Tuesday

55 Best Things to Do in Seoul (South Korea)



Close to half the population of South Korea lives in the Seoul Capital Area, the world’s fifth largest conurbation.


Its centre of gravity is a pulsating city cleaved by the Han River and with a skyline punctuated by mountains.


Seoul has burgeoned since the middle of the 20th century and new projects continue to crop up by the year, like the 555-metre Lotte World Tower in 2017 and Zaha Hadid’s sensational Dongdaemun Design Plaza.


But the city has safeguarded its history, even in the face of invasions from Japan.


Set a course for Joseon Dynasty palaces, Buddhist temples and quarters like Bukchon, where there’s a warren of hanoks, which are traditional wooden houses with curled eaves.


And to really feel like Seoulite, dine at an authentic Korean BBQ joint or verse yourself in the city’s street food culture at its frenzied markets.


Let’s explore the best things to do in Seoul:


1. Gyeongbokgung Palace



Gyeongbokgung PalaceGyeongbokgung Palace

Source: Teerachat paibung / shutterstock



Gyeongbokgung Palace



The first royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty was constructed in 1395 and stood at the heart of the capital, then known as Hanyang.


Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest of Five Grand Palaces of Seoul and comprises hundreds of edifices.


It was invested with huge symbolism, which has led to its destruction twice by the Japanese, during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598) and then the occupation of Korea in the 20th century.


The palace is going through a painstaking 40-year restoration project, begun in 1989. Two spectacular elements, the Gyeonghoeru Pavilion and Hyangwonjeong Pond, have come through all this turbulence relatively unscathed, and need to be seen along with the Geunjeongjeon (Throne Hall) Gangnyeongjeon (King’s Quarters), Gyotaejeon (Queen’s Quarters) and Jibokjae, the library of King Gojong (1852-1919). At Gwanghwamun, the main gate to the south of palace complex, you can watch the solemn changing of the guard ceremony at the top of every hour between 10:00 and 15:00. The Folk Museum of Korea and the National Palace Museum are both set on the palace’s massive grounds.


2. N Seoul Tower



N Seoul TowerN Seoul Tower

Source: Travel man / shutterstock



N Seoul Tower



When it went up at the turn of the 1970s the N Seoul Tower was South Korea’s first general broadcast tower.


This Space Age building is at the summit of the 243-metre Namsan Mountain, and standing at more than 236 metres, the top of the tower is close to 480 metres above sea level.


There are gift shops and eateries on the plaza below, where young couples show their love by locking padlocks onto the railings at the foot of the tower.


High above the plaza are four floors, with a restaurant (T1), wishing pond, observatory, cafe and photo studio (T2), a “digital observatory” with powerful digital telescopes and 32 LED screens detailing Korea’s history (T3) and a revolving French restaurant making a turn every 48 minutes on T5 (most buildings don’t have fourth floors in Korea as the number is considered unlucky). Make sure to come at night to behold a city of 10 million people in a sea of twinkling lights.



#uflJQwNDZpCO1

display: none;

text-align: left;

3. Changdeokgung Palace



Injeongjeon, Changdeokgung PalaceInjeongjeon, Changdeokgung Palace

Source: Richie Chan / shutterstock



Injeongjeon, Changdeokgung Palace



East of Gyeongbokgung is Changdeokgung Palace (Palace of Prospering Virtue), built a little later, at the start of the 15th century.


The best preserved of Seoul’s surviving Joseon palaces, this was established by King Taejong, fifth son of the first King of the Joseon Dynasty, Taejo.


In the Strife of Princes of the late-1390s, Taejong (then known as Yi Bangwon) killed all of his half-brothers and pretenders to the throne and switched the location of the royal palace for political purposes.


Changdeokgung is the longest-serving royal palace and is less formalist in its layout than Gyeongbokgung, blending instead with its natural environment.


The royal area is set within many layers of governmental offices and buildings for functionaries, to protect this inner sanctum in case of a break in.


Some of the outstanding things to see on a tour are the Throne Hall (Injeongjeon), a National Treasure from 1405 and rebuilt in 1610, Geumcheongyo, the oldest surviving bridge in Seoul, dating to 1411 and Donhwamun, a gate raised in 1412 and also rebuilt in the 17th century.


Huwon, the palace’s private garden is unmissable and we’ll cover it later.


4. National Museum of Korea



National Museum of KoreaNational Museum of Korea

Source: Takashi Images / shutterstock



National Museum Of Korea



The largest museum in the country, and among the largest in Asia, the National Museum of Korea is on three floors enriched with hundreds of thousands of artefacts beginning in prehistory.


There’s invaluable calligraphy, celadon and buncheong ceramics, sculpture and painting, in such quantity that you could never see it all in a single day.


If time is of the essence then there are a few obligatory stops for Korean National Treasures.


The star has to be the Gilt-bronze Maitreya in Meditation (No. 83), a Silla-era treasure from the beginning of the 7th century, with one leg over the other, and a hand drawn to the chin as if in deep contemplation.


Also from the Silla kingdom is the 5th-century Gold Crown (No. 191) recovered from the tomb of Hwangnamdaechong in Gyeongju.


A monumental piece is the 14th-century Gyeongcheonsa Pagoda, ten storeys high and displayed in one of the main halls, while in the Calligraphy and Painting Gallery on the second floor is the Album of Genre Painting by the 18th-century master Donwon.


The museum’s outdoor space is lovely in good weather, scattered with pagodas, gardens of indigenous plants, lanterns, steles, waterfalls and pools.



#uflJQwNDZpCO2

display: none;

text-align: left;

5. Namsan Park



Namsan ParkNamsan Park

Source: OKB phuaorneer / shutterstock



Namsan Park



N Seoul Tower’s mountain roost has much more to hold your attention, whether it’s the scenic trails, fragments of Seoul’s 14th-century walls, the underground Maritime Aquarium, the cable car (from Hoehyeon-dong) or a small village of traditional houses, which we’ll cover in more detail below.


In the reign of Taejo, the first Joseon king at the turn of the 15th century, Namsan Mountain was regarded as a sacred shamanistic site, and its role in the defence of Seoul extended to a smoke beacon, Mongmyeoksan Bongsudae, with five chimneys sending signals to the city from this elevated overlook.


Near the foot of the tower on the beacon mound there’s another stirring view to be had from Namsan Palgakjeong, a dainty octagonal pavilion.


6. Lotte World



Lotte WorldLotte World

Source: DerekTeo / shutterstock



Lotte World



At this huge complex in Sincheon-dong is the largest indoor amusement park in the world, linked by monorail to an outdoor amusement park on a man-made island, and all accompanied by a luxury hotel, malls, cinemas, an ice rink and a folk museum charting 5,000 years of Korean history.


