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The South Korean capital is famous for its culture and people's devotion to traditions, the history of which is measured in millennia. At the same time, today Seoul is an advanced Asian metropolis, and the contrast of antiquity and modernity gives it its own unique, multifaceted look. The combination of the incongruous is also reflected by the numerous sights of Seoul: industrial technological structures coexist with centuries-old palaces and temples, atmospheric historical streets contrast with colossal multi-level road junctions. When choosing what to see in Seoul, it is difficult to stop at just one, so the following excursion will help you to get acquainted with the most significant places in the city.
First things to see in Seoul
The many-sided Seoul is extremely rich in sights, and choosing what to see in Seoul in 1 day will be a very difficult task for those who want to comprehend this city in all its glory and grandeur. However, there are a number of tips on how to start exploring the city in order to feel its spirit from the first trips.
1. Gyeongbokgung Palace
Entrance to the central part of Gyeongbokgung Palace through the Heungne Gate
Perhaps the most beautiful of the palaces in Seoul is the Gyeongbokgung Royal Palace, built in the late 14th century during the Joseon era. As a result of Japanese attacks, the palace was destroyed twice and rebuilt again, and today it continues to delight visitors with the originality of its architecture. The size of the palace is impressive – in total there are about 3 hundred buildings and about 6 thousand rooms. Nowadays, this is a real open-air museum where you can visit a picturesque throne room, a number of thematic museums and an amazingly beautiful park with an artificial lake, the water surface of which is covered with a blooming lotus.
Official website:< /em> http://www.royalpalace.
2. Changdeokgung Palace
Injeongjeong Hall is the throne room of Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul
The architectural ensemble of this palace is distinguished by the fact that its appearance has been preserved since its construction in the 15th century, despite the fact that it suffered more than others during the Japanese wars. Of course, it has been repeatedly subject to restoration, but thanks to the painstaking work of Korean craftsmen, it has retained its authentic look. It was here that the residence of the last emperor of Korea was located, until his death at the beginning of the 20th century. The palace is spread over 58 hectares of land at the foot of the mountain. A delightful garden with centuries-old trees grows on this territory, and in the very center there is a beautiful pond with places for walking and relaxing.
Official website: http://www.cdg.go .kr/eng/
3. Changgyeonggung Palace
The territory of the Changgyeonggung Palace complex against the sunset
The next palace on the list of the best sights in Seoul is Changgyeonggung, the older brother of the castle buildings of the city, built in the early 12th century. For many centuries it has been used as a place of rest and entertainment for the royal family – the name of the palace, meaning “unbridled fun”, speaks for itself. Around the palace there is a picturesque park with gazebos for relaxation and pagodas, where visitors can not only enjoy the splendor of landscapes and palace architecture, but also witness one of the many festivals, carnivals or performances that are regularly held on the territory of the complex.
Official website: http://www.cdg.go.
4. Deoksugung Palace
Deoksugung Palace, surrounded by a powerful wall, in the center of Seoul < p>More modest in size, unlike its counterparts, Deoksugung Palace is very symbolic for the townspeople, and this is due to the sad events of the 19th century. It was here that the emperor lived at that time, under which South Korea ceased to be an independent state and turned into an occupied territory. The monarch was hiding here from Japanese spies who killed his wife. Within the walls of the palace there is a functioning museum – the Royal Museum, which exhibits a collection of items from the Joseon era, as well as works by contemporary Korean painters.
Official website: http://www.deoksugung.< /p>
5. Gyeonghuigung Palace
Palace buildings of the Imperial Villa – Gyeonghuigung in Seoul
The review continues with one of the most beautiful palaces not only in Seoul, but throughout South Korea – Gyeonghigun. The picturesque mountainous area on which it was erected further emphasizes the beauty and splendor of this place. The complex was built in the 17th century as an additional residence in case of any unplanned events: the emperor could at any time get to the palace territory from the neighboring Toksugung Palace via a specially laid bridge. The events of the Japanese War did not bypass Gyeonghigun either, it was repeatedly destroyed and restored, at present only a third of the original ensemble remains. On the territory of the palace, you can take a walk in the park or visit the Seoul History Museum.
Check out the beautiful places in Seoul in this great video!
