lundi 29 janvier 2018

What to do in Seoul - Things to see and places to go in Seoul while on a short trip

Here are, according to us and our local team, the things to do and see in Seoul in order to get the real vibe, real essence of the city.

 Get Seoul offline audio guide >

1. Of course you could do all of the following or just register to our cultural scavenger hunt!

2. Take a look to this map of the city, to have a real idea on how it is built and organized.

3. Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace arguably the most beautiful and remains the grandest of all five palaces is also called “Northern Palace” because it is the furthest north when compared to the neighboring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeongheegung (Western Palace).
The name of the palace, Gyeongbokgung, translates in English as “Palace of Shining Happiness.” The premises were destroyed by fire at the time of Japanese occupation from 1592-1598. However, all of the palace’s 7,700 rooms were later restored under the leadership of Heungseondaewongun during the reign of King Gojong.
The National Palace Museum of Korea is located south of Heungnyemun Gate, and the National Folk Museum is located east within Hyangwonjeong.
 Get Google maps directions>

4. Royal Guard Changing Ceremony

The Royal Guard changing ceremony started since 1459 during the Joseon Dysnasty. After extensive research from historical records, the ceremony has been reenacted since 1996 allowing visitors a rare insight of this traditional royal palace ceremony.
The ceremony takes part at Gwanghwamun Gate, the entrance of Gyeongbokgung Palace where the king rule the country.
Royal Guard Changing Ceremony Time – Every hour starting from 10 AM & ends at 4 PM. Closed on Tuesday.
 Get Google maps directions>

5. Myeongdong

 It is all about fashion and skin care in Myeongdong, Seoul’s most prominent shopping district. If it’s variety that you’re after, there’s no better place to shop than Myeong-dong where you’ll find everything from internationally-recognized name brands to unique items.
Myeongdong also houses a variety of family restaurants, fast food, plus Korean, Western and Japanese dining options. Many restaurants in Myeongdong specialize in pork cutlet (donkas) and kalguksu (thick noodles).
Not to forget, Myeongdong is the best place to shop for famous Korean Cosmetic brands such as Etude House, Skin Food, Laneige, The Face Shop, Missha!
Opening Hours : 10am to 10pm everyday
 Get Google maps directions>

6. N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower is a communication and observation tower located on Mt. Namsan. The tower has been a symbol of Seoul since it first opened to the public in 1980
From the top, the tower offers great panoramic views of the city. Visitors can enjoy its cultural space with various performances, movies, exhibitions as well as upscale restaurants and snack bars.
Get Google maps directions>


7. Bukchon Hanok Village

Situated between by two palaces, Gyeongbokgung to the west and Changdeokgung to the east, this village has the largest cluster of privately owned traditional Korean wooden homes or hanok in Seoul.
The Bukchon area is a traditional residential area in Seoul that boasts 600 years of history. Its location reflects the views of neo-Confucianism, regarding the world and nature, during the Joseon Dynasty.
Hanok architecture places great emphasis on the topographical features of the land on which it is built. Structural arrangements, layouts, and other spatial aesthetics are major concerns here, as are the styles of the buildings themselves.
 Get Google maps directions>

8. Nami Island

 For Korean Drama lovers, Nami Island is a place which does not requires further introduction as this is the birth place of all the Korean Craze. This is one of the place where the famous international Korean Drama Winter Sonata was filmed. Hence to put it short, it is a must visit for all Asian tourists!
Namiseom Island was formed as a result of the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam. It is a half moon shaped (462,809㎡) isle, and on it is the grave of General Nami, who led a great victory against the rebels in the 13th year of the 7th king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejo (reign 1455 ~ 1468).
Get Google maps directions>

9. KKwangjang Market

 Kwangjang Market was the first permanent market in Korea selling local delicacy, silk, satin, and linen bed-sheet. The market continue to attracts both locals and tourists as Kwangjang Market might be the best place to try all shorts of Korean street food.
There are plenty of food stalls in the market selling mainly bindaetteok (mung bean pancake), bibimbap, gimbap, sundae (blood sausage), tteokbokki and noodles.
Opening Hours : Monday to Saturday 9.00am to 10.00pm
 Get Google maps directions>

10. Changdeokgung

Changdeokgung Palace was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbukgung Palace in 1405. The buildings have remained largely intact over six centuries and served as a backdrop for the last chapters of the Joseon period (1392-1910).
Korea’s last emperor Sunjong passed away on these grounds in 1926, and it’s commonly known that members of royal descendants lived in Nakseonjae, a cluster of unpainted palace buildings well into the late ‘80s.
The palace had a great influence on the development of Korean architecture, garden and landscape planning, and related arts, for many centuries. It reflects sophisticated architectural values, harmonized with beautiful surroundings.

Admission Fees

Individuals: Adults (ages 19-64) 3,000 won/Children (ages 7-18) 1,500 won
Huwon Tour (Secret Garden area) – Adults (ages 19 and over) 8,000 won / Young adults 5,000 KRW / Children (ages 7-18) 2,500 won

Opening Hours

Changdeokgung Palace & Huwon Course – Tuesday to Sunday 9.00am to 05.00pm. Closed on Monday.

to get to Changdeokgung Palace by subway – Anguk Station (Line 3), Exit 3. Walk straight from the exit (towards east) for about 5-min to arrive at the palace entrance.

