Eight Things to See and Do in Seoul
South Korea’s capital has risen from the ashes of the Korean War to become a must visit city. It’s dappled with palaces from ancient dynasties and pioneered state-of-the-art architecture. Mount Bugaksan sits tranquilly in the distance of this bustling city, and is worth the climb for the adventurous.
So grab your cheap flights to Seoul and visit this highly underrated city. It is bursting with cosmopolitan nightlife and ancient traditions.
Houses and Palaces
In the north lies one of most picturesque neighbourhoods in Seoul called Samcheong-dong. Explore the traditional Korean houses of Bukchon Hanok Village which line narrow roads. During the Joseon Dynasty, aristocratic classes lived their daily-lives under the majestic eaves of the rooves.
Changdeokgung palace is one of Seoul’s ancient gems built in the 15th century. The Donhwamun gate guards the grandeur of the UNESCO world heritage site. Walk across the stone bridge to enjoy the landscaped gardens and the regal paved courtyard. At the very back, sit and absorb the tranquillity of Biwon garden. The delicate setting is where the Royals would relax and entertain.
cc licensed flickr photo by Lovely K
Cafes and Art Galleries
You’ll be enticed by the eclectic range of cafes and art galleries in Samcheong-dong. No doubt you’ll also draw inspiration from Seoul’s fashionistas. It’s hard not to be tempted by the vibrant boutiques of Samcheong-dong. The variety of lifestyle nick nacks and one-of-a-kind clothing pieces is astounding.
Nightlife and Food
Korean barbeque, ‘naengmyeon’ is a quintessential Korean style of food. You’ll be astonished at the assortment of pickled vegetable and coleslaw dishes accompany grilled meats. They also have delicate handmade dumplings and noodle dishes. Try one of the most Korean barbeques at Gapsan-myeonok that has been run by four generations.
Experience Seoul’s drinking culture and try soju, a traditional rice wine or the fiery vodka and maekju mixed together. You will be surprised at the amount of middle-aged businessman chugging down soju as high school students on Schoolies Week would. One of the rules of etiquette for drinking with Koreans is to let someone pour your drink as you hold it with both hands.
Apgujeong district has glitzy nightlife and cocktails that will please even the most sophisticated palate. The bars and clubs around this area are more expensive then it’s youthful counterpart, Hongdae. Try Antonio’s for some delectable drinks such as the truffle martini with pear juice. It’s presented so delicately, you barely want to drink it. The urban-vibe mixed with ancient tradition means that Seoul is a stopover destination for many to extend there holiday and immerse themselves in an authentic Korean experience.
Author: Rebecca Parish+ - A freelance journalist passionate about travel. From Toucan watching in the Amazon, salsa dancing in Cuba, to sailing in Santorini, I can’t get enough of food and culture.