Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, has expanded rapidly over the last few decades to become one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, attracting more than 10 million tourists each year. Home to megamalls and street markets, towering office buildings and temples, there’s no other city that so perfectly captures the diversity of modern Korean culture. Here are a few places not to miss in this exciting city.
If you are interested in the culture and history of South Korea, you should definitely consider visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace. Built in 1394, the palace has been destroyed and restored several times over the years. The largest and arguably most famous palace in S.Korea, English tours are available for visitors to learn more about the palace’s architecture and life during the famous Joseon Dynasty.
Myeong-dong is one of Seoul ‘s most famous shopping districts, where the rich and famous shop for their favorite brands of designer clothes and cosmetics. Although this district offers plenty of high fashion, Myeong-dong is also known for being a place where you can find just about anything you need, from luxurious to budget-friendly. This district offers a good selection of family restaurants and fast-food chains that serve Western, Korean, and Japanese food. It’s a great place to try out some Korean street food by sampling what’s cooking at the different road-side stalls.
N Seoul Tower
Perched on Mt. Namson, N Seoul Tower is the highest point in Seoul, offering impressive panoramic views over city. Opened to public in 1980, the tower quickly became an iconic symbol of Seoul, and one of the city’s most famous landmarks. The tower recently underwent a major image makeover and the renovated building is now a complete cultural site where visitors can watch movies, exhibitions, and various performances.
Visit Seoul any day of the week and Namdaemun Market will be buzzing with vendors and shoppers. The market encompasses around 30 multistory buildings, housing thousands of shops, where visitors can buy everything from inexpensive clothes, fabrics, houseware, and jewelry, to stationery, gadgets, toys, and flowers. In addition to the shops, the market is packed with numerous street stalls. This crowded and colourful market is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Seoul’s culture.
No holiday in Seoul would be complete without a visit to Nami Island. This tiny island lies in the Han River only 63 km away from Seoul, from where it can be reached in 1.5 hrs by train. Known for its enchanting beauty, the island is particularly picturesque during the autumn and winter seasons, with the autumn colors as our personal favorite (That is when the Ginkgo trees turn yellow)! It’s also well known as the film sight of the celebrated South Korean television serial “Winter Sonata”. Home to chestnut, poplar and ginkgo trees, as well as large grass fields, Nami Island is best explored on foot or by bike, which can be rented on-site.