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Top 15 Places To Visit In Seoul

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a huge metropolis where modern skyscrapers, high-tech subways, and pop culture meet Buddhist temples, palaces, and street markets.

Seoul is also a city of palaces, with five huge palace complexes located throughout the city and now restored to their former glory. Of course, it's also known for its food, with a mouthwatering array of street food, Korean specialties like barbecue, and fine-dining options. Discover the best places to visit in this exciting city with our list of the top attractions and things to do in Seoul. Tourist places in Seoul are active and alive at all times.

Here are the Top 15 Places to Visit in Seoul, which are worth visiting on a Seoul trip:

1. Bukchon Hanok Traditional Village

For a taste of Korean traditional culture and architecture, a visit to the Bukchon Hanok Village is a fun and educational way to spend an afternoon. This preserved district of several ancient neighborhoods gives you a feel for what it was like to live in Korea 600 years ago. It's right in central Seoul, in the area between the Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Changdeokgung Palace.

2. Seoul Tower

The Namsan Seoul Tower is a must-visit landmark attraction for visitors. Visible from mostly anywhere around the capital, the place is a beautiful observatory from the top of which the capital can be seen spread in all directions. The view from here is mesmerizing and worth witnessing. As it is now a major tourist spot, it has innumerable cafes and restaurants around it which allow people to enjoy their meals with a spectacular view. As the sun sets, the place is lit up in multiple colors, which makes it even more romantic and attractive at night.

3. National Museum Of Korea

If your list of tourist places in Seoul has to include a museum, then this one is it. The National Museum of Korea focuses on the modern or contemporary history of Korea. To educate the visitors about the changes that take place in the nation, various exhibitions and programs are held in the museum. It has four major exhibition halls which talk about the prelude, foundation, development, and modernization of the Republic of Korea respectively.

4. Lotte World Tower

One of the newest attractions in Seoul is the Lotte World Tower skyscraper. The tallest building in South Korea, it's 500 meters above the ground and is currently the fifth-tallest building in the world. The vase-like shape, with gentle curves, is designed to mimic traditional Korean ceramic pieces. There are several indoor and outdoor observation areas (called Seoul Sky) at the top of the 117th-123rd floors. Views are spectacular both during the day and at night, and you can see 360 degrees around the city. On the 118th floor, there's the Sky Deck with the world's highest glass floor. Like magic, the floor changes from opaque to clear, terrifying unsuspecting visitors.

5. Gyeongbokgung Palace

First built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest of Seoul's five grand palaces built during the powerful Joseon dynasty. Destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries, it was restored to its original glory after the Second World War and totally restored in the 1990s. Within the palace grounds, you can also find the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum of Korea, and both are worth a visit. The palace museum is especially fascinating as it presents items from the palaces of the Joseon Dynasty. This includes priceless antiques and artwork, as well as everyday items for cooking, cleaning, and daily life.

6. Bukhansan National Park

Mt Bukhansan was declared a national park in 1983 and has a range of activities for visitors. It is extremely famous among hikers and trekkers due to it's trails, such as the peaks of Baegundae and Insubong. The park is a heavily forested area and it is maintained by rotating the access to the hiking trails to preserve the natural environment. There are also many temples dotted around the park. The park is actually so famous that it is mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records for most visitors per square foot.

The Bukhansanseong Fortress is another major feature of the park. It was built back in the 2nd century and extended over the years to protect Seoul from invaders. The hiking trail to the Fortress is frequented by thousands every day.

It changes its beauty with the seasons, with the spring and summers being colorful and lush, the autumns providing an enchanting red color to the entire scenery and of course, the snow capped mountains during the winters. Bukhansan National Park is a scenic location, with green and rocky mountains, combined with valleys and rivers. A great excursion!

7. Gwanghwamun Square

This new public square lies in front of Gwanghwamun Gate, the main gate to the impressive Gyeongbokgung Palace. The square features a statue of King Sejong the Great, the inventor of Korea’s Hangul alphabet. Visit on a sunny day and you can enjoy the view of the soaring green hills beyond Seoul’s skyscrapers.

8. Itaewon

Itaewon is also called the special tourist zone, it is a place in Seoul where foreigners reside. It is well known for its vibrant nightlife and its foreign-friendly cultural diversity! The place is a hub of entertainment and shopping as it is full of thousands of shops, restaurants, hotels, and much more. You can also enjoy multiple cuisines in this district. Another famous part of this place is the antique furniture street, which got its importance due to its role in the war with America.

9. Blue House

Places to visit in Seoul carry the opportunity for tourists to visit the executive office of the state. The roof of the main office is made up of a hundred thousand blue tiles, each baked individual to make it last for a hundred years. Also known as Cheong Wa Dae it comprises the Main Office, the State Guest House, the Spring and Autumn Hall, Nokjiwon Garden, Mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon) Hill, and Chilgung Palace. All the buildings are beautifully constructed in the traditional Korean style and the hall is open and free to all visitors.

10. National Museum of Korea

More than 3m visitors a year come to the National Museum of Korea, the country’s largest museum for Korean history and art. That makes this institution one of the most-visited museums in the world. If time is tight make sure you see the golden treasures from the Great Tomb of Hwangnam and the intricate gilt-bronze Baekje incense burner, which resembles a lotus bud on a dragon-like pedestal.

11. Bongeunsa Temple

Bongeunsa is one of many Buddhist temples in and around Seoul. It first opened in the year 794 and is a complex of multiple buildings and shrines. It's easy to visit, as it's centrally located in the exciting Gangnam area. The temple is on the side of a low mountain, directly across the street from the massive COEX convention center and mall. It's a popular spot for convention-goers to take a break and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Visitors are welcome, and the temple even has a program that allows guests to experience the daily life of a monk for a few hours.

12. Seoul Museum of Art

Located behind the Deoksugung Palace, SeMa as it's known to locals, has a large collection of artwork, mainly from the modern era. The art museum focuses on Korean art and Korean artists but has a decent selection of international works and creators. Changing temporary and visiting exhibitions also showcase unique collections and artwork.

13. Myeongdong

Seoul’s hectic shopping district of Myeongdong is a magnet for anyone who craves Korean fashion or skincare. You will want to stock up on revitalizing facial masks as well as delicious honey-butter-almond snacks. Myeongdong is also the place to go to find quirky-themed eating places, including the Hello Kitty cafe.

14. Namdaemun Market

The largest traditional market in Korea, Namdaemun Market is the place to shop for cheap goods as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. It is also the perfect spot to graze – don’t miss the spicy tteokbokki rice cakes or the mung-bean pancakes, prepared while you wait. The market is open through the night from 11 pm to 4 am.

15. Cheonggyecheon Stream

This 10km-long stream in the heart of the city serves as an exhibition and festival area. Especially at Christmas, but also for holidays including Buddha’s birthday and the Lantern Festival, the waterway features illuminations and artworks. With its rows of foliage and splashing water, it can feel so tranquil you can forget you are in a city of 10m people.

Besides this, there is much more to explore in Seoul!!!

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