GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!WithGoGuide
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

Hiring A Guide In Seoul: The Pros & Cons

Ajitsa A.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Ajitsa A.

Last updated : Apr 04, 202411 min read

Travel Tips

Whenever I’m traveling, there are two things on my mind. How will I get there, and what will I do once I land? If you’re like me, then your mind’s racing with the possibilities of what a Seoul trip could look like. 

If you’re also like me, you're freaking out as a flood of venues, monuments, sites and ideas hit you all at once. With the Gyeongbokgung palace, the DMZ, and the quirky Trick Eye Museum calling, what’s a travel lover to do? Brave the Bukchon Hanok alleys alone, or go all in with a Seoul tour guide

Let’s make this a quick and painless decision for you with the pros, cons and everything in between. Gaja! 

The Pros...

Strolling through the Special City with a  guide can be…

1. A Time Saver

The Pros Of Hiring A Guide In Seoul 1
  • Was I Just Here?Places like Myeongdong have a chaotic charm when it comes to their food stalls and busy streets. You know what isn’t charming though? Getting lost. With a  local guide, you won't waste time reading street signs as you try to figure out if you’ve just walked around in a circle or not.
  • Ticket Hunting-There’s nothing as disheartening, and honestly, boring, as sifting through several Ghost walking tours or DMZ tour slots for availability that falls in line with your plans. Hitting up a guide is like calling a local friend that helps you book and plan. They'll take care of the logistics and keep your experiences up to date and save ticket hunting time.

 

2. A Pool Of Knowledge 

The Pros Of Hiring A Guide In Seoul 2
  • Keeping It Real- Nowadays it’s hard to figure out the truth from skillful exaggerations. Reading information about a city as diverse as Seoul is completely different from experiencing it (ironic, I know, seeing as you’re reading this right now). While the history books and news articles give us one side of the story, local guides fill in the gaps that most people leave out, giving you an authentic 360° view of the Special City. They also know the best places to eat (and where not to).  
  • A Walk On The Wild Side-Seasoned travelers will agree that traveling is about way more than the popular monuments. Lotte World and the giant Gangnam Style statue next to the Starfield Library in Gangnam Gu are amazing, but Seoul has a lot going on under the surface. A passionate local can take you beyond the veil, towards Seoul’s hidden treasures. Just make sure you keep the treasures between your tour team and the guide so others can experience the surprises after you. 


3. A Bridge Between

Pros Of Hiring A Guide In Seoul 3
  • The Culture ConundrumCulture is a difficult thing to master when you’re in Seoul. Between handshake etiquette and drink serving procedures, it can be overwhelming to tour the city while worrying about offending locals. Guides act as a bridge between the wide cultural gap we’ve all experienced when touching down in a new city.
  • For The Love Of LanguageDespite having a moderate national  English proficiency rating, most Seoulites will still feel shy about testing out their English in real life situations. Having a guide with you can break the ice, creating a connection point between you and locals, leading to vibrant conversations.


4. A Level Of Comfort & Convenience

Pros of Hiring A Guide In Seoul 4
  • Proper Prior Planning- Imagine the weight slipping off your shoulders as you land in Seoul and realize that all you have to do the next morning is wait to be picked up for your North side City tour. No hectic calls or hasty itinerary building. Everything’s set. Your timeline, your schedule and your interests all put together by a local with a knack for taking care of the technical, leaving you to create the fun memories.
  • Do This, Not That- Looking for the best times to visit attractions? Maybe you want to avoid crowds? Collaborate with a guide and gain insider knowledge on the most convenient travel and touring times for Seoul’s greater and lesser known venues. You’ll also have your transportation sorted as guides know the fastest, most efficient way to reach venues and districts.

 

Travel Q&A: Are there English speaking guides in Seoul?  Yes! Our bilingual Seoul tour guides help you adjust to a new language system through translating major pockets of information. They can also teach you a few common phrases to help you communicate more effectively and gain a deeper connection to the city. 

