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(585 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(220 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.

Shinchon
Shinchon showing signage

Shinchon

Known for Universities, Shopping, Dining

5/5(2 reviews)

Consider exploring the abundant dining options in Shinchon. If sightseeing is on the list, Seodaemun Prison History Museum is a top attraction. Hop on the metro at Sinchon Station or Ewha Woman's University Station to see more of the area.

Yongsan-gu
War Memorial of Korea which includes a pond and a fountain

Yongsan-gu

Known for Museums, Monuments, Dining

4/5(229 reviews)

You might take some time to check out the abundant dining options in Yongsan-gu. Spend some time visiting top spots like War Memorial of Korea, and catch the metro at Samgakji Station or Noksapyeong Station to see more of the area.

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
¥20,300
per night
Dec 1 - Dec 2

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! (2,972 reviews)

"room was clean. especially the staffs are very kind and nice. everytthing is good enough"…"

Reviewed on Nov 15, 2019

Lotte Hotel Seoul
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
4 out of 5
36, Sejong-daero 11-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
¥9,758
per night
Dec 1 - Dec 2

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! (1,248 reviews)

"Very clean room; modern. Great location. Friendly staff."…"

Reviewed on Nov 15, 2019

ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
Hotel Venue G
Hotel Venue G
3.5 out of 5
117, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
¥4,576
per night
Nov 26 - Nov 27

Located in Jongno, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cheonggyecheon, Myeongdong Street, and Lotte Department Store. Jogyesa Temple and Seoul City Hall ...

4.2/5Very Good! (1,934 reviews)

"Very accessible to the subway and to most of the tourist attractions. Everything is fine except for the smell in the room i’ve stayed."…"

Reviewed on Nov 20, 2019

Hotel Venue G

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(632 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(708 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(299 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 culturally-rich 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(231 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(516 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(263 reviews)

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

Top activities in Seoul

DMZ Tour including Hotel Pick up
Image for DMZ Tour including Hotel Pick up

DMZ Tour including Hotel Pick up

¥4,300

Venture to the border of South and North Korea, where the unsettling Demilitarized Zone separates the 2 countries in a 2.5-mile-wide (4-km) swath of land lined by tanks, landmines, and electric fences.

Full Day Nami Island with Petite France (filming location)
Image for Full Day Nami Island with Petite France (filming location)

Full Day Nami Island with Petite France (filming location)

¥10,282

Enter the world of Winter Sonata on this full-day tour to Nami Island. At the scenic area where Winter Sonata was filmed, get a glimpse of roaming deer, ostriches, and lanes lined with soaring pine trees and then savor a delicious Korean lunch.

Morning Excursion to the Korean DMZ (No Shopping)
Image for Morning Excursion to the Korean DMZ (No Shopping)

Morning Excursion to the Korean DMZ (No Shopping)

¥3,739

Explore the territory that separates North and South Korean on this tour to the Demilitarized Zone and its surrounding historic sites. Learn about the Korean Conflict as you visit the DMZ Theater and Exhibition Hall, as well as nearby sites like Dorasan Station, Imjingak Park, and the 3rd Tunnel.

Palaces, Temple & Folk Museum Morning Tour
Image for Palaces, Temple & Folk Museum Morning Tour

Palaces, Temple & Folk Museum Morning Tour

¥3,646

Explore the cultural heritage of Seoul on this morning tour. See the charming presidential residence, the majestic 13th-century Gyeongbokgung Palace, the vast historical collection at the National Folk Museum, and an ornate Buddhist temple.

Korean Home Cooking Class and Exploring Local Market Tour
Image for Korean Home Cooking Class and Exploring Local Market Tour

Korean Home Cooking Class and Exploring Local Market Tour

¥5,608

Head to Seoul and enter OME Cooking Lab. OME means five tastes, which are sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, and spiciness. Follow instructions from professional chefs. Explore And Yangnyeong Market(Korean herb medicine market), Gyeongdong Market(food ingredient market) with local guide.

Private Everland Theme Park tour(tour guide not included)
Image for Private Everland Theme Park tour(tour guide not included)

Private Everland Theme Park tour(tour guide not included)

¥14,358

Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: 199, Everland-ro, Pogok-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do 17023 South Korea Everland Theme park Tour Pick up at hotel in Seoul by our Driver only Proceed to full day tour of Everland Theme Park + Panda World + Safari Everland Resort entertains visitors all year long with various rides, festivals, theme areas, and Zootopia, perfect for a great amusement park.

Reviews of Seoul

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1198
5 - Excellent 62.23376623376623%
4 - Good
602
4 - Good 31.272727272727273%
3 - Okay
112
3 - Okay 5.818181818181818%
2 - Disappointing
11
2 - Disappointing 0.5714285714285714%
1 - Terrible
2
1 - Terrible 0.1038961038961039%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 21, 2019

Wonderful, amazing place with lots of culture and plenty of shopping and amazing dining options.

4/5 - Good

Y

Nov 21, 2019

I went to Seoul 5th times. I think I'll stay this Hotel next time too.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 20, 2019

Interesting mixture of old and new. A modern city with 600 years of history. Tasty street food every where. Endless cultural sites and museum's. Safe to walk around late at night in any neighborhood. Friendly to foreigners. 10 day was not enough.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Nov 19, 2019

Nice and very crowded so active city. Lots of shopping everywhere even underground. Polite people.

5/5 - Excellent

sierra

Nov 18, 2019

city hall, chenggaecheon with beautiful lights, jeongdong road with limburg waffle :)

5/5 - Excellent

Mary

Nov 17, 2019

Beautiful city with great people. Definitely one of the best cities I have visited around the world.

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