The epic indoor park is on four floors under a glass dome, with spaces devoted to a different part of the world (for instance, European-style village, Arabian courtyard, Jungle). There are 22 rides in all, complemented by constant parades, shows and seasonal festivals.


That folk museum is a must-see and can be found at Adventure 3F, while the French Revolution2 VR became the first Korean roller-coaster to use virtual reality technology when it opened after a revamp in 2017. In good weather you can cross the bridge to Magic Island, commanded by a Disney-style fairytale castle and offering rides like the Atlantis Adventure steel roller-coaster and Gyro Drop, an adrenaline-pumping drop ride also using VR.



#uflJQwNDZpCO3

display: none;

text-align: left;

7. Bukhansan National Park



Bukhansan National ParkBukhansan National Park

Source: Mongkol chai / shutterstock



Bukhansan National Park



One of South Korea’s 22 national parks is within the Seoul metropolitan area and a no-brainer for hiking trips.


Encompassing a little over 30 square miles Bukhansan National Park contains granite peaks (three at 800 metres or more), the 300-year-old Bukhansanseong Fortress, more than 100 temples, gorges and deep woodland.


It’s a breeze by subway, at just 25 minutes from Seoul Station: Get off at Gireum Station at the very south of the park and you’ll be on the light Bogukmun Course, a 2.4-kilometre trail that snakes past oaks, waterfalls, crystalline streams and a gorge.


The highest peak, Baegundae (836.5m) can be scaled on the Bukhansanseong Course, a tough hike to the bare granite peak but the panoramas are amazing if you catch a clear day.


The 120-room Bukhansanseong Fortress posted on the ridgeline leading to Baegundae, was a retreat for Joseon kings in times of emergency, encircled by eight kilometres of walls up to seven metres high.


The fortress is free to visit and is stunning in autumn when the leaves change.


8. Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)



Dongdaemun Design PlazaDongdaemun Design Plaza

Source: T.Dallas / shutterstock



Dongdaemun Design Plaza



Almost defying description, DDP is a spellbinding urban landmark made up of curving, elongated structures that resemble giant blobs of liquid metal, all designed by Zaha Hadid.


This is a cultural hub, futuristic shopping space and linchpin for Dongdaemun, Korea’s largest fashion district, integrated with the Seoul Metro System and with a walkable park on its roof.


A springboard for South Korea’s creative industries, the DDP holds design-oriented exhibitions, forums, K-Pop concerts, fashion shows and conferences, and includes an Art Hall, Museum Hall, Design Market, Design Lab and the Dongdaemun History and Culture Park.


This last portion is set outside and chronicles the history of this plot of land as a military training ground in the Joseon Dynasty, and preserves the remnants of hanoks (traditional Korean houses) and the foundations of Seoul’s Fortress Wall.


Come back at night to see the DDP in lights, and visit the gorgeous LED rose garden.




#uflJQwNDZpCO4

display: none;

text-align: left;



9. National Folk Museum of Korea



National Folk Museum of KoreaNational Folk Museum of Korea

Source: DerekTeo / shutterstock



National Folk Museum Of Korea



The museum on the Gyeongbokgung Palace grounds deals with three main topics: The history of the Korean people up to the end of the Joseon Dynasty in 1910, village life before modern times, and Korean culture’s ancient links with Confucianism, and how the ideology gave rise to customs that persist today.


There’s a hall for each of these three themes, filled with more than 100,000 artefacts.


You’ll find pits to make kimchi pots, rice storage shelters, musical instruments, and objects related to worship, like spirit posts and cairns.


The building is also noteworthy, in a traditional Korean style on several storeys crested with a pagoda.


The museum arranges guided tours by reservation, and has a programme of short-term exhibitions, seminars, workshops, concerts and performance art.


10. War Memorial of Korea



War Memorial of Korea, SeoulWar Memorial of Korea, Seoul

Source: Sean Pavone / shutterstock



War Memorial Of Korea



With indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces, the War Memorial of Korea commemorates the Korean War (1950-1953) from a South Korean perspective and documents the broader military history of Korea.


This was set up in Yongsan-gu in the early 90s at the site of a former military base.


There are some 10,000 artefacts on show, both inside and outside, from a collection of more than 30,000. The six halls inside are the Expeditionary Forces Room, War History Room, Development Hall, Patriotic Memorial Room , 6·25 Korean War Room and Large Machinery Room.


You’ll see weapons and equipment going back to prehistory, aircraft, battlefield paintings and memorials to figures like the Korean independence activist An Jung-geun, who in 1909 assassinated Prince Itō Hirobumi, then President of the Privy Council of Japan.


The lawns around the museum building are reserved for a big line-up of heavy machinery like jets, helicopters, tanks, artillery and missiles.


11. Lotte World Tower



Lotte World TowerLotte World Tower

Source: sayan uranan / shutterstock



Lotte World Tower



Over the course of the 2010s the fifth-tallest building in the world has sprung up over Lotte World in Songpa-gu.


The tower’s outline is inspired by traditional Korean ceramics and calligraphy brushes, and rises to 555 metres.


This edifice, holding offices, luxury residences and a hotel (floors 76-101), is part of the Lotte World Mall complex brimming with fashion emporia and boasting the largest duty free store in Korea.


There’s also an aquarium here, the largest multiplex cinema in Asia and a concert hall.


Floors 117-123 of the Lotte World Tower belong to Seoul Sky, where you’ll find a lounge bar, cafes and a “Photozone”. At 117 is the head-spinning View Floor, the world’s highest glass floor observatory when the tower was completed in 2017.


12. Seoul Arts Center



Seoul Arts CenterSeoul Arts Center

Source: Stock for you / shutterstock



Seoul Arts Center



Korea’s national performing arts centre is on a sprawling complex in Seocho-gu, and built in time for the Seoul Olympic, hosting performances during the event.


The Seoul Arts Center is the home of respected national ensembles and companies like the Korea National Opera, the Korea National Ballet and the Korean Symphony Orchestra.


If you think the opera house looks like something you’d wear on your head you’re not mistaken, as it was designed to evoke the gat, a traditional Korean bamboo hat.


There are two more auditoriums including this, as well as the Seoul Calligraphy Art Museum, the Hangaram Art Museum, an amphitheatre and the Hangaram Design Museum.


The complex has lots of outdoor space at a Umyeonji (Korean Pond) and Jangteo (Market), which also stages performances in summer.


