Seoul

Travel Guide
Seoul showing a city, a river or creek and a skyscraper

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 with youthful vibrancy. Art galleries, cinemas, bars and boutiques are dotted all over the city. Seoulites are also in touch with their past, and you’ll find plenty of instances of traditional Korean culture in palaces and theatres.

Korea has suffered from many conflicts, and some of the bruises still show in Seoul. The city’s Five Grand Palaces are testament to this; all of these complexes have been destroyed or badly damaged. Today they have largely been restored to their former glory and house national treasures, art and traditional architecture. For particularly fine examples of these palaces, visit Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung and Changgyeonggung.

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

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

Soak up classic Korean culture at venues like Chongdong Theatre. Here, you can marvel at spectaculars featuring traditional music, dance and costume. Sample local cuisine at well-priced stalls and restaurants that serve Korean classics such as kalguksu (“knife noodles”) or donkas (deep-fried pork cutlets). Foodies will want to pay homage to the Korean national dish (kimchi) at the Pulmuone Kimchi Museum. Kimchi is a fermented vegetable (cabbage, radish or cucumber) dish seasoned with spices. Finish your dining experience with a visit to one of Seoul’s excellent teahouses.

When you want some quiet time, escape to one of Seoul’s regenerated areas, such as Cheonggyecheon Stream. 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 and cold winters. The best time to visit is around March through May (spring), or September through November (fall) . Navigate the city using the well-priced and efficient subway system, considered one of the best in the world.

Seoul Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Seoul

Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas, an IHG Hotel
Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas, an IHG Hotel
5 out of 5
521, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £150 per night from 23 Sep to 23 Sep
Located in Gangnam, this luxury hotel is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) from Seoul Olympic Stadium and 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Lotte World. Olympic Park and Dongdaemun History ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (918 reviews)
"very good"

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2021

Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas, an IHG Hotel
Grand Hyatt Seoul
Grand Hyatt Seoul
5 out of 5
322, Sowol-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £156 per night from 22 Sep to 22 Sep
Located in Itaewon, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Namsan Botanical Garden, Itaewon Antique Furniture Street and Leeum Samsung Museum of Art. ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,237 reviews)
"Very good"

Reviewed on 18 Jun 2021

Grand Hyatt Seoul
The Shilla Seoul
The Shilla Seoul
5 out of 5
249, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £175 per night from 27 Sep to 27 Sep
Located in Jung-gu, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Namsan Park and National Theater of Korea. Korea House and Dongdaemun Design Plaza are also ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (1,127 reviews)
"Always good even expensive"

Reviewed on 24 May 2021

The Shilla Seoul
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Somerset Palace Seoul
Somerset Palace Seoul
4 out of 5
7, Yulgok-ro 2-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £65 per night from 22 Sep to 22 Sep
Located in Jongno, this family-friendly Seoul aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Savina Museum and Gwanghwamun. Dongdaemun History and Culture Park and ...
4.4/5Excellent! (1,174 reviews)
Immaculate Hotel close to Palace.
"My stay was from Friday to Sunday. The property was well kept and in prime location of all the historical sites and museums I wanted to see. On arrival I was greeted with warm welcomes. There was a little miscommunication in regards to having a ID number to track for COVID purposes but it worked ..."

Reviewed on 23 Apr 2021

Somerset Palace Seoul
Oakwood Premier Coex Center
Oakwood Premier Coex Center
5 out of 5
46, Teheran-ro 87-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £144 per night from 23 Sep to 23 Sep
Located in Gangnam, this family-friendly Seoul aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Seven Luck Casino Seoul Gangnam Branch, COEX Convention and Exhibition ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (903 reviews)
"Very Clean and comfortable"

Reviewed on 18 Apr 2021

Oakwood Premier Coex Center
Orakai Insadong Suites
Orakai Insadong Suites
4 out of 5
18 Insadong 4-Gil Jongno-Gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £68 per night from 20 Oct to 20 Oct
Located in Jongno, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Jogyesa Temple and Cheonggyecheon. Myeongdong Street and Gwanghwamun are also within 15 minutes. ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (748 reviews)
"Very comfortable Nice crew"

Reviewed on 9 Oct 2020

Orakai Insadong Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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