SEOUL(서울)

SEOUL(서울) Travel Guide; SEOUL(서울) DIY itineraries, train travel, DIY Tour guide

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SEOUL(서울)

Beautiful palaces, great food and a hopping nightlife, Seoul is a frenetic way to experience the Asia of old and new.

Hot Places to Visit

Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market is a large traditional market in Seoul, South Korea. The market is located next to Namdaemun, the "Great South Gate," which was the main southern gate to the old city. It is the oldest and largest market in Korea.

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market, previously Dongdaemun Market, is a traditional street market in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. The market is one of the oldest and largest traditional markets in South Korea, with more than 5000 shops and 20,000 employees in an area of 42000m2. Approximately 65,000 people visit the market each day.

Changdeokgung

Changdeokgung also known as Changdeokgung Palace or Changdeok Palace, is set within a large park in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897). As it is located east of Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeokgung—along with Changgyeonggung—is also referred to as the "East Palace" (동궐, 東闕, Donggwol). Changdeokgung was the most favored palace of many Joseon princes and retained many elements dating from the Three Kingdoms of Korea period that were not incorporated in the more contemporary Gyeongbokgung. One such element is the fact that the buildings of Changdeokgung blend with the natural topography of the site instead of imposing themselves upon it. It, like the other Five Grand Palaces in Seoul, was heavily damaged during the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910–1945). Currently, only about 30% of the pre-Japanese structures survive.

Luxury Family House Gwanghwamun Seoul

Located 500 metres from Dongwha Duty Free Shop in Seoul, this apartment features free WiFi. The air-conditioned unit is 1 km from Gyeongbokgung Palace. Private parking is available on site. The kitchen is fitted with a microwave and a fridge. A TV and Nintendo Wii are featured. Lotte Duty Free Shop is 1.4 km from Luxury Family House Gwanghwamun Seoul, while Namdaemun Market is 1.6 km away. The nearest airport is Gimpo International Airport, 15 km from Luxury Family House Gwanghwamun Seoul.

Changgyeonggung

Changgyeong Palace is a palace located in Seoul, South Korea. The palace was built in the mid-15th century by King Sejong for his father, Taejong. It was originally named "Suganggung," but it was renovated and enlarged in 1483 by King Seongjong, at which time it received its current name. Many structures were destroyed during Japan's multiple late 16th century attempts to conquer Korea and invade China. It was rebuilt by successive Joseon Kings but was once again largely destroyed by the Japanese in the early 20th century, but this time torn down methodically to make room for a modern park, a showplace for the empire, akin to Tokyo's Ueno Park. During the Japanese colonial period, the Japanese built a zoo, botanical garden, and museum on the site. After independence in 1945 and the turmoil and destruction of the 1950-53 Korean War, the zoo was restocked through donations of wealthy Korean and gifts from foreign zoos. In 1983 the zoo and botanical garden were relocated to what is today known as Seoul Land.

Lotte World

Lotte World is a major recreation complex in Seoul, South Korea. It consists of the world's largest indoor theme park an outdoor amusement park called "Magic Island", an artificial island inside a lake linked by monorail, shopping malls, a luxury hotel, a Korean folk museum, sports facilities, and movie theaters. Opened on July 12, 1989, Lotte World receives 7.3 million visitors each year.

Brera

Perceiving the need for simple and genuine Italian cuisine in the Seoul restaurant scene, a foursome of Italian guys thought the time was ripe to dispel the myth of Italian cuisine as fine dining. Thus, together with a party of foreigners, mostly from the US and Korea, they decided to reproduce the concept of Brera, a district of Milan, where Italian tradition has been constantly upgraded by and integrated with the latest international trends. Naming their joint after this neighborhood, they created a unique concept, aimed at providing a 360° Contemporary Italian Hospitality Experience. Divided in sub-teams according to competence, Brera’ staff guarantees the best of the following: Italian Coffees Home-Grandmother style Italian Food European Brunch Dessert American Whiskey Bar Fun, Entertainment and Education Brera provides its clientele with memorable moments of happiness on top of the sheer enjoyment of quality food and drinks. An extremely friendly staff does its best to develop a sweet awareness of belonging to the Brera’s family, where there are no strangers- only people you have not met yet. Whether you show up for a quick coffee or craft whiskey cocktail,a business lunch or a date dinner, at Brera you will always breathe a super sociable atmosphere which turns your experience into an unforgettable memory. Brera believes quality at a fair price is everybody’s right. Our general policy is that no regular menu item costs more than 14.9 KWN. This is an incredible value considering Brera has been ranked as a top 10 restaurants in Seoul and the number 1 Italian restaurant by Seoul Restaurant Expat Guide. The kitchen is the only one in Seoul run exclusively by Italian cooks, who prepare in-house fresh pastas, brick oven pizzas, cheeses, jams, cured meats, etc., delivering the most authentic Italian food experience. The bar is left to the fantastic creativity of some American friends who have created a speakeasy style bar within the restaurant. Following Brera’s lead, Whiskey Rebellion aims to give customers an authentic and unique experience at an affordable price. The bar aims to change the whiskey drinking culture by serving crafted cocktails and alternative whiskey presentations to a market saturated by over-priced single malts. Every facet of Brera is unique, but strives to produce a common goal- providing customers with a unique and authentic experience at an affordable price. Come into Brera and step into a whole new world.