Come for large-scale opera, Broadway-style musicals, choral performances and recitals, as well as landmark exhibitions at the Hangaram Art Museum.


Cubist artists and the work of Frida Kahlo have appeared in recent years.


And even if you’re just passing through, the complex’s architecture deserves a second glance.




#uflJQwNDZpCO5

display: none;

text-align: left;



13. Hangang Park



Ttukseom Hangang ParkTtukseom Hangang Park

Source: Sanga Park / shutterstock



Ttukseom Hangang Park



The Seoul streets can get hectic, but whenever the city gets too much you can escape to the banks of the Han River, where’s there’s a continuous chain of parks (12 in total) on both banks, with riverside trails, sports facilities, boat piers and outdoor swimming pools.


This space was opened up in the years before the Olympics, and the best views can be had from the parks on the south bank.


You can rent a bike of course, but a wide choice of water activities is available in summer at Ttukseom Hangang Park, Yeouido Hangang Park and Jamwon Hangang Park, like gentle rowing trips, kayaking and even waterskiing and windsurfing.


As of 2019 Hangang Park is due to be regenerated in a project that will run to 2030 and turn the parks into culture and leisure hotspots mingling with riverside neighbourhoods.


14. Dongdaemun Market



Dongdaemun MarketDongdaemun Market

Source: Sean Pavone / shutterstock



Dongdaemun Market



It’s hard to comprehend the size of this commercial district around Heunginjimun, the east gate on Seoul Fortress’s outer wall.


Jostling for space in Dongdaemun Market are 26 malls, more than 30,000 speciality shops and 50,000 manufacturers.


You could visit for an hour or two and leave before it gets too much, but hardened, fashion-forward shoppers could easily pass a whole day hunting for bargains, as many of the outlets are oriented towards the youth market.


Meokja Golmok, Dongdaemun Market’s food alley, is the real deal for food-lovers and a crash course in Korean cuisine.


Fronted by little benches are stalls for mandu (dumplings), gimbap, (Korean sushi rolls), bibimbap (mixed rice dishes), tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), dak hanmari (whole chicken soup), Dakgangjeong (sticky, crispy fried chicken), kalmandu (broth with noodles) and naengmyeon (North Korean noodles served cold, often with kimchi).


15. Hongdae



HongdaeHongdae

Source: iamtui7 / shutterstock



Hongdae



It’s no accident that the Hongdae area has turned out to be super trendy.


This spot is right in front of Hongik University, known for its art school, and in the 80s and 90s young graduates set up their studios in what was then an affordable part of the city.


Hongdae has moved on from that first wave, but has kept hold of its creative swagger in its indie music scene, hip shops, cafes, galleries, clubs and fashionable eateries.


There’s an outdoor stage for live music, cool street art on Hongdae Mural Street and a free market every Saturday from March to November in front of the university’s main gate.


Have a go at Noraebang, Korea’s answer to karaoke, in private booths, hit the Zzang Games video arcade, try some of the delectable street food and hang out with sheep (really!) at the Thanks Nature Cafe.


16. Bukchon Hanok Village



Bukchon Hanok VillageBukchon Hanok Village

Source: CJ Nattanai / shutterstock



Bukchon Hanok Village



For a picturesque walk back in time, Bukchon Hanok Village is a neighbourhood of tight alleys lined with traditional wooden houses, or hanoks.


Ten minutes north of Anguk Station, there are up to 900 of these buildings, with grey “giwa” roof tiles and eaves upturned at the corners.


The village is one of the last enclaves of this building style in Korea and was preserved thanks to efforts by locals during reconstruction in the 1960s.


In the days of the Joseon Dynasty royal families, affluent merchants and government officials resided in many of these houses, now occupied by teahouses, restaurants, specialty shops, studios, cultural centres and guesthouses.


One of the finest of the hanoks, at the top of the hill has been opened to the public as part of the Seoul Museum of History since 2015.


17. Cheonggyecheon Stream



Cheonggyecheon StreamCheonggyecheon Stream

Source: SS pixels / shutterstock



Cheonggyecheon Stream



This creek, flowing west to east for over five miles through downtown Seoul was covered in concrete for transport infrastructure during the city’s swift post-war development, known as the Miracle on the Han River.


The Cheonggyecheon Stream finally saw the light of day more than 40 years later during a $900m urban renewal project, completed in 2005, improving air quality, forming a clean natural haven for fish and birdlife and cooling the neighbourhoods beside it by up to 3.6 °C.


You can start your visit at the extraordinary Cheonggye Plaza, which has a design inspired by bojagi, traditional Korean wrapping cloth.


You can also see a model of the stream here, explaining the massive project needed to revive it, and check out plaques describing the 22 bridges that now cross the stream.


Just off the plaza, one of the stream’s most beautiful features is the Candlelight Fountain, a two-tiered waterfall marking the beginning of its course to the Hangang, and fabulous at night for its colourful illuminations.


18. Gwanghwamun Square



Gwanghwamun SquareGwanghwamun Square

Source: FenlioQ / shutterstock



Gwanghwamun Square



Leading off from the Gwanghwamun Gate, once the main gateway to Gyeongbokgung, Gwanghwamun Square is an awe-inspiring open space that was created in the 2000s where there used to be a 16-lane roadway.


Long before this had been the heart of Hanyang, the Joseon Dynasty capital.


The plaza was unveiled in 2009 and is commanded by statues of Admiral Yi Sunshin (1545-1598), a naval commander noted for his victories in the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-1598) and the most celebrated king of the Joseon Dynasty, Sejong the Great (1397-1450). Below both figures are small underground museums explaining their importance.


The square is fringed by government buildings and has lots of interesting details to pore over like, the Yeoksamulgil (waterway of history), a sculpture of the symbol of Seoul (Haechi) and the 12.23 Fountain behind Yi Sunshin, marking the 23 battles he fought in 12 warships.



#uflJQwNDZpCO6

display: none;

text-align: left;

19. Namdaemun Gate



Namdaemun GateNamdaemun Gate

Source: Chintung Lee / shutterstock



Namdaemun Gate



Designated the first National Treasure of South Korea, Namdaemun is the south gate of the Fortress Wall of Seoul, erected at the dawn of the Joseon Dynasty in the 14th century.


This monument is built from stone, capped with a two-tiered pagoda and was the main entrance to the city for foreign emissaries.


As with the rest of the fortress system it also helped keep Siberian tigers out, which were a real hazard until they were hunted to extinction during the Japanese occupation in the 20th century.


