Best Things to Do in Seoul
Collected by Tommy Alexander, AFAR Staff
161 Sajik-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Originally built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest and greatest of Seoul’s Five Grand Palaces. Burned down during the Japanese invasion of 1592, it was reconstructed in 1867. Today, the palace grounds, filled with lotus ponds,...
Dosan-daero 13-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
No, it’s not your imagination. Everyone—men, women, children, even dogs—dresses up in Seoul. Sure, you’re bound to see the odd denim-clad dud, but on the whole you’re more likely to spot bow ties and blazers or blouses and heels walking the...
Cheonggyecheon, Jongno 5(o).6(yuk)ga-dong, Seoul
Chong-gye-cheon stream and park is a several-miles-long ribbon of pedestrian tranquility in the heart of Seoul. For decades, an elevated expressway ran through the heart of Seoul. The air pollution and congestion made people forget that a stream...
105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Look to the top of Seoul’s 860-foot-tall Namsan Mountain and you’ll see the N Seoul Tower, which rises an additional 777 feet. This aerial perch is the highest point in the city and offers incredible views. Far below, Seoul sprawls out...
79-12 Gahoe-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
If you want to get down to the authentic (and stylish) meal experience in Seoul, try the traditional Korean dishes – the ensemble called Hanjeongsik at Bukchon Hanok Village. The experience is lively, but classy, and it’s one of the best ways to...
South Korea, Seoul, Jongno-gu, Gahoe-dong, 계동길 49-23
Meaning “a place where one can enjoy the traditions of times past and rest one’s soul,” Rak Ko Jae certainly lives up to its name. Styled after a Chosun Dynasty–era house, the 130-year-old hanok (traditional Korean house)...
367-39 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Luxury Su is one of the largest and most popular karaoke bars (or as Koreans call them, Norae Bangs—meaning "singing rooms") in the Hongdae area of Seoul and brings the rare high-end karaoke experience: Its spacious rooms have velvet armchairs,...
40 Hangang-daero 21na-gil, Hangangno 3(sam)-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
In Korea, nothing spells relaxation like a jimjilbang, or Korean bathhouse. For over a thousand years, Koreans have used public bathhouses not only as a means to get clean, but as a social gathering place to chill out with family and friends....
65 Hangaram-ro, Jamsil 2(i)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The Han River is Seoul’s main artery, and the fourth longest river on the Korean peninsula. This glistening waterway bisects Seoul’s bustling neighborhoods, while modern bridges span the divide and pretty pathways meander along the banks. Han...
Euljiro 7(chil)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Has a giant spaceship landed amidst the high-rises of Seoul? No, it’s only the new Dongdaemun Design Plaza. The futuristic façade encloses multiple museums and exhibition halls, and a design market featuring a myriad of work created by local...
137 Seobinggo-ro, Seobinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
The National Museum of Korea is the largest museum in Korea and houses a comprehensive collection of Korean cultural artifacts that tell the story of Korea’s fascinating history, from ancient days to the modern era. There’s also the Children’s...
29 Itaewon-ro, Namyeong-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
South Korea's past is a rocky one, and at the War Memorial of Korea people from all across the country come to pay respects to brave soldiers who fought for their freedom. In addition to the museum's huge display of war- and military-related...
240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil 3(sam)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The world’s largest indoor amusement park, Lotte World gets more than 7 million visitors annually. Seasonal festivals like the Rio Samba Carnival and the Happy Christmas Party dictate the themes of the daily parades and performances, while...
Dongjang-ri, Jangdan-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Located between the two Koreas in the Civilian Control Zone along the 38th Parallel, Dorasan station has recently awakened as though from a spell. Once only used as a showcase boasting of hopes for reunification between the divided peninsula for...
25 Olympic-ro, Jamsil 7(chil)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Even if you're not a huge baseball fan, it's worth going to a game in Korea, just to see what it means to be a sports fan there. What does it mean? Singing. For every batter, throughout the game. Dancing women in short shorts. A slightly manic...
Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The Korean alphabet, known as hangeul, is the only alphabet in the world where the letters were created to resemble the shape the mouth makes as you voice them. Created by King Sejong in the mid 15th century as a way to educate the illiterate, the...
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