National Museum of Korea

The National Museum of Korea is the flagship museum of Korean history and art in South Korea and is the cultural organization that represents Korea. Since its establishment in 1945, the museum has been committed to various studies and research activities in the fields of archaeology, history, and art, continuously developing a variety of exhibitions and education programs. In 2012, it was reported that since its relocation to Yongsan District in 2005, the Museum has attracted an attendance of 20 million visitors, or over 3 million annually which makes it one of the most visited art museums in the world as well as third most visited in Asia and the most visited in South Korea. A poll of nearly 2,000 foreign visitors, conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in November 2011, stated that visiting the Museum is one of their favorite activities in Seoul. It is one of the largest museums in Asia.

Hot Activities

East

The districts of Dongdaemun (동대문), Jungnang (중랑), Gwangjin (광진) and Seongdong (성동) are in the east of the city of Seoul.

Yongsan

Yongsan (용산) is in Seoul's geographic center, sandwiched between Seoul's two major cultural and economic centers, Gangnam and Jongno/Jung.

Gangnam-Seocho

Gangnam in and of itself is large enough to split into two main districts, Apgujeongdong and Cheongdamdong to the north, and Gangnam / Tehranro / Samseongdong to the south.Apgujeongdong and Cheongd...

Gwacheon

Gwacheon is a city in Gyeonggi-do Province, South Korea.

Buddhist

Buddhist religious architecture developed in the Indian Subcontinent in the 3rd century BCE.

Activities

Watch the fashionable Seoulites shop and sip coffee in Gangnam.Explore the huge fresh fish market in Noryangjin and enjoy fresh sashimi afterwards.Enjoy the nightlife in...

Tours

Alive Museum Attraction Ticket

Turn imagination into reality through your camera! At the Alive Museum, you'll discover Korea's largest "FUN" exhibition. Families, lovers, and friends, all join together at the Alive Museum! Located in Insadong, it's the biggest 4D optical illusion art museum in Korea - a must-visit attraction in Seoul.

Half-Day Walking Tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace and Tongin Local Market

3-hour small group walking tour in Seoul Visit a local market with your professional local guide Discover a traditional landmark in Seoul – Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is the most beautiful and remains the largest of all five royal palaces Street food tasting and lunch box in traditional Korean street market

Private Day Trip to Jangho Beach from Seoul

On this private day trip from Seoul, venture out to one of Korea’s loveliest villages to enjoy marine activities. Located on Korea's east coast, Jangho Beach is a fishing village and coastal haven with clear blue waters and interesting rock formations. Becoming more popular every summer among Koreans, Jangho is an idyllic spot for water adventures such as snorkeling and transparent kayaking (equipment rental is not included). This seasonal tour operates during the summer months.

Custom Tour: Best Night View of Seoul

Seoul is a beautiful city, especially at night. On this 5-hour private tour, you can appreciate various city landmarks as they are illuminated with lights. You can customize your itinerary and choose what to explore, while your guide and photographer snaps your photos so you leave with something to remind you of your wonderful memories of Seoul.

Seoul Through a Lens: Korea's Past and Present Urban Photography Tour

Experience Korean culture past and present on this three hour photo tour around Seoul. Through the lens you can discover and capture historical moments of Seoul, and see how it grew into the booming city it is today. This urban exploration is guided by a Korean photographer who can discuss Korea’s difficulties and hidden secrets of the past. This is an experience that will open your eyes to the realities of fast economic growth and your guide will help you capture the contrast between the modern and traditional sides of this intriguing country.

Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Seoul Incheon International Airport

Ensure a hassle-free way to end your Seoul vacation by pre-booking this private departure transfer from your downtown Seoul hotel to the Incheon International Airport. On the day of your departure flight, your professional and reliable English-speaking driver will meet you in your hotel lobby. Then, relax in a private, air-conditioned vehicle as you're driven directly to the airport -- it's that easy!

SEOUL(서울) Guide

Cheonggyecheon creek in central Seoul Seoul(서울) is the capital of South Korea. With a municipal population of over 10.5 million, and a metropolitan population totaling over 20.5 million, Seoul is by far South Korea's largest city and one of East Asia's financial and cultural centers. A fascinating blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge digital technology, home to endless street food vendors and vast nightlife districts, an extraordinarily high-pressure educational system and serene Buddhist temples, a dynamic trend-setting youth culture and often crushing conformism, extraordinary architecture and endless monotonous rows of grey apartment buildings, Seoul is a city filled with stark contrasts, contradictions, and paradoxes.