The pagoda fell victim to an arson attack in 2008, before which it had been the oldest wooden structure in Seoul, and was restored by 2013. The streets around Namdaemun are the scene of the oldest and largest market in Korea, with a story beginning in the early-15th century.


Namdaemun Market is wholesale, with stalls held by the manufacturers themselves, so you can compare prices for a massive variety of items like toys, hanbok attire (traditional Korean dress), stationery, fashion accessories, hiking gear, fishing equipment.


The street food is outstanding, and you’re sure to be tempted by the scent of hotteok (sweet pancakes) and tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes).


20. Insa-dong



Insa-dongInsa-dong

Source: Keitma / shutterstock



Insa-dong



Seoul’s antiques trade coalesces around Insa-dong, a main street intersected by chaotic twisting alleys.


Down these you’ll come across up to a hundred galleries, interspersed with cafes, traditional Korean restaurants and teahouses.


There are up to 100 galleries in Insa-dong, specialising in all aspects of Korean fine art, sculpture and ceramics.


The centre for folk art is Hakgojae Gallery, while if you want to check out up-and-coming talent see the Gana Art Gallery and Art Center.


Every Saturday from 14:00 to 22:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 22:00 the main street becomes a pedestrian zone and a place to explore Korean culture.


You can watch street performances and parades, have your fortune told, try pajeon (green onion pancake) and traditional Korean candy, while stores set up outdoor booths to tout their wares.


21. Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art



Leeum, Samsung Museum of ArtLeeum, Samsung Museum of Art

Source: iewnn_k / shutterstock



Leeum, Samsung Museum Of Art



Traditional Korean art and contemporary art by Korean and international artists is on the menu at this museum in two parts.


Museum 1, by Mario Botta is for a stupendous assortment of Korea art and antiquities, 36 of which are designated National Treasures.


There’s celadaon and buncheong ceramics, ornamental daggers from the 1300s, crowns, landscape painting and portraits, as well as Buddhist manuscripts, paintings and sculptures.


Sharing the underground lobby, an inverted cone piercing the ground, is Museum 2 designed by Jean Nouvel and with a rich permanent collection counting Yves Klein, Damien Hirst, Rothko and Andy Warhol.


The museum’s master plan is the work of Rem Koolhaas, who also designed the Samsung Child Education & Cultural Center, a space to inspire the next great artists.


22. Jogyesa Temple



Jogyesa TempleJogyesa Temple

Source: Zoran Karapancev / shutterstock



Jogyesa Temple



An emblem and head temple for Korean Buddhism, the Jogyesa Temple is on Insa-dong, close to Gyeongbokgung.


This is also the main temple for Jogye Order, which can be traced back 1,200 years to Master Doui who brought Zen to Korea from China in the 9th century.


The temple was founded at the end of the 14th century, at the start of the Joseon Dynasty and in the Japanese colonial invasion from 1910 to 1945 became a bulwark for resistance to the suppression of Korean Buddhism.


The Daeungjeon (Main Buddha Hall) was raised in 1938 using pine from Baekdu Mountain and echoes with chanting throughout the year.


In the temple’s main courtyard grow two trees, a white pine and a Chinese scholar tree (Japanese pagoda tree), that are 500 years old.


The temple is free to visit year round, and is one of two anchors, along with Bongeunsa, for Buddha’s Birthday, normally in late-April or May.


At a daily templestay you can sample the traditions of Jogye Order, learning temple etiquette, making a mandala, attending a tea ceremony and taking part in Zen meditation.




#uflJQwNDZpCO7

display: none;

text-align: left;



23. Namsangol Hanok Village



Namsangol Hanok VillageNamsangol Hanok Village

Source: OKB phuaorneer / shutterstock



Namsangol Hanok Village



For anyone enchanted by Bukchon Hanok Village there’s another beautiful ensemble of traditional buildings on the north slope of Namsan Mountain.


Namsangol Hanok Village is smaller, with five Joseon-Dynasty hanoks relocated from other parts of the city and established here in 1998. What’s interesting is that the houses’ give an insight into the lifestyle of people from different social ranks, be they middle class, government officials, noblemen or aristocrats.


These residences belonged to some important people, like the parents of Queen Yun, consort to King Sunjong, the Joeon Dynasty’s 27th King, and Lee Seungeop who oversaw the construction of Gyeongbokgung Palace.


The houses are accompanied by a pavilion, performing arts stage, traditional garden and a plaza where a time capsule is buried to be dug up in 2394.


24. Bongeunsa



BongeunsaBongeunsa

Source: TRAVEL TAKE PHOTOS / shutterstock



Bongeunsa



This Buddhist temple on the slope of Mount Sudo dates back to the end of the 8th century during the days of the Silla Kingdom.


Buddhism was suppressed during the Joseon Dynasty, and the temple was pulled down.


The ban was lifted by Queen Munjeong (1501-1565) and Bongeunsa became the main temple for the Zen sect from 1551 right through to 1936. This temple holds thousands of Buddhist scriptures, among them the works of the 19th-century scholar Gim Jeong-hui.


Those who want to immerse themselves in Korean Buddhist culture there’s a templestay programme where you can experience and take part in rituals like the dawn service, Korean Zen meditation, a tea ceremony and a traditional Buddhist meal, balwoogongyang.


On every September 9th of the Lunar Calendar a ceremony takes place here called Jeongdaebulsa, in which monks carry scriptures on their heads and recite Buddhist rites.


25. Seoul Grand Park



Botanical Garden At Seoul Grand ParkBotanical Garden At Seoul Grand Park

Source: Sanga Park / shutterstock



Botanical Garden At Seoul Grand Park



In the upland environment around Cheonggyesan Mountain, south of Seoul via Line 4 of the Seoul Metro there’s a humungous park complex with a variety of attractions.


Seoul Grand Park boasts the largest zoo and botanical garden in Korea, along with the amusement park Seoul Land, which we’ll talk about later in this list.


The Seoul Grand Park zoo was moved to this spot in 1984 is the tenth largest zoological park in the world, keeping nearly 3,000 animals from 350 worldwide species, among them Asiatic black bears, Siberian tigers, rhinoceroses and lions.


At the foot of Cheonggyesan Mountain is the Botanical Garden, with desert and tropical plants in its greenhouse, together with carnivorous plants and orchids.


And for kids, the Children’s Grand Park has its own zoo, botanical garden, amusements and rides, all in calming greenery.


26. Gwangjang Market



Gwangjang MarketGwangjang Market

Source: Ferry Tomasowa / shutterstock



Gwangjang Market



Korea’s first permanent market harks back to the end of the Joseon Dynasty and was founded in 1905. Gwagjang Market, a brief walk west of Dongdaemun Market, has a high reputation for its fabrics, which you’ll find at the second floor’s profusion of stores for silks, satin and linen.


