Where are you going?
Or, let us surprise youSpin the Globe ®

Seoul 2015

List View
Map View
Save Place
78 Namdaemun-ro, Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
In the Korean capital's Myeongdong district, you're not limited to 'Seoul-food;' you can also taste distinctive dishes from Jeonju city, in the country's fertile Southwest. Go to "Go-gung" (pronounce: goh-goong) restaurant. The restaurant's...
Save Place
During daylight hours, Gwanghwamun gate's portals are open to visitors entering and leaving the Gyeongbokgung Palace compound. Coming in or going out, make sure to look up as you pass through: the ceilings are vividly painted with mythical...
Save Place
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,...
Save Place
20-17 Bukchon-ro, Jae-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
For some reason there are many Filipinos in my life. My dad's best friend, my cousin's husband, my aunt, my old roommate, etc....and when I came to Seoul to study at Yonsei University, it was to my pleasant surprise to find out I had a Filipina...
Save Place
Jongno 5(o)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Anyone who's been to Seoul knows how coffee-crazed South Korea's capital is: There are well over 200 Starbucks locations in Seoul alone! But this independent coffee shop, a few blocks down from the city's medieval East Gate, takes it to a whole...
Save Place
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul has to be Asia's most caffeinated mega-city. There is plenty of tea to be had, but coffee rules in Korea's capital. Along with an abundance of multi-storied Starbucks, every street seems to have sprouted a home-grown café: from the...
Save Place
Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
"Oh-deng" is a street-food classic found on the streets of Seoul. It's kind of hard to describe: formed crab-cakes, or white fish sausage (sounds weird, tastes great!). Late one night in Seoul's Myongdong district (think Times Square meets the...
Save Place
South Korea, Seoul, Jongno-gu, Gahoe-dong, 계동길 37
On my first evening back in Seoul, on my first visit in almost twenty years, I could hardly believe I was in the middle of a metropolitan area of over twenty million people. I was staying in the Buk-chon neighborhood, in a 'hanok'--one of the...
Save Place
Earlier in the evening, this spot in Gwanghwamun Plaza was full of families, children playing in the fountains beneath the statue of 16th-c. Admiral Yi Sun-shin. After dinner, with the kids gone, I got a moment of calm. For decades, this statue...
Save Place
Gunja-dong, Seoul, South Korea
The best time to take a walk around Seoul is towards the end of March when these little blooms make quite a punch.
Save Place
99 Yulgok-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
I spent the better part of a summer afternoon on the grounds of Changdeok-gung Palace, wandering the old courtyards and lush gardens of one of the most visited sites in Seoul. Originally built in 1405 as a secondary palace, this complex served as...
Save Place
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...
Save Place
Samseong 2(i)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Across the street from Asia's largest underground mall, Bong-eun-sa temple still functions as one of Seoul's largest and oldest Buddhist temples. Under the paper lanterns, ritual continues, a counterpoint to the the wired and wifi frenzy in the...
Save Place
Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
In the Samcheong-dong neighborhood, I saw this whimsical mural on the side of a bakery—perfect for a Francophile Korean sweet tooth. I became a lover of macarons (not to be confused with macaroons) when I lived in Paris. I had no idea that the...
Save Place
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...
Save Place
Changdeokgung-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Amidst the almost hypnotic repetition of pattern and color, I spent an afternoon 'lost' in the colonnades of Changdeok-gung Palace. Focusing my vision on architecture in a historical context far removed from my everyday life--one of my favorite...
Save Place
22 Majang-ro, Sindang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
We lose ourselves in travel, work or play. Becoming fully engulfed in the moment is all to frequent. This photo was taken in the Sindang Market in Central Seoul. It is tough to put a finger on Sindang Market, it is a place where you can find an...
Save Place
Dobong-dong, Seoul, South Korea
As an outdoor enthusiast I enjoy a tough climb. Dobongsan in northern Seoul is one of the best climbs around the city of Seoul. Offering varying paths the climb can take anywhere from 3-7 hours and the fir lined forest quickly turns into rocky...