Administratively, Seoul is divided into 25 districts (구gu), each with an area and population comparable to a small city. The districts are then further subdivided into 522 sub-districts (동dong). The Han river splits the city into two halves: Gangbuk (강북), the northern, more historical half, and Gangnam (강남), the southern, wealthier and more modern half. The sheer size of the city means that travelers to Seoul will find it difficult to locate a true "center" of Seoul; instead, Seoul is almost more like a collection of cities that happen to be bunched together, each with their own central business and commercial districts. The two largest core ares are Jongno/Jung in the north, and Gangnam in the south. For travelers with more time, there are many more, smaller centers and districts to be explored, such as the island of Yeoui-do and the college district of Hongdae/Sinchon. For the typical traveler, it would be useful to divide the city into the following areas:

"S.E.O.U.L. Call it with me, the beautiful world that makes my dreams come true!"— The Seoul Song by Girls' Generation & Super Junior

Gangnam district by nightWith over 10 million people, a figure that doubles if you include neighboring cities and suburbs, Seoul is the largest city in South Korea and unquestionably the economic, political and cultural hub of the nation. By some measures it is the second largest urban agglomeration on the planet, after Greater Tokyo.

Seoul has become a favourite with tourists from China, Japan and Southeast Asia, following the success of Korean pop culture. Aside from the native Korean, travelers will frequently overhear Japanese, Cantonese or Mandarin as well; many restaurants and stores, especially in the more touristy areas like Myeongdong, will have signs in Japanese and Chinese, as well as Korean and English. However, this travel destination, long popular amongst Asians, is still relatively unknown in the West and frequently passed over by Westerners for nearby Tokyo, Kyoto, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.

However, the traveler who does visit will not be disappointed. This sprawling metropolis is truly vast - though the casual traveler can see most of the main sites in a few days, a dedicated traveler could spend months exploring all the alleyways and far-off neighborhoods. As the capital of a country that has gone through massive development in the past sixty years, Seoul is constantly changing at an incredible pace, matched only by the mainland Chinese cities. This frantic pace of life is reflected everywhere - in Seoul's cutting-edge digital technology, in the millions of commuters rushing to work everyday in the world's third largest subway system, in one of the most vibrant nightlife scenes in the world, and in the thousands of high rises and apartment buildings still under construction.

Considering all of this, one may be forgiven for forgetting that Seoul has a long history stretching far back into Korea's dynastic past. There is evidence for settlement in this area as far as 18 BC but Seoul as the capital city of South Korea has a history back to the 14th century. Originally named Hanseong (한성; 漢城), the city was the capital of the Joseon Dynasty from 1392 to 1910, when Korea was occupied by the Japan. The Joseon Dynasty built most of Seoul's most recognisable landmarks, including the Five Grand Palaces and Namdaemun. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, the city was renamed to its current name, Seoul. Since the establishment of the Republic of Korea in 1948, Seoul has been the capital of South Korea. Occupied twice during the Korean War by Communist forces from the North, the city was extensively rebuilt and today is one of Asia's primary metropolises. Much of Seoul's infrastructure and facilities, such as the buildings, stadiums and transport systems, are exceptionally modern and clean.

Seoul is a relatively well organized city covering over 600 km² with a population of around 10.5 million. It is a new modern city built on an ancient and shining history. The city is in the north-western portion of South Korea approximately 40 km east of the Yellow Sea (황해 "Hwanghae") and 60 kilometers south of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The city is roughly bisected by the Han River (한강Hangang), which runs east to west across the city. Seoul blurs seamlessly into its surrounding satellite cities and towns, most of which are also served by the Seoul metro. The largest of these is Incheon (to the west) in which Seoul's main airport, and the metropolitan area's main seaport, are located. Other satellite cities include such as Ilsan (to the north), Bucheon (to the west) and Anyang (to the south).

Seoul lies between a subtropical and a humid continental climate zones. November to April tend to be more continental, while warmer months are more subtropical with hot, humid summers. There are monsoon conditions in June and July and an average of 28 days of snow during winter.

As elsewhere in Korea, a grasp of basic Korean will be helpful. If you plan on an extended visit, consider learning to read the Korean written script, hangeul. It takes very little time to pick up the basics, and it can be endlessly helpful. A quick (free) visit to the Story of King Sejong Exhibition Hall beneath theStatue of King Sejongin Gwanghwamun Square will give you an introduction to the Korean written language and some interactive exhibits to practice. Thirty minutes there will see you recognising and pronouncing some Korean words.

Shops in major tourists areas, including Insadong, Myeongdong, and Itaewon, will probably have staff that speak at least some English, and some may have staff that speak Mandarin, Cantonese and/or Japanese. While all younger Koreans are required to study English in school, due to a lack of practice, proficiency is generally poor, and most residents of Seoul only know a few simple words and phrases. If lost, a useful tip is to write down your question in simple words and show it to someone young. That being said, it is still possible to get by using only English, though a basic grasp of Korean will make your trip much smoother.