These are sold directly by the producers, and even though they won’t be brand name products the quality is exceptional considering the price.


Gwangjang Maket’s food alley is a big part of the appeal, with rows upon rows of vendors hawking delicious authentic street food treats.


Make sure to try yukhoe (a kind of steak tartare), sashimi, jeon (fried pancakes), bindatteok (mung bean pancakes), bibimbap (mixed rice) and tteokbokki (those spicy rice cakes).


27. Seoul Forest



Seoul ForestSeoul Forest

Source: Sanga Park / shutterstock



Seoul Forest



Served by Subway Line 2, the 300-acre Seoul Forest opened in 2005 on land that had once been used as a hunting forest for Joseon Dynasty kings.


Across five different public parks, Seoul Forest is planted with more than 400,000 trees, and provides clean open space for a dense city.


At the very centre is the Culture and Arts Park, around the Seoul Forest Square, and laid out with flowerbeds, play areas, a visitor centre, a skate park, outdoor stage and a restaurant.


There’s a Riverside Park on the north bank of the Han with 40 rose species, and beautiful natural areas to encounter at the Marsh Plants Garden and the Eco Forest, inhabited by several types of deer, elk, mandarin ducks and spot-billed ducks and set up with an observatory for a better view of this wildlife.


Finally, at the site of a former water treatment park is the Experiential Learning Park, which has an ecological playground, a botanical garden, a wetland flower garden and bird observatory.


28. South Korea Demilitarised Zone Half & Full Day Tour



A View Into North KoreaA View Into North Korea

Source: SnapTPhotography / shutterstock



A View Into North Korea



The no-man’s land between the two Koreas is day-trip distance from Seoul and is an experience not to pass on.


A wide choice of tours is available on GetYourGuide.com, the most popular being the half-day or full-day tour, which includes pick-up from all the major central hotels.


Two and a half miles wide (1.25 on each side of the border) the Demilitarised Zone continues for 155 miles along the 38th Parallel across the Korean Peninsula and was formed at the end of the Korean War in 1953 through an agreement between the People’s Republic of China and United Nations Command.


On your visit you’ll enter the mile-long Third Tunnel, excavated in secret by the north to prepare for a possible invasion.


At the DMZ Theatre And Exhibition Hall you can learn the story of this project and its discovery in 1978 after a tip by a defector from the north.


On top of Mount Dora you can gaze through binoculars across the 38th Parallel to the north from the Dora Observatory, and visit Dorasan Station, intended to link the rail network to the north should the border open in the future.




#uflJQwNDZpCO8

display: none;

text-align: left;



29. Seoul Metro



Seoul MetroSeoul Metro

Source: Niyazz / shutterstock



Seoul Metro



The labyrinthine Seoul Metropolitan Subway system, with a whopping 22 lines and 716 stations, is a point of pride, the preferred mode of transport for Seoulites and much easier to navigate than it looks on a map.


It incorporates the wider metropolitan area, out to Incheon, and regional lines serve locations like Suwon, as far as 100 kilometres from the centre of Seoul.


Despite its size the Seoul Metro is praised as one of the most efficient in the world, with Wi-Fi and 4G/5G on cars, screen doors on platforms and an unbelievable degree of cleanliness.


The easiest way to get around with a rechargeable Tmoney or Cashbee, which you can buy at the airport on arrival.


There’s English signage, and an approaching train is heralded by a jaunty fanfare on the platform.


30. Seodaemun Prison



Seodaemun PrisonSeodaemun Prison

Source: E_Ryu / shutterstock



Seodaemun Prison



A monument to the Japanese colonial period from 1910 to 1945, Seodaemun Prison can be found at Seodaemun Independence Park.


The prison dates to the very end of the Joseon Dynasty and during the Japanese occupation became a place of infamy, where Korean dissidents were tortured and executed.


Among the important inmates were Kim Koo, who would later be Premier of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, and Ryu Gwansun, key to the March 1st independence movement, who was killed here through torture in 1920. The prison remained a detention centre after independence, through to 1987, after which it was turned into a memorial museum, with lots of thought-provoking exhibits.


You can tour seven prison cells, watchtowers, the execution room, a hospital, a central exhibition hall, a tunnel used to transport corpses and the cell in which Ryu Gwansun died.


31. 63 Building



63 Building63 Building

Source: SiHo / shutterstock



63 Building



Easy to pick out among the skyscrapers on Yeouido Island because it’s clad with gold, the 63 Building was the tallest skyscraper outside North America (250 metres) when it was topped out in the mid-1980s.


This structure was designed as a landmark for the 1988 Seoul Olympics and is the headquarters for a handful of important financial companies, one being Korea Life Insurance.


On the lower floors are some 90 stores, an aquarium, banquet hall and convention centre.


You can head in to catch the glass-panelled elevator up to the 60th floor, the Sky Deck, which has recently been reworked as a space for art exhibitions (the highest gallery in the world) and performances like magic shows.


Linger over the views of Seoul’s mountains, the Han River and west to Incheon on the coast when the skies are clear.


32. Huwon Garden



Huwon GardenHuwon Garden

Source: Keitma / shutterstock



Huwon Garden



If you have time to spare pre-book a tour of Huwon Garden when you visit Changdeokgung Palace.


In 78 acres, this is only visitable by guided tour and was plotted exclusively for the royal family and gungnyeo (female officers of the royal court). In this sumptuous space there are landscaped lawns, pavilions, a lotus pond and more than 26,000 trees from 100 different species, some more than three centuries old.


Huwon Garden is often known as Buwon (Secret Garden) as even the highest ranking officials were forbidden from entering.


A real delight is the Ongnyucheon (Jade Stream), a u-shaped water channel from the 17th century, complete with a little waterfall and a boulder inscribed with a poem.




#uflJQwNDZpCO9

display: none;

text-align: left;



33. Seoul Color Park (Yeouido Hangang Park)



Seoul Color Park (Yeouido Hangang Park)Seoul Color Park (Yeouido Hangang Park)

Source: Nghia Khanh / shutterstock



Seoul Color Park (Yeouido Hangang Park)



Not to be confused with its neighbour Yeouido Park, Seoul Color Park is along the south bank of the Han River, passing under the Mapo Bridge in Yeouido.


This area is Seoul’s financial and political core, and suited office workers join the Seoulite families and tourists on these grassy banks to contemplate the city.


