20 Things to do and places to visit in Seoul, the capital of South Korea
Oppa gangnam style! (Yes, it was meant to be sung as it’s the first thing which comes to our mind when we think about South Korea)
It’s quite obvious that when you’re travelling to the largest city in the world, there will be a ton of landmarks to see and activities to do on your list, and only a limited amount of time on your hands, Your trip to Seoul may seem intimidating at first.
With more than a hundred places to visit, it can be hard to choose where and how to begin your journey. Which is why we have prepared a list of some of the most amazing tourist attractions for you to add to your itinerary. Here’s a small window to Seoul to peek through:
1. N Seoul Tower
You can admire one of the most breathtaking views of the sunset, hills, mountains, the Han river, and the city skyline, on top of the iconic N Seoul Tower, which is accessible via a cable car, or, if you’re a fan of cardio, stairs.
2. Hike to the old city walls
The old city walls once fortified the city of Seoul and are as old as the capital itself. Now parts of these city walls run along hiking trails and are some of the most exciting viewpoints of Seoul, the best one being the Inwangsan Peak.
3. Gyeongbokgung Palace
Built in 1539, this is the most popular of the 5 grand palaces of Seoul, and displays the history, culture, and architecture of Korea. The real treat is witnessing the changing of the guards which is one of Seoul’s most unique ceremonies.
4. Changgyeonggung Palace
Also known as the “Donggwol” or the East Palace, it was built in 1483 and is probably the simplest of all palaces in Korea.but don’t let the size of this palace fool you! For you will witness history just as epic as the rest.
5. Deoksugung Palace & the Royal Ancestral
Unlike other palaces in Seoul, which are mainly secluded and quiet, Deoksugung Palace is situated on the busiest road in the city, and its ancient architecture makes it stand out in front of the other buildings. You can also take a peek at the memorial services held for deceased kings and queens at the Jongmyo Shrine.
6. The Bukhansan National park
Bukhansan National Park is just outside the city, and is quite small compared to the other attractions in Seoul. But don’t judge it by its size! For this lively park consists of the most beautiful greenery, the best hiking trails, creeks, forests, and mountain scenery in the entire city.
7. Namsan Park
The park sits on the top of the Namsan mountain, which is a staggering 860ft high. But don’t worry! For you can take a cable car to reach up there and enjoy the Baekbeom Square Park, Namsan library and aquarium. It’s definitely an ideal spot to bring along a date.
8. Trickeye museum
The name says it all. This eccentric one-of-a-kind museum is unlike anything you have ever seen. Their cutting edge technology combined with wacky creativity created the immersive Mirror Maze, the chilly yet majestic Ice Museum, the personal souvenir making at Art Toy, and Yonie Woo’s Fun Caricature where you can have your portrait made.
9. Jogyesa temple
Jogyesa temple is the perfect location for those who want to escape from the crowded hustle and bustle of city streets and find peace and tranquility. Many important Buddhist events, including a special lantern festival celebrating Buddha’s birthday, take place here as it is the head temple of the Jogye order of Buddhism.
10. Cheonggyecheon Stream
With exotic plantations, a beautiful water stream, cultural activities,, and a fantastic light show at night, this place is a public park by day, where you can look at the beautiful wall of art, swimming ducks, and fish, and a paradise by night.
11. Bukchon Hanok Village
The traditional architecture, houses, and cafes in Bukchon Hanok village give you a peek into Seoul’s history. Here you can take a walk and capture the serene view with your camera or enjoy green tea or a shaved ice dessert.
12. Leeum Samsung Museum of Art
For those of you who hold a special place in your heart for art, Seoul brings you Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, where you can feast your eyes on traditional, modern and contemporary Korean art.
13. Youth’s culture hub Hongdae & its nightlife
Hongdae is for all the night owls and k-pop lovers out there who like to make the most of their nightlife. Suitable for adults and kids alike, this culture hub is the best spot shopping, and when the sun goes down, it comes to life it’s bars, restaurants, and lively music.
14. Ihwa Mural village
This village is a revitalised tourist attraction and is perfect for keen photographers looking for a beautiful view and stunning street art. The walk up the Naksan Mountain may be a little steep but totally worth it.
15. Dongdaemun Design Plaza
While the temples and palaces exhibit the historical beauty of Korea, Dongdaemun Design Plaza’s stunning and creative architecture shows us a completely different style altogether, and this iconic landmark is definitely insta-worthy.
16. Bong Eun Sa temple
Located in Gangnam district, Bong Eun Sa Temple is one of Korea’s oldest temples, and is secluded from the scampering street noise and crowds. The colourful hanging lanterns provide an exciting yet calming aesthetic. The Buddhist ceremony, “Jeongdaebulsa” is held on the ninth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, and it is a sight to behold.
17. Jjimjilbang- Korean spa
These gender segregated spas provide relaxing bath houses, hot and cold soaking pools, saunas, salt therapy rooms, communal sleeping rooms, and entertainment lounges. Be careful! You might not want to leave after spending your day here.
18. War memorial of Korea
An ideal place for history and museum lovers, the War Memorial of Korea is a national educational spot, and has preserved artifacts and exhibitions that are related to the Korean War which display the history of this beautiful country.
19. Cruise by the Hangang river
If you plan on renting a boat for a sightseeing trip, you can have a perfectly quiet and romantic getaway, enjoying the serene pleasure of cruising along Hangang river while looking over at some of the best views that Seoul has to offer.
20. Banpo Bridge
With 10,000 lights running alongside it, joined by the longest fountain in the world, the Banpo Rainbow Fountain at the Banpodaegyo bridge is a magically beautiful sight to behold in the evening. The music and the rhythmic light performance makes it even better.
There is more to this city than just K-pop and unexpectedly amazing food. This list may be just the tip of the iceberg, but it will help you make the most of your visit to Seoul. Use these recommendations as a base to know where to wander off to next! And have a ravishing experience in the capital of South Korea!