Seoul is a traveler's paradise and mega-city of 12 million people surrounded by majestic mountains; it's also a city of high tech sensibilities and a distinct reverence for its past.
Visitors to the capital of South Korea will see high-tech financial centers and ancient palaces, plus digital marketplaces alongside traditional calligraphy shops.
Seoul is home to some of Korea's most sophisticated temples and palaces. There are more than 100 museums and numerous green belts and parks in the city that are perfect for recreation, including Seoul Olympic Park, built to host the 1988 Olympic Games. It's also where you'll find the world's largest indoor amusement park, Lotte World.
This Asian city that never sleeps is known as a financial and cultural epicenter in Asia and is also becoming a Silicon Valley hub.
Whether you're interested in outdoor fun, music, and nightlife or learning about an exciting and vibrant culture, Seoul has adventures waiting for you.
Attractions in Seoul
Seoul is steeped in history; see what you discover. More suggestions can be found in the visitor's sites below.
Changdeokgung Palace - The entry gate dates to the 15th century and some of the buildings are even older. Korea's last emperor lived here; see the beautiful gardens that were once the pride of royalty.
Seoul Tower - Head to the top of Namsan Mountain and see stunning views from this former satellite tower; today, it's an entertainment center with children's play areas, free movies, and the Sky Cafe
World Heritage Sites - Korea is home to several World Heritage Sites, including temples, pagodas, palaces, fortresses, and tombs; tours are available. See the Visit Korea site below.
Shopping and Restaurants in Seoul
Dining: You'll find cuisines from around the globe in the restaurants of Seoul; of course you can't deny the ever-popular sizzling Korean barbecue. Also look for numerous Asian-fusion dishes incorporating Japanese and Thai specialties, plus excellent beef and shellfish. Try Korean favorites like a char-grilled baby octopus. Don't forget to finish a meal with a glass of soju.
Shopping: World-class department stores vie with world-known traditional markets. It is rare if you leave Seoul without having fun while shopping (if you like shopping and trying different foods, that is!). Shoppers can purchase electronics, handicrafts, fabric and textiles, pottery, antiques, and just about every other item imaginable - typically at a bargain. And check out Seoul's food stalls for exotic Asian produce.
The Seoul Metropolitan Subway trains arrive on the dot, so be on time at your stop. If you don't have a timetable handy, don't worry, your wait will typically never be over 6 minutes.
City Buses are an extremely convenient way to travel in Seoul; efficient, comfortable, and take you almost everywhere in the city. Note: some buses travel only within a designated district and others travel across districts.
Convenience stores can be a go-to resource in practically any occasion during your time in Seoul. You can find one conveniently located nearby at most points in town, and they will have handy items like SIM cards, charging cords, umbrellas, delicious treats and to-go meals, and more.
Before your trip, visit the U.S. State Department's "country specific information" section for South Korea, where you'll find embassy contacts in Seoul, visa/passport requirements, and tons of practical tips for tourists on everything from transportation to safety concerns. The comprehensive guide is available at Travel.State.Gov.
Flights to Seoul
Flying to Seoul is simple, and finding cheap flights to Seoul is even easier if you use FareCompare's search site to save.
Incheon International Airport in Seoul (IIA): This award-winning airport is one of the premier gateways to Asia and a hub for Korean Air and Asiana Airlines; it is also served by Delta, United, and numerous European carriers.
More Information on Seoul
Visit Seoul - See upcoming events and festivals, plus a variety of tours (bus, walking, biking and more), plus theme parks, art galleries, and off-the-beaten-path attractions.
Seoul - TripAdvisor - See how other travelers rate Seoul's hotels, restaurants and top attractions.