There’s plenty of public art here, like the impressive wave-form sculpture and benches painted in ten different colours, each charged with a certain meaning for the city of Seoul.


For instance, green stands for Namsan Mountain, dark grey represents the traditional giwa roof tiles and red symbolises the dancheong pattern that occurs in traditional architecture.


There are lots of water features at Seoul Color Park, and new installations, like the Water Light Square and Waterfalls of Light, show up by the year.


The park hosts the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival in spring, and given its supreme view of the Han is the best place to watch the World Fireworks Festival in the fall.


34. Jongmyo Shrine



Jongmyo ShrineJongmyo Shrine

Source: Joshua Davenport / shutterstock



Jongmyo Shrine



A contrast to the splendour of the royal palaces, the UNESCO World Heritage site, Jongmyo Shrine is devoted to the performance of ancestral rites for the deceased kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty.


The original buildings went up at the end of the 14th century but had to be reconstructed after the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-1598). The tablets carved with the teachings of members of this former royal family are housed here, and centuries old rituals combining court music and dance continue to take place at the shrine, perpetuating a 600-year-old tradition.


The group of understated buildings here is largely unchanged since the end of the 16th century and consists of the Jeongjeon (main hall), Yeongnyeongjeon (hall of eternal peace), and a variety of auxiliary structures.


Jeongjeon is a sensational piece of architecture, and believed to be the world’s longest freestanding wooden structure at 109 metres.


35. Sejong Center for the Performing Arts



Sejong Center for the Performing ArtsSejong Center for the Performing Arts

Source: ARTYOORAN / shutterstock



Sejong Center For The Performing Arts



The largest performing arts venue in Seoul is on the grand Sejongno street in Jongno-gu.


As with the street, the Sejong Center is named for Sejong the Great (1397-1450), the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty.


The building was constructed over four years to 1978, and blends Modernist architecture with traditional Korean flourishes, as you’ll see from the enlarged eaves.


The center houses a large main auditorium seating 3,000, the smaller Minor Hall for 442, four galleries and the Sejong Convention Center.


A host of prestigious companies and ensembles are based at the Sejong Center, like the Seoul Philharmonic, the Seoul Metropolitan Theater Company, the Seoul Metropolitan Opera and the Seoul Metropolitan Chorus.


There’s always something interesting on the programme, from recitals by classical soloists to full-scale operas, international festivals, ballet, film concerts, musicals and performances of traditional Korean dance.


Something to note about the main auditorium, the Grand Theater, is that it holds the largest pipe organ in Asia, with 8,098 pipes and a case designed like a geomungo, a traditional Korean string instrument.


36. Itaewon



ItaewonItaewon

Source: Ju Jae-young / shutterstock



Itaewon



In Yongsan-gu you’ll stumble into a neighbourhood where the shops and people look nothing like the city around it.


Itaewon is an international enclave just east of the U.S. Army’s Yongsan Garrison and as well as being extremely diverse is heaving with shops, restaurants and nightclubs.


There are more than 20,000 expats living here, and when people need to find non-Korean cuisines and ingredients, from all over Europe, India, Southeast Asia, Mexico and the United States, Itaewon is the place to come.


You could call it a Chinatown but for every nation of the world, and like many Chinatowns the concentration of shops is startling.


People come especially for the clothes and fashion accessories; leather products are a real forte of Itaewon.


Antique Furniture Street is an eye-opener for its 100+ stores and harks back to the 1960s when American soldiers would sell off their furnishings before heading home.


37. Ihwa Mural Village



Ihwa Mural VillageIhwa Mural Village

Source: EQRoy / shutterstock



Ihwa Mural Village



There’s a corner of Ihwa-dong, at the foot of Naksan Park, that was revitalised in the mid-2000s with imaginative and whimsical street art.


This was an initiative by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, commissioning some 70 artists to create murals and installations, and setting up communal gardens.


Traditionally working class, the low-rise Ihwa-dong, on steep ground and bounded by Seoul’s old fortress walls, had been settled by refugees at the end of the Korean War in the 1950s.


The neighbourhood fell into decline in the 80s and 90s as people departed for more prosperous parts of the city, and public art helped to make it more desirable and build a sense of community.


The project wasn’t without its problems, as the influx of tourists has led to complaints about a loss of privacy, and many pieces from 2006 have been removed.


Since the 2010s local residents have been consulted on new designs, and apart from tracking down murals you may have a fun time navigating the stairways and alleys of this quirky part of the city.


38. MMCA Seoul



MMCA SeoulMMCA Seoul

Source: ARTYOORAN / shutterstock



MMCA Seoul



The fourth branch of South Korea’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art opened in Seoul in 2013, right beside Gyeongbokgung.


The museum is on and around the military Defence Security Command complex, and is dedicated to international contemporary art.


Something worth mentioning about the layout is that the museum incorporates the concept of “madang”, a large convivial courtyard for gatherings.


There’s a mixed use hall for performances and interdisciplinary art, and a 122-seat theatre screening experimental films and hosting festivals.


To give you a taste of what’s in store, when we compiled this list in summer 2019 there was a retrospective for Park Seo-bo , who emerged in the 1950s as South Korea’s first Informalist artist, as well as the first exhibition in Asia for the CoBrA founder-member Asger Jorn (1914-1973).



#uflJQwNDZpCO10

display: none;

text-align: left;

39. Olympic Park



Olympic Park, SeoulOlympic Park, Seoul

Source: SiHo / shutterstock



Olympic Park



The vast site of the 1988 Seoul Olympics in Songpa-gu to the south-east of the city, has kept many of its facilities intact, from the velodrome to the tennis courts, gymnastics arena, swimming pool and fencing gymnasium (now used for handball). These venues are on a site with a far more distant history, harking back to the Baekje kingdom (between 1,500 and 2000) years ago.


The earthen rampart of Mongchontoseong Fortress was on the course of the running even for the modern pentathlon, and artefacts found excavations before the Olympics ended up at the Baekje Museum.


At 1.45 million square metres there’s a lot of ground to cover.


You rent a bike or pedal car to get around, and there are individual parks to visit, like an Environmental Eco-Park inhabited by spot-billed ducks, chipmunks, white herons, cuckoos and pheasants.


The Leisure Sports Park is packed with facilities, while the Cultural Art park puts on live performances and is the setting for the musical fountain and the Seoul Olympics Museum of Art, famed for its sculpture.


40. Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market



Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale MarketNoryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market

Source: DerekTeo / shutterstock



Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market



Some 300 tons of fish is traded every day at this epic market in Noryangjin-dong on the south bank of the Han.


