Seoul Discovery Guide

Overview

Come and visit the city filled with infinite discoveries. Seoul, South Korea, is simply a city of many facets and personalities, each one a pleasure to get to know and explore. Here, you will find an enchanting blend of the modern and the traditional. It is not surprising to find an age-old temple among towering skyscrapers and busy highways. It is a city that cherishes its past while forging towards the 21st century and beyond.

There are just so many things you can see and do in Seoul! Feast your eyes on majestic royal palaces and extensive art collections. Have your fill of the smells and tastes of its exceptional cuisine – both the traditional food and the avant-garde kitchen creations. Shop till you drop – there are upscale shops (Gangnam and Myeongdong) and streetmarkets. Stroll along the city streets at night and get a load of its buzzing and vibrant nightlife. Climb the steps up to the Gyeongbokgung main throne hall. As you gaze upon the cityscape, you will delight in the mixture of modern buildings and traditional Korean-style homes. There are also myriad events (festivals, cultural presentations, concerts and theater shows) for you to enjoy. Indeed, when in Seoul, you can be assured that you will never be bored – the city will not allow you time for this.

Here is a lowdown of the sights and scenes you will find in Seoul:

For those who want to see Buddhist temples, visit Jogye-sa, Bongwon-sa, Bongeun-sa and Hwagye-sa. For more on culture and architecture, drop by Namsangol Traditional Folk Village, the Dongnimmun (Independence Gate), the Seodaemun Prison, Samneung Park, the Myeongdong Cathedral and Seoul Plaza. Those into arts and history should visit Seoul’s museums – the National Museum of Korea, the Kimchi Museum, the National Folk Museum, Seoul Historical Museum, War Museum and Seoul Railway museum. There are also magnificent palaces – Kyongbokkung Palace, Changdokkung Palace, Changgyeong Palace, Deoksu Palace, Unhyeon Palace and the Chongmyo Shrine.

Those who love nature will enjoy Seoul’s parks – the Han River Park, Dosan Park, Namsan Park, Paris Park, Seoul Forest, Yangiae Stream and Yangiae Citizen’s Forest. There is also the nearby Mt. Bukhansan National Park to the north and Mt. Gwanaksan to the south for those who are into the great outdoors. Party lovers will find a dynamic and pulsating nightlife in Daehang-no, Dongdaemun, Bangbae-dong Café Street, Lotte World and Sinchon-dong. Shopping addicts will discover seventh heaven in Seoul’s shopping area – Cheongdam-dong, Dondaemun Market, Yangiae Flower Market, Sinchon-dong Flower Market, Hwanghak-dong Flea Market, Insa-dong Shopping Area, Janganpyeong Antique Market and Itaewon-dong Shopping Area.

Seoul is also a city of festivals. Whenever you visit, whatever the season, you will be delighted to know that something interesting is going on. There is the Seoul Fringe Festival (which celebrates everything indie in Seoul), the Hi Seoul Festival (which celebrates the city with parades, tea ceremonies, concerts and food fests) and the Lotus Lantern Festival (which celebrates Buddha’s birthday by having a stunning paper lantern parade. You should also get to see the reenactment of the royal wedding at the Unhyeongung Palace. This celebrates the union of King Gojong and Empress Myeongseong.

Whew! That was quite a list. But mind you, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are still so many for you to uncover. Come to Seoul and see for yourself.
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