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SeoulSouth Korea

The South Korean metropolis has some of Asia’s busiest markets and nightlife districts alongside tranquil teahouses and palaces surrounded by gardens.

Seoul is brimming with youthful vibrancy. Art galleries, cinemas, bars and boutiques are dotted all over the city. Seoulites are also in touch with their past, and you’ll find plenty of instances of traditional Korean culture in palaces and theatres.

Korea has suffered from many conflicts, and some of the bruises still show in Seoul. The city’s Five Grand Palaces are testament to this; all of these complexes have been destroyed or badly damaged. Today they have largely been restored to their former glory and house national treasures, art and traditional architecture. For particularly fine examples of these palaces, visit Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung and Changgyeonggung.

Locals possess optimism and friendliness in abundance. Younger Seoulites will be eager to use their language skills to help you out, and older residents, although not as proficient with their English, are still overwhelmingly warm.

Shopping opportunities in Seoul are boundless. Choose from designer outlets in Myeongdong, traditional craft shops at Insadong and bargain malls at the huge Dongdaemun Market. Wear your new attire while exploring the city’s nightlife. Hongdae Young Street has an eclectic collection of bars, clubs, live music and independent cinema.

Soak up classic Korean culture at venues like Chongdong Theatre. Here, you can marvel at spectaculars featuring traditional music, dance and costume. Sample local cuisine at well-priced stalls and restaurants that serve Korean classics such as kalguksu (“knife noodles”) or donkas (deep-fried pork cutlets). Foodies will want to pay homage to the Korean national dish (kimchi) at the Pulmuone Kimchi Museum. Kimchi is a fermented vegetable (cabbage, radish or cucumber) dish seasoned with spices. Finish your dining experience with a visit to one of Seoul’s excellent teahouses.

When you want some quiet time, escape to one of Seoul’s regenerated areas, such as Cheonggyecheon Stream. This stretch of water in the city center features greenery, wildlife and local art. It’s a great example of Seoul’s ability to innovate, educate and entertain all at once.

Seoul has hot summers and cold winters. The best time to visit is around March through May (spring), or September through November (fall) . Navigate the city using the well-priced and efficient subway system, considered one of the best in the world.

Seoul Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Seoul

Myeongdong featuring shopping, night scenes and street scenes

Myeongdong

Enjoy the popular shops in Myeongdong. Seoul City Hall is a worthwhile stop, and you can jump on the metro at Euljiro 1-ga Station or Myeong-dong Station to see more of Seoul.

Myeongdong
Dongdaemun Design Plaza which includes modern architecture as well as a couple

Jung-gu

4.5/5Wonderful!(171 area reviews)

N Seoul Tower and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park are top sights in Jung-gu, and you should be sure to explore the popular shops. Hop aboard the metro at Chungmuro Station or Dongguk University Station to see more sights in the area.

Jung-gu
Insadong which includes shopping as well as a small group of people

Insadong

Insadong is known for its ample dining options, and you can make a stop by Cheonggyecheon and Alive Museum Insadong while in the area.

Insadong
Seocho-gu which includes a river or creek, a bridge and modern architecture

Seocho-gu

4.5/5Wonderful!(3 area reviews)

Consider a visit to Seoul Arts Center and take some time to enjoy the abundant dining options during your time in Seocho-gu. If you want to see more of the city, jump on the metro at Sadang Station or Chongshin University (ISU) Station.

Seocho-gu

Top hotels in Seoul

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan - Seoul Dragon City
Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan - Seoul Dragon City
4.5 out of 5
95, Cheongpa-ro 20-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
The price is AU$121 per night

Located in Yongsan-gu, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Yongsan Electronics Market and Shilla I’Park Mall. War Memorial of Korea is 1.5 mi (2.4 ...

