Nearly half of South Korea’s population lives in the Seoul metropolitan area, the fifth largest metropolitan area in the world.
Its focal point is a vibrant city bisected by a skyline punctuated by the Han River and mountains.
Seoul has been growing since his mid-20th century, with new projects added every year, including 2017’s 555-meter Lotte World Tower and Zaha Hadid’s sensational Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
However, the city has preserved its history even in the face of invasion from Japan.
Set your course in neighborhoods like Bukchon, home to a maze of Joseon Dynasty palaces, Buddhist temples, and hanok. Feel like a citizen of Seoul as you dine at authentic Korean BBQ restaurants and soak up the city’s street food culture at bustling markets.
1. Gyeongbokgung Palace
The first royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty was built in 1395 and was located in the center of Hanyang at that time.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest of his five grand palaces in Seoul and consists of hundreds of buildings.
It is endowed with tremendous symbolism and was twice destroyed by the Japanese during the Japanese invasion of Korea (1592–1598) and its subsequent occupation of Korea in the 20th century.
The palace has undergone a 40-year painstaking restoration project since 1989. His two spectacular elements of Gyeonghoeru and Hyangwon Pavilion have survived all of this turmoil relatively unscathed and must be seen alongside Kunjongjeong (Throne Hall). Gangnyeongjeon (royal palace), Gyotaejeon (queen’s residence), and Jabokjae, the library of Gojong (1852-1919). At Gwanghwamun, the main gate on the south side of the palace, you can see the Changing of the Guard ceremony every hour on the hour from 10:00 and 15:00.
The Korean Folk Museum and the National Palace Museum are both located within the vast grounds of the palace.
2. N Seoul Tower
When built at the turn of the 1970s, N Seoul Tower was Korea’s first general broadcasting tower.
This space-age building sits on top of the 243-meter-high Namsan Mountain, and the summit of the over 236-meter-tall tower is about 480 meters above sea level.
There are souvenir shops and restaurants in the square below, and a young couple shows their love by attaching padlocks to the railings at the foot of the tower.
Above the plaza are four floors with a restaurant (T1), a wishing pond, an observatory, a cafe, and a photo studio (T2), featuring a powerful digital telescope and 32 LED screens representing Korean history. Equipped with a “digital observatory” (T3) and a revolving French restaurant that changes to T5 every 48 minutes (most buildings in Korea don’t have the fourth floor, the number is considered unlucky). Come at night to see the city of 10 million bathed in a sea of glittering lights.
3. Changdeokgung Palace
To the east of Gyeongbokgung is Changdeokgung, built a little later in the early 15th century.
The best-preserved of the surviving Joseon palaces in Seoul was built by Taejong, the fifth son of King Taejo, the first king of the Joseon Dynasty.
In a dispute among princes in the late 1390s, Taejong (then known as Yi Hee no Bangwon) murdered all of his half-brothers and heirs to the throne and changed the location of the royal palace for political reasons. Did.
Changdeokgung Palace is the longest-serving royal palace, and its design is less formal than Gyeongbokgung Palace and blends in with its natural surroundings.
The Royal Area is nested in several tiers of government and public institution buildings, protecting this sacred site in the event of a robbery. Throne Hall (Injeongjeon), a national treasure built in 1405 and rebuilt in 1610, Geumcheon Bridge, the oldest existing bridge in Seoul built in 1411, and built-in 1412 and rebuilt in the 17th century.
4. National Museum of Korea
The largest museum in South Korea and one of the largest in Asia, the National Museum of Korea is spread over three floors and filled with hundreds of thousands of artifacts dating back to prehistoric times.
Calligraphy, celadon porcelain, embankments, sculptures, paintings, etc., are all precious items that cannot be seen in a day.
If time is of the essence, here are some must-see places to see Korea’s national treasures.
The star must be the gilded bronze Maitreya Bodhisattva, a treasure from the Silla period of the early 7th century (No. 83).
Also from the Kingdom of Silla is his 5th-century gold crown (No. 191) recovered from the tomb of Hwangnam Daegu, Gyeongju. A monumental piece is the ten-story high 14th-century Jingchuan Temple Pagoda, displayed in one of the main halls. The calligraphy and painting gallery on the second floor houses Master Dongwon’s album of his 18th-century genre paintings.
The outdoor area of the museum is lovely in good weather and is dotted with pagodas, gardens with native plants, lanterns, stone monuments, waterfalls, and pools.
