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Seoul

Known for Shopping, Museums and Castles

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

How do you get to Seoul?

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.

Activities in Seoul

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

This royal palace has been destroyed on more than one occasion, but today it stands as one of Seoul’s finest examples of classic Korean architecture.

Marvel as natural light illuminates the galleries of this contemporary museum building, which houses thousands of ancient and valuable Korean objects. 

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

Walk amid this peaceful natural environment, ride a cable car and marvel at Seoul’s majestic skyline at this sprawling mountain park.

See the splendour and wealth of the former home of Korean royalty, a UNESCO World Heritage Site also noted for its beautiful garden.

Tickets & Tours

Venture to the border of South and North Korea, where the unsettling Demilitarized Zone separates the 2 countries in a 2.5-mile-wide (4-km) swath of land lined by tanks, landmines, and electric fences.

Tickets & Tours

Explore Jejudo, or Jeju Island, to get a sense of the culture and natural attractions. On this island home to extinct volcanoes, admire waterfalls, thatched-roof houses, gardens, and a huge cavern.

Tickets & Tours

Delve into South Korea's must-see cultural attractions, bustling cities, and traditional townships on this 7-day excursion that circles the entire country. Visit museums and natural landmarks, dine on authentic Korean fare, and enjoy luxurious overnight accommodations in high-end hotels.

Tickets & Tours

Discover some of Seoul's landmarks such as the Blue House and the Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung palaces on this full-day tour. Make a stop at the Folk Museum and Jogyesa Temple before experiencing the quaint Insadong street and Namdaemun Market.

Tickets & Tours

Visit Bulguksa Temple, a World Heritage Site, before exploring Seokguram Grotto, Cheomseongdae Observatory, and a site with ancient royal tombs. Admire ancient structures with your knowledgeable guide and get a chance to watch artisans create traditional crafts by hand before a ride back to Seoul.

Tickets & Tours

Check out centuries-old temples and traditional villages and explore the exhibits in a fascinating museum. Day 1: Grab your bags and meet up with your guide in the lobby of your Seoul hotel.

Best areas to visit in Seoul

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