K Drama fanatics or not, we’ve all heard about the innumerable collection of appeals the city of Seoul present to travelers; a fusion of old culture and modern arts represented by the charming visuals of centuries old temples, historic streets to bustling and towering modern structures. Everything seems to blend beautifully in this city – as highlighted by many hit Korean TV dramas. As a contemporary city that still embrace its olden traditions, Seoul gifts us travelers with an abundance of amazing places to visit. Be ready to wear your best K-Pop attire and let’s explore this city.
1. Roam Around Gyeongbokgung Palace
Viewers of K-drama series such as Rooftop Prince and Moon Embracing the Sun will surely rejoice in reliving some of their favorite scenes here. For history junkies and other travelers, this palace dishes a chance to get a glimpse of 14th Century Korea, as the Gyeongbokgung Palace served as main palace of the Joseon Dynasty. A walk around the vast grounds of this palace will take you to a number of impressive temples and palaces.
Entrance Fee: 3,000 Won ($2.63)
Palace Hours: Opens from 9 am – 6 pm every Wednesday – Monday. Closed on Tuesdays
How to get there: Take the Subway to Gyeongbokgung Station and Exit at the #5 gate.
2. Explore the Quiant Village of Bukchon Hanok
Located just a few strides away from Gyeongbokgung Palace, this lovely village, which also dates back during the Joseon Dynasty, is where one finds an astonishing number of structures expressing traditional and old Korean architecture. Stroll along narrow alleyways and adorned by lovely wooden houses on both sides, and feel the urban environment that has existed and well preserved for more than 600 years. If you happen to follow another Korean drama Personal Taste, then you will have another reason to visit the village of Bukchon Hanok.
Hours: Every day from 9.30am – 12.30pm, 2pm – 5pm and 7pm – 9.30pm
How to get there: Take the subway and get off at Anguk Station
3. Go Art Shopping and More at Insadong District
Food tripping, souvenir shopping and most of all, some art appreciation time is in order when you pass by Insadong District. Featuring an array of art galleries and shop, this is the best place to take home with you, art pieces that best expresses Korean art and culture.
Hours: Open everyday from 10 am – late evening
How to get there: Take the subway to Anguk Station and Exit at gate #6
4. Night out at Hongdae District
An area where most students go to attend various Universities located around during the day, but come night time it magically transforms into a fun party district – thanks to a number of quirky hole-in-walls establishments, charming cafes and hip bars and clubs. This is a great place to unwind and cap your day in Seoul with a glass of drink with your friends and maybe, get to know new friends as well.
How to get there: Take the subway and get off at Hongik University station
5. Follow the Fishy Smell at Noryangjin Fish Market
Seafood are a big part of Korean food culture and what better way than dine in at the biggest fish market in Seoul where you will be greeted with all kinds of fish waiting to get into your bowl of sumptuous Korean meal. The vibe here is a little wild with a lot of restaurant owners also sourcing their seafood from this place. Walking around, you can also witness lively trade banters from the fish stall owners and market goers.
Hours: Open daily 24 hours.
How to Get There: Take the subway and get off at Noryangjin Station
6. View the City from the Seoul Namsam Tower
A communication tower that sits atop Namsam Tower in Central Seoul, provides the perfect bird’s eye view of the city of Seoul. Open to visitors, it has an entertainment and observation deck where you can enjoy staring at the spectacular scenery around. After your sightseeing, go to the famous fence near the tower and put a lock in the fence of love, where hundreds of padlocks bearing the names of couples can be found.
Entrance fee: 9,000 Won ($8.10)
Hours: Every day from 10 am – 10:30 pm
How to get there: Walking distance from Myeongdong Station
7. Discover a Diverse and Global Culture at Itaewon District
Itaewon is an expat district in Seoul where you can find a long list of restaurants, cafes and bars serving a diverse range of worldwide cuisines. Always crowded by people from all over the world, this is also a great place to experience a melting pot of global culture in Seoul.
How to get there: Take the subway and get off at Itaewon Station
8. Go Biking along the Han River
Another great way to explore the city of Seoul is by riding a bicycle. One of the best spots to do it, is the route running parallel to the Han River, one of Korea’s largest rivers. Rent out a cycle for the day or hop aboard a river boat cruise during the night to witness another interesting facet of the city.
Bicycle Rental Fee: 3,000 Won ($3.00) per hour.
9. Street-Food Tripping
There are many places in Seoul where one can find a huge concentration of street food stalls. Gwangjang Market located near Jongno 5-ga Station, is one of the most popular. For wholesale food option, Garak, Namdaemun, Long Bien and Samrong markets are also interesting markets to check out. Anywhere you go, Seoul presents an almost never-ending choice with regards to the country’s street food culture.
10. Take a Stride along the Cheonggyecheon Stream
Spanning more than 8 kilometers of walkway built beside a river stream, Cheonggyecheon represents Seoul’s dedication to creating a greener city. Here, people are encouraged to walk while passing by lush gardens of greens while enjoying a park-like environment and the allure of the great outdoors, in the middle of the sprawling city of Seoul.
And Much More…
These are just some of the many places to check out when in Seoul, South Korea. For those traveling with children, amusement parts and zoos like Lotte World and Seoul Children’s Park are surefire hit for the families. History junkies should also check out the War Memorial and Museum. For shoppers? Fret not, because scattered all over the city are giant malls and bargain street markets that will surely satisfy your shopping needs.
Seoul is a very interesting and diverse city. It is a modern, hip and cool city – all the while, retaining the charming vibe of its historic past, as represented by its many heritage sites. A trip to Seoul will definitely satisfy all the curiosities of your wanderlust self.
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About the Blogger: Marky Ramone Go is a regular contributor of Dream Holidays Guide Blog.