Editors’ pick : our selection of some of the best tourist attractions located near the Seoul Dragon City.
Traditional Korean Culture
This walking tour starts at Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbok Palace), the first royal palace built by the Joseon Dynasty(1392-1910) over 600 years ago, and along a charming traditional stone wall path to Cheongwadae (Blue House) Sarangchae, a historical memorial museum about the Korean presidential residence, where visitors can learn about the past, present and future visions of Seoul and Korea. Compared with Beijing's Forbidden City(Imperial Palace of Ming and Qing Dynasty), Gyeongbokgung is somewhat small in terms of size. However, Gyeongbokgung was designed to create harmony and balance with surrounding mountains(Inwangsan and Bukaksan) and river(Cheonggyecheon) and this is a distinguishing feature from Forbidden City.
Bukchon Hanok Village
Surrounded by Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine, Bukchon Hanok Village is home to hundreds of traditional houses, called hanok, that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. The name Bukchon, which literally translates to "northern village," came about as the neighborhood lies north of two significant Seoul landmarks, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno. Today, many of these hanoks operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses, providing visitors with an opportunity to experience, learn and immerse themselves in traditional Korean culture.
Namsan Seoul Tower (N Seoul Tower)
Namsan Seoul Tower's mountain surroundings on Namsan Mountain have made it a popular place to unwind for locals and tourists alike. Seoul has a number of viewing platforms where visitors can enjoy the nighttime cityscape or gaze out onto the Hangang (River) but the tower's Digital Observatory is unique, offering an astonishing 360 degree panorama over the city, and 32 LCD screens recounting the 600-year history of Seoul. That is why the observatory is so popular and such a source of pride.
The Hangang River is the most important physical landmark in the city, dividing the north and south. Lined with parks and recreational facilities on both banks, it’s the perfect place to rent bikes, go on cruise up the river, enjoy bird-watching, or splash around and cool off in public swimming pools during the summer months.
There are lot spots along the both banks. You can refer to the map of Seoul city.
Yeouido Hangang Park
290, Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Subway : Yeouinaru Stn (Line no. 5) exit 2
Bus : 505, 5012 / 262 / 162, 503, etc
National Museum of Korea
The museum is internationally-renowned, once ranked the 12th most-visited museum in the world by the 2013 Art Newspaper and declared a “must-see place” by the Michelin Guide, which awarded it 3 stars. The museum offers free 1-hour guided tours to visitors in Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese on its major masterpieces. Highly recommended.
The War Memorial of Korea
The War Memorial of Korea exhibits and preserve materials related to the Korean War(1950~1953) and serves as a national moral educational venue. The museum houses approximately 33,000 artifacts with about 10,000 on display at an indoor and outside exhibition halls. There are six separate indoor halls, including Expeditionary Forces Room, Patriotic Memorial Room, War History Room, 6·25 Korean War Room, Development Hall and Large Machinery Room. The outdoor exhibition hall showcases large-sized weapons. Don't miss it if you are interested in history or military.
29, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Subway : Samgakji Stn (Line no. 4 or no.6) exit 12
Bus : Yongsan 03(small bus, recommended) / 150, 504, 751, 151, 152, 501, 506, 507, 100, 500, 502, 605, 750A, 750B, 752
Food & Shopping
Located near the US Army Garrison Yongsan and the Seoul Central Mosque, Itaewon is filled with many great restaurants serving the foods of many cultures world-wide as cooked by professional chefs from across the globe. What best makes the area international is the availability of cuisine you may not have tried before, the exotic atmospheres of the restaurants, and music to which you may not have been exposed previously.
If you enjoy shopping, you have probably heard about Dongdaemun Market. Korea’s newest fashions appear and spread from here. After midnight is when Dongdaemun Market really comes to life, a time when business seems to pick up in earnest. Because Dongdaemun is the epicenter of Korea’s fashion industry, any item related to fashion can be purchased here.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) is the newest and most iconic landmark of the Korean design industry. Located at the center of the Dongdaemun area, the DDP will serve as a key venue for design-related shows and conferences, exhibitions, and other events and gatherings. Designed by world renowned architect, Zaha Hadid, DDP is the world’s largest atypical architecture. The DDP is comprised of five halls: Art Hall, Museum, Design Lab, Design Market, and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park.