5. Lotte World
This large complicated in Sincheon-dong is the biggest indoor leisure park withinside the world, connected with the aid of using a monorail to a doors leisure park on a synthetic island, and all followed with the aid of using a luxurious hotels, malls, cinemas, an ice rink and a peoples museum charting 5,000 years of Korean history.
The epic indoor park is on 4 flooring below a tumbler dome, with areas committed to a distinctive part of the world (for instance, a European-fashion village, Arabian courtyard, Jungle). There are 22 rides in all, complemented with the aid of using regular parades, suggestions, and seasonal festivals.
That people’s museum is a must-see and may be located at Adventure 3F, at the same time as the French Revolution2 VR has become the primary Korean roller-coaster to apply digital truth generation whilst it opened after a revamp in 2017. In precise climate you may go the bridge to Magic Island, commanded with the aid of using a Disney-fashion fairytale citadel and providing rides just like the Atlantis Adventure metal roller-coaster and Gyro Drop, an adrenaline-pumping drop trip additionally the usage of VR.
6. Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)
Almost indescribable, DDP is a mesmerizing urban landmark, made up of curved, elongated structures that resemble giant chunks of liquid metal, all designed by Zaha Hadid.
It’s a cultural hub, a futuristic shopping space, the linchpin of Dongdaemun, South Korea’s largest fashion district, integrated with Seoul’s subway system, and featuring a rooftop walkable park.
As the starting point for Korea’s creative industry, DDP hosts design-oriented exhibitions, forums, K-pop concerts, fashion shows, and conferences, and features an art hall, museum hall, design market, design lab, and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park. increase.
This final section, located outdoors, documents the facility’s history as a military training ground for the Joseon Dynasty, preserving the remains of hanok (traditional Korean houses) and the foundations of Seoul’s city walls.
Come back at night to see the DDP lit up and visit the beautiful LED Rose Garden.
7. National Folk Museum of Korea
The museums on the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace cover three main themes:
The history of Koreans up to the end of the Joseon dynasty in 1910, village life in pre-modern times, ancient links between Korean culture and Confucianism, and how their ideologies led to practices that continue to this day.
Each of these three themes has halls filled with over 100,000 artifacts.
There are pits for making kimchi pots, rice storage, musical instruments, and items related to worship such as spirit columns and cairns.
Also noteworthy are the traditional Korean-style skyscrapers topped with pagodas.
The museum arranges guided tours by appointment and offers a program of short exhibitions, seminars, workshops, concerts, and performance arts.
8. War Memorial of Korea
With indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces, the Korean War Memorial commemorates the Korean War (1950-1953) from a South Korean perspective and chronicles South Korea’s broader military history.
It was built in the early 1990s on the site of a former military base in Yongsan-gu.
Nearly 10,000 artifacts from over 30,000 collections are on display both indoors and outdoors. His six halls inside are the expeditionary force room, the military history room, the development room, the patriotic memorial room, the 6/25 Korean War room, and the large machine room.
See prehistoric weapons and equipment, planes, battlefield paintings, and monuments to figures such as Korean independence activist An Jung-Geun, who assassinated then-Private Council President Hirobumi Ito in 1909. The lawn around the museum building is reserved for a large array of heavy equipment such as jets, helicopters, tanks, artillery, and rockets.
9. Lotte World Tower
In the 2010s, the world’s fifth tallest building emerged above Lotte World in Songpa-gu.
Inspired by traditional Korean ceramics and calligraphy brushes, the pagoda’s outline is 555 meters high.
With offices, luxury residences, and a hotel (76th to 101st floors), the building is part of the Lotte World Mall complex, which houses fashion shops and the largest duty-free store in South Korea.
There is also an aquarium, Asia’s largest multiplex cinema, and a concert hall.
Lotte World Tower’s 117th-123rd floors are part of Seoul Sky, with a lounge bar, cafe, and ‘Photo Zone’. 117 has a stunning viewing floor and was the world’s tallest glass floor observation deck when the tower was completed in 2017.
10. Seoul Arts Center
South Korea’s National Performing Arts Center occupies a sprawling complex in Seocho-gu, built just in time for the Seoul Olympics, which will host performances during the event.
The Seoul Arts Center is home to famous national theater companies and ensembles such as the National Opera of Korea, the National Ballet of Korea, and the Korea Symphony Orchestra.
