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.

Known for

Shopping, Museums and Castles

Explore map

Where to stay in Seoul

Myeongdong
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Myeongdong

Shopping, Rivers, Urban

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

Gangnam
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Gangnam

Shopping, Dining, Cafes

Gangnam is a welcoming neighborhood with many tasty options for restaurants, cafés, and bars. Part of the neighborhood's charm is its rich culture. You can satisfy your cultural palate with the shopping and temples.

Dongdaemun
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Dongdaemun

Shopping, Universities, Forests

Dongdaemun is a welcoming neighborhood. The neighborhood's architecture, college atmosphere, and natural features are just some of its charming qualities. Broaden your horizons with the local shopping.

Mapo
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Trover photo by John

Mapo

Dining, Shopping, Cafes

Mapo is a welcoming neighborhood with many tasty options for restaurants, cafés, and bars. The neighborhood's charm comes through with its college atmosphere. Broaden your horizons with the local shopping.

Jung-gu
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Jung-gu

Shopping, Castles, Dining

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

Jongno
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Jongno

Castles, Shopping, Museums

A historic neighborhood, Jongno offers a variety of options for restaurants and cafés. The neighborhood's charm comes through with its rich culture. For a taste of the local culture, you can check out the shopping and museums.

Top Hotels in Seoul

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Lotte Hotel Seoul
Lotte Hotel Seoul
5 out of 5
30, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
¥20,083/night
Jul 21 - Jul 22
4.4/5Wonderful! (2,619 reviews)

"Please do not make this a requirement for reviews."…"

Reviewed on Jul 16, 2019

Lotte Hotel Seoul
Image for Tmark Grand hotel Myeongdong
Tmark Grand hotel Myeongdong
4.5 out of 5
52, Toegye-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
¥8,907/night
Jul 18 - Jul 19
4.4/5Wonderful! (2,274 reviews)

"We don’t like to pay for use of swimming pool, and the pool is not design for children. The bed is harder than normal, very uncomfortable."…"

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2019

Tmark Grand hotel Myeongdong
Image for ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
4 out of 5
36, Sejong-daero 11-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
¥10,423/night
Jul 29 - Jul 30
4.5/5Wonderful! (855 reviews)

"Booked a deluxe suite which has a king bed and single bed. Room was huge with a 3 seater sofa and wooden like flooring instead of carpet which was great for us as we have sensitive noses. Huge bath room. Friendly staff. Hotel very near exit 9 of city hall station. We took the express train from incheon ..."…"

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2019

ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun

Popular things to do in Seoul

Dongdaemun Market
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Dongdaemun Market

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

Gyeongbok Palace
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Gyeongbok Palace

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
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COEX Convention and Exhibition Center

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
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National Museum of Korea

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

N Seoul Tower
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Photo provided by Korea Tourism Organization

N Seoul Tower

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

Namsan Park
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Namsan Park

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

Demilitarized Zone & with Third Infiltration Tunnel
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Demilitarized Zone & with Third Infiltration Tunnel

¥4,243

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 City Palaces Tour
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Full-Day City Palaces Tour

¥7,563

Discover some of Seoul's landmarks such as the Blue House and the Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung palaces on this full-day tour. Make a stop at the Folk Museum and Jogyesa Temple before experiencing the quaint Insadong street and Namdaemun Market.

NANTA Rhythmic Comedy Performance with Transfer
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NANTA Rhythmic Comedy Performance with Transfer

¥6,456

Enjoy an evening watching NANTA, a wildly popular show that's known in the US as Cookin'. This Korean-style theater performance uses rhythmic percussion instead of dialogue to tell this hilarious comedy about 4 chefs.

Ganghwa Island Tour
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Ganghwa Island Tour

¥11,068

Escape the hustle and bustle of Seoul and travel to Ganghwa Island, rich in Korean history and culture. Visit the Ganghwa History Museum, marvel at the peaceful Jeondeung Temple, see fascinating dolmens, and stop at the Goryeogung Palace Site.

Morning World Cultural Heritage Tour
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Morning World Cultural Heritage Tour

¥4,151

Uncover the fascinating culture and heritage of Seoul on this guided morning tour. Visit the impressive Changdeokgung Palace, the ancient Jongmyo royal shrine, and the charming neighborhood of Insadong, with its antique galleries and traditional tea houses.

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

Palaces, Temple & Folk Museum Morning Tour

¥3,320

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.

Other places like Seoul

Suwon
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Suwon
Suncheon
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Suncheon
Trover photo by Jeong Young Woo
Tokyo
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Tokyo
Shanghai
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Shanghai