Deoksugung palaceOpening at night of Gyeongbokgung PalaceGwanghwamunWhile Seoul today is mostly known as a super-modern mega-city that is home to skyscrapers, malls, and millions of electronic-mad Koreans, the city contains over 2,000 years of history. The city contains 4 UNESCO sites marking important monuments from its 505 years as the capital of the Joseon Dynasty. Originally a walled city with 20 ft stone walls and narrow lanes inside. Though many buildings were destroyed or damaged during the violent events of the first half of the 20th century, much of its historic core remains. So, anyone staying in Seoul should visit the many historical treasures the city has to offer, including the many palaces and city gates within the Jongno district.

Seoul has been a capital of Korea since the Joseon Dynasty. Starting from the Gyeongbokgung, many palaces were built for kings and royal family. The most important of them are calledFive Grand Palaces(5대궁).Gyeongbokgung Palaceis the first and main palace, and holds the site ofJoseon Palace MuseumandKorean Folk Museum. The main gate of the palace,Gwanghwamun, and its plaza are the center of Seoul.Changdeokgung, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sties, was the most favored palace of many Joseon Royal Family. It also has the beautiful garden namedSecret Garden(Also was called 'Forbidden Garden').ChanggyeonggungandGyeonghuigungare less famous due to extensive damage sustained after the fall of the Joseon Dynasty; Changgyeonggung was once a zoo, and Gyeonghuigung was once a high school. Finally,Deoksugungwas used during the last years of the monarchy. It has a harmony of both traditional and western building design.

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace.In 1-91, Sejongno, Jongno-gu. The Gyeongbokgung, Which means "Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven.", was built in 1395 in Joseon Dynasty. It was the heart of Joseon Dynasty because the government ministry district was focused here. Even after it was razed by the Japanese during Hideyoshi invasions of 1592-1598, it was reconstructed in 1876, only for many buildings to be razed again by the Japanese during the occupation from 1910-1945. Nevertheless, Gyeongbokgung remains one of the most magnificent and historically most significant places in Seoul, and restoration to its pre-Japanese occupation state continues to be take place at a painstaking pace. It opens everyday except Tuesday. There is also a free guide tour for tourists every day (English : 11:00, 13:30, 15:30). It is also good to take the opportunity of night opening, which is held a few days every a year, you have to reserve a place online. You can access the palace by subway(Gyeongbokgung Palace station Exit 5, Subway line 3) or Seoul City Tour Bus.

Gyeongbokgung Palace.In 1-91, Sejongno, Jongno-gu. The Gyeongbokgung, Which means "Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven.", was built in 1395 in Joseon Dynasty. It was the heart of Joseon Dynasty because the government ministry district was focused here. Even after it was razed by the Japanese during Hideyoshi invasions of 1592-1598, it was reconstructed in 1876, only for many buildings to be razed again by the Japanese during the occupation from 1910-1945. Nevertheless, Gyeongbokgung remains one of the most magnificent and historically most significant places in Seoul, and restoration to its pre-Japanese occupation state continues to be take place at a painstaking pace. It opens everyday except Tuesday. There is also a free guide tour for tourists every day (English : 11:00, 13:30, 15:30). It is also good to take the opportunity of night opening, which is held a few days every a year, you have to reserve a place online. You can access the palace by subway(Gyeongbokgung Palace station Exit 5, Subway line 3) or Seoul City Tour Bus.

Seoul is full of parks. Along the Han River(Hangang, 한강), there areHangang Citizen's Park. It is in many districts, and each have a distinct spots. You can cylce along the river or buy a snack or souvenir at the night market. Among those,Banpo Hangang Parkis most famous. You can see the fountain on the Banpo bridge, go toSome Sevit(an artificial floating island), or exercise at the Seorae island.

Other famous park includeSeoul Forest, Olympic Park, Worldcup Park, Children's Grand Park, Dream Forest, Seonyudo Park, and many more. Look for the article in each district.

Seoul is also surrounded by many mountains(san, 산). You can hike along the people and feel the nature in the middle of city. Notable mountains areNamsan(남산),Gwanaksan(관악산),Bukhansan(북한산),Suraksan(수락산).

  • Hangang Citizen's Park. Alongside the Han River through 13 districts - Gwangnaru, Jamsil, Gangdong, Ttukseom, Jamwon, Banpo, Ichon, Yeouido, Yanghwa, Mangwon, Seonyudo, Nanji, and Gangseojigu. You can see many people strolling or jogging along the trail paths, as well as in-line skaters, bicyclists, and soccer fields or basketball courts. Yeouido, Jamsil, and Ttukseom districts are especially popular because of the cruise services on the Han River.

Hangang Citizen's Park. Alongside the Han River through 13 districts - Gwangnaru, Jamsil, Gangdong, Ttukseom, Jamwon, Banpo, Ichon, Yeouido, Yanghwa, Mangwon, Seonyudo, Nanji, and Gangseojigu. You can see many people strolling or jogging along the trail paths, as well as in-line skaters, bicyclists, and soccer fields or basketball courts. Yeouido, Jamsil, and Ttukseom districts are especially popular because of the cruise services on the Han River.

Seoul has been a capital for more than 600 years, and has a lot of museums. The most important museum is definitelyNational Museum of Koreaat Yongsan. This houses the highlight of 5,000 years of Korean history and its exquisite treasures. Other historical museums includeNational Museum of Korean Contemporary History, National Folk Museum, Joseon Palace Museumat Jongno.