6. Myeongdong Shopping District
Lots of shops, shops and Korean restaurants in Myeongdong sellyourseoul
Guides in Seoul will certainly introduce you to the most important shopping street of the city – Myeongdong. In a small area of 1 sq. km, there is a dynamic center of Seoul life. One can only wonder how such a number of shops, shops, Seoul hotels, cafes and malls could fit in this small square. This place is not focused on tourism, which is why here you can discover the true Seoul, in the hustle and bustle of everyday life of its inhabitants. Walking through the shops and malls of Myeongdong, you can find products that cater to completely different incomes. The same applies to catering establishments where you can have a quick bite of inexpensive pancakes or have a chic lunch in an expensive restaurant.
7. Gwangjang Market
Shops and stalls of Gwangjang market in Seoul Kars Alfrink
Another famous shopping place in Seoul is the Gwangjang market, which can be visited not only for shopping, but also for the sake of interest. Its colorful shops and shops, of which there are about 5 thousand, concentrate the largest amount of clothes and fabrics in the city, as well as souvenirs and vintage items. It is here that you can buy traditional national clothes, magnificent wedding dresses, the most exquisite expensive fabrics and high-quality bed linen. Another part of the market is reserved for food and cafes, where you can taste a number of national dishes. Among the most popular local dishes are rice pancakes with beans, meat or vegetables, Korean dumplings, rice cakes and sweet liquor.
Official website: http://www.kwangjangmarket.< /p>
Insadong is a pedestrian street and a popular shopping area in Seoul Mario Sánchez Prada
It is worth mentioning one more place where you can go in Seoul during your shopping trip. In the heart of Seoul is the Insadong shopping district, which consists of one large and several small secondary streets. Once upon a time, this quarter was inhabited by especially wealthy people – this has been the case since the Joseon era. Later, as a result of Japanese colonization, wealthy Korean nobles went bankrupt, and shops began to appear on the streets of the quarter, selling valuables from ruined houses. Since then, trade began to gain momentum, and today on the streets of the quarter you can visit a number of cafes, antique shops and spontaneous markets selling unique handicrafts.
Official website: http: //english.visitkorea
9. Bukchon Village
Traditional Korean houses in an alley of Bukchon Village in Seoul Republic of Korea
In the heart of the South Korean capital, there is a traditional settlement whose buildings are so beautiful and authentic that this place is more like an open-air museum than a village. Nevertheless, this is a real residential quarter, and to this day people live in its cozy one-story houses, whose way of life is radically different from the lifestyle of the inhabitant of the metropolis. It is especially unusual to observe this spectacle against the background of high-rise modern buildings of the city, rushing to the very heavens. The fabulous atmosphere of the settlement invites you to wander longer through the narrow streets of the village or stop at one of the local cafes with homemade cuisine.
Official website: http://hanok.seoul. go
Cheonggyecheon Stream with a park and paved banks for walking in Seoul James Mason-Hudson
One of the points of the excursion in Seoul is worth devoting to Cheonggyecheon Park, opened in the city center not so long ago – in 2005. Its entire 8-kilometer territory stretches along the stream of the same name, the paths are paved with paving slabs, and several unusual fountains adorn the path. For example, there is a 2-cascade fountain, a waterfall fountain, a rhythmic fountain, and a tunnel fountain. This oasis, located in the jungle of the metropolis, is especially beautiful at night, when a bewitching backlight turns on throughout the stream. In addition to fountains, 22 bridges of various designs are thrown across the stream along the entire path, and there are also several themed walls painted with numerous autographs.
11. Cheongwadae Presidential Residence
Official residence of the President of South Korea – Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) Humorahead01
The famous Seoul Blue House is one of the main symbols of the city. It got its name due to the delightful, rich emerald-blue shade of the roof. Each piece of tiles for this roof was cast to order, and the smooth curve of the roof, as it were, symbolizes the beauty of the state and its harmonious unity with nature. The palace is located on a large area of the old garden, which was laid out during the Joseon Dynasty. The lush greenery of the trees alternates with the fragrance of countless flowers. Inside the residence there are such premises as the main office, guest house, spring and autumn pavilion.
Official website: http://english.president.
