With a population of 25 million, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a vibrant, bustling metropolis moulding its way into the future while safeguarding its rich and dynamic history. One of the trendiest cities in Asia, Seoul is a harmonious blend of cutting-edge culture and urban dynamics.
Seoul’s 25 districts, each with their very own distinctive essence, make up the megacity that never sleeps. Split by the Han River, most landmarks and older neighbourhoods of the South Korean capital sit to the city’s north, while the flashy, modern suburbs are to the south.
Make your way to Seoul for a holiday packed with world-class street food, organic cafes, skyscrapers, kimchi and heaps of entertainment.
Myeongdong Shopping District
For beauty and fashion enthusiasts, Myeongdong is THE place to be. Home to countless K-beauty stores, international brands, flashing neon lights and some of the best eateries in the city, if there’s one place you visit in Seoul, it needs to be Myeongdong. Pro tip: Take a breather from shopping and recharge at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong, Jung-gu, for excellent Korean barbecue (an essential activity on any visit to South Korea) or a nearby cat cafe for an abundance of cuteness.
Also known as the Beverly Hills of Seoul, Gangnam is at the heart of the city’s night scene. You’ll find arcades, high-end shopping, plastic surgery clinics, clubs, live music, the infamous sticker booths and karaoke bars on each corner. Experience the glitz of Gangnam, where the rich and famous live and play.
N Seoul Tower
The N Seoul tower atop the city’s guardian mountain, Namsan, offers stunning panoramics from its observation deck. For sweeping views of the city, come at sunset and watch Seoul transform into a galaxy of twinkling stars.
Shop into the wee hours at Dongdaemun market, which offers 24-hour shopping and youthful energy and vibrancy. Historical and contemporary Seoul stand together in this lively and bustling market area, which features multiple massive shopping malls, wholesalers and department stores. Nearby, architectural landmark Dongdaemun Design Plaza designed by Zaha Hadid, with its sprawling, curvy shape and translucent walls, will make the perfect backdrop for any insta-worthy pictures.
Gyeongbok Palace (Palace of Shining Happiness)
Against the mountainous backdrop of Mt. Bugak, experience fairy-tale views of Seoul’s oldest and largest palace with lily ponds, pavilions, and curved roofs aplenty. Built during the Joseon dynasty, wandering through the picturesque palace halls is a powerful way to understand the history of this fascinating city.
Within a stone’s throw of four universities, Hongdae is a favourite for Seoul’s youth. An area that truly comes alive at night, when thousands of bars open their doors and party to the wee hours. You’ll find bustling venues, clubs, karaoke booths and shops in the area, all with a vibrant night scene. Hongdae is also known for its urban art and weekly crafts market, so there’s a little something for everyone.