If you are fan of art, there are many art museums as well.Seoul Museumof Artsis near the city hall and is free.National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts, which used to be atGwacheon, has a separate Seoul branch near Bukchon and inside the Duksugung Palace.Leeum Museumat Itaewon is one of the best private-owned museums in Korea, and theDongdaemun Design Plazahosts the exhibition from Kansong Museum.

There are other interesting museums in the city;War memorial of Koreahouses military armor and aircrafts,National Hangul Museumshows the history of Korean writing system,Seodaemun Prisonpreserves the actual prison used during the Japanese Colonization period.

Watch the fashionable Seoulites shop and sip coffee in Gangnam.

Explore the huge fresh fish market in Noryangjin and enjoy fresh sashimi afterwards.

Enjoy the nightlife in Yongsan.

Go hiking in the mountains surrounding the city. They are at most 800 m (3,000 ft), accessible by public transit and the trails range from easy to difficult. Mountains include Bukhan, Gwanak, Samseong and Inwang. (Mostly found in the North of the city). If you do not like the mountain, walk along theCheonggye Stream.

Watch baseball, the national sport, at theGocheok Sky Dome(Guro-gu, home to the Kiwoom Heroes) or theJamsil Baseball Stadium(Songpa-gu, LG Twins andDoosan Bears).

Watch the local football teams (FC Seoul, based at the World Cup Stadium in Mapo-gu and Seoul E-land FC, based in the Olympic Stadium in Songpa-gu).

Hanbok, traditional Korean dresses at Dongdaemun market

Fashion shopping in Seoul isn't a mere industry, it's an art form. Trends often begin in University areas likeHongdae. Hongik Universityboasts Korea's most famous art school, thus fashion in this area is often influenced by the students' artistic sensibilities. The shops in this area feature funky, punky, boho, and vintage style. Ewha Women's University also has a big shopping area in front of its main gate, as do many of the Women's colleges. Many trends also originate here. There are even seamstresses who can help you make your own designs come to life.

South Korea is a major shopping destination for Chinese and Japanese these days, with many dedicated duty free shops available in Seoul. Korean Won, Japanese Yen and US dollars are accepted, along with major credit cards. Most shops have staff who can speak Japanese. There are duty-free shops in both the Incheon airport and the major department stores: Lotte, Shilla Hotel. There are other duty-free shops at Walkerhill Hotel, SKM DFS in COEX Mall.

Much of Korean social life revolves around food and the city is packed with restaurants, so it would take a determined man to starve to death in Seoul. This fate may still befall you if you insist on English menus and meals consisting only of easily identifiable, familiar ingredients, so see South Korea#Eat for a quick Korean menu reader. An alternative is to just point and eat, your hosts generally will accommodate. If you look in the right places, a good meal (lunch or dinner) including side dishes can cost ₩5,000 or less (try basements of large department stores).

Vendors selling Korean fast food in Gangnam.

In addition to Korean food, Japanese restaurants in Seoul tend to be excellent, featuring excellent sushi and sashimi. Chinese restaurants exist, but are typically adapted to suit local preferences. There are a few Italian restaurants; these are generally excellent, with chefs trained in Italy, although flavors tend to be more or less Koreanized, with sugar in the garlic bread and meatballs.

Bakeries are found throughout, including some of the common big chains.

Seoul has plenty of budget places to eat. Everything from convenience store junk food and noodles to street stall food and lots of 24 hr Korean fast food restaurants. The 24-hour restaurants are great because they've usually got a wide variety of foods, including: mandu, odeng, ddeokbokki, naengmyeon, udong and ramyeon. Prices do vary from about ₩2,000-9,000 at these restaurants. Also open late into the night areKorean BBQrestaurants, which are everywhere in Seoul. These can be very cheap and are usually of good quality. Barbecue options usually are limited to pork and beef, and they often come with a smattering of side dishes.Korean BBQis, in itself, an experience that makes you feel like a Seoulite. The larger department stores in the city have basement food courts that offer excellent food (not recommended if you care about atmosphere).

Public trash bins around Seoul are rare. If you're eating street food, you can hand back leftover trash, like skewers, to the food vendors or throw it away in their trash bags. Some leave a box for trash in front of their stand. Other places to find trash bins are restrooms and convenience stores.

Seoul features a mind-bogglingly large array of nightspots catering to every taste and budget.HongdaeandSinchonin Seodaemun-Mapo are Seoul's most active nightlife districts.Itaewonin Yongsan is Seoul's international district, with a wide variety of Western-styled venues to eat and drink. Since many foreigners congregate there, Itaewon remains somewhat of a niche nightlife area for Koreans interested in a more international scene. Much nightlife in Seoul revolves around soju. Soju is a traditional Korean spirit that comes in many varieties, including original and many kinds of fruit-flavored soju.