Save Place
29-4 Bukchon-ro 6-gil, Gye-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
In a metropolitan area of 20 million people, finding an oasis is a must for keeping your sanity. Seoul's Bukchon neighborhood still has a plentiful supply of traditional courtyard gardens—many of the "hanok" (traditional houses) have been opened...
Save Place
119 Sogong-ro, Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
From the upper floors on the north side of The Plaza hotel in central Seoul, this is the view up Sejong-ro, the city's historical main axis. Reopened in 2010 after extensive renovation and redesign by the Italian designer Guido Ciompi, this is...
Save Place
21 Cheonho-daero 4-gil, Sinseol-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul's Folk Flea Market is a place where you can buy anything, I mean anything! This scary contraption looks like an invention of a comic book super-villain, but for the small price of 5 dollars you could be tightening those crow's feet and...
Save Place
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...
Save Place
South Korea, 서울특별시 중구 태평로2가 69-5
Koreans apparently love to write messages in all kind of forms...After the padlocks in the tower I start looking around and I could find them everywhere..sadly I could not understand anything...Here a wall of tiles in an underground station.
Save Place
21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Hoehyeon-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Among the biggest and most chaotic markets in Korea, Seoul's Namdaemun Market is the capital's oldest, dating to the 1400s. Today you can find ANYthing here, if you're willing to brave the crowded alleyways tucked in behind skyscrapers:...
Save Place
Namdaemun Market, the most bustling place in Seoul. Food vendors fly through unnavigable aisles with food stacked on their heads, touts selling their wares and a constant stream of shoppers looking to spot the best bargain. Three things you should...
Save Place
161 Sajik-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
My wife was flying to join me in Korea. Due to weather conditions in San Francisco, she missed her connecting flight. (The airline was less than helpful; when my wife finally got to talk to a ticketing agent after standing in line for an hour, the...
Save Place
185 Changgyeonggung-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The website said that Changgyeong-gung Palace was closed on Tuesdays. So on this particular drizzly Monday, (my last day in Seoul), I trekked over, planning on revisiting this site of a childhood outing...But when I arrived, the 400-year-old gates...
Save Place
99 Sejong-daero, Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Surrounded by skyscrapers in the center of Seoul, Deoksu-gung Palace ("The Palace of Virtuous Longevity") got its start as a prince's villa in the mid-15th century. In 1907, the compound became the 'retirement home' of the next-to-the-last king of...
Save Place
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...
Save Place
Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
This religious site is within a quarter mile of the popular Gyeongbuk Palace and is worth a visit. The courtyard in front of this wall of buddhas is shaded by bamboo. The atmosphere is extremely peaceful unlike the busy streets just outside this...
Save Place
Changdeokgung-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The upswept rooflines of Korean architecture are beguiling: intricate eaves are a symphony of patterned color...and every once in a while, a face pops out, like this scowling end-tile 'guardian'--a face only a roofer could love. I spent a couple...
Save Place
Gwanghui-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Globalization is this groovy thing leading to all sorts of adventure. I was surprised while living in Central Asia to find how many people had family living in Korea or were Koreans living in the region. With this said, I should not have been...
Save Place
Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
You don't need to go to back alleys or historic markets (although those are great!) to sample traditional snacks in Korea; almost all the major boulevards in the center sprout mini-kitchens, set up on the sidewalk even across from chic...
Save Place
21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Hoehyeon-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Dumplings are delicious. That's not much of a secret. But snacking on dumplings in one of the world's busiest and most atmospheric night markets? That's an entirely different experience. Namdaeumun Night Market, located smack dab in the heart of ...
Save Place
When Seoul's Gyeongbok-gung Palace was built in the 1390s, it was the centerpiece of the newly established Joseon dynasty, which had just named the city as its capital. Six centuries later, after invasions, fires, colonization, and wars, its...
Save Place
Jibong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
"Dongdaemun" is the old east gate of Seoul. The word is also synonymous with the massive market area that surrounds the gate, both above and below ground. Several of the nearby subway stations connect with underground shopping arcades. You can...
Save Place
135-1 Gye-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A flagstone courtyard under a persimmon tree, lattice-doors under an upswept tile roof...on my last night in Seoul, I stayed in these traditional surroundings in the city's Bukchon neighborhood. Twenty million people live in the South Korean...
