SeoulSouth Korea

The South Korean metropolis has some of Asia’s busiest markets and nightlife districts alongside tranquil teahouses and palaces surrounded by gardens.

Seoul is brimming withyouthful vibrancy. Art galleries, cinemas, bars and boutiques are dotted allover the city. Seoulites are also in touch with their past, and you’ll findplenty of instances of traditional Korean culture in palaces and theatres.

Korea has suffered frommany conflicts, and some of the bruises still show in Seoul. The city’s FiveGrand Palaces are testament to this; all of these complexes have been destroyedor badly damaged. Today they have largely been restored to their former glory andhouse national treasures, art and traditional architecture. For particularlyfine examples of these palaces, visit Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugungand Changgyeonggung.

Locals possess optimismand friendliness in abundance. Younger Seoulites will be eager to use theirlanguage skills to help you out, and older residents, although not asproficient with their English, are still overwhelmingly warm.

Shopping opportunities inSeoul are boundless. Choose from designer outlets in Myeongdong,traditional craft shops at Insadong and bargain malls at the huge DongdaemunMarket. Wear your new attire while exploring the city’s nightlife. HongdaeYoung Street has an eclectic collection of bars, clubs, live music andindependent cinema.

Soak up classic Koreanculture at venues like Chongdong Theatre. Here, you can marvel atspectaculars featuring traditional music, dance and costume. Sample localcuisine at well-priced stalls and restaurants that serve Korean classics suchas kalguksu (“knife noodles”) or donkas (deep-fried pork cutlets). Foodies willwant to pay homage to the Korean national dish (kimchi) at the PulmuoneKimchi Museum. Kimchi is a fermented vegetable (cabbage, radish orcucumber) dish seasoned with spices. Finish your dining experience with a visitto one of Seoul’s excellent teahouses.

When you want some quiettime, escape to one of Seoul’s regenerated areas, such as CheonggyecheonStream. This stretch of water in the city center features greenery,wildlife and local art. It’s a great example of Seoul’s ability to innovate,educate and entertain all at once.

Seoul has hot summers andcold winters. The best time to visit is around March through May (spring), orSeptember through November (fall) . Navigate the city using the well-priced andefficient subway system, considered one of the best in the world.

Where to stay in Seoul

Myeongdong
Myeongdong showing shopping, street scenes and a city

Myeongdong

Known for Shopping, Rivers, Urban

5/5(2 reviews)

This central Seoul shopping district is the place to buy quality brand products and stop for a bite to eat. 

Gangnam
Gangnam featuring outdoor art

Gangnam

Known for Shopping, Dining, Cafes

4.5/5(578 reviews)

Gangnam is highly notable for its popular shops, and you might want to visit top sights like Seonjeongneung Royal Tombs and COEX Convention and Exhibition Center. See more of Yangjae 2-dong by jumping on the metro at Guryong Station or Gaepo-dong Station.

Dongdaemun
Chegiil-tong which includes flowers

Dongdaemun

Known for Shopping, Universities, Forests

4/5(38 reviews)

You might enjoy the shopping while in Dongdaemun. Cheonggyecheon is a notable sight, and you can get around town at Hoegi Station or Cheongnyangni Station to see more of the city.

Mapo
Hongdae which includes a city, night scenes and street scenes

Mapo

Known for Dining, Shopping, Cafes

4.5/5(216 reviews)

Travelers choose Mapo for its ample dining options. Hop aboard the metro at Mangwon Station or Hapjeong Station and check out top sights like Seoul World Cup Stadium.

Jongno
Insadong which includes interior views and art

Jongno

Known for Castles, Shopping, Museums

4.5/5(325 reviews)

Travelers love Jongno for its popular shops, and you can see more of Jongno-1.2.3.4 ga-dong by jumping on the metro at Anguk Station or Gyeongbokgung Station. You might spend time checking out top sights like Gyeongbok Palace and Jogyesa Temple.

Jung-gu
Dongdaemun Design Plaza featuring modern architecture as well as a couple

Jung-gu

Known for Shopping, Castles, Dining

4.5/5(1,031 reviews)

Historic meets modern in this central district of Seoul, where good food, unique architecture and mountainous green spaces come together. 

