Seoul is one of the most exciting mega cities in Asia, and a major travel destination. With a large population of 10 million people, it is no surprise that many of the people of Seoul escape to reconvening with nature. The city is filled with peaceful gardens, mountain temples, a national park and the Changdeok Palace. Seoul's got some soul for everyone with a healthy dose of curiosity.
TOP 8 PLACES TO VISIT
1. n SEOUL TOWER
Located on Mt. Namsan, the communication and observation tower has been a symbol of Seoul since it first opened to the public in 1980. From the top, the tower offers great panoramic views of the city. Visitors can enjoy its cultural space with various performances, movies, displays as well as upscale restaurants and snack bars.
The palace was the second royal villa build (Gyeongbukgung Palace was the first build in 1405). The buildings have remained largely intact over six centuries (1392 ‚Äď 1910) and served as a backdrop for the last chapters of the Joseon period. The palace had a great influence on the development of Korean architecture, garden and landscape planning, and related arts, for many centuries. It reflects sophisticated architectural values, harmonized with beautiful surroundings.
As one of the memorable attractions that represents the focal point of Korean traditional culture and crafts. The stores specialize in a wide variety of goods that can only be purchased or appreciated in Korea: traditional clothing, traditional paper, traditional teas, pottery, and folk crafts. You can see examples of traditional Korean fine art from paintings to sculptures in one of the 100 galleries in the area. Sundays from 10:00 until 22:00, some streets are blocked off from traffic and it becomes a cultural space. Stores set up booths outside and others set up shop - Korean candy merchants and fortune tellers amongst them. There are traditional performances and exhibits as well.
With more than 26 shopping malls, 30 000 specialty shops and 50 000 manufactures, it is Korea‚Äôs largest wholesale and retail shopping district. The fabric and clothing here are of the latest fashion trends in the world. Inventory is imported and exported in real time, making Dongdaemun a must-visit for fashion enthusiastic.
In 1995, UNESCO declared the monument the oldest preserved, royal Confucian shirnes in the world, and is dedicated to the deceased kings and queens of the Korean Joseon Dynasty. Built in the late 14th century, the shrine served as a place of worship for kings part of the Joseon Dynasty. The shrine was destroyed during the 16th century Japanese invasion of Korea but rebuilt during the 17th century. The structure is composed of multiple buildings, including the main shrine and the Hall of Eternal Peace. To this day, people congregate around the shrine once a year for the "Jongmyo Jerye" ritual, in which they honor the ancestors of the Joseon dynasty. The ceremony, which takes place the first Sunday of May, includes songs and dances that date back 600 years, making it one of Korea's prized Important Intangible Cultural Properties, not to mention one of the world's oldest complete ceremonies in the world. Jongmyo is adjacent to Changdeokgung Palace.
Everland is South Korea‚Äôs largest theme park at 100 hectares. Operated by Samsung Group, it is ranked as the 4th most visited theme park in the world by offering 5 main Festivals and exciting entertainments all year around. With over 40 heart-pounding rides and attractions and in addition to ‚ÄėSafari World‚Äô featuring white tigers, tigers, lions and bears. ‚ÄėHerbivore Safari‚Äô opened in April 2010, letting visitors get up close and personal with the safari‚Äôs giraffes, elephants, and ostriches. Since the Rose Festival in 1985, Everland is also know for its gorgeous flower arrangements and beautiful gardens.
The palace is arguably the most beautiful and remains the grandest of all five palaces. The name of the palace, Gyeongbokgung, translates in English as ‚ÄúPalace of Shining Happiness.‚ÄĚ During the Japanese occupation from 1592 ‚Äď 1598 the palace was destroyed by fire, however, all of the palace‚Äôs 7,700 rooms were later restored under the leadership of Heungseondaewongun during the reign of King Gojong. South of Heungnyemum Gate visitors will find The National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum is located east within Hyangwonjeong.
8.HONGDAE TRICKEYE MUSEUM
A MUST visit attraction when you visit Seoul. A whole complex offering all kinds of attractions that include, but are not limited to main Trickeye Museum, Ice Museum, virtual reality zone, Love Museum, mirror maze etc. Trickeye is conveniently located in Hongdae - Korea‚Äôs famous Indie and youth culture area in Seoul that has been featured in numerous Korean dramas.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT
The best way to get around Seoul is via the subway, other ways of travel available is by bus, taxi, car or on foot.
The best times to visit Seoul are from March to May and from September to November, when the weather is mild and travel expenses are low. If you're a powder hound, you'll want to visit between December and February, when average daytime temperatures stay around the freezing mark and snow can be frequent. It's best to avoid the summer months, also known as monsoon season.