Internet cafes known asPC bang(PC 방) (pr: pee-shee-bang) are ubiquitous in Seoul, and usually cost anywhere from ₩800-2,000/hr.A Korean keyboard using a Korean OS can type in English or Hangul.Most have printers at the front desk. These places cater chiefly to gamers, which translates into fairly fast computers, loud sound systems and large screens. Most PC Bangs have smoking sections. Typically, the computers run a Korean version of Windows 7 and use Internet Explorer and Chrome.

Console gaming (Xbox 360, PS3) is widely available, and for those with proficiency in Korean language, you might also be able to enjoy a round of online gaming; the fantasy MMORPGLineagewas created in Korea and a slew of MMORPG titles not available anywhere else can be found here.

Post offices are basically everywhere in Seoul, although many are hidden on smaller roads and alleys. If you cannot spot any post office nearby, it is good idea to visit university (every university has its own post office in it). The Korean postal insignia is orange and white. It can be spotted on post office signs. Some post offices are open on Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays (postal service only). Most post offices sell boxes and packing materials. Even the smaller offices typically have at least one English-speaking member of staff.

  • Seoul CPO, 21-1Chungmuro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu (Line 4 Hoehyun stn exit #7. M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-1PM. Also has a big philately section in basement.
  • GwanghwamunPost Office, 154-1 Seorin-dong, Jongno-gi (Line 5 Gwanghwanun stn. M-F 9AM-8PM, Sa Su 9AM-6PM (and holidays).
  • Seoul GangnamPost Office. M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-1PM.

Useful contact numbers are as follows:

  • Police, 112.
  • Fire Department, 119.
  • Travel Information, 1330.
  • City Information, 120.

Seoul CPO, 21-1 Chungmuro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu (Line 4 Hoehyun stn exit #7. M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-1PM. Also has a big philately section in basement.

Gwanghwamun Post Office, 154-1 Seorin-dong, Jongno-gi (Line 5 Gwanghwanun stn. M-F 9AM-8PM, Sa Su 9AM-6PM (and holidays).

Seoul Gangnam Post Office. M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-1PM.

Police, 112.

Fire Department, 119.

Travel Information, 1330.

City Information, 120.

Seoul is a remarkably safe city given its size, comparable in safety to Hong Kong or Tokyo. Pickpocketing is not very common and violent crime is minimal, if not unheard of.

If you happen to be a non-Korean male walking hand-in-hand with a Korean female, drunk older Korean men might give you a tongue lashing or occasionally worse. This is far less of a problem than it used to be.

If you do end up in a fight, remember that Korean law is possibly different from your home country. You may not have legal protection just because someone else started the fight if the attacker ends up hurt.

U.S. military personnel have a curfew 01:00-05:00 everyday on the Korean Peninsula, although the curfew can be extended at very short notice. If you are a westerner, the American military police have the legal right to request to see your ID and arrest you if you cannot provide it.This is done to catch American military personnel breaking curfew.)

Unfortunately, crimes by American soldiers against Koreans do happen, and when they do they often receive a huge amount of national attention. If you are a westerner then you should exercise some extra care when such a case hits the media, although it is still highly unlikely you would be in any danger.

Protesters gathered in Seoul city hall plaza. Protesting: Large scale demonstrations in Seoul against the government happen from time to time. Often they can result in violence where there are pitched battles between protesters and combat police. People do get seriously hurt, so try to avoid getting too close to the action.

Fake monkshave been known to operate in Seoul, notably around the Jogyesa temple. They are dressed as Buddhist monks requesting donations from people on the street in return for blessings, although they do not actually belong to any Buddhist order and just keep the cash for themselves. Actual monks would never seek donations in this manner.

South Korea has undergone a major English language boom over the past 20 years. South Korean families are eager for their children to learn English and usually enroll them in private language schools.

Seoul is probably the easiest place to talk to people in English, although most people will find conversation challenging. Often writing down simple questions in English is more effective. Many of the older generation have learned little or no English at all. A few tourist information centers dotted around Seoul are staffed by English speakers, but do not assume an English speaker will be available at most shops, sites and venues.

English signage is visible everywhere in the city, from road signs to subway maps to shop posters. One exception is in buses where the route information is completely in Korean script.

  • The Seoul Global Center, 3rd Floor of the SeoulPress Center, 25 Taepyeongno 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, +82 2 1688-0120. Provides foreign language assistance with regard to public services, but also beyond including help with awkward coping necessities like purchasing a mobile phone.

The Seoul Global Center, 3rd Floor of the Seoul Press Center, 25 Taepyeongno 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, +82 2 1688-0120. Provides foreign language assistance with regard to public services, but also beyond including help with awkward coping necessities like purchasing a mobile phone.

Pharmacies are everywhere in Seoul. While most are labeled only in Korean, the signage and Hangul character is easy to recognize, 약. Most pharmacists speak some English. Pharmacists are not shy about asking about your symptoms and selling you what they think you need.

  • Medical Referral Service, +82 10 4769-8212. 8 am to 8 pm (with emergency only coverage after hours). Seoul provides an English-language hotline to assist with finding doctors and other medical services.