If you think the Opera House looks like headwear, you’re right because it was designed to commemorate Gat, the traditional Korean bamboo hat.
Besides, he has two auditoriums as Seoul Calligraphy Museum, Hangaram Art Museum, Amphitheater, and Hangaram Design Museum.
The complex has plenty of outdoor space around an umyeonji (Korean pond) and janto (market), and also hosts performances in the summer. See grand operas, Broadway-style musicals, choral and recital performances, and groundbreaking exhibitions at the Hangaram Museum of Art.
In recent years, works by Cubist artists and Frida Kahlo have appeared.
11. Dongdaemun Market
It is difficult to grasp the size of the business district around Heunginjimun, the east gate of Seoul Fortress.
Dongdaemun Market is home to 26 shopping malls, over 30,000 specialty stores, and 50,000 manufacturers cramming space.
You could stop by for an hour or two and leave before the crowds hit, but many of the stores cater to the youth market, so keen and fashion-conscious shoppers can spend an entire day looking for bargains. You can spend your time easily.
An alley in Dongdaemun Market, Mokja Geolmok is perfect for foodies and Korean culinary crash courses.
In front of a small bench, there is mandu (dumplings), gimbap (Korean sushi rolls), bibimbap (mixed rice), tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), dak hanmari (whole chicken soup), and dakganjeong (sticky and crispy fried). There are food stalls. chicken), karmandu (soup) with noodles), and naengmyeon (North Korean cold noodles, mostly kimchi).
It’s no coincidence that the Hongdae district has become super trendy.
The location is right in front of Hongik University, known for its art school, and in the 80s and his 90’s a young graduate set up a studio in an affordable location in the city.
Hongdae has evolved from that first wave but retains its creative pride with its indie music scene, hip shops, cafes, galleries, clubs, and fashionable restaurants.
Every Saturday from March to November, there’s an outdoor stage for live music, cool street art on Hongdae Mural Street, and an open-air market outside the main entrance of the university.
Try noraebang, the answer to Korean karaoke, at a private booth, visit the arcade Zzang Games, sample delicious street food, and (really!) Play with sheep at Thanks Nature Café.
13. Bukchon Hanok Village
For a stroll down a scenic memory lane, Bukchon Hanok Village offers a neighborhood of narrow streets lined with traditional wooden houses, or hanoks.
Ten minutes north of Anguk Station, there are up to 900 of these buildings with gray giwa roof tiles and tall eaves in the corners.
The village is one of the last enclaves of this architectural style in South Korea and was preserved thanks to the efforts of locals who rebuilt it in the 1960s.
During the Joseon Dynasty’s royal era, wealthy merchants and government officials lived in many of these houses, but today they are occupied by teahouses, restaurants, specialty shops, studios, cultural centers, and guest houses.
One of the most beautiful hilltop hanoks has been open to the public since 2015 as part of the Seoul Museum of History.
14. Cheonggyecheon Stream
Flowing more than eight kilometers east to west through central Seoul, this creek was covered with concrete as transportation infrastructure during the rapid post-war development known as the Miracle of the Han River.
Cheonggyecheon finally saw the light of day after more than 40 years of his $900 million urban renewal project that ended in 2005. This improved air quality provided clean sanctuaries for fish and birds and cooled nearby areas by up to 3%. 6° from C
You can start your visit at the stunning Cheonggye Plaza, whose design is inspired by bojagi, the traditional Korean swaddle.
Here you can see a model of the creek, a plaque describing the massive restoration project, and the 22 bridges that now cross the creek.
One of the creek’s most beautiful features just off the square is the candlelight fountain. This two-tiered waterfall marks the beginning of the flow to the Hangang (Han River) and is stunning with colorful illumination at night.
15. Gwanghwamun Square
Gwanghwamun Square, which was once the main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace, is an impressive square built on the site of a 16-lane road in the 2000s.
Long before that, it was the center of Hanyang, the capital of the Joseon dynasty.
Opened in 2009, the square features a towering bronze statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin (1545-1598). General Yi Sun-shin was a naval commander known for his victory in Japan’s invasion of Korea (1592-1598), and the most famous king of the Joseon Dynasty, Sejong, was great. (1397-1450). Below both figure is a small underground museum that explains their meaning.
The square is lined with government buildings and has many interesting details to ponder, such as the Yeoksamulgil (History Waterway), a sculpture of the symbol of Seoul (Haechi), and Yi Sun-shin’s behind his 12.23 Fountain. He fought on twelve warships.