Nighthawks can visit as early as 01:00 and the fish auction kicks off at 03:00. Before you set off you can check the website for auction prices, which tend to be driven by quantity.


For reference, retail prices are up to 20% higher than the auction price.


One of the Seoul’s great culinary experiences is buying ocean-fresh shrimp, king crab, lobster, clams, salmon (sashimi), flounder, octopus, scallops and whatever else you fancy, and carrying it upstairs to a restaurant for a seafood feast.


41. Gyeongui Line Forest Park



Gyeongui Line Forest ParkGyeongui Line Forest Park

Source: Keitma / shutterstock



Gyeongui Line Forest Park



The century-old Gyeongui railway line has recently moved underground, and its trackbed has gradually been turned into a linear park with lawns, streams, ponds and a path edged with ginkgo trees.


The section starting in trendy Hongdae begins opposite exit three of Hongik University Station and will eventually belong to more than six kilometres of parkland from Yeonnam-dong to Munbae-dong in Yongsan.


There’s a slew of restaurants and cafes close by at the south-east end and in summer evenings the lawns fill with groups out picnicking, and street performers with guitars bring even more colour to the park.


42. Myeong-dong



Myeong-dongMyeong-dong

Source: f11photo / shutterstock



Myeong-dong



A dense grid of streets and alleys illuminated by a panoply of neon signs, Myeong-dong is up there with Seoul’s most beloved shopping areas.


This honeypot for Chinese and Japanese tourists can be crammed with as many as two million people in a single day.


The two main arteries, departing from Myeong-dong Subway Station and Lotte Department Store, meet in the middle of the grid.


In terms of stores, Myeong-dong is dominated by midmarket and upmarket international brands like Zara, H&M, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton and Polo Ralph Lauren.


From late-March to mid-April and then for the whole month of September the Myeong-dong festival brings parades, special sales, live music and dance performances.


Food-wise, if you’re up for kalguksu (noodle soup) or dongaseu (pork cutlet), Myeong-dong is a go-to and abounds in street food carts.



#uflJQwNDZpCO11

display: none;

text-align: left;

43. Myeongdong Nanta Theatre



Myeongdong Nanta TheatreMyeongdong Nanta Theatre

Source: sekitarief / shutterstock



Myeongdong Nanta Theatre



An international hit that made waves at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was the first Korean show to have an extended stint on Broadway, Nanta is a non-verbal comedy show using traditional samulnori percussion.


The plot entails three cooks racing to prepare a wedding banquet and coping with a manager’s incompetent nephew among the kitchen staff.


There’s no dialogue, so Nanta is instantly accessible, and families will enjoy the mix of music (using kitchen utensils), pantomime, physical comedy, magic tricks and audience engagement.


The show, at Myeongdong Nanta Theatre, lasts for just over an hour and you can get 20% off the official ticket price by booking through GetYourGuide.com.


44. Seoul City Hall



Seoul City HallSeoul City Hall

Source: Subodh Agnihotri / shutterstock



Seoul City Hall



Right on the central Seoul Plaza is the city’s main administrative building, set just behind its predecessor.


The original Seoul City Hall, now home to the Seoul Metropolitan Library is an Imperial Crown style monument from the Japanese occupation and dating to 1925. The futuristic new city hall was ready in 2012 and looks like a big breaking wave, but is also a nod to the past, evoking the curled eaves of Hanoks.


You can head in for a free 70-minute guided tour, and English tours are at 14:00 on Tuesday and 10:30 and 15:00 on Saturday.


Highlights inside are the Vertical Garden moderating air-flow, temperature and humidity, and a collection of weapons from the Joseon Dynasty.


The plaza in front is a gathering spot for demonstrations and protests, and has an ice rink each winter from the middle of December to February.


45. Changgyeonggung Palace



Changgyeonggung PalaceChanggyeonggung Palace

Source: SiHo / shutterstock



Changgyeonggung Palace



This palace was first constructed in the mid-15th century by King Sejong, the forth ruler of the Joseon Dynasty, as a residence for his father.


Later that century Changgyeonggung Palace was enlarged by King Seongjong, and this layout is the one that greets you today.


The complex has twice been damaged by the Japanese, during their invasions of Korea in the late-16th century and then during their 20th-century occupation when many of the buildings were dismantled and the site turned into a park.


The palace was rebuilt to its 15th-century appearance in the 1980s.


One element that has survived from the rebuild in the early-17th century is the Myeongjeongjeon (main hall), the oldest of all the main halls at Seoul’s royal palaces and inscribed as a National Treasure.


In front is the arched Okcheongyo (bridge) crossing a pond, a hallmark of Joseon dynasty palaces.


This ushers you onto the courtyard in front of the main hall, bisected by three parallel paths, the central one to be trodden only by the king.


46. Samcheongdong-gil Road



Samcheongdong-gil RoadSamcheongdong-gil Road

Source: Benz Photograph / shutterstock



Samcheongdong-gil Road



Not to be missed if you want to continue exploring old Seoul, the romantic Samcheongdong-gil Road, beside Bukchon Hanok Village, is flanked with yet more hanoks.


In these historic buildings are fashion boutiques, design shops, antique shops, galleries, restaurants and cafes.


Despite the traditional exteriors, they are all remarkably modern inside.


Samcheongdong-gil Road has long been a popular spot for first dates.


The best time for a stroll is spring, when everything’s in bloom, or fall when the foliage is beautiful.


47. National Hangeul Museum



National Hangeul MuseumNational Hangeul Museum

Source: NJ_Cyn / shutterstock



National Hangeul Museum



Not just for linguists, the National Hangeul Museum studies the intriguing history of the Korean character system.


With lots of information signs in English the museum goes into depth on Hangeul’s linguistic structure and development over hundreds of years, while adding political and cultural context.


You’ll find out how this alphabet has become a cultural asset and how it complements the Korean language so neatly.


For kids there’s the Hangeul Playground, with slyly educational hands-on activities, and if you’re serious about improving your Korean, the Hangeul Learning Center is an invaluable resource.


48. Han River: Night Cruise



Han River At NightHan River At Night

Source: Nghia Khanh / shutterstock



Han River At Night



At the height summer Seoul can be stifling, so for a little respite in the evening you can step aboard a cruise boat and feel the breeze on a 40-minute sightseeing cruise.


With new skyscrapers like the record-breaking Lotte World Tower cropping up on the Seoul skyline each year, it’s an eye-opening experience.


One of the high points of the trip is Banpo Bridge, which has the world’s longest bridge fountain, at 1,140 metres.