Save Place
Samseong 2(i)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Admit it--you've learned the dance and watched the clip; "Gangnam-style" is inescapable. (I even read that the Secretary General of the UN has called it 'a force for world peace.' Huh?) But what is "Gangnam" really like? This district, south of...
Save Place
88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
For over a century, Seoul's Gwangjang Market has been a destination for snack-seekers. The labyrinthine passageways are covered, and you can find anything from knock-off shoes ("fira" instead of "Fila," for example) to chili powder and embroidered...
Save Place
18 Insadong 4-gil, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
"Yeot...what?" The closest approximation in English for one of Korea's favorite street-sweets might be "taffy." It ranges from sticky-soft all the way to jaw-breaker-hard. Traditional vendors announce their confectionery presence by loudly and...
Save Place
60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A great way to spend an afternoon in Seoul: a good book and the genius of sculptor Louise Bourgeois at the Leeum Museum. A gentleman relaxes on ‘Eye Benches,’ while 'Maman' stands guard. It’s in Itaewon that Samsung planted the Leeum Contemporary...
Save Place
Deoksugung-gil, Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul-based food pundit Daniel Gray leads eight-hour ultimate insider tours of the city. Each is customizable. Meat lovers can focus on Korean barbecue, while vegetarians may want to sample kongguksu (chilled noodle soup in soy milk broth) and...
Save Place
Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tucked away in the heart of downtown Seoul is the quaint Insadong district, where a Korea of yore comes to life in the form of traditional artists and musicians, shops selling Korean crafts and souvenirs, and street performers dressed in native...
Save Place
1 Euljiro 7(chil)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
I go to Dongdaemun Market (Dongdaemun Stadium Station) to see how the locals live. The market is made up of 26 shopping malls over multiple blocks. There are more than 5,000 shops. You can find everything from food to clothing to electronic goods...
Save Place
60 Jangchungdan-ro, Jangchungdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
seoul.go.kr"Bukchon Hanok Village offers an old-fashioned Korean hotel experience. You sleep on thick sheets with a hard pillow on a heated floor. Try the Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul (shown) if you want to be pampered. —Heong Soon Park This...
Save Place
South Korea, Seoul, Jongno-gu, Gahoe-dong, 계동길 49-23
Travelers looking for a rich cultural experience should book a room at a hanok, or traditional Korean home. One of the best, Rak Ko Jae, has fancy touches such as jade floors and a mud sauna. Guests can perform a tea ceremony and make their own...
Save Place
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...
Save Place
88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
You won’t break the bank at Gwangjang, lively 100-year-old market in Seoul’s Jong-Ro. To get a taste of the countryside just like the locals do with all the hustle and bustle of a traditional market, try Jeon scallion pancakes, Yukhoe (Korean Beef...
Save Place
Gugi-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Clear your mind with an overnight session at Geumsunsa Temple, where you’ll welcome the dawn with 108 yogic bows. On a hill in central Seoul, the grounds are a welcome escape from the city’s urban center. geumsunsa.org. This appeared in the...
Save Place
688 Nodeul-ro, Noryangjin 1(il)-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Korea puts its own spin on sashimi at the Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market. Bargain for a piece of raw fish (hoe, pronounced “hway”) amid the lanes of fishmongers, then head upstairs to have one of the in-house restaurants garnish your prize...
Save Place
85-1 Chebu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A steaming bowl of ginseng chicken soup is just what the doctor ordered—no matter what ails you—and To Sok Chon is Seoul’s top spot. Each portion contains an entire boiled chicken, accompanied by roots and herbs. Despite the quantity, you’ll hear...
Save Place
Seongsanjungang-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea
While visiting the subtropical island of Jeju-do, off the SW coast of Korea, last month, we were able to meet some "haenyo." ("Haenyo" roughly means 'sea maiden.') These women divers regularly descend down to 60 feet under the sea, without any...
Save Place
99 Sejong-daero, Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
There are many imperial palaces in Seoul, but only one is open at night - Deoksugung Palace. For about $1, enter the east gate and watch couples hold hands as you stroll through the grounds of former kings and queens. When you leave, cross the...