16. Namdaemun Gate
Namdaemun, South Korea’s first National Treasure, is the south gate of Seoul Fortress, built at the beginning of the Joseon Dynasty in the 14th century.
This stone monument topped by a two-story pagoda was the main entrance to the city for foreign emissaries.
Like the rest of the fort system, Siberian tigers were a real threat until they were exterminated during the Japanese occupation in the 20th century.
Formerly the oldest wooden structure in Seoul, the pagoda was damaged by arson in 2008 and was restored in 2013. The streets around Namdaemun are the oldest and largest marketplaces in South Korea, whose history dates back to the early 15th century in 2008.
Around Insadong, the main street crisscrossed by chaotic, winding alleys, is Seoul’s Antique Trade Center.
Along the way, you’ll find up to 100 galleries dotted with cafes, traditional Korean restaurants, and coffee shops.
Insadong has up to 100 galleries dedicated to all aspects of Korean art, sculpture, and ceramics.
Tsuruya Gallery is the center of folk art, and if you want to see new talent, head to the Gana Art Gallery and Art Center.
Every Saturday from 14:00 to 22:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 22:00, the main street becomes a pedestrian street and a place to discover Korean culture. You can watch street performances and parades, do fortune-telling, taste pajeon (green onion pancakes) and traditional Korean sweets, and set up outdoor stalls where shops display their wares.
18. Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
This two-part museum showcases Korean traditional and contemporary art by Korean and international artists.
The Mario Botta Museum 1 houses an amazing collection of Korean art and antiques, 36 of which are designated National Treasures.
There are celadon and buncheong pottery, 13th-century decorative daggers, crowns, landscapes, portraits, Buddhist manuscripts, paintings, and sculptures.
An inverted cone-shaped basement through the floor is shared with Museum 2, designed by Jean Nouvel, with a rich permanent collection featuring Yves Klein, Damien Hirst, Rothko, and Andy Warhol.
The museum’s master plan is the work of Rem Koolhaas. Rem Koolhaas also designed the Samsung Children’s Education and Cultural Center, a space that will inspire the next great artist.
19. Jogyesa Temple
A landmark and main hall of Korean Buddhism, Jogyesa Temple is located in Insa-dong near Gyeongbokgung Palace.
It is also the main hall of the Jogye sect, which can be traced back to Dogi Daishi, who introduced Zen from China to Korea 1,200 years ago in the 9th century.
Built in the late 14th century, during the early Joseon Dynasty, during the Japanese colonial invasion from 1910 to 1945, the temple served as a bulwark of resistance to the suppression of Korean Buddhism.
Daeungjeon (main hall) was built in 1938 with pine trees from Mt.
There are two trees in the main hall, a 500-year-old white pine and a white pine (bellflower). The temple is free to visit year-round and, along with Bongeunsa, is one of two anchor sites that celebrate the Buddha’s birthday, usually in late April or May.
By visiting daily, you can learn about the traditions of the Jogye sect, learn temple etiquette, create mandalas, participate in tea ceremonies, and practice meditation.
20. Namsangol Hanok Village
For those fascinated by Bukchon Hanok Village, there is a beautiful ensemble of traditional buildings on the northern slopes of Namsan Mountain.
Namsan Hanok Village is smaller than that and was established here in 1998 when five Joseon dynasty hanoks were resettled from other parts of the city. What is interesting is that the houses offer a glimpse into the lifestyles of people of different social classes: middle class, government officials, aristocrats, and aristocrats.
These mansions were the property of important figures such as the parents of Princess Yoon, the consort of King Sunjong, the 27th King of the Joseon Dynasty, and Lee Seung-yeop, who oversaw the construction of Gyeongbokgung Palace.
The houses include pavilions, performing arts stages, traditional gardens, and a square with a time capsule buried in it, to be excavated in 2394.
Perched on the slopes of Mt. Sudo, this Buddhist temple dates back to the late 8th century Silla period.
During the Joseon Dynasty, Buddhism was suppressed and the temple was demolished.
The ban was lifted by Queen Munjeong (1501–1565) and Bongeunsa became the main temple of the Zen sect from 1551 to 1936. The temple houses thousands of scriptures, including the writings of Jin Jeong, the 19th Hui scholar.