Top Hotels in Seoul

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Lotte Hotel Seoul
Lotte Hotel Seoul
5 out of 5
30, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
NT$4,723
per night
Dec 12 - Dec 13

This family-friendly Seoul hotel is located in the business district, within a 5-minute walk of Seoul City Hall and Lotte Department Store. Deoksugung Palace ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (2,926 reviews)

"I've stayed at many 5 star hotels across the world, and in terms of value, quality of the rooms, service, and fit-out, I was deeply impressed by the Lotte Executive Hotel Seoul. The Executive Tower has amazing decor, very modern room facilities, and the staff are very helpful, friendly, welcoming ..."…"

Reviewed on 2019/11/3

Lotte Hotel Seoul
Sotetsu Fresa Inn Seoul Myeong-dong
Sotetsu Fresa Inn Seoul Myeong-dong
3 out of 5
48, Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
NT$2,266
per night
Nov 18 - Nov 19

Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Myeongdong Street and Lotte Department Store. Namsan Park and Seoul City Hall are also within ...

4.3/5Excellent! (101 reviews)

"Right in the heart of Myeongdong! The room was little but overall a great hotel!"…"

Reviewed on 2019/10/28

Sotetsu Fresa Inn Seoul Myeong-dong
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
4 out of 5
36, Sejong-daero 11-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
NT$2,763
per night
Nov 25 - Nov 26

Located in Jung-gu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sungnyemun Gate and Deoksugung Palace. Cheonggye Plaza and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park are ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,202 reviews)

"The bed was incredibly comfortable, and the staff was very friendly!"…"

Reviewed on 2019/11/1

ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun

Popular things to do in Seoul

Dongdaemun History and Culture Park
Image for Dongdaemun History and Culture Park

Dongdaemun History and Culture Park

4.5/5(626 reviews)

This sizable commercial district is home to a staggering number of shopping malls, specialty stores and traditional Korean marketplaces. 

Gyeongbok Palace
Image for Gyeongbok Palace

Gyeongbok Palace

4.5/5(699 reviews)

This royal palace has been destroyed on more than one occasion, but today it stands as one of Seoul’s finest examples of classic Korean architecture.

COEX Convention and Exhibition Center
Image for COEX Convention and Exhibition Center

COEX Convention and Exhibition Center

4.5/5(293 reviews)

You can enjoy some retail therapy when you visit COEX Convention and Exhibition Center, a popular shopping spot in Seoul. Stroll along the riverfront in this vibrant area, or check out its top-notch restaurants.

National Museum of Korea
Image for National Museum of Korea

National Museum of Korea

4.5/5(226 reviews)

Marvel as natural light illuminates the galleries of this contemporary museum building, which houses thousands of ancient and valuable Korean objects. 

N Seoul Tower
Image for N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

4.5/5(511 reviews)

This Seoul landmark can be seen from miles around and offers the finest panoramas of the city.

Namsan Park
Image for Namsan Park

Namsan Park

4.5/5(256 reviews)

Walk amid this peaceful natural environment, ride a cable car and marvel at Seoul’s majestic skyline at this sprawling mountain park.

Reviews of Seoul

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1165
5 - Excellent 62.13333333333333%
4 - Good
589
4 - Good 31.413333333333334%
3 - Okay
108
3 - Okay 5.76%
2 - Disappointing
11
2 - Disappointing 0.5866666666666667%
1 - Terrible
2
1 - Terrible 0.10666666666666667%

5/5 - Excellent

Tony

Nov 12, 2019

Nothing else to share. Just in comparison to the other five star hotels in Seoul, they provided the best Molton amenities. Great service

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 11, 2019

We loved Seoul, Sunny Guesthouse was the perfect location.

4/5 - Good

LAUMICHELLE

Nov 11, 2019

NAMI iSLAND IS BEAUTIFUL IN AUTUMN

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Nov 10, 2019

good at shopping, foods was sensational. I love every convenient stores.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 10, 2019

Seoul is a beautiful city, an amazing blend of cutting-edge innovation and cultural tradition. The food is amazing. Most people are quite welcoming. Shopping in Seoul is surprisingly affordable. My only regret is that I couldn't stay longer.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Nov 8, 2019

Enjoyed bus tour to the Freedom Bridge and Korean War Memorial. Palace was also beautiful. We went in October and loved seeing autumn leaves on tge trees.

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trover photo by Jeong Young Woo
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