The bustling, South Korean city of Seoul has a lot to offer both first-time and returning visitors. While Seoul is a crowded and competitive megacity, there’s also a variety of unique and historical attractions to see. If you are considering a vacation to Seoul, find out which attractions will make your visit a trip that you will never forget.
1. Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon is arguably the most beautiful and historical region in Seoul, and it is a great destination for visitors who want to learn more about the city’s culture. By walking throughout the village, you can look over gabled walls to view traditional Korean houses of various sizes. Memorable destinations in the village include tea houses and an outdoor museum.
For visitors who are looking to experience nightlife in Seoul, Octagon is one of the city’s hottest clubs. Unlike other clubs in the city, Octagon does not practice “booking” or forced interactions. Crazy dancing, music, and laser shows are the big draw to this club, which is located within the New Hilltop Hotel.
3. Korea Furniture Museum
The Korean Furniture Museum is one of the most beautiful and important architectural destinations in Seoul. While the museum itself is spectacular to look at, it also houses over 2,000 pieces of traditional furniture and 10 hanok, or traditional Korean houses. Walk-ins are not allowed and reservations need to be made in advance.
4. Gyenongbok Palace
One of the most famous royal palaces in Korea, the Gyenongbok Palace is an important destination when visiting Seoul. Luckily, it is difficult to miss, as it is located at the end of the city’s main boulevard, Sejongro. Tours are available three times per day to learn more about court customs and architectural traditions in Korea.
In the past, the Insadong region was known for being a tourist trap filled with souvenir shops, but the district has recently gone through some changes. Now, the neighborhood is a modern and artsy spot filled with modern tea shops and art galleries. This is a great place to pick up some handmade accessories and jewelry in Seoul.
The gritty neighborhood of Itaewon is tourist-friendly, and it is located near the main Army base in Seoul. This region is full of restaurants, clubs, bars, and shops that sell Korean pottery, jewelry, tailored suits, and even reproductions of Korean furniture.
7. Cheonggyecheon Stream
Seoul is a loud and bustling city, so if you need some down time to collect your thoughts, consider walking along the 3.6 mile stream located just off of Sejongro. Since the stream is about 15 feet below street level, it is quiet and peaceful. Small waterfalls also make the area very serene, and it is a popular destination for couples.
8. War Memorial of Korea
Korea has a long and complicated history regarding military invasions, and the War Memorial of Korea is a great place to learn more about the country’s troubled past. While it is referred to as a memorial, it is actually a large military history museum that features guns, planes, and tanks on display. Since the peninsula is still at war with North Korea, the memorial is still quite relevant to today’s society.
9. Korean Feasts
In order to get the most out of your trip to Seoul, it is important to try the local cuisine. Restaurants like Baedongbaji, which is located in Samcheong-dong, offers a full-course Korean lunch for just $15 per person. You’ll be able to try a variety of traditional dishes throughout your meal, including japchae, which is stir-fried cellophane noodles dish with vegetables and beef.
10. Namdaemun Market
The Namdaemun market is a great place to find inexpensive clothing, fabrics, jewelry, toys, food, house wares, appliances, and flowers. There are about 30 multi-story buildings that contain thousands of shops, and the market is often very crowded. You can also get some local cuisine at market food stalls, including mandu gook, which is a popular dumpling soup.
When visiting Seoul, there is always something to do regardless of the time of day. Plan your trip today to take advantage of the many attractions that this remarkable city has to offer.