The Cons: Traditional v.s Private Guided Tours 

Guided tours have evolved over time, but the more things change, the more they stay the same. When you think of tours, some of the images that come to mind probably aren’t relaxing. 

 

Traditional Tours...

The Cons Of Traditional Tours

Traditional tours aren’t great, but don’t let that ruin a guided experience for you. Try something more intimate and curated. After all, being shuffled like cattle from one museum to the next is so 1990.

 

Private Guided Tours...

The Benefits Of Hiring A Private Guide

Still Stuck? Here's When A Guide Will Work For You, And When They Won't 

A Guide Works If… 

…you’re looking to learn. Watching the guard changing ceremony at the Gwanghwamun Gate of Seoul’s beloved Gyeongbokgung Palace hits different when you’ve got a knowledgeable history buff next to you explaining the intricacies of this timeless tradition. You’re in Seoul to expand your knowledge, and a guide is the best place to start. 

…you need to relax more. Vacations and trips away shouldn’t be so hard. You’re looking to spend time laughing with loved ones, trying out unfamiliar food at Gwangjang Market, or sipping banana milk in Ikseon Dong. You're not looking to massage your temples after a long day of planning. 

…you want to see Seoul in a new way. Say you’ve been to all the major sites before, and you’re looking for more, but you’re not confident enough to take on Seoul’s hidden side. If you wouldn’t even know where to start, a guide can open your eyes to the many faces of such a layered city. 

When You Should & Shouldn

Leave The Guide Behind If…

 

…you’re an independent explorer. You thrive on creating your own itinerary and coming up with places to explore on your own. Diving into a nation or cities background and spending countless hours researching the perfect venue is your cup of Jujube Tea. You're your own guide. 

…you’re a free diver. Itineraries are for the weak! You’d rather go in blind and figure out the road afterwards. Bring on the good (dancing and sipping Soju in a random bar in Hongdae) and the bad (getting lost in Seoul Station). Either way, you’re up for it, and a guide would only hold you and your loved ones back. 

…you’re a linguist. There’s no better feeling than seeing your late night Korean studying sessions pay off with a natural conversation between you and a local. What would kill that buzz? A guide that stands in between your linguistic pursuits. 

Guide Etiquette: Dos & Don'ts When Interacting With A Guide 

Do

 

 

Travel Tip: How to Hire A Guide In Seoul In 3, 2...1

Step By Step Guide On How To Hire a Guide In Seoul
  1. Start by heading to our Seoul tour guides page and choose a guide. You can check out any guide profiles that interest you, checking their availability and expertise.
  2. Once you find a guide you like, you can either select from one of their pre-set tours, or send over your own suggestions by hitting the “message” button on the right-hand side of the profile.
  3. Let your guide know your travel time, and any special needs or concerns you have during the consultation stage. If the vibe is right, and their timeline matches with yours, it’s time to take the next step in creating lifelong memories by securing your tour!

 

Alright, Now Show Me Some Tours! 

Okay, you’ve decided a guided tour is the way to go. What could a potential tour look like with a GWG guide? These should help get you started. 

GoWithGuide Tour Offerings For Seoul
  • The Heart Of The Special City: The perfect blend of history, modernity and flair, an in-depth tour of the Special City is a great way to kickstart your journey. From the Bugak Skyway to Insa-dong, there are nuggets of storytelling waiting to be heard. 
  • Seoul By The Pictures: If a picture is worth a thousand words, you’ll have an entire novel by the time you're through with this photographer led journey through Seoul that features the nation’s iconic imagery as a backdrop. 
  • Delicious Gwangjang Food Market Tour: Food is the lifeblood of Seoul City, and nowhere pulses harder than the gigantic and vibrant Gwangjang market where you’ll find everything from Bindaetteok (mung bean pancake) to Ssundae (intestine sausage). 
  • Seoul’s Night Eye: Discover the city that stays awake with a laid back night tour through Ikseon Dong's quiet corners and evening bistros, sprinkled with colorful arcade games and smooth soju (Korean alcohol).

