Things To Do In Seoul
Seoul is the capital of South Korea and is a huge metropolis where high-tech subways, modern skyscrapers, and pop culture meet Buddhist castles, temples, and street markets. It is one of those dynamic Asian capitals that is constantly expanding and evolving, yet steeped in tradition and history. Almost all of us know that Korean pop culture has been taking the world by storm for the past few years. But things to do in Seoul go beyond the trend wave. It is a place where in the morning you can visit grand palaces, in the afternoon you can hike a mountain and bar-hop in neon-lit streets in the evening. This city offers a beautiful urban sprawl and scenic sights. It doesn’t matter whether you are a return visitor or this is your first time, all these travel suggestions and tips will help you make the most out of your Seoul vacation.
Let’s look at what you can do and see in Seoul.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is located in northern Seoul and was the main royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty. It was originally built way back in 1395. This is a perfect place to start if you want a real look into Korea’s history. It is a fine representation of Korean architecture and is one of the grandest structures in the city. This palace houses a pavilion located on an artificial island in the middle of a beautiful lake and there are also three stone bridges spread across the palace grounds.
Bukchon Hanok Village
This little piece of Korean history sits between Gyeonbok and Changdeok palaces. Bukchon Hanok provides an idea of cultural experience for travelers who want to look deeper into Korea’s history. This is an ancient village and it preserves a 600-year-old urban settlement. It will give visitors a rich insight into Joseon Dynasty traditions. This village is home to the Bukchon Traditional Culture Centre and houses many old homes with Korean-style architecture. It is a picturesque place amidst an otherwise concrete city. Most of the homes have a courtyard in the middle and several rooms surrounding it.
Bukhansan National Park
The Bukhansan National Park was established on 2 April 1983. Here Bukhansan means “mountains north of the Han River”. It is located in the metropolitan area of Seoul and this national park is a hiker’s paradise. This place is rich in biodiversity. After entering the park, you will see the scenic views of the Triangle Mountain. This park contains granite peaks, temples, and forested areas. The three main peaks are Insubong, Mangnyeongdae, and Baekundae. It is home to more than 1300 species of flora and fauna. Due to its popularity, some trails are closed on a rotation basis in order to protect the local environment.
Visit Jongmyo Shrine
Korean people used to believe that a person’s body remained in the place of burial after death but their spirit made their way to its shrine. It is known that Jongmyo shrine is home to the spirit of every king of the Joseon Dynasty period. You can go there only through guided tours and that means after each tour park becomes completely quiet. Still, it is a very spiritual place and walking where the kings walked to honor their ancestors, is a fantastic way to experience some of Korea’s history. If you go there during May or November then you might get the chance to see one of the ceremonies honoring the kings.
Visit Namsan Tower
Namsan Tower is the highest viewing point in the center of Seoul. It is also known as the North Seoul Tower. You can take the cable car or you can also get some exercise and hike up the steps to the base. You will feel the burn. If you go there on a weekend then you are very likely to stumble upon a cultural show which includes martial arts and traditional dancing. Came here with a loved one? You can bring your love locket or grab one from there then snap it onto the surrounding fence if you can manage to find some space. After that head up to see yourself surrounded by mountains on all sides.
Take a stroll along any of the steps that line this 5.8km stream. Suddenly, you will find yourself in an oasis. It is a secret little hideaway from an otherwise chaotic city. Earlier, this whole stream used to cover by urban sprawl and highways. The city turned it back into its former glory in 2005. During the summer, cool yourself off by dipping your toes in the stream. You can also check out the lantern festival held here every autumn.
This is a thriving complex which offers a Temple Stay Program that allows tourists to understand Buddhist customs. You can participate in intellectual discussions with the monks and you can also enjoy a tea ceremony held every afternoon. Every September the temple
holds Jeongdaebulsa and the temple is famous for this. In this event, monks recite the Beopseongge from heavily inscribed scriptures.
You should go to Hongdae whether you go for the shopping, the food or the nightlife. Hongik University is located in this area and you will find a lot of young people. Food vendors line the streets wafting the scent of tteokbokki and spicy chicken skewers. You will find some international restaurant, themed cafes, and pubs. Here you will get to drink some of the best craft beer in the city. It is known as one of the city’s best spots for a good night out.
The Noryangjin Wholesale Fish Market is where you can savor seaside delicacies from hundreds of stalls. With more than 700 vendors, this is Seoul’s oldest and biggest indoor fish market. You should get here early to enjoy the excitement of this bustling warehouse. You can also participate in the seafood auction which takes place as the sun rises.
If you are on a shoestring, super strict budget then you are going to love Seoul a lot. From majestic palaces to hipster cafes, Seoul offers a lot for the tourists. Don’t miss out on the best that Seoul has to offer. Remember to visit theses above-mentioned places to enjoy the vacation most.