Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a huge metropolis where modern skyscrapers, high-tech subways and pop culture meet Buddhist temples, palaces and street markets.
Notable attractions include futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a convention hall with curving architecture and a rooftop park; Gyeongbokgung Palace, which once had more than 7,000 rooms; and Jogyesa Temple, site of ancient locust and pine trees.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of Seoul’s five main royal palaces and a major landmark in the capital. Originally built by King Taejo in 1395, it survived wars, fires, occupations, demolitions, and restorations during its 600 years of history.
The palace is surrounded by lush, sprawling gardens and traditional buildings that are a feast for the senses. The National Palace Museum of Korea is also housed within its grounds, containing relics from the Joseon Dynasty.
A visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace should be a must on any trip to Seoul. Whether you’re interested in the historical background of the complex or just want to learn more about the buildings, there are plenty of walking tours available that will show you around at your own pace.
If you’re looking for a unique experience, make sure to take in the changing of guards ceremony. This is a rare opportunity to watch the royal guards march and perform a ceremonial dance.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) is one of the coolest places to see in Seoul, and it’s definitely worth a visit. This gorgeous building was designed by Zaha Hadid, one of the world’s most renowned architects, and it features unique architecture and incredible interior spaces to explore.
Its sleek exterior is made up of a massive amount of aluminum panels with different curvatures that look as if they’ve been extruded from different light combinations. It’s a beautiful example of modern architecture that really stands out in Seoul.
DDP is home to a number of exhibitions, fashion shows, product launches, and events. Check their website for what’s on this year and plan a trip here to experience all the best that Seoul has to offer!
Dongdaemun Design Plaza is also home to Seoul Light, a media art festival that uses the DDP’s massive facade as its canvas. It’s a great way to get an immersive feel for the city at night, so be sure to check it out!
The market is a popular place to buy Korean souvenirs. It has a huge variety of goods and you can find anything from clothes, jewelry, luggage, toys, stationery, carpets and hiking gear here.
It's also a great place to eat. There are lots of traditional street food stalls here that you can sample for free.
You can also visit the market at night. It's one of the most popular Seoul night markets and there are plenty of things to do here for visitors.
A renowned fashion market and a large fish market are other notable attractions. You can also get a taste of Korea's famous street foods here.
Located south of the Han River, Cheongdam-dong is one of Seoul’s most affluent neighborhoods. It’s the location of a wealth of shopping, culture, and entertainment.
The ginkgo tree-lined street is one of the city’s most popular upmarket shopping districts and it’s also the site of many restaurants, cafes, and galleries. Here you’ll find high-end fashion stores, designer clothing brands, and coffee shops that cater to both tourists and Hallyu fans alike.
It’s a great place to shop for luxury items, especially those from French and Italian designers. The Milanese concept store 10 Corso Como, for example, is a great spot to browse, even if the price tags might be a little too steep.
Another cool place to check out is the MMCA Children’s Museum, a hands-on learning space for kids where they can touch, feel and question artworks. There’s also a Samsung Transportation Museum and a KORAIL Railway Museum to explore.