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Seoul

Travel Guide
Seoul which includes a city, a skyscraper and a river or creek

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 withyouthful vibrancy. Art galleries, cinemas, bars and boutiques are dotted allover the city. Seoulites are also in touch with their past, and you’ll findplenty of instances of traditional Korean culture in palaces and theatres.

Korea has suffered frommany conflicts, and some of the bruises still show in Seoul. The city’s FiveGrand Palaces are testament to this; all of these complexes have been destroyedor badly damaged. Today they have largely been restored to their former glory andhouse national treasures, art and traditional architecture. For particularlyfine examples of these palaces, visit Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugungand Changgyeonggung.

Locals possess optimismand friendliness in abundance. Younger Seoulites will be eager to use theirlanguage skills to help you out, and older residents, although not asproficient with their English, are still overwhelmingly warm.

Shopping opportunities inSeoul are boundless. Choose from designer outlets in Myeongdong,traditional craft shops at Insadong and bargain malls at the huge DongdaemunMarket. Wear your new attire while exploring the city’s nightlife. HongdaeYoung Street has an eclectic collection of bars, clubs, live music andindependent cinema.

Soak up classic Koreanculture at venues like Chongdong Theatre. Here, you can marvel atspectaculars featuring traditional music, dance and costume. Sample localcuisine at well-priced stalls and restaurants that serve Korean classics suchas kalguksu (“knife noodles”) or donkas (deep-fried pork cutlets). Foodies willwant to pay homage to the Korean national dish (kimchi) at the PulmuoneKimchi Museum. Kimchi is a fermented vegetable (cabbage, radish orcucumber) dish seasoned with spices. Finish your dining experience with a visitto one of Seoul’s excellent teahouses.

When you want some quiettime, escape to one of Seoul’s regenerated areas, such as CheonggyecheonStream. 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 andcold winters. The best time to visit is around March through May (spring), orSeptember through November (fall) . Navigate the city using the well-priced andefficient subway system, considered one of the best in the world.

Seoul Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Seoul

LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
4 out of 5
362, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
The price is $62 per night from Aug 17 to Aug 17
Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Seoul City Hall, Namdaemun Market, and Gwanghwamun. Gyeongbok Palace is 1.3 mi (2 km) away. Euljilo ...
4.4/5Excellent! (2,238 reviews)
"Hotel was as pictured, very clean and comfortable. Convient location as well."

Reviewed on Jul 10, 2021

LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
The Shilla Seoul
The Shilla Seoul
5 out of 5
249, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is $304 per night from Aug 18 to Aug 18
Located in Jung-gu, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Namsan Park, Korea House, and Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Dongdaemun History and Culture Park ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (1,119 reviews)
"Always good even expensive"

Reviewed on May 24, 2021

The Shilla Seoul
InterContinental Seoul COEX, an IHG Hotel
InterContinental Seoul COEX, an IHG Hotel
5 out of 5
524, Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is $140 per night from Aug 17 to Aug 17
Located in Gangnam, this luxury hotel is steps from Starfield COEX Mall and COEX Convention and Exhibition Center. SMTOWN coexartium and Seonjeongneung Royal ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (912 reviews)
"Everything was good"

Reviewed on Jul 15, 2021

InterContinental Seoul COEX, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Seoul

Seoul has an extensive public transportation system and you will never have trouble getting to any corner of this sprawling city. Glance at the subway map and you might feel intimidated, but it is much easier to use than it looks, and the signs in English make a big difference. Buses are available too, but you will probably use these far less. Taxis come in regular, deluxe and limousine varieties. Visit the Seoul Metro website.Browse Seoul rental cars.

Best time to visit

Each of Seoul’s seasons has its own charms. Cherry blossom season, which falls between mid March and mid April, transforms the city streets. Meanwhile, the colorful fall foliage in Seoul is so famous that many people deliberately pick this time to travel. Summers are hot and often sunny, but can bring heavy rains. Visit in winter and there’s a good chance of seeing the city blanketed in snow.

Popular places to visit in Seoul

Top things to do in Seoul

Cities near Seoul