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12 Must-Do Experiences in Seoul

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There are some experiences in Seoul that simply shouldn't be missed. Evidence of Seoul's buzzing vibrancy can be experienced everywhere—from the glitz and glamour of the now-famous Gangnam district to the banks of the Cheonggyecheon. This seamless blending of old and new has turned Seoul into a dynamic capital burgeoning with inventive restaurants, galleries, boutiques, and culture just waiting to be experienced.
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Cheonggyecheon, Jongno 5(o).6(yuk)ga-dong, Seoul
An artery of calm running through central Seoul is the Cheonggyecheon stream. This soothing green space proffers a respite from the bustle, with tranquil waterfalls, bridges, and landscaped rock formations adorning the 5.2 miles of wooden walkways...
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Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Notebooks and markers and pencils, oh my! Art Box offers a kaleidoscopic array of school supply fun, a favorite among Korean students of all ages. Found in various locations around Seoul, this colorful stationery shop sells everything from...
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Dosan-daero 13-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
It’s not all Louis Vuitton and Chanel in this quirky museum dedicated to woman’s favorite accessory. Inside this handbag-shaped building located in Seoul’s chic Gangnam district, you’ll find over 300 purses on display, some dating back as far as...
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662 Gyeongin-ro, Sindorim-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul, South Korea
If you swoon at the sight of sparkly picture frames, leopard-print throw pillows, and other kitschy home décor items, make Francfranc your first stop in Seoul. This Japanese-owned design store is a welcome addition to the sparse collection...
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Seoul, South Korea
After Japan, Korea is the most high-tech country on Earth, meaning its capital is one of the tech-savviest cities in the world. Everywhere you look, you’ll see the latest gadgets—especially apparent when you behold entire subway cars filled with...
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Seoul, South Korea
Seoul’s underground railway system is full of fun surprises. When you turn down one of the labyrinthine corridors or hop off a train, you never know just who or what you’ll find. One rainy day at the Anguk subway station, I stumbled upon this...
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Seoul, South Korea
Seoulites work hard, but they know how to play hard too. And one of their favorite pastimes is singing their hearts out at the noraebang. This Korean version of Karaoke doesn’t require copious amounts of talent (or alcohol) to get up on stage....
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Seoul, South Korea
The sidewalks of Seoul are one big fashion show. Both men and women dress to the nines, and boutiques purveying designs by local designers abound. In-the-know locals with a passion for fashion frequent Galleria Design Street. Located on the second...
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60 Jangchungdan-ro, Jangchungdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Treatments at the Banyan Tree Club and Spa Seoul draw on regional therapies and ingredients. Banyan Tree’s green tea bath treatment was inspired by the bathing rituals of jjimjilbangs—Korean public bathhouses. Korean green tea is rich in...
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Deoksugung-gil, Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Bukchon, the historic neighborhood between Gyeongbok-gung and Changdeok-gung palaces in the heart of Seoul, is the home of buk-chon son mandu, which translates as "handmade dumplings." Even though this is a Seoul chain restaurant, the namesake...
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Chungmuro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is full of street food, and open-air markets and sidewalk stalls abound. But wander the avenues at night, and warm light from under tarps beckons; it's the poh-jahng-mah-chah. Literally meaning "covered/tented wagon," these are an...