Top 5 Things to Do in Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is the ultimate destination. It’s a modern city steeped in tradition. It’s fast-paced with skyscrapers, lightning-fast internet and an excellent underground train system. But it’s not all electronics, sleek buildings and modern technology. It has an abundant history, ancient traditions, a rich culture and natural beauty wherever you look. With so much to see and do, it can be a daunting task to decide where to start. Fear not, however, as we have done the hard work for you.
Once you have booked your cheap flights to Korea, below are the top 5 things to do in Seoul during your stay:
1. Visit a Palace and Watch the Changing of the Guards
Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most famous and beautiful palace in Seoul. It was the main residence of the royal family during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). You can also check out the National Folk Museum of Korea and National Palace Museum which are located on the palace grounds. Check the times in advance for English tours and make sure to catch the reenactment of the Changing of the Royal Guard. Conveniently located nearby is Deoksugung Palace and King Sejong Memorial Hall. If time allows, visit all three.
2. Ride a Cable Car to N Seoul Tower at Night
This is the epitome of Seoul sightseeing. Located on Mt. Namsan in the centre of the city, the views at night will take your breath away. Marking the highest point in Seoul, the viewing platform of the 777 ft tower is the ultimate place to take in the enormity of the city. This is best on a clear night. You will literally be looking at half of the people living in Korea. That’s pretty incredible. On the Roof Terrace you will find the famous Locks of Love, thousands of padlocks placed by lovers symbolizing their enduring love.
3. Go Shopping
Seoul is a shopping mecca. Insadong, Myeongdong, Itaewon, Namdaemun, and Dongdaemun. All are excellent and unique. Insadong is best for finding traditional Korean souvenirs and hand-crafted items. This shopping area is the one most catered to tourists. Myeongdong is trendy, fast-paced and filled with young people. It is more upper scale with nice restaurants, several theatres, and popular chain stores. Itaewon is as international as it gets in Seoul. It consists of a couple of long streets lined with bars, restaurants, and foreign stores. Namdaemun is part flea market, part typical Korean market, and part tourist shops with traditional Korean souvenirs. Be sure to see the beautiful Sungnyemun Gate on the corner of the market. Finally, Dongdaemun is a huge shopping complex most famous for selling fabrics, accessories and cheap clothes. It has a little of everything.
4. Take the DMZ Tour
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the most heavily fortified border in the world. Just 34 miles north of Seoul is the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a strip of land 55 miles long and 2.5 miles wide that divides North and South Korea. The only way to visit the DMZ is with a tour group, and you must book your tour in advance. There are several companies that offer tours. Make sure your tour includes Panmunjeom as this is where you get to see the North Korean soldiers and cross into North Korea via a conference room that straddles the two countries.
5. Experience the Themed Cafés
Koreans have got coffee shops figured out, and Seoul has some of the coolest themed coffee shops in the world. You can sip your non-fat sugar-free vanilla latte while Dr. Fish are nibbling the dead skin from your feet. The cat cafes are probably the most popular of the themed cafes (rightly so), but there are countless other cafes with bizarre and brilliant themes.