products, so at the same time as you would possibly well presumably’t rating your favorites to your local retailer, attempt and rating a higher space.

Quite numerous folks come to South Korea for plastic surgical procedure and intense skincare therapies. I had a bunch of guests operate numerous kinds of therapies, and so they reported again and said it’s loads cheaper right here. Nonetheless, it’s essential you operate your study and even presumably consult with locals earlier than doing a treatment of any model. These model of extra intense skincare therapies would perchance well per chance additionally be painful, costly, or invasive. My private philosophy on right here’s for any other put up, nevertheless I possess there are better issues to use your money on.

The Simplest Time of 300 and sixty five days to Search the advice of with Seoul, South Korea for Digital Nomads + Distant Workers

Spring or tumble are the finest situations to plod to: April is supreme at the same time as you’ll want to pick up cherry blossom season, nevertheless be aware that cherry blossoms usually bloom on their very bear agenda reckoning on the climate! On the tail end of March we had some cold climate (realistic days of 40 levels Fahrenheit with wind relax!) so at the same time as you’re visiting in spring or tumble make certain to pack a warm jacket.

I’ve heard that the summers listed below are tidy humid, which feels loopy as spring felt dry and I didn’t sense any humidity the least bit. Something to rob into myth at the same time as you’re now no longer keen on hot and humid summers.

Simplest Coffeeshops in Seoul, South Korea for Digital Nomads + Distant Workers

In my ingredient at my favourite Blue Bottle space in Yeonnam-dong

There are over 20,000 cafes and coffeeshops in Seoul, and I tried pretty just a few. Chums of mine did the total “theme coffeeshop” narrate, going to the Harry Potter cafe and dozens of alternative kitschy spots.

Nonetheless, there are two that change into my must-plod to:

  • Grain Seoul Cafe. This cafe is a great brunch location and coffeeshop that change into my on every day foundation plod-to! I went for the brunch, stayed for the casual co-working. I imply getting a scheme-your-bear-brunch with a weekly juice and a flat white. Chums of mine would work right here with their laptops from 9am-5pm, so right here’s a tried-and-correct location to put up up and rating some work performed. Every person looks to be amazingly good right here, and all by device of the week it’s now no longer too busy.

  • Blue Bottle. I’ve chanced on that Blue Bottle Coffeeshops in the States are acidic, arduous-to-drink espresso. But right here? I’m obsessed. My on every day foundation drink is the Cherry Blossom Nola with a tropical pound cake. Heaven.

You would possibly perchance well rating rainforest cafes, waterfall cafes, cave cafes — and so many extra. I are inclined to be coveting with my coffeeshop faves, nevertheless at the same time as you’re shopping for inspiration I imply scrolling by device of social media.

What to Delight in in Seoul, South Korea for Digital Nomads + Distant Workers

Pastries bought at an area patisserie in yeonnam-dong

Once you’re a meat-eater, you’re going to own a plethora of ramen and Korean BBQ alternatives to revel in.

Below are the areas which would perchance well be inclusive of vegetarian diners like me that I loved — and most would perchance well be found in and spherical Yeonnam-dong:

  • Brunch: Thanks Oat. This sustainable cafe has two areas, one in Yeonnam and one by the palace. The one in Yeonnam doesn’t own espresso, nevertheless is located subsequent to the Blue Bottle. This space isn’t an everyday Western-vogue brunch: it has sandwiches, yogurt bowls, and acai bowls as well to a tea want. It’s a relaxed discipline to rating a steady breakfast or lunch earlier than the day’s activities.

  • Brunch: Burwood. Burwood sounds like a brunch discipline stolen factual out of Venice Seaside in California. Beachy vibes and indie tune reminded me of my dilapidated dwelling, nevertheless the Aussie Breakfast Plate and Croissant French Toast own been to die for. Plus, their Soiled Chai Latte change into beautiful staunch, a rare rating right here in Korea.

  • Brunch/Snack: SF Bagel. The proprietor of this bagel store is tidy warm and pleasant, and has broad systems and ideas for vacationers! Plus, her hand-crafted sourdough bagels and baked goods are fully luscious. Highly imply this discipline for a steady snack or lunch.

  • Dinner: Yeonnam Dumpling. This dumpling discipline is go on a tight ship: you would possibly well presumably finest speak as soon as, all people looks to be required to speak at the least 1 entree, and at the same time as you’re performed eating they go you out. All that said, this discipline is tranquil price it. They’ve two areas factual subsequent to one any other, and own some broad garlicky greens and extremely unbiased appropriate dumplings and veggie buns.

  • Dinner: Tuk Tuk Noodle Thai. This Michelin-vital person thai discipline change into a exciting staple all by device of our end in Seoul. The pad Thai change into very unbiased appropriate, and on the weekends they’ve an infinite coconut drink.

  • Dinner: High Dwelling. Correct subsequent to Tuk Tuk is a taco discipline known as High Dwelling. They’ve some amazing veggie tacos (a surprisingly arduous rating in Seoul!) and use beautiful unique arrangement. My favourite discipline to rating some fleet rob-out all by device of a busy week.

