Seoul is the capital of South Korea and also it’s financial, political and cultural centre. As well as being a modern and vibrant city, it also has a great history that dates back to the 14th century and some wonderful temples, palaces, museums, mountains and parks which are well worth a visit. Along with great food and wonderful people, Seoul should be on your list of city destinations.
THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN SEOUL
- Seoul has no fewer than 5 major palaces and all of them are worth a visit. Gyeongbok-gung is the grandest palace in Seoul. This is the first palace that was used by the Joseon Dynasty and is now a popular location for shooting TV dramas. It also houses the Joseon Palace Museum and the Korean Folk Museum. The Changdeok-gung palace was built in 1405 and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guided tours are available and some features of the palace to note include the blue-roofed Seonjeongjeon with its protective figurines and the secret garden at the back which is called the Huwon.
- Seoul has some great temples and these include the Jongmyo Shrine which is devoted to the Korean Dynasty royal family. The palace is more accessible than most and includes interactive features that allow visitors to experience how Korean rituals and ceremonies were used for deceased royal family members. Guksadang is Seoul’s famous Shamanist Shrine that is found on Mount Inwang. On the way up you’ll want to check out the bronze bell of Bongwonsa, shamanist offerings and the bizarre formation known as the Zen Rocks.
EATING OUT & NIGHTLIFE IN SEOUL
Cuisine from Korea is traditionally known to be healthy and spicy and much of Korean social life revolves around food. Good tasty food also doesn’t have to cost a fortune and good locations include street stalls, fast food restaurants and the basements of large department stores are a popular choice while you shop. Also nightlife is lively in Seoul and there is no shortage of bars and clubs to spend the early hours.
GETTING AROUND IN SEOUL
In a city that has its fair share of traffic congestion, the subway is a good option for visiting the attractions of Seoul as most places of interest can easily be reached from one of its subway lines. Buses are also a good option but driving is probably not going to be your first choice considering Seoul is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Walking is the best way to see the city and most rivers are lined with picturesque parks, especially the main Han River that runs through the city.
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