12. Chogyesa Temple
The grounds of the Jogyesa temple in downtown Seoul Francisco Anzola
The main temple of Zen Buddhism in the country is located in Seoul and is called Chogyesa. This important landmark of South Korea was created about a century ago at the initiative of the Chogye Order, which today owns more than one and a half thousand Korean temples. The Jogyesa is a large ensemble of several buildings, the centerpiece of which is Tuyeongjeon, which impresses with its huge size and decorative painting of dancheon. In addition, there are many other objects on the territory of the temple that deserve attention, such as two old centuries-old trees, Buddha statues in the hall of the Tuenjeong building, or a multi-tiered stone pagoda with holy relics.
Official website: http://www.jogyesa.kr
13. Bongeunsa Temple
The 28-meter stone Buddha statue of Bongeunsa Temple on the slope of Mount Sudo in Seoul
The ancient Buddhist monastery is located on the slope of Mount Sudo, just a couple of hundred meters from the bustling civilization of the metropolis. In a matter of minutes, having overcome a short distance from the center of Seoul, visitors seem to be transported several centuries ago or even fall into another dimension. Despite such a close location of civilization, not a single sound disturbs the idyllic harmony of this place. The temple building itself is very ancient – it dates back to the 8th century, and is a classic example of Korean architecture. Of course, not all the buildings of the temple have survived to this day, many were restored, but brought to a look as close as possible to the original.
14. Jongmyo Shrine
Jongmyo Shrine Building Built in Traditional Korean style, in Seoul park
The shrine was founded in the 14th century, at the dawn of the Joseon Dynasty, and served as a royal shrine for a long time. For many centuries, traditional burial ceremonies for Korean emperors have been held here, royal ancestors have been commemorated, and spirit sacrifice rituals have been performed. All these traditions appeared precisely in the Joseon era, but centuries have passed since then, the policy of Korea, the form of government has changed, and the rites of commemoration of the dead are still observed, and the shrine itself still retains its historical and cultural significance for the state.
Official website: http://english.cha.go
15. Myeongdong Cathedral
View of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Myeongdong Street in Seoul
This is another important attraction that is worth visiting in Seoul among the city's shrines. The cathedral was erected in the 19th century in a laconic neo-Gothic style, so the facade of the temple looks very modest against the backdrop of the colorful walls of ancient sanctuaries. Christianity in Korea suffered persecution for a long time, but by the 19th century the government began to treat this religion more loyally, which allowed one of the Korean bishops to start building a Catholic cathedral. The temple is very young, so it does not have a large collection of valuable artifacts, but the relics of the martyrs, supporters of Christianity, who were persecuted, are buried within its walls.
Official website: http://www.mdsd.or.
16. Republic of Korea War Memorial
Military equipment from various times in front of the Republic of Korea war memorial Richard Gould
This museum complex was erected as a tribute to the memory of the brave Korean soldiers who gave their lives in various wars over the years. The monument was opened in the 90s of the 20th century in the historical part of the city. On a huge area of 20,000 square meters, there is an open-air museum, several thematic pavilions, as well as memorial walls engraved with the names of heroes who distinguished themselves in hostilities. Military equipment of different years is placed on the open area. The expositions of thematic halls are distributed according to different eras and events from the history of South Korea.
Official website: https://www.warmemo.
17. National Museum of Korea
Facade of the National Museum of Korea in Seoul SJ Yang
The National Museum in Seoul is a very large-scale project, included in the top 10 best museums in the world. Its history began more than a century ago, when the Korean emperor decided to open a museum collection at the Changyongungung Palace for his subjects, and later the collection was supplemented by a collection of exhibits from the Japanese Museum. After the end of World War II, the country gains independence and organizes its own national museum. The museum collection moved repeatedly until a spacious building was erected for it in Yongsan Park. The area of the museum is huge – about 137 thousand square meters, and the number of exhibits exceeds 200 thousand items.
Official website: http://www.museum
< h3> 18. National Folk Museum of Korea
National Folk Museum of Korea on the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace surrounded by nature
The recommendations of this article would be incomplete without mentioning another important attraction – the National Folklore Museum. This place is simply indispensable for those who want to get to know the life and traditions of the Korean people, visit the centuries-old past of the country and see how certain customs began. The museum is located in one of the buildings of the Gyeongbokgung Palace complex and has a collection
consisting of more than 90 thousand exhibits. All of them are divided into 3 thematic halls: the first tells about the history of the people and the development of their culture, the second tells about the way of life of the people, the third – about the centuries-old traditions of the people and the role of religion in them.
Official website: http://www.nfm.go.