4.3/5Excellent! (890 reviews)

"A great price for a five star hotel, a great location and right next to a big shopping mall"…"

Reviewed on 17 May 2020

Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan - Seoul Dragon City
SIGNIEL SEOUL
SIGNIEL SEOUL
5 out of 5
Lotte World Tower 76F-101F, 300 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
The price is AU$504 per night

Located in Songpa, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Lotte World Tower, Lotte World and Lotte World Mall. Olympic Park and COEX Convention and ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (819 reviews)

"From the time I was greeted at the entry to leaving a few hours later, the, food, service and atmosphere compared favourably to a fine dining restaurant in Seoul 잠쉴스, The menu was large without being too hard to choose from, the quality and quantity was excellent, and matched to a great wine list, ..."…"

Reviewed on 27 Mar. 2020

SIGNIEL SEOUL
L7 Gangnam by LOTTE
L7 Gangnam by LOTTE
4 out of 5
415, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Gangnam
The price is AU$121 per night

Located in Gangnam, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from COEX Convention and Exhibition Center, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Namsan Park and National Museum of Korea. ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,602 reviews)

"Good location, walking distance to coex. Will visit again."…"

Reviewed on 2 Mar. 2020

L7 Gangnam by LOTTE

Popular places to visit in Seoul

Dongdaemun History and Culture Park
Image for Dongdaemun History and Culture Park

Dongdaemun History and Culture Park

4.5/5(72 reviews)

This sizable commercial district is home to a staggering number of shopping malls, specialty stores and traditional Korean marketplaces. 

N Seoul Tower
Image for N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

4.5/5(54 reviews)

This Seoul landmark can be seen from miles around and offers the finest panoramas of the city.

Myeongdong Cathedral
Image for Myeongdong Cathedral

Myeongdong Cathedral

4.5/5(28 reviews)

Dating back to the late 1800s, this Gothic church is the final resting place of martyrs and offers a pleasant respite from Seoul’s hectic streets. 

Top activities in Seoul

DMZ Tour including Hotel Pick up
Image for DMZ Tour including Hotel Pick up

DMZ Tour including Hotel Pick up

84% of travellers recommend
AU$57
Per adult
Palaces, Temple & Folk Museum Morning Tour
Image for Palaces, Temple & Folk Museum Morning Tour

Palaces, Temple & Folk Museum Morning Tour

86% of travellers recommend
AU$48
Per adult
Morning Excursion to the Korean DMZ (No Shopping)
Image for Morning Excursion to the Korean DMZ (No Shopping)

Morning Excursion to the Korean DMZ (No Shopping)

90% of travellers recommend
AU$49
Per adult
Full Day Palace Tour (including Gyeongbok Palace)
Image for Full Day Palace Tour (including Gyeongbok Palace)

Full Day Palace Tour (including Gyeongbok Palace)

84% of travellers recommend
AU$101
Per adult
Full-Day City Tour with Jogyesa Buddhist Temple & Changdeok Palace
Image for Full-Day City Tour with Jogyesa Buddhist Temple & Changdeok Palace

Full-Day City Tour with Jogyesa Buddhist Temple & Changdeok Palace

98% of travellers recommend
AU$97
Per adult
Gyeongbokgung Palace & Namsan Tour with Shopping & Lunch
Image for Gyeongbokgung Palace & Namsan Tour with Shopping & Lunch

Gyeongbokgung Palace & Namsan Tour with Shopping & Lunch

88% of travellers recommend
AU$114
Per adult

Reviews of Seoul

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
148
5 - Excellent 61.92468619246862%
4 - Good
75
4 - Good 31.380753138075313%
3 - Okay
13
3 - Okay 5.439330543933054%
2 - Disappointing
3
2 - Disappointing 1.2552301255230125%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

3/5 - Okay

PQ

13 Feb. 2020

High expectation usually leads to disappointment. Not everyone, but most of the people wasn’t friendly at all. Does not make you feel welcome at all.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

7 Feb. 2020

Loved Seoul. The people, food and experiences you can have.

5/5 - Excellent

David

22 Jan. 2020

Wide streets, friendly people, excellent subway system.

5/5 - Excellent

Lyn&Rocky

21 Jan. 2020

Loved the city and people. Will be back soon

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

18 Jan. 2020

People in Korea is respectful.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

7 Jan. 2020

Definitely use the subway but if unsure taxis are really cheap , 5000KWN for 10 min trip.

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