5 Things To Do In Seoul

by Audrey on July 1, 2012

Seoul is a city where ancient tradition meets modern consumerism. Joseon dynasty palaces stand alongside glass towers, and temples next to shopping mega-structures; yet somehow it all manages to work together. Whether you’re here for a brief visit or find yourself living in this great city, here are some of the places that you simply must visit:

A royal Korean guard wearing a red top hat at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, Korea.

1. Gyeongbokgung

No visit to Seoul would be complete without a stop at the palace that outshines them all. Gyeongbokgung is the largest of the five grand palaces strewn across the city, and with a name like “the Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven” you know it’s worth the visit. The grounds are so extensive that you could spend hours strolling around, and between the curved roofs and hand painted ceilings you will find yourself walking at a snail’s pace with your neck craned upwards.

Subway Line 3 to Gyeongbokgung. Admission $3.

Korean man with a distinct face eating street food in Namdaemun market - Seoul, Korea

2. Namdaemun

Namdaemun Market is Korea’s largest and oldest traditional market. It is a place where you can find everything from dry goods and souvenirs, to neon lingerie and the oh-so-fashionable padded underwear (in case you need a little more junk in the trunk!) The market is packed on the weekends and you can expect to be pushed and shoved by ajummas who are a full foot shorter than you. But Namdaemun isn’t just about shopping, no! It is also a great place to eat street food. Little stalls fill the pedestrian streets and give you an opportunity to munch on Korean snacks at a very cheap price.

Subway Line 4 to Hoehyeon.

A packed crowd of shoppers in the Myeongdong shopping district area of Seoul, Korea

3. Myeong-dong

Myeongdong is a place that overwhelms the senses. It can make the most avid shopper cower at the sight of the crowds marching down the streets with multiple shopping bags in hand. Expect to dish out a fair share of won as the area boasts international brands and high end boutiques which will show your wallet no mercy.

Subway Line 4 to Myeong-dong.

Seoul views of Seoul Tower (Namsan Tower) in Korea.

4. Namsan

Standing 262 meters in height you can hardly call Namsan a mountain, but the peak certainly does boast some great views of the city. You can take a cable car up the mountain, but I prefer walking up on my own two feet because it gives you a great opportunity to spot strange hiking fashions. Hiking boots and climbing sticks versus stilettos and frilly summer skirts. Who will emerge victorious, I wonder? Once you reach the summit you can either go up N Seoul Tower for an even better view of Seoul, or ‘lock’ your love among the thousands of locks found on the railings.

Line 1 or 4 to Seoul Station. Or Line 4 to Myeong-dong for the cable car that goes up the mountain.

Two elderly Korean men sitting on the curb in Itaewon - Seoul, Korea

5. Itaewon

Itaewon is the area that originally sprung up around the US military base, and as such it draws many foreigners. The area’s best feature are the hundreds of international bars and restaurants that line the streets. Whether you’re craving a spicy Indian curry or a mouthwatering enchillada, you’ll be able to find it here. Another bonus that comes with having a neighbourhood that caters solely to foreigners is that there are many foreign good stores that carry the brands you’d expect to find back at home. Kraft dinner or peanut butter, anyone? Yes, but all at for a certain price.

Subway Line 6 to Itaewon.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

London4Travelers July 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

It should be noted that Seoul offers a lot of interesting activities for travelers. There are many interesting things to do, places visit and see in Seoul. Tourists get unforgettable travel experience in Seoul.

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hitokirihoshi August 14, 2012 at 11:34 am

thank you for giving us instant info of where to visit!

May I know if it’s easy and safe to travel there using public vehicles and asking any person? can you give me at least 5 things to remember in relating to them or things I should avoid to do?

Thank you very much again!

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feriebolig tyrkia September 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm

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