What to Do in Seoul
Collected by Leslie Patrick , AFAR Local Expert
37 Samcheong-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
In a nondescript cement building topped with a colorful pagoda lies the National Folk Museum of Korea. Set within the walls of Gyeongbokgung Palace, the museum highlights anything visitors could possibly want to know about the history of the Land...
35-4 Insadong-gil, Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
In Korea, they don’t say cheese when taking a photo, they say kimchi. It’s considered the national food, and many people eat it as an accompaniment at every meal. Because of its popularity, there is an entire museum dedicated to this Korean staple...
South Korea, Seoul, Jongno-gu, Insa-dong, 인사동 193-1
Tea lovers won’t want to miss this quaint museum and teahouse in Insadong. Set in a graceful wood hanok (traditional Korean house) the small museum features work by young ceramists, and displays tea-related artifacts and historical tidbits from...
161 Sajik-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
On my first evening in Seoul, I found myself here, in front of a 'haetae' (mythical fire-eating guardian) beneath Gwanghwamun, the recently restored gate to Gyeongbok Palace. The story of the haetae and the gate it guards sums up the turbulent,...
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...
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
Near the center of Seoul at the top of Namsan Mountain sits a tower, the North Seoul Tower (CJ Tower, officialy). From the top of the mountain, and the tower, the panoramic views of Seoul are vast and impressive. A trip up the mountain is well...
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
"Korea--it gets under your skin," she said, with her Scando-Slavic English. My wife and I had struck up a conversation with the only other person resting in the pavilion's shade on this summer afternoon in Seoul, in the garden of the new National...
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
This knockoff version of Disneyland is the world’s largest indoor theme park. Complete with a castle, roller coasters, parades, a lineup of sugary snacks and stores selling entire collections of ear headgear, it’s worth a visit simply...
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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