South Korea

Experience Seoul Like a Pro: 9 Attractions You Can’t-Miss

Seoul is a must-mentioned city whenever you speak of Korea. As one of the most populated and prosperous cities in the world, Seoul astonishes many travelers with numerous tourist attractions and typical culture style. Once you visit Seoul, it’s quite tough to forget how it’s like; the smell of kimchi, nightlife, shopping fun, and fascinating design, and if you’re Korean-wave lovers, we bet you would be smiling all the time. Here you collect some top place to go if you are first-timer to Seoul. Enjoy your itinerary.

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【Shopping】

1. Myeongdong(명동)

Perhaps experienced travelers would always be looking forward to shopping whenever they visit a new place. In Seoul, Myeongdong is definitely proud of its status of showcasing a variety of products, fashion, and skincare in particular, to foreign visitors. Every now and then, Myeongdong will hold shopping seasons, showing great bargains to customers. To attract foreign visitors, some stores even promote more discounts for foreign passport holders.  Also, if a foreigner would be like to exchange money, there are some exchange booths(private and legal)in Myeongdong consider. 

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2. COEX Mall Gangnam 

Photo by rawkkim on Unsplash

Situated in such popular site, Gangnam(강남), a well-planned and wealthy district as described in PSY’s song Gangnam Style, COEX Mall Gangnam is the most large-scale and luxury mall among Korea. It provides customers with a wide array of stuff and entertainment, including theater, aquarium, cafeteria, handcraft stores, and SM Town. If feeling tired in Korea, then why not take a break and immerse yourselves in such fun-filled space.

Photo by rawkkim on Unsplash

Highlight: Starfield Library(별마당 도서관)

This 2 story well-lit bookshelves, containing about 50 thousand pieces of books and magazines, have grabbed tons of visitors’ eyes since established in COEX Mall. The combination of books, texts, design, scents, coffee, and reading habits reminds passengers of the interest they have developed. 


【Art & Design】

3. Dongdaemun Design Plaza(동대문디자인플라자)

Photo by Brian Cheng on Unsplash

Dongdaemun, as a distribution center of clothes, features its value of fashion, alluring designers, buyers, fashion related students to come to visit the place. On top of that, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, embracing all visitors in 2014, has brought the creativity of Seoul to the world. Travelers could appreciate a great deal of work from Korean talented designers and artists. 


4. Insadong(인사동)

Photo by Adli Wahid on Unsplash

Want to see more antique stuff? How about roaming at the streets of Insadong? Insadong boasts a wide collection of handicrafts and traditional folks, such as Korean paintings, Korean paper(Hanji), and Korean traditional Clothing(Hanbok). 

【View & History】

5. Namsan Tower(남산서울타워)

Photo by Ethan Brooke on Unsplash

Taking a glimpse of Seoul city panorama is a must for all travelers to Seoul, and to achieve this target, getting up to Namsan Tower, the highest tower in the city, appears to be necessary itinerary. In addition to taking beautiful photos and uploading them on Instagram, you should not ignore the scene that numerous locks hung up an observatory platform, showing the solidity of love from all over the world. Love wins.

6. Cheonggyecheon Stream(청계천)

Photo by Joe Coyle on Flickr

If you desire to wander along a river or stream with the loved one hand in hand, Cheonggyecheon is absolutely an enchanting option for couples. Having been through year-and-year urban restoration, Cheonggyecheon Stream ultimately becomes a place for Seoul citizens to do leisure activities. Furthermore, many events will also take place along the stream, such as the Cheonggyecheon Time Tour Market, and the Seoul Lantern Festival.

7. DMZ Tour 

Korean War brutally separated the peninsula into two, and so far both North Korea and South Korea are still waiting for a chance to solve the issue. For those who are interested in contemporary international relations and eager to approach the national border, it’s recommended to take a DMZ(Demilitarized Zone) tour to experience how it might feel like situating in a cold war stage.

Some even view the DMZ tour as a must when visiting Seoul, because it’s not far away from Seoul, while you would get to explore one of the most conflict-affected area. In the tour, you can visit attractions, such as Imjingak Park, the Dorasan Observatory, the Freedom Bridge, and the Third Infiltration Tunnel, etc..

【Nightlife】

8. Hongdae(홍대) Streets

Photo by Patrick on Unsplash

Many foreign visitors will select the Hongdae area to stay. Hongdae, literally Hongik University, in short, is the most well-known school for studying art and music. Because of a great number of students, this place is always packed.with art, design goods. On weekends, many gifted designers or artists come over to get a booth and show their talents, maybe quick sketching or singing a song, etc..

Photo by Shawn Ang on Unsplash

At night, students from adjacent universities like Yonsei, Sogang, Ewha would like to gather here to have a drink and party as well. Another benefit to stay in Hongdae station is that time-conscious travelers are able to take the subway direct to the Incheon Station. Therefore, whereas being wowed by Korean typical tourist attractions during the daytime, fully savoring delicacies and wine could also be an appealing experience as well.

9. Itaewon(이태원)

Itaewon, probably the most exotic region for Seoul locals, is well noted for its vibrant nightlife. As a base of the US military, you can notice some American soldiers go order a set of hamburgers in McDonald’s nearby, while Western-style clubs and bars crowding Itaewon. Meanwhile, a huge Seoul Central Mosque, providing the service of multilingual lectures for Muslims, stands at this region as well since 1976. And that forms Itaewon more an inclusive spot. 

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Speaking of inclusiveness, Itaewon is proud of being gay-friendly, with several gay bars located along streets. Perhaps travelers might be aware that gay couples could bravely show their love here rather than other areas or even in other Asian countries. 

Author

Hello, Yu is my middle name. Currently an full-time media editor, also lifelong traveler. Easily attracted by exotic culture. Once exploring a new place, I feel like travel spirit get refreshed thousand times. So far, have lived in Vietnam, Korea and Spain for quite a while, and been to Portugal, Japan, etc.. Journey never ends...Feel free to share with me your travel stories:shonelouis@gmail.com