19. Seoul Arts Center
Seoul Arts Center – a huge modern Korean exhibition complex in Seoul User:Piotrus
This institution, also known as the Art Hall, is a large-scale exhibition complex where various cultural events are regularly held – vernissages, exhibitions, theater performances and much more. In total, on an area of about 15 thousand square meters, there are several halls with stages for the performance of artists, as well as halls with various cultural expositions – for example, a gallery of modern art, a visual art archive, an audio and video archive, a documentary archive with various printed publications, a museum with a collection of handwritten hieroglyphs, as well as a multifunctional design center.
Official website: http://www.seoularts.
20. Trick Eye Museum
Visitors take pictures with exhibits at the Museum of Optical Illusions in Seoul Republic of Korea
The next point of the rating is the unique Museum of Illusions, which is not at all like other museums – there are no great works of art here, but there is a place for real fun and entertainment. The exhibits of the museum seem to take the visitor to another world and another dimension, where the physical laws familiar in everyday life do not work. All paintings of the exposition are made in 3D style with optical illusions, which makes visitors feel like a part of each story presented, where you can touch the elements of images and immerse yourself in the painted world. The illusion effect itself is achieved in each of the paintings with the help of the competent use of perspective.
Official site: http://trickeye.com
21. Leeum – Samsung Art Museum
Sculpture of a giant spider in front of Lium Museum of Art by Samsung in Seoul Sali Sasaki
One of Korea's most notable museums was sponsored by Korea's largest electronics magnate, Samsung. The expositions of the museum, opened in 2004, present an impressive collection of treasures of national culture. The museum complex includes three buildings with completely different architecture, each of which has its own architect. It is worth saying that the external design of each building corresponds to the theme of the exposition presented inside it. For example, a gallery dedicated to the history of the country and ancient artifacts is designed like a medieval fortress, while a gallery of modern art has a futuristic facade.
Official website: http://leeum.samsungfoundation
22. NANTA Theater
NANTA Theater Actors LG전자
In fact, there are 4 branches of the theater in Seoul, and in each of them several acting troupes perform during the day. NANTA productions are unusual theatrical shows with musical accompaniment, which are based on musical compositions, most often performed on kitchen items. Right on the move, a group of talented actors improvise to the beat of national music, all this is accompanied by various clever tricks, somewhat reminiscent of circus art. Numerous reviews say that such shows are watched in one breath, and humorous moments can be understood even without knowledge of the Korean language.
Official website: https://www. nanta.
23. Rainbow Fountain Bridge
Night view of the Rainbow Fountain Bridge in Seoul
It is already difficult to surprise a modern traveler with a beautiful fountain – so many beautiful water creations have been created in different cities of the world. But the Korean masterpiece “Rainbow Fountain”, perhaps, will not leave any visitor indifferent. There is nowhere else in the world to find such a beauty and scale spectacle created by man using water jets. For 1.1 kilometers, hundreds of water streams break out of the nozzles located on the canvas of the Panpo Bridge, describe a huge arc and fall into the Hangang River. In the evening, the bridge turns into a truly fabulous structure – along its entire length, the backlight turns on, which paints the jets of the fountain in different colors of the rainbow.
24. Ewha Women's University
Female students at Seoul's Ewha Women's University Nam-ho Park
This institution can rightfully be called an important landmark of Seoul, because Ewha University is the world's largest women's university. The history of the university began in the late 19th century, when the American missionary Mary Scranton began teaching medical disciplines to Korean girls at home. So after a little over 20 years, a women's college was founded, after 4 years the first doctors of medicine were graduated, and since the 70s of the last century this institution has reached the world level. Today, the university strives to enter the top of the most prestigious universities in the world, famous scientists, world-famous award winners lecture here.
Official website: http://www.ewha.ac.
25. Seoul Tower
Seoul TV Tower on Namsan Mountain at sunset
The modern symbol of Seoul is its colossal TV tower, almost 500 meters high. At its very top, there is an observation deck – the best place in the city from where you can admire the amazing city panoramas. The tower is located on top of the 237-meter Namsan mountain, which gives the structure even greater height. Inside the tower, from the first level, an exciting journey begins – there are a large number of cafes and souvenir shops. There are 5 levels in the tower, but you should definitely get to the highest one in the end: here, at a dizzying height, there is a rotating panoramic platform with a restaurant.
