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SeoulSouth Korea

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

Myeongdong featuring shopping, street scenes and a city

Myeongdong

Enjoy the popular shops in Myeongdong. Myeongdong Street is a worthwhile stop, and you can jump on the metro at Euljiro 1-ga Station or Myeong-dong Station to see more of Seoul.

Myeongdong
Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea

Gangnam

4.5/5Wonderful!(68 area reviews)

Gangnam is highly notable for its popular shops, and you might want to visit top sights like COEX Convention and Exhibition Center and Garosu-gil. See more of Seoul by jumping on the metro at Guryong Station or Gaepo-dong Station.

Gangnam
Mapo, Seoul, South Korea

Mapo

4.5/5Wonderful!(94 area reviews)

Spend some time visiting places like YG Entertainment Building while getting to know Mapo, and be sure to check out the abundant dining options. You can hop aboard the metro at Mangwon Station or Hapjeong Station to see more of the area.

Mapo
Dongdaemun, Seoul, South Korea

Dongdaemun

4/5Very Good!(7 area reviews)

You might enjoy the shopping while in Dongdaemun. Cheonggyecheon is a notable sight, and you can get around town at Cheongnyangni Station or Hoegi Station to see more of the city.

Dongdaemun
War Memorial of Korea featuring signage and modern architecture as well as a large group of people

Yongsan-gu

4/5Very Good!(31 area reviews)

Travellers choose Yongsan-gu for its ample dining options. Hop aboard the metro at Samgakji Station or Noksapyeong Station and check out top sights like N Seoul Tower.

Yongsan-gu
Shinchon, Seoul, South Korea

Shinchon

Consider a visit to Seodaemun Prison History Museum and take some time to enjoy the abundant dining options during your time in Shinchon. If you want to see more of the city, jump on the metro at Sinchon Station or Ewha Woman's University Station.

Shinchon

Top hotels in Seoul

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
SIGNIEL SEOUL
SIGNIEL SEOUL
5 out of 5
Lotte World Tower 76F-101F, 300 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
The price is £279 per night from 14 Oct to 15 Oct

Located in Songpa, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Lotte World Tower and Lotte World Mall. Lotte World and Olympic Park are also within 2 mi ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (891 reviews)

"Signiel Seoul has great view of Seoul and their staffs are best!"…"

Reviewed on 25 Jul 2020

SIGNIEL SEOUL
Grand Hyatt Seoul
Grand Hyatt Seoul
5 out of 5
322, Sowol-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £168 per night from 27 Sep to 28 Sep

Located in Yongsan-gu, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Namsan Botanical Garden, Itaewon Antique Furniture Street and Leeum Samsung Museum of ...

4.2/5Excellent! (1,110 reviews)

"This property is a five star hotel, beautiful views and even great hospitality. The room service is top of the line as well. Have to stay here if you want the best experience in Seoul"…"

Reviewed on 18 Feb 2020

Grand Hyatt Seoul
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
4 out of 5
36, Sejong-daero 11-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £48 per night from 27 Sep to 28 Sep

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! (1,678 reviews)

"Great location, great amenities. Close to everything one would need. Great front desk and manager that sometimes work on frontdesk. If ever will go back to Seoul, will stay here!"…"

Reviewed on 11 Aug 2020

ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun

Popular places to visit in Seoul

Lotte World
Image for Lotte World

Lotte World

4/5(66 reviews)

Have a fun-filled day at Lotte World and see why people love this theme park in Jamsil 3-dong. Visit the shops and top-notch restaurants in this vibrant area.

N Seoul Tower
Image for N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

4.5/5(92 reviews)

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

Gyeongbok Palace
Image for Gyeongbok Palace

Gyeongbok Palace

4.5/5(122 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.

Dongdaemun History and Culture Park
Image for Dongdaemun History and Culture Park

Dongdaemun History and Culture Park

4.5/5(83 reviews)

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

Myeongdong Cathedral
Image for Myeongdong Cathedral

Myeongdong Cathedral

4/5(57 reviews)

Dating back to the late 1800s, this Gothic church is the final resting place of martyrs and offers a pleasant respite from Seoul’s hectic streets. 

Namdaemun Market
Image for Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market

4/5(75 reviews)

This traditional Korean market is the largest and oldest in Seoul, and where you’ll find all manner of clothes and food at very reasonable prices.

Top things to do in Seoul

Full Day Palace Tour (including Gyeongbok Palace)
Image for Full Day Palace Tour (including Gyeongbok Palace)

Full Day Palace Tour (including Gyeongbok Palace)

£54
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
DMZ Tour including Hotel Pick up
Image for DMZ Tour including Hotel Pick up

DMZ Tour including Hotel Pick up

£30
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
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)

£26
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Palaces, Temple & Folk Museum Morning Tour
Image for Palaces, Temple & Folk Museum Morning Tour

Palaces, Temple & Folk Museum Morning Tour

£26
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Half-Day Tour
Image for Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Half-Day Tour

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Half-Day Tour

£31
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Incheon Airport Transfer- Private service between Airport and Seoul (1-7 pax)
Image for Incheon Airport Transfer- Private service between Airport and Seoul (1-7 pax)

Incheon Airport Transfer- Private service between Airport and Seoul (1-7 pax)

£80
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Seoul

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
237
5 - Excellent 57.2463768115942%
4 - Good
151
4 - Good 36.47342995169082%
3 - Okay
25
3 - Okay 6.038647342995169%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.24154589371980675%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

5 Jun 2020

Seoul is the best holiday I've ever had and plan to go back as much as possible

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

12 Mar 2020

Unfortunately the Covina-19 virus meant, understandably, many things we had planned did not happen. However, Seoul seemed like a wonderful city that I would very much like to return to at some time in the future.

5/5 - Excellent

Arparus(penny)

13 Feb 2020

Great City

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

12 Feb 2020

I love to go to korean many time. There are many attactive thing to do there every season. Nice wheather, food and shopping places

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

3 Feb 2020

It's a regular business location for me. A unique city, very westernised with friendly people and good attitude towards service.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

29 Jan 2020

Good and kind people, they are trying to help me when I need help in walking direction and also good transportation.

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