For those who want to immerse themselves in Korean Buddhist culture, there is a temple stay program where you can experience and participate in rituals such as morning prayers, Korean Zen meditation, tea ceremonies, and traditional Buddhist food, baluugonyang. On September 9th of each lunar calendar, a ceremony called Zhengdaibutsuji is held here, in which monks wear sutras on their heads and recite Buddhist rituals.
22. Seoul Grand Park
Heading south from Seoul on subway line 4, the highland environment around Mt. Cheonggye offers a huge park complex with a variety of attractions.
Seoul Grand Park is home to South Korea’s largest zoo and botanical garden, as well as the Seoul Land amusement park, which we’ll cover later in this list.
The Seoul Grand Park Zoo moved to this location in 1984 and is the 10th largest zoo in the world, home to about 3,000 animals of 350 species from around the world, including black bears, Siberian tigers, rhinos, and lions. I’m here.
There is a botanical garden at the foot of Mt. Cheonggye with greenhouses planted with desert and tropical plants, carnivorous plants, and orchids.
For children, the Children’s Grand Park has its zoo, botanical garden, amusement park, and rides, all set in soothing greenery.
23. Gwangjang Market
Korea’s first permanent market dates back to the late Joseon Dynasty and was established in 1905. A short walk west of Dongdaemun Market, Gwajang Market is famous for its textiles, which can be found in the many shops selling silk, satin, and linen on the second floor.
These are sold directly by the manufacturer and are not branded, but the quality is exceptional considering the price.
The alleyways of Gwangjang Market are a big part of the attraction, lined with hawkers selling delicious, authentic street food.
Try yukhoe (a type of steak tartare), sashimi, Cheong (fried pancakes), bindatteok (mung bean pancakes), bibimbap (mixed rice), and tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes).
24. South Korea Demilitarised Zone Half & Full Day Tour
A day trip from Seoul that doesn’t let you share the no man’s land between South Korea.
GetYourGuide.com offers a wide variety of tours. Our most popular half-day or full-day tours include pickup and drop-off from all major central hotels.
The DMZ, 2.5 miles wide (1.25 miles on each side of the border) and extending 155 miles along the 38th parallel across the Korean Peninsula, was formed by an agreement between the People’s Republics at the end of the 1953 Korean War. it was done. South Korea and the United Nations Command.
Visitors enter the mile-long Third Tunnel secretly dug by the North in case of a possible invasion.
The DMZ Theater and Exhibition Hall tell the story of the project and how it was discovered in 1978 after a tip from a North Korean defector. At the top of Mt. Dora, you can look north across the 38th parallel from the Dora Observatory with binoculars and Dorasan Station, which is designed to connect the rail network to the north should the border open in the future can visit
25. Seodaemun Prison
Seodaemun Prison commemorates the period of Japanese rule from 1910 to 1945 and is located in Seodaemun Independence Park.
Dating back to the late Joseon Dynasty, the prison became a place of shame where South Korean dissidents were tortured and executed during the Japanese occupation.
Key inmates included Kim Gu, who later became prime minister of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, and Yoo Gwan-sun, a central figure in his 3.1 independence movement, who died under torture here in 1920. The prison was used as a detention center after independence until 1987 when it was converted into a memorial museum with many thought-provoking exhibits.
You can see seven cells, a watchtower, an execution chamber, a hospital, a central exhibition hall, a corpse-carrying tunnel, and the cell where Yanu Gwan-sun died.
26. 63 Building
Among the skyscrapers in Yeouido, Building 63 is easily recognizable for its gold plating. When completed in the mid-1980s, it was the tallest skyscraper (250 meters) outside of North America.
Designed as a landmark for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the building is the headquarters of several major financial companies, including Korea Life Insurance.
The lower floors contain approximately 90 shops, an aquarium, banquet halls, and a convention center.
A glass-enclosed elevator takes you up to the 60th-floor Skydeck. This Skydeck has recently been transformed into a space for art exhibitions (the tallest gallery in the world) and performances such as magic shows.
On a clear day, relax with views of the mountains of Seoul, the Han River, and the coast of Incheon to the west.
26. Jongmyo Shrine
In contrast to the grand palace, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Jongmyo Shrine is dedicated to performing ancestral ceremonies for the late kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty.
The original building was constructed in the late 14th century but had to be rebuilt after the invasion of Korea (1592-1598). A mortuary tablet inscribed with the teachings of this former member of the royal family is housed here, and centuries-old ceremonies combining court music and dance continue to be performed at the shrine, continuing a 600-year-old tradition.