Medical bills can be expensive, so make sure you have valid travel insurance.

Some people with sensitive stomachs should use caution when dining in Korea as some of the local cuisine is heavily spiced with copious amounts of pepper and garlic.

Medical Referral Service, +82 10 4769-8212. 8 am to 8 pm (with emergency only coverage after hours). Seoul provides an English-language hotline to assist with finding doctors and other medical services.

Air quality in Seoul is fine and improving. However, Seoul inhabitants sometimes wear different types of masks outdoors for allergies, smog and yellow dust storms (mostly in March–April). Mongolian yellow dust storms were regarded as dangerous long before industrialisation began in Asia. Now these storms pick up trace amounts of toxins in the Chinese industry belt. Smog in Seoul is becoming less of a problem. In general, air quality has been improving since the early 2000s. Check theKorean Meteorological Administrationfor real-time weather info.

South Korea hosts a large number of embassies in Seoul.

  • AfghanistanAfghanistan, 27-2, Hannam-Dong, Yongsan-Gu, +82 2 793-3535.
  • ArgentinaArgentina, 5F Choon Woo Bldg, 534 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-ku, +82 2 796-8144.
  • AustraliaAustralia, 19F Kyobo Bldg, 1 Jongno 1-ga, Jongno-gu, +82 2 2003-0100.
  • AustriaAustria, Kyobo Bldg, Rm 1913 1-1, Jongno, 1-ga, Jongno-gu, +82 2 732-9071.
  • BangladeshBangladesh, 310-22 Dongbinggo-dong, Youngsan-ku, +82 2 796-4056.
  • BelgiumBelgium, 737-10 Hannam-2 dong, Yongsan-gu, +82 2 749-0381.
  • BhutanBhutan, 123-5 Nonhyun-Dong, Kangnam-ku, +82 2 738-4970.
  • BrazilBrazil, 4F-5F 141, IHN Gallery Bldg, Palpan-dong, Chongro-gu, +82 2 3444-5961.
  • CambodiaCambodia, 653-8 Hanan-dong, +82 2 3785-1040.
  • CanadaCanada, 16-1, Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, +82 2 3783-6000. M-F 8AM-11:45AM and 12:45PM-4:30PM.
  • ChinaChina, 54 Hyoja-dong, Jongno-gu, +82 2 738-1038.
  • Czech RepublicCzech Republic, 1-121 Sinmunno 2-ga, Jongno-gu, +82 2 725-6765.
  • DenmarkDenmark, 5F Namsong Bldg, 260-199 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, +82 2 795-4187.
  • EgyptEgypt, 46-1 Hannam-dong, +82 2 749-0787.
  • EthiopiaEthiopia, 657-26 Hannam-dong, Yangsan-ku, +82 2 790-8927.
  • FinlandFinland, 18F Kyobo Bldg, 1 Jongno 1-ga, Jongno-gu, +82 2 732-6737. M-F 9AM-noon.
  • FranceFrance, 30 Hap-dong, Seodaemun-gu, +82 2 3149-4300.
  • GermanyGermany, 32, Jangmun-ro, Yongsan-gu, +82 2-748-4114.
  • GreeceGreece, +82 2 729-1400.
  • Hong KongHong Kong, Rm 1515 West Wing, Hanshin Intervalley 24, 707-34 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, +82 2 2183-3851.
  • HungaryHungary, 1-103, Dongbinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu, +82 2 792-2105.
  • IndiaIndia, 37-3, Hannam Dong, Yongsan-ku, +82 2 798-4257.
  • IndonesiaIndonesia, 55 Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, +82 2 783-5675.
  • IrelandIreland, 13F Leema Bldg, 146-1 Susong-dong, Jongro-ku, +82 2 721 7200.
  • ItalyItaly, 3F Ilshin Bldg #714 Hannam-2-dong, Yongsan-gu, +82 2 796-0491.
  • JamaicaJamaica, Olympica Centre 5F, 828-10 Yeoksam-dong, Kangnam-ku, +82 2 555-4271.
  • JapanJapan, 5-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, +82 2 796-7387.
  • KenyaKenya, 243-36, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-ku, +82 2 3785-2903.
  • LaosLaos, 657-9 Hannam-Dong Yongsan-Gu, +82 2 796-1713.
  • LuxembourgLuxembourg, * 475-9 Pyeongchang-dong, Jongro-ku, +82 2 316-6101.
  • MalaysiaMalaysia, 4-1 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-ku, +82 2 795-9203.

