is a mega-city with a metro population of over 25 million residents. There are numerous districts of town, each offering a unique set of charms and attractions. Seoul has a great diversity of accommodation choices, ranging from high end luxury hotels to budget home-stays and guest houses and even local Korean bathhouses where you can get a massage and take a refreshing nap. Renting a short term apartment in Seoul with Wimdu is another fantastic accommodation option that provides privacy and a great home base from which to explore the city. A few of the best areas of town to consider are Myeongdong
, and Hongdae
. Each of these areas is close to central Seoul with countless entertainment and dining options.
When you fly into Seoul and land at Incheon International Airport
, you'll be amazed at how high tech and clean it is - it's one of the top airports in the world!
Every state of Korea has its own dialect but Seoul Korean is the standard Korean language.
With 95 percent of homes connected to the internet, Seoul is one of the world's most wired cities. Internet connections are fast, reliable, and wi-fi is everywhere.
South Korean music
and television media is extremely famous throughout all of Asia and even in other continents.
, a spicy pickle, is ubiquitously served with nearly every Korean meal - it's considered the national food of South Korea.
Things to do in Seoul
From temples to ancient palaces, natural parks to shopping malls, Seoul has its share of attractions and entertainment options. The city is known throughout Asia for its leading fashion scene and people flock from around the country and continent to go on shopping sprees. For those that enjoy eating, food is a major part of South Korean culture and the local food is delicious and plentiful. There's something in Seoul for everyone!
Here are a few of the top things to do on a visit to Seoul:
is one of Seoul's most treasured historical attractions. It was originally constructed at the end of the 14th century, but after being mostly destroyed, it was later rebuilt and restored to the grand complex it is today. Walk around the cultural palace compound and don't miss the changing of the guards at the main entrance gate.
Bukchon Hanok Village
is a living museum and a functioning historical neighborhood of Seoul. The neighborhood presents a great opportunity to stroll through the narrow ancient streets and see the traditional Korean living style and culture. There are numerous famous restaurants and cafes throughout the village.
N Seoul Tower
is a communications tower on the top of Namsan Hill in the center of Seoul. It's popular to take a cable car to the top of the hill, admire the view, and if you're in love, to lock a padlock onto the chain-link fence to symbolize locking in your love with your partner!
is one of Seoul's most famous shopping
areas that has anything and everything one could imagine to buy. This busy area of the city is centered around a number of walking streets that are home to designer boutiques, street stalls, and street food vendors.
is one of the main historical and bustling areas of Seoul. The walking street is home to many souvenir and antique shops along with restaurants and local food stalls.
was created as a green space in the heart of Seoul's concrete sprawl. The park walkway parallels a small stream and stretches for 8.4 kilometers throughout the center of the city. It's a perfect place to exercise or peacefully stroll through the city while avoiding traffic and vehicles.
Suwon’s Hwaseong Fortress
is located about 30 kilometers outside of central Seoul and is accessible by subway or bus. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a historical fort and palace that provides a great glimpse into Korean history. It makes a lovely day trip from the bustle of Seoul.
Eating in Seoul
One of the top reasons to visit Seoul is to enjoy the delicious local South Korean food
. Kimchi, considered the national food of South Korea and the pride of all Koreans, is a spicy pickle that's commonly made from napa cabbage, cucumber, or daikon radish. It's ubiquitous at all meals in South Korea, and it's a wonderful accompaniment to all Korean food. Barbecued meats, piping hot stews and soups served in hot earthenware bowls, and a plethora of sweets, snacks, and deep fried goodies are all part of the dining experience in Seoul.
Here are a few of the best dishes to try:
- Chunks of pork stewed with plenty of napa cabbage kimchi forms the basis of kimchi jjigae. The spicy flavorful dish is often served in a hot earthenware bowl and eaten along with steamed rice.
– Bibimbap is the South Korean version of mixed rice salad. A scoop of steamed rice is topped with a variety of thinly sliced vegetables, an egg, and red Korean chili paste. The ingredients are mixed up into a delicious meal combination that's available throughout Seoul. Also try the dolsot bibimbap, a version that's served in a flaming hot earthenware bowl.
– If you like dumplings, you'll love Korean mandu. They are prepared both steamed and deep fried, and filled with a combination of pork, vermicelli noodles, and seasonings.
– A jeon, or Korean pancake, is a flour batter pancake that's filled with things like seafood, kimchi, vegetables, or meat, then fried in a pan, and served with a delicious soy and sesame dressing. They are delicious!
– Korean style barbecue is one of the most enjoyable feasts to eat in Seoul. After sitting down at a barbecue restaurant, you order your favorite cut of meat and cook it all on the table top grill before you. Along with the meat you'll be served a variety of Korean side dishes known as banchan.
Getting Around Seoul
The Seoul subway system
is very modern and covers virtually the entire city and beyond. Taking the subway is easy, convenient, quick, and at just $1 - $2 per ride, it's very affordable. No matter what area of Seoul you choose to stay, or what attractions you visit, there's always a subway station not far away. Taxis are also abundant in Seoul and they are easy to flag down. Pay by cash, credit card, or even by T-Money public transportation card. Finally there are public buses which cover most of central Seoul as well. Fares are cheap and at times they can be faster and more direct than the subway. While handling millions of commuters everyday, Seoul's network of transportation is well maintained and functions extremely well. You'll find your bed and breakfast, guest house or holiday apartment will be close to some form of efficient public transport!