The modest complex of buildings here has remained largely unchanged since the late 16th century and consists of the Seiden (Main Hall), Yeongnyeongjeon (Temple of Eternal Peace), and various annexes.
The Seiden is a sensational piece of architecture and is considered the world’s tallest free-standing wooden structure at 109 meters.
27. Sejong Center for the Performing Arts
Seoul’s largest performing arts venue is located on Sejongno Boulevard in Jongno-gu.
Like the street, Sejong Center is named after King Sejong the Great (1397-1450), the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty.
Constructed during his four years until 1978, the building is a blend of modernist architecture and traditional Korean decoration, with large eaves.
The center includes a large 3,000-seat main auditorium, a smaller 442-seat minor hall, four galleries, and the Sejong Convention Center.
The Sejong Center is home to many famous theater companies and ensembles, including the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Seoul Metropolitan Theater Company, the Seoul Metropolitan Opera, and the Seoul Metropolitan Choir. The program is always interesting, from classical soloist concerts to major operas, international festivals, ballets, film concerts, musicals, and traditional Korean dance performances.
Notable in the main auditorium, the Grand Theater, is Asia’s largest pipe he organ with 8,098 pipes and a case designed to resemble the geomungo, a traditional Korean stringed instrument.
In Yongsan District, I came across a neighborhood whose shops and people looked nothing like the surrounding cities.
A cosmopolitan enclave east of the US Army Garrison Yongsan, Itaewon is not only extremely diverse but also densely populated with shops, restaurants, and nightclubs.
With over 20,000 foreigners living here, Itaewon is the place to go if people are looking for non-Korean food and ingredients from across Europe, India, Southeast Asia, Mexico, and the United States.
You could call it a Chinatown, but for any country in the world, like many Chinatowns, the concentration of stores is amazing.
People mainly come for clothes and fashion accessories. Leather products are Itaewon’s true strength. With more than 100 shops, Antique Furniture Street is reminiscent of the 1960s, when American soldiers sold furniture before heading home.
29. Ihwa Mural Village
At the foot of Naksan Park, a corner of Ewha-dong was revived in the mid-2000s with imagination and quirky street art.
This is an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, which commissioned about 70 artists to create murals, installations, and community gardens.
Surrounded by Seoul’s old city walls and in rugged terrain, traditionally low-working-class Ewha-dong was settled by refugees at the end of the Korean War in the 1950s.
In the 80s and 90s, the neighborhood fell into disrepair as people moved to wealthier parts of the city, and public art made the city more attractive and helped build a sense of community.
The project was not without its problems, with many works dating back to 2006 being removed after complaints of loss of privacy due to the influx of tourists. Since the 2010s, residents have been consulted for new designs. Aside from finding the murals, you’ll enjoy navigating the stairs and alleys of this quirky part of town.
30. MMCA Seoul
The fourth branch of Korea’s National Museum of Contemporary Art opened in 2013, right next to Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul.
Located in and around the Military Defense Security Command Complex, this museum specializes in international contemporary art.
A notable feature of the design is that the museum incorporates the concept of a ‘Madang’, a large convivial courtyard for gatherings.
It has a multi-purpose hall for performance and interdisciplinary arts, and a 122-seat theater that shows experimental films and hosts festivals.
When I compiled this list in the summer of 2019, I saw a retrospective of Park Hee’s Sobo, who emerged as Korea’s first unofficial artist in the 1950s, and CoBrA founding member Asger Joan’s (1914-1973) Asian debut. There was an exhibition.
31. Olympic Park
The sprawling 1988 Olympic venues in Songpa-gu, southeast of the city, contained many facilities, from cycling fields to tennis courts, a gymnasium, swimming pools, and a fencing stadium (now used for handball). The facility remains intact. ). These venues are located in locations with a much older history, dating back to the Baekje kingdom (between 1,500 and 2,000 years).
The earthen walls of Mongchon Fortress were also the site of the modern pentathlon competition, and relics unearthed during pre-Olympic excavations were stored in the Baekje Museum.
The 1.45 million sq m site is full of things to do.
You can rent a bike or pedal car to get around and visit individual parks such as The Leisure Sports Park offers a variety of facilities, while the Culture and Arts Park hosts live performances and serves as the backdrop for the Seoul Olympic Museum, famous for its music fountains and sculptures.
A dense network of streets and alleys lit by numerous neon signs, Myeongdong is there along with some of Seoul’s most popular shopping districts.