Official site: http ://www.nseoultower
Seoul Attractions: What else to visit in Seoul?
Memorable places in Seoul are very numerous – they, like an inexhaustible source, leave the best impressions of getting to know the city, even if the trip is not made for the first or second time. And even if the main sights of Seoul have already been explored, there remains a place for other equally interesting monuments of antiquity and modernity, cultural and entertainment events. The top continues with other attractions in Seoul, photos with names and descriptions of which are given below.
26. Dongdaemun Design Plaza building
The futuristic shape of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza building illuminated by Nestor Lacle LEDs
Seoul Exhibition Center, which opened in 2014, is a real masterpiece of modern architecture in a futuristic style. The building with an internal area of more than 86,000 square meters looks like a huge spaceship with smooth, graceful shapes and a silver hue of the facade. Inside, the space of the center is divided into several above-ground and underground levels, and all the interior spaces, smoothly flowing into each other, are decorated in a single light gray-brown color scheme. Particularly noteworthy are such facilities as the Art Hall, designed for major exhibitions and fashion shows, the historical arena museum and the design laboratory with unique designer products.
Official website: http://www.ddp.or.
27. Olympic Park
Reinforced concrete Peace Gate on the ground at the entrance to Seoul Olympic Park Khitai
The construction of the Olympic Park in Korea was timed to coincide with the Olympic Games held in Korea in the summer of 1988. Numerous game objects have been preserved to this day, becoming a valuable and memorable landmark. On the vast territory of the park there are a lot of cultural and recreational facilities and other interesting places that deserve attention. Here are museums, and memorials, and gyms, and health centers. A visit to the Olympic Park itself is a whole sports and educational event: everyone can jog around the area with ups and downs, rent sports equipment or make an educational raid on the park's establishments.
Official website:< /em> http://www.olympicpark
28. Lotte World
Indoor skating rink at Lotte World Seoul Khitai
One of the largest indoor amusement parks in the world is located in Seoul, right in the heart of the city. This is a huge area for entertainment for children and adults, where, in addition to the amusement complex, there is a year-round ice rink, a museum, a shopping mall, a cinema, a lake, souvenir shops and many other entertaining areas. In addition to entertainment and walks, here you can witness performances and regular festivals. All buildings and decor of the complex are made in the style of the Middle Ages, this creates an atmosphere of comfort and fabulousness. The complex even has its own hotel, which is located near the park.
Official website: http://www.lotteworld.com
29. COEX Aquarium< /h3>
Entrance to the COEX aquarium in Seoul's COEX shopping and entertainment center Wpcpey
An interesting attraction is located on the ground floor of the COEX shopping and entertainment center – the largest oceanarium in Korea, occupying 1.3 thousand square meters. The shape of the huge aquarium resembles a tunnel that passes literally over the heads of visitors, creating the perfect effect of presence. In addition to the giant main aquarium, the aquarium has 90 other aquariums. The entire observation area is divided into thematic sections, for example, the inhabitants of the seas, marine predators, the forests of the Amazon, etc. Therefore, in addition to the inhabitants of the water depths, here you can meet birds and even polar bears.
Official website: http://www.coexaqua.com
30. Bukhansan National Park
Landscape of Bukhansan National Park in Seoul city
In the northernmost part of Seoul is the Bukhansan mountain range – the natural pearl of South Korea. This area has been a national park of the same name in Korea since 1983. Once in the era of the Joseon Dynasty, the massif served as a city border, and now this place has become incredibly popular among tourists and avid climbers. Although this mountain range does not have an impressive height – about 850 meters above the sea – from its peaks you can enjoy an incredibly beautiful view of the city and its panoramas. The area within the reserve is replete with historical monuments and various artifacts, and 14 hiking trails have been developed here.
Official website: http://english.knps.or.< /p>
When planning a trip to Seoul, you should carefully plan your future route. After all, once on these lands, you can involuntarily get lost in the opened variety of ancient and modern architecture, wonderful parks, monuments and entire historical districts. The city of contrasts, traditions and the latest technologies, antiquity and modernity will be remembered for its ancient temples and futuristic buildings, cherry blossoms, countless entertainment, walks through the most beautiful natural corners of the city, and souvenirs from Korean craftsmen will remind you of the priceless moments of acquaintance with Seoul for a long time.