Ready to get your Seoul searching tour started? Get in touch with a Seoul tour guide and create the adventure of a lifetime. 

 

Seoul Tour Guide - Paul K.

Paul K.

5.00 / 5
(6 reviews)
South Korea

Hello everyone, I am Paul, a tour guide in Seoul. Seoul is a fascinated destination that seamlessly blends the old with the new. I'm excited to show you some of the best things to make your trip fun and unforgettable memory, through my deep knowledge about culture and history of Korea and exuberant experiences in tour. My primary tourist destination is Seoul and metropolitan area, consisting of 5 palaces, Royal Ancestral Shrine, Bukchon Hanok Village, National museum of Korea, War Memorial of Korea and other museums & galleries and contemporary architectures, and Namsan Mt. with N-Seoul Tower, traditional & trendy market places such as Gwangjang market & Hondae street, and also Korean Folk Village & DMZ tour. Center of culture and tour is architecture. Architectural style represents spirit of times. We can see as much as we know about spirit of times. For example, without knowledge about Christianity, the spirit of medieval Europe, we cannot fully appreciate beauty and value of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Confucianism was the spirit of Joseon Dynasty. Architectural style of Gyeongbokgung represents Confucianism. Confucianism culture of Joseon Dynasty is unique characteristic of Korean culture, compared to Chinese, Japanese and European culture. Hence, my tourist information is based on Confucianism. Thank you for your interest! As your guide, I hope to see you soon in Seoul.                                                                                                                                  

Seoul Tour Guide - Thomas K.

Thomas K.

5.00 / 5
(11 reviews)
South Korea

I am Thomas, a licensed tour guide in Seoul, Korea since 2016. I am optimistic, easy-going and open-minded. Before being a tour guide, I had worked at a major company as a personnel manager for almost 30 years. I learned how to get along with people through my job experience. Now, as a tour guide, If you let me know what you are interested in, for example, places to visit, activities to do, and food to eat. I will do my best to make everything you imagine come true. I offer the best services; High Quality and Customized tours, Free transportation service and Free photo service. I also guarantee a comfortable, pleasant, safe and memorable tour. Enjoy the moment at your own pace and time in Korea, I will capture it as a photo. Thank you                                                                                                                                 

Seoul Tour Guide - Hans K.

Hans K.

5.00 / 5
(1 reviews)
South Korea

Hello Everyone, My name is Hans, I've been living in Seoul Korea over 40 years and working as an officially certified English speaking tour & trekking guide since 2015. I have various experiences in city tours including history, culture, religion, foods and so on, and I met lots of tourists with Private and Group from the world, and understand of what they want to see and do. As a result, I can bring tourist to those major tourist spots and believe you will be satisfied with my tour, and back to home with forgettable memories after the time with me. My tour coverages are Seoul City tour with DMZ, Unesco world heritages, National park trekking, country side cycling tour, and nationwide multiple days tour with my van.                                                                                                                                 

Gyeonggi Tour Guide - Alice K.

Alice K.

South Korea

Hello! I am Alice. I live in Incheon, South Korea. It's very close to Seoul. I want to guide my clients through the charming city of Seoul. Especially when introducing the five grand palaces of Seoul, I would like to invite a professional photographer to capture beautiful moments. I can help them dress in hanbok and create stunning life shots. I also want to guide them through Kyeongju, a city that breathes with a long history. I lived in Kyeongju until my teenage years. I want to introduce UNESCO-listed Kyeongju, a city of culture and history. I have traveled to Jeju Island more than several ten times. I also want to introduce Jeju Island. My clients can go anywhere they want in South Korea. There are many well-preserved cultural heritage sites with a long history in Korea, and they can also experience the convenience of fast-developing Seoul. Come and visit Korea. Let's explore Seoul and travel together anywhere. Traveling in Korea will be a memorable and cherished experience. Best regards. Alice.                                                                                                                                  

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