  • MexicoMexico, 33-6 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-ku, +82 2 798-1694.
  • MongoliaMongolia, 33-5 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, +82 2 794-1951.
  • MyanmarMyanmar, 723-1, 724-1, Hannam-dong Yongsan-ku, +82 2 792-3341.
  • NepalNepal, 445-7, Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu, +82 2 3789-9770.
  • NetherlandsNetherlands, 10F Jeong-dong Bldg, 15-5 Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, +82 2 311-8600.
  • NigeriaNigeria, 310-19 Dongbinggo-dong, Yongsan-ku, +82 2 797-2370.
  • NorwayNorway, 13F Jeong-dong Bldg, Jung-gu, +82 2 727-7100.
  • PakistanPakistan, 258-13 Itaewon 2-dong, Yongsan-gu, +82 2 796-8252.
  • PeruPeru, Daeyungak Bldg Ste 2002, 25-5,Chungmuro 1-ga, Jung-gu, +82 2 757-1735.
  • PhilippinesPhilippines, 5-1 Itaewon 2-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 140-201 (Maeul Bus No. 3 from behind Exit 1,Samgakji Station, go down at Gayarang, 1 stop before Grand Hyatt, 100m, +82 2 796-7387 (to 89). 09:00-15:00.
  • PolandPoland, 70 Sagan-dong, Jongro-Gu, +82 2 723-9681.
  • PortugalPortugal, 2F 171, Wonseo-Dong, Chongno-Ku, +82 2 3675-2251.
  • New ZealandNew Zealand, 8F Jeong Dong Bldg, Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, +82 2 3701 7700.
  • RomaniaRomania, 1-42 UN Village, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-ku, +82 2 797-4924.
  • RussiaRussia, 34-16 Chong-dong, Chung-gu, +82 2 318-2116.
  • SingaporeSingapore, 28F Seoul Finance Centre, 84 Taepyungro 1-ga Chung-gu, +82 2 774-2464.
  • SlovakiaSlovakia, 389-1, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, +82 2 794-3981. M W F 10AM-noon.
  • SloveniaSlovenia, Rm 402 Young Choice Bldg, 1359-46, Seo-cho 2-dong, Seocho-gu, +82 2 569-3535. M W F 10AM-noon.
  • South AfricaSouth Africa, 1-37 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, +82 2 792-4855.
  • SpainSpain, 726-52 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-ku, +82 2 794-3581.
  • Sri LankaSri Lanka, Ste 2002 Kyobo Bldg, Chongno- 1 ka, Chongno-ku, +82 2 735-2966.
  • SwedenSweden, 8F Danam Bldg, 10 Sowol-ro, Jung-Gu, +82 2 3703-3700. M-F 09:00-17:00; Consular affairs close at 11:00.
  • SwitzerlandSwitzerland, 32-10, Songwol-dong, Jongno-gu, +82 2 3703-3700.
  • TaiwanTaiwan, 6F, Kwang Hwa Moon Bldg, 211 Sejong-ro, Chongro-ku, +82 2 399-2780.
  • ThailandThailand, 653-7, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, +82 2 790-2955.
  • TunisiaTunisia, 7-13, Dongbinggo-dong, Yongsan-ku, +82 2 790-4334.
  • United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates, 5-5 Hannam-dong, Yougsan-ku, +82 2 790-3235.
  • United KingdomUnited Kingdom, Sejong-daero 19-gil 24, Seoul Jung-gu, +82 2 3210-5500. M-F 09:00-12:30 and 13:30-17:00.
  • United StatesUnited States, 188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu,, +82 2 397-4114. M-F 09:00-11:00 and 13:00-15:00; Closed Wednesday afternoons.
  • VietnamVietnam, 123 Bukchon-ro, Jongno-gu, +82 2 720-5124, +82 2 725-2487.

  • The Korean Demilitarized Zone is the 'last frontier of the cold war', and is very close to Seoul. This includes the famous peace village of Panmunjeom where negotiations have taken place for the past 50 years. Many tour companies offer DMZ tours which is a day trip from Seoul, the highlight of which is a village lying in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. You cannot visit without booking with a tour company, and that some nationalities are not allowed to visit for security reasons while others (including South Koreans and Chinese) require additional procedures.
  • Yeongjong Island— Beaches, hot springs and fresh sea breezes.
  • Yongin— south of Seoul, home to Everland, Korea's most popular theme park as well as the KoreanFolk Village, where traditional Korean arts are regularly performed in a living museum of the Joseon Dynasty, as well as MBC Dramia, an outdoor set built by Korean televsion company MBC for the filming of period dramas.
  • Incheon— The place where U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur landed in the Korean War; it also has the biggest and oldest Chinatown in Korea.
  • Gapyeong— Popular weekend getaway, east of Seoul. A small town in the mountains of Gyeonggi-do, on the border of Gangwon-do.
  • Chuncheon— Filmed in many Korean dramas and movies and now accessible by subway from Seoul
  • Suwon— 30 kilometers south of Seoul, the home of Hwaseong Fortress (화성), a UNESCO world heritage site. Subway line 1 can take you there in about one hour. Good for a half-day trip from Seoul.
  • BusanTake the KTX down to Busan to enjoy the beach in summer. Makes a nice change of pace from Seoul.

Popular train routes departing from Seoul(서울)

Changwon-si | Ulsan | Daegu | Gangneung-si | Mokpo-si | Gyeongsan-si | Cheonan-si | Busan | Gangneung-si | Daejeon |


Popular train routes arriving in Seoul(서울)

Mokpo-si | Daejeon | Daegu | Gangneung-si | Busan |