Lying directly south of the Han River in Seoul, Seocho-gu, or Seocho district, is a small area of Seoul that has much to offer. With key arts establishments, great waterside views and varied shopping, this is an easy place to relax for an afternoon. Come on a sunny day and allow time to enjoy the area’s lovely green spaces once you are finished sightseeing.
Seoul is divided into 25 “gu” (administrative districts). Walk down any street on Seocho-gu and see the sky-high, ultra-modern buildings that are characteristic of the South Korean capital. Some of the country’s most famous brands, such as Samsung and Skin Food, have offices here. Amid the office blocks and streets bustling with businesspeople, the cultural scene of Seocho is flourishing.
The jewel of Seocho is the vast Seoul Arts Center, which is divided into several areas devoted to different aspects of South Korean culture. Check the schedule at the Opera House, which seats 2,300 people. See everything from ballet to musicals to opera here. For a different musical experience visit the Music Hall, which has hosted the London Symphony Orchestra. In the Calligraphy and Hangaram Art Museums, discover South Korea’s rich traditions of handwriting and visual arts.
Another important cultural institution in Seocho is the National Gugak Center, also sometimes known as the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts. The center is devoted to preserving the rich traditional musical heritage of South Korea. See performances in its auditoriums or visit one of the exhibits hosted at various locations.
Visit the area before mid-afternoon on a Saturday to enjoy the lively atmosphere of Seocho Flea Market. This is a wonderful place to pick up unique souvenirs.
Come to Seocho-gu on a summer day to escape the city streets in green spaces such as Yangjae Citizens' Park. Seocho’s main station is on several lines and is easily accessible from most parts of the city.