Get Google maps directions>

11. Hongdae

 Hongdae is the epic center of Seoul’s vibrant and youthful shopping and nightlife district. Many of Seoul’s idiosyncratic clubs that draw the younger set are clustered in the area.
With the prestigious Hongik University nearby, the area attracts bountiful students and visitors alike to shop, dine & club. There are plenty clothing stalls and vintage shops can be found along the main passageway, Eo Ulmadang-gil.
Getting there by Subway – Hongik University Station Line 2 – Exit 9
Get Google maps directions>


12. Hongdae Trickeye Museum

Being world’s first augmented reality museum Trickeye Museum is definitely a must visit attraction if you travel to Seoul. It’s actually a whole complex offering all kinds of attractions that include, but are not limited to main Trickeye Museum, Ice Museum (really made of ice), virtual reality zone, Love Museum (Seoul’s first and only museum for adults), mirror maze etc. They even have a Hanbok (Korean traditional clothing) rental booth there! Not to mention, Trickeye is conveniently located in Hongdae – Korea’s famous Indie and youth culture area in Seoul that has been featured in numerous Korean dramas.Tips: You will need your smartphone to take photos and videos with augmented reality effect, so make sure it is fully charged and bring a power bank
Opening Hours: 9a.m. – 9p.m. (last admission at 8p.m.)
Getting there: Hongik University station (green line 2), exit 9.
Trickeye’s website:
 Get Google maps directions>

13. Ikseon-dong Hanok Village

Ikseon-dong’s Hanok Village was first established in 1920 and is well preserved. The area caught us by surprise as it isnt an attraction typically recommended. However we strongly recommend to visit this area.
The living heritage evokes nostalgia of old Korea while roaming the alleys often bring surprising discovery. The area offers a variety artisan cafes, gastro pubs, family restaurants and creative retail shops.
If you are here, make sure to visit Dongbaek Yanggwajeom for its souffle pancake and Jung’s sandwich.

Opening Hours – Vary by shops. Usually 9am to 11pm.

to Get to Ikseon-dong’s Hanok Village by subway – Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Line 5), Exit 4. Walk across the street into the alley. 

Get Google maps directions>

14. Insadong

One of the most memorable Seoul attractions and represents the focal point of Korean traditional culture and crafts. Stores in Insa-dong specialize in a wide variety of goods that can only be purchased or appreciated in Korea: hanbok (traditional clothing), hanji (traditional paper), traditional teas, pottery, and folk crafts.
There are about 100 galleries in the area and you can see every example of traditional Korean fine art from paintings to sculptures. The teahouses and restaurants are the perfect compliment to the galleries.
Every Sunday from 10:00 – 22:00, some streets are blocked off from traffic and it becomes a cultural space. Stores set up booths outside and others set up shop (Korean candy merchants and fortune tellers.) There are traditional performances and exhibits as well.

to Get to Insadong by Subway

Exit 6 – Anguk Station Line 3. Walk straight 100m & turn left.
Exit 3 – Jonggak Station Line 1. Walk 300m straight, turn left. then 100m straight & veer left into Insa-dong alleyway.
 Get Google maps directions>

15. Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon stream was built since the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). It has been meticulously restore under Seoul’s urban renewal project.
The 11km stream starts from Cheonggye Plaza, a popular cultural arts venue, and passes under a total of 22 bridges before flowing into the Hangang (River), with many attractions along its length.
It is one of the favourite leisure spot for the locals in the evening.

 to get to Cheonggyecheon Stream by subway – Jongak Station (Station Line 1) -Exit 5. Walk 200 metres.

 Get Google maps directions>

16. DDP White Rose Garden

The DDP Rose Garden started of as a temporary exhibition but gained popularity especially among couples. A total of 25,550 LED roses light up when night fall creating an impressive stream of white roses.
The display began on National Liberation Day in 2015 as a celebration of the nation’s 70th year of independence. The number of roses on display corresponds to the number of days since liberation: 365 days multiplied by 70 years is equivalent to 25,550 roses.
to Get to DDP White Rose Garden by Subway : Dongdaemun History & Culture Park St Line 2,4,5 
 Get Google maps directions>

Jun-Ho  is our Seoul local representative, we asked him what an ideal day of leisure in Seoul could look like, what would he suggest doing from early morning to late at night?
Here is what he suggests. Don't hesitate to contact Jun-ho on Twitter @bigcitychase #Jun-ho #questionforJun-ho if you have questions for him, we may publish your conversation in this blog if he thinks it might be useful to other Seoul visitors.

  Jun-ho from Seoul for Big City Chase Seoul : 

"Hello, my Name is Jun-ho, I am from Seoul and I will help you figuring what to do for your leisure day in Seoul from good food to fun to culture, here are the things I would do to enjoy my day-off in Seoul. 

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