  • Ideally suited Eating Dinner: Mingles. My partner Kyle scored a arduous-to-rating reservation at Mingles. The evening earlier than our reservation, it change into named the #1 restaurant in Korea, and change into straight away booked out for 3 months. The provider change into amazing, the decor change into calming, and the food unique and tasty. They even had a vegetarian menu (amazing.) Once you’re shopping for some inventive very finest-eating, right here’s the finest discipline in Korea to rating it. Nonetheless, I operate inform it’s a little bit overpriced: just a few of my most favourite bites of food own been the extra straight forward food I tried at the local’s market tour on the Fortress Evening Hike I discussed earlier in this put up. But at the same time as you desire a correct foodie abilities, Mingles is going to be the discipline: correct rating your reservation months upfront.

  • Dessert: Milk Factory. The mochi red bean fish (a great, chewy and sweet dessert!) and bingsu (a Korean shaved ice dessert) are a must-attempt, and Milk Factory does them both so successfully.

  • Dessert: Yuki Mochi. This dessert discipline does the finest ice cream mochi, the place aside ice cream is wrapped with rice flour to rating a chewy frozen dessert that’s to die for. Highly imply the matcha flavor.

Health and Fitness for Digital Nomads and Distant Workers in Seoul, South Korea

The air pollution in Seoul is a advise of affairs: even the Namsan Seoultower lights up with numerous colours to be aware what the air pollution stage is (green = air quality is acceptable!)

Nonetheless, on days when the air quality is acceptable, there are heaps of hikes spherical Seoul you would possibly well presumably operate. In Yeonnam-Dong there change into even an attractive mountain in the again of our condominium with some straight forward trails.

I imply signing up for the Necessary person Kali Fitness Gymnasium. It’s a basement gymnasium nevertheless with good tools, heaps of cardio machines, weights, a heated stretching room, a sauna, and energy practising machines. It even has a pilates class space, nevertheless you would possibly well presumably finest rob pilates classes with a 3-month or longer membership. Our month-prolonged memberships label $100 per person per thirty days. Now no longer unsuitable, nevertheless certainly a little extra pricey than month-prolonged memberships in other cities — and this gymnasium change into much less pricey than other alternatives.

Staying wholesome in Seoul would perchance well per chance additionally be a little bit tricky: there are heaps of cakes and fried meals all over, and even palatable meals own sugar in them. Workout classes are arduous to e-book right here as most areas desire foreigners to e-book by assignment of DM or an advanced booking assignment.

One among my guests said it finest: South Korea has the abilities to develop existence easier, it’s correct that these booking platforms are now no longer made for foreigners to use. Fairly literally as a model of companies right here usually require Korean phone numbers. This isn’t essentially a unsuitable narrate, it’s correct a little bit extra spicy to

My Rankings of Seoul, South Korea as a Digital Nomad

Affordability: ⭐️⭐️ (2/5 — now no longer the most inexpensive destination I’ve been to, nevertheless also now no longer the costliest. My on every day foundation food label got right here out to spherical $30-$40/day, and that’s with finest eating out and comprises all coffees, tea, juices, on every day foundation brunch, a gimbap for lunch that I split with my partner, and dinner and dessert somewhere in the metropolis. I didn’t cook dinner this month because I heard from others that groceries own been extra costly than eating out.)

Food Quality: ⭐️⭐️ (2/5 — there’s some appropriate food right here, nevertheless it’s very meat-heavy.)

Vegetarian Alternate suggestions: ⭐️ (1/5 — you’re going to own a essentially arduous time at the same time as you don’t eat meat. I’d now no longer imply for vegetarians.)

Adventures/Day Trips: ⭐️⭐️ (2/5 — there are day trips just like the DMZ, Jeju, and Busan, nevertheless it’s good to head all by device of the factual season and Busan and Jeju seem to skew extra touristy.)

Cafes/Co-Working Location Availability: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 — the cafes are unbelievable, and are very laptop laptop pleasant—especially in College neighborhoods the place aside students use a model of time discovering out.)

Digital Nomad-Pleasant Metropolis: ⭐️⭐️ (2/5 — a model of young folks are pleasant and good, nevertheless overall this metropolis isn’t very accessible for nomads. The language barrier can develop you in reality feel isolated, and the older generation looks to be loads much less pleasant and beautiful frustrated by the presence of vacationers. The dearth of alternatives for folks which would perchance well be vegetarian or own dietary restrictions also makes this a sturdy metropolis to are living in for longer sessions of time, and even booking issues like hair appointments or yoga classes change into an advanced chore.)

Cost of Lodging for Distant Workers: ⭐️⭐️ (1/5 — Airbnb costs aren’t unsuitable, nevertheless it’s now no longer going to be the most inexpensive discipline you’ve ever stayed.)

Air Quality: ⭐️ (1/5 – the air situation change into usually “unhealthy” and on two days it change into so unsuitable we needed to position on masks)

Water Quality: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5 – our condominium had a water filter and after we examined the water with our water meter, the quality change into broad with low parts per million)

Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️ (2/5 — while it’s price visiting, I wouldn’t imply Seoul for longer stays)

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