Seoul is a dynamic city where cutting-edge technology, pop culture, dramatic scenery, and ancient traditions blend to create a unique, exciting atmosphere.
There are a huge number of amazing things to see in Seoul, so We Solo has brought together a list of the top tourist attractions in Seoul, South Korea.
Top Tourist Attractions in Seoul
Changdeokgung (Changdeok Palace)
Changdeokgung Royal Palace, from the Joseon Dynasty, is a fantastically well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Constructed in 1405, it is a wonderful example of Korean architecture harmonising with the natural environment.
The landscaped garden is beautiful to wander around, there’s a lotus flower pool, shady pavilions, and over 55,000 kinds of plants.
N Seoul Tower
The Namsan Tower is set in a lovely park above the city. Challenge your legs to trek over the grassy hills and up the tower steps to enjoy stunning views of Seoul.
The N Tower was built for observation and communication and the audio tour explains the history and feats of engineering involved.
There are three observation decks to take photos from and several restaurants that would be amazing to eat in at night as the city lights blend with the stars.
The War Memorial of Korea
The War Memorial is a vast museum that history lovers will adore. Military hardware such as planes and missiles sit outside, then within visitors see a timeline of Korean military actions.
Both ancient and modern battles are covered in sometimes brutally detailed videos, photos and interactive displays. There are also live dance performances and marching guards.
The memorial is also a place for Koreans to remember their fallen and celebrate how far the country has progressed since the end of the last war.
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Bukhansan National Park is a huge mountainous wilderness where Bukhan Mountain, a three-peaked edifice, dominates the skyline and over 1,000 species of animals and plants live.
Spend a gorgeous day in the park hiking and bouldering or birdwatching and visiting one of the many colourful temples tucked away between granite cliffs and dense forests.
The trekking trails in Bukhansan are plentiful. We hiked the easy Obong Course to Songchu Waterfall and the more strenuous trail to the highest point of Baegundae Peak.
Gwangjang Market is perfect for foodies! Travellers can taste all kinds of Korean street food and experience local culture and charm.
The market, founded in 1905, is the oldest in South Korea and there are many stallholders whose families were there at the beginning.
Delicacies to taste at Gwangjang include pickled veg and seaweed rice rolls called Mayak Gimbap and some of the freshest, tastiest seafood you will ever eat.
Insa-dong Street is an atmospheric neighbourhood full of quirky shops, intriguing alleyways, and art galleries showcasing every style from traditional to zany.
When your legs are tired from exploring, stop at a teahouse or shop selling creamy and sweet shaved ice called Bingsu.
When you’ve recharged, head to Museum Kimchikan, an exhibition dedicated to the staple Korean food, Kimchi.
Then, take the kimchi you’ve bought and enjoy the serenity of the waterfall at Cheonggye Plaza.
The Jongmyo Shrine was built in 1394 and is one of the oldest Confucian royal shrines.
It is typically Korean and has the longest traditionally built hall in the country. There are 19 chambers and memorial stones for each of the kings (and 30 wives).
Jongmyo Shrine is an excellent place to learn about ancient Koreans and watch a magnificent performance of traditional court music and dance known as Jongmyo Jeryeak.
Take a tour of the DMZ
Touring the DMZ (de-militarised zone) between South Korea and the secretive North is a must. North Korea is almost completely closed off from the outside world, so this is the closest any adventurer will ever get.
An official guide and your passport are essential on this tour, you can’t through the military checks and close to the DMZ without them.
Imjingak Park is the first stop, it is the furthest north tourists can travel in Korea without government permission.
Freedom Bridge, the memorial to the families sadly separated by the barrier between South and North Korea, is next.
The Dora Observatory is the tour highlight. This is where you will see across the river into North Korea from viewing platforms. There are buildings in clear view, but they are empty, deliberately placed by the North Koreans to be a meaningless front.
On a clear day, it’s possible to use the telescopes provided to really see a sliver of day-to-day North Korean life. It’s only the odd farmer on a tractor or one of the many soldiers but it’s bizarrely exciting!
The final tour will be the infiltration tunnels, they aren’t good for the claustrophobic but it’s fun to imagine yourself as a spy sneaking up on the North Korean regime.
PLAN YOUR PERFECT SEOUL TRIP
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