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Seoul

4.4 /5 29 votes

Weather:

Best Time: September to November (Autumn) Read More

Ideal duration: 3-5 days

Nearest Airport: Seoul Check Flights

"Centre of South Korea's history and future"

Seoul Tourism

Seoul has a rich and vibrant past and has become the economic, cultural and political heart of South Korea. It is one of the prime destinations of South East Asia and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year due to it's wide array of activities and attractions.

Seoul is an energetic bustling city and the capital of South Korea. It is fast becoming a hugely popular destination in the region, along with Hong Kong. The city has a rich history which can be see through its several monuments, palaces and landmark gates that were built by the dynasties that have ruled Seoul over the centuries. It has so many neighbourhoods which are absolutely buzzing with energy, where you can head to a bar, let loose at a club, or shop till you drop. The Myeongdong is especially famous for its huge collection of fashion brands and most shoppers end up spending the most time here! Seoul's history is also enriched by the fact that it has always been an important site for Jogye Buddhists in Korea, evident by the Buddhist temples and especially the Jogyesa Temple, the centre of all Buddhist learning in the country. And even more so, the city's turbulent relationship with wars is permanently enshrined in the Korean War Memorial, taking you through the military history of Seoul and South Korea. Seoul is also home to many museums and areas of recreation, such as the Namsan Park which is also home to the N Seoul Tower, or the Cheonggyecheon, a stream that runs through the city and is a huge attraction for locals and tourists. So if you're thinking a trip to South Korea won't be worth it, think again, and think Seoul!

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Language of Seoul

The Gyeonggi Dialect or Seoul Dialect is the language spoken in Seoul. English is not very widely spoken in Seoul and you might have some difficulty communicating. You can use the help of smartphone apps to make your trip easier. Simply saying 'Annyeonghaseyo' (hello) during greetings will go a long way.

History of Seoul

Settlements in the region where Seoul is today started around 4000 BCE. The first mention of Seoul is found in the 18 BCE, when it was called Wiryeseong. This settlement was based in the north-eastern side of the city and some of it's city walls can still be seen today. After the Goryeo takeover of Seoul in the 11th century, Seoul grew in size considerably. It became the capital of Korea under the Joseon Dynasty and remained so till their fall. Seoul finally gave access to foreigners in the 19th century and this was the time when it began to really develop. Seoul was the first city in East Asia which used electricity to light up it's royal palace. Seoul was conquered in 1910