Water jets shoot from 380 nozzles and are lit in rainbow colours by more than 10,000 LEDs.


On Saturdays and public holidays there’s a fireworks display behind the bridge, which you’ll get to watch on the cruise.


This experience is available through GetYourGuide.com.



#uflJQwNDZpCO12

display: none;

text-align: left;

49. Seoul City Wall



Seoul City WallSeoul City Wall

Source: Stock for you / shutterstock



Seoul City Wall



The wall (Hangyangdoseong) defending the centre of Seoul forms an 18.6-km ring traversing the four main mountains around the heart of the city: Bugaksan, Naksan, Namsan and Ingwangsan.


This defence, eight metres high in places, dates from the end of the 14th century, at the very beginning of the Joseon dynasty and took three decades to build.


As the city expanded sections were torn down, especially to make way for tram lines in the early 20th century.


But long pieces remain to their original height, while two of the original four main gates, Namdaemun (South Gate) and Heunginjimun (East Gate), are still standing in their original form and protected as National Treasures.


Of the four main gates and four auxiliary gates only two have been lost altogether.


The most popular and best-preserved stretch of wall runs for 2.3 kilometres over Mount Bukaksan via Sukjeongmun to Changuimun.


50. Seoul in 1 Day: Best City Highlights Tour



Tour Group In SeoulTour Group In Seoul

Source: Shanae Ennis-Melhado / shutterstock



Tour Group In Seoul



Coming to terms with a hectic metropolis the size of Seoul it can be difficult to know where to begin.


Going through GetYourGuide.com you could tick off all the essentials in a single day by air-conditioned bus with this highlights tour, extra convenient in summer, when temperatures hit the 30s and air pollution can be a problem.


You’ll visit the Jogyesa Temple, and move onto the Gyeongbokgung Palace to the see the changing of the guard and pose for a photo dressed up in hanbok attire.


You’ll get to poke around Insa-dong’s alleys and pick up a bite from the many street food carts.


In the afternoon the tour takes you to Bukchon Hanok Village, before ending the day with a roam around the Myeong-dong shopping area, sampling street entertainment and trying some more Korean street food delicacies.


51. Seoullo 7017



Seoullo 7017Seoullo 7017

Source: TRAVEL TAKE PHOTOS / shutterstock



Seoullo 7017



Seoul’s answer to the Coulée verte René-Dumont or the High Line is a park on what used to be the Seoul Station overpass.


Opened in May 2017, Seoullo 7017 has some 24,000 plants, flowers and trees from 230 species (the hydrangeas, magnolias and roses are lovely in spring and summer) along its 17 pedestrian paths.


The name 7017 stands for the date the overpass was built (1970), the number of paths and the year the park opened.


There’s an information centre, a gift shop and a range of cafes and kiosks for Korean snacks.


For extra background, the Seoul tourist board includes Seoullo 7017 on three free walking tours: From Hanyang to Seoul, Exploration of Modern and Contemporary Architecture at Seoullo and Night Tour of Seoullo.


52. Trickeye Museum




Trickeye Museum



A tourist favourite, the Trickeye Museum in Hongdae features mind-bending works that mostly using an augmented reality developed by the gallery’s owners, and some with more conventional 3D illusions.


You can get a taste of what’s inside at a free section with ten pieces, before the paid entrance giving access to another 55. The Trickeye Camera app lets you to interact with the AR paintings, becoming absorbed into these little worlds for photos and videos, riding a dragon or a pair of sharks, dancing in Jack Vettriano’s The Singing Butler, sitting on horseback in John Collier’s Lady Godiva or relaxing in Provence, in Vincent van Gogh’s the Starry Night.


Also part of the attraction is the Ice Museum, filled with expert ice sculptures, including an entire furnished living room with chairs, a piano and TV, all rendered from ice.



#uflJQwNDZpCO13

display: none;

text-align: left;

53. Starfield COEX Mall



Starfield COEX MallStarfield COEX Mall

Source: THONGCHAI.S / shutterstock



Starfield COEX Mall



Directly opposite Samsung Station in the heart of Seoul is the largest underground mall in Asia.


Starfield COEX Mall is more than 150,000 square metres in size, almost all of which is on a single floor and with a quite spectacular atrium and five open plazas.


The mall is also joined to the COEX Convention Center, which has staged events like Seoul Motor Show and the G20 Summit in 2010. For fashionistas there are hundreds of domestic and international brands in this shopper’s paradise, among them ÅLAND, an affordable champion of Seoul’s now famous street-style scene for several years, and recently exported to the United States.


There’s also an aquarium, a museum devoted entirely to kimchi and a Megabox Cineplex with 17 screens.


Keen K-Poppers need to check out SMTOWN Coex Artium, run by the SM Entertainment label.


Fans can tour rehearsal and recording rooms, experience hologram performances and by merch for acts like Kangta, S.E.S., Red Velvet, TraxX and many more.


54. Seoul Land



Seoul LandSeoul Land

Source: Drakonyashka / shutterstock



Seoul Land



In 1987, not long before the Olympics, the first theme park in Korea opened south of Seoul proper in Gwacheon, on the slopes Cheonggyesan Mountain.


Seoul Land is dwarfed by the Everland, South Korea’s largest theme park, but is much more convenient from downtown Seoul at half the distance.


There are more than 50 rides and attractions, from white-knuckle rollercoasters like the Double Loop Coaster and Black Hole 2000 to theatre experiences with 3D and motion technology.


Any child obsessed with dinosaurs will adore Jurassic Land.


Seoul Land also stands out for its seasonal festivals, like a Tulip Festival in April-May, a Starlight Rose Festival in July and August, a Chrysanthemum Festival in July and August and the Snow Light Festival between December and February.


After sunset in summer stick around for the nightly Laser Show.


55. Dream Concert



Seoul World Cup StadiumSeoul World Cup Stadium

Source: Johnathan21 / shutterstock



Seoul World Cup Stadium



This annual one-day K-Pop festival at the Seoul World Cup Stadium celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019. Every May Dream Concert pulls together an ensemble of 24 of the biggest K-pop artists around.


In 2019 Red Velvet, Seventeen, NCT and Taemin were all on the bill.


Tickets go on sale just a month before, so you’ll have to be quick.


If you’re an avid K-Popper and visit outside of May you can catch free live performances by heading to one of the big TV studios, watching a taping of famous showcases like Music Bank and Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook (KBS), Show! Music Core (MBC), Inkikyao (SBS) and M Countdown (Mnet Studio).



#uflJQwNDZpCO14

display: none;

text-align: left;
Previous Post
Next Post