This honeypot for Chinese and Japanese tourists can be packed with up to two million people in a single day.
His two main thoroughfares, starting from Myeongdong subway station and the Lotte department store, meet at the center of the grid.
In terms of stores, Myeongdong is dominated by mid-range to high-end international brands such as Zara, H&M, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, and Polo Ralph Lauren.
From late March through mid-April and September, the Myeongdong Festival features parades, sales, live music, and dance performances. If you like kalguksu (noodle soup) and dongas (pork chops), Myeongdong is a must-visit, with plenty of street food trucks.
33. Myeongdong Nanta Theatre
Nanta was an international hit that made headlines at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and became the first Korean show to extend its run on Broadway. Nanta is his non-verbal comedy show featuring traditional Samulnori percussion instruments.
The plot involves three chefs competing to prepare a wedding reception and dealing with the manager’s incompetent nephew among the kitchen staff.
Even without dialogue, Nanta is readily accessible and families can enjoy a mix of music (using kitchen utensils), pantomime, physical comedy, magic tricks, and audience participation.
His show at Myeongdong Nanta Theater lasted just over an hour. You can book it online.
34. Seoul City Hall
The city’s most important administrative buildings are located directly behind the predecessor building, directly in the central Seoul Plaza.
The original Seoul City Hall, which now houses the Seoul Public Library, is a crown-style monument from the Japanese colonial era and dates back to 1925. The futuristic new City Hall was completed in 2012 and looks like a great wreck. The waves are also a nod to the past, reminiscent of the folds of a hanok.
You can join his free 70-minute guided tour. English tour starts at 2 pm on Tuesday, and 10:30 and 15:00 on Saturday.
Inside highlights include a vertical garden that controls airflow, temperature, and humidity and a collection of weapons from the Joseon dynasty. The square in front is a gathering place for demonstrations and protests, with a skating rink open every winter from mid-December to February.
35. Changgyeonggung Palace
The palace was first built in the mid-15th century by King Sejong, the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, as his father’s residence.
Later that century, King Seongjong’s Changgyeonggung Palace was expanded, and this floor plan is what greets you today.
The complex was damaged twice by Japanese forces during his invasion of Korea in the late 16th century and his occupation in the 20th century. At this time, many buildings were demolished and the site was converted into a park.
The palace was rebuilt in the 1980s to its 15th-century appearance.
One of the surviving elements from the early 17th-century reconstruction is the Myeongjeongjeon (Jeongjeon), which is the oldest of all the main halls in the royal palaces of Seoul and has been designated a National Treasure. In front of it is the arched Tamagawa Bridge over a pond, characteristic of palaces of the Joseon Dynasty.
This leads to the courtyard in front of the main hall, which is bisected by three parallel paths, with the central path only accessible to the king.
36. Samcheongdong-Gil Road
If you want to explore more of old Seoul, don’t miss the romantic Samcheong-dong Street next to Bukchon Hanok Village, which has even more hanok houses.
These historic buildings include fashion boutiques, design shops, antique shops, galleries, restaurants, and cafes.
Despite their traditional appearance, they are all very modern.
Samcheongdong-Gil is popular as a first date spot.
The best times for walking are spring when the flowers are in full bloom and autumn when the leaves are beautiful.
37. National Hangeul Museum
Not just for linguists, the National Hangeul Museum explores the fascinating history of the Korean writing system.
With many informational signs written in English, the museum delves into the linguistic structure and development of Hangeul over hundreds of years, adding political and cultural context.
Learn how this alphabet has become a cultural asset and how it complements the Korean language.
For children, there is an Hangeul playground that offers fun and hands-on learning activities. If you are serious about improving your Korean, the Hangeul Learning Center is an invaluable resource.
38. Han River: Night Cruise
Seoul is hot and humid in the middle of summer, so for a quick break in the evening, board a cruise ship and feel the breeze on a 40-minute sightseeing cruise.
Seeing new skyscrapers like the record-breaking Lotte World Tower pop up on Seoul’s skyline every year is a breathtaking experience.
One of the highlights of this trip is Banpo Bridge, which has the world’s longest bridge well at 1,140 meters.
Water erupts from 380 jets and is illuminated in rainbow colors by more than 10,000 LEDs.
On weekends and holidays, a fireworks display is held behind the bridge which can be seen from the boat.
39. Seoul City Wall
The Great Wall of China (Hanyangdoseong), which guards central Seoul, forms an 18.6-kilometer ring that cuts across four major mountains surrounding central Seoul.
Bugaksan, Naksan, Namsan, Yeongwangsan.
Eight meters high, this defensive wall was built in the late 14th century, early in the Joseon Dynasty, and took him 30 years to build.
As the city expanded, some were demolished, especially to secure tram lines in the early 20th century.
However, although the long section retains its original height, two of its four original main gates, the Namdaemun (South Gate) and Koninjimon (East Gate), retain their original shape. It is protected as a national treasure.
Of the four main gates and four secondary gates, only two of his were completely lost. The most popular and well-preserved section of the wall is the 2.3-kilometer section over Bugaksan Mountain through Sukjeongmun Gate to Changuimun Gate.
40. Seoullo 7017
Coulet Verte Rene Dumont, or Seoul’s answer to the High Line, is a park on the former Seoul Station flyover.
Seoullo 7017 opened in May 2017 and has about 24,000 plants, flowers, and trees of 230 species (hydrangea, magnolia, and rose bloom beautifully in spring and summer) along 17 walkways.
The name 7017 refers to the year the overpass was built (1970), the number of trails, and the year the park opened.
There are information centers, gift shops, and many cafes and kiosks selling Korean snacks.
For additional background, the Seoul Tourism Office offers three free walking tours at Seoullo 7017.
From Hanyang to Seoul, explore modern and contemporary architecture in Seoullo, Seoullo Night Tour.
41. Trickeye Museum
A tourist favorite in Hongdae, the Trickeye Museum showcases amazing works developed by the gallery owner, mainly using augmented reality and traditional 3D illusions.
A free section of 10 tracks will give you a taste of the content before paid entries grant you access to an additional 55. With the Trickeye Camera app, you can interact with AR paintings and immerse yourself in these tiny worlds to capture photos and videos. Ride a pair of dragons and sharks, dance to Jack Vettriano’s The Singing Butler, ride a horse to John Collier’s Lady Godiva or relax in Provence to Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night. You can
Also part of the attraction is the Ice Museum, filled with skilled ice sculptures, including a fully equipped living room with ice chairs, a piano, and a TV.
42. Starfield COEX Mall
The largest underground mall in Asia, located in the center of Seoul, directly across from Samsung Station.
Starfield COEX Mall is over 150,000 square meters, almost all on one floor, with a rather spectacular atrium and five open spaces.
The mall is also connected to his COEX Convention Center, which has hosted events such as the Seoul Motor Show and his G20 Summit in 2010. For fashionistas, this shopper’s paradise is home to hundreds of national and international brands, among them Seoul’s famous street style, now the affordable champion of his scene, and recently to the United States. There is also his ÅLAND which was exported.
There’s also an aquarium, a museum dedicated to kimchi, and a 17-screen Megabox Cineplex. Avid K-poppers should check out SMTOWN Coex Artium, run by the SM Entertainment label.
Fans can tour rehearsal and recording studios, experience holograms of his performances, and purchase merchandise from artists such as Kangta, S.E.S., Red Velvet, and Traxx.
43. The Land of Seoul
In 1987, just before the Olympics, South Korea’s first theme park opened in Gwacheon on the slopes of Cheonggyesan Mountain south of Seoul.
Seoul Land may look smaller than South Korea’s largest theme park, Everland, but it’s much more convenient as it’s midway from downtown Seoul.
There are over 50 rides and attractions, from fast-paced roller coasters like the Double Loop Coaster and Black Hole 2000 to theatrical experiences using 3D and motion technology.
Any kid who’s into dinosaurs will love Jurassic Land.
Seoulland has four seasons, including the Tulip Festival from April to May, the Starlight Rose Festival from July to August, the Chrysanthemum Festival from July to August, and the Snow Light Festival from December to February. is also famous for its festival. Catch the nightly laser show after sunset in the summer.
44. Dream Concert
Held at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, this annual one-day K-pop festival celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019. Dream Concert every May brings together his cast of 24 K-pop artists, the largest in the world.
In 2019, Red Velvet, Seventeen, NCT, and Taemin will appear.
Tickets go on sale one month in advance, so be quick.
If you’re an avid K-popper and visiting outside of May, head over to one of the major TV studios to catch famous showcase records like Music His Bank or Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook (KBS). You can catch his performance live for free by getting it. Performance! Music Core (MBC), Inkicao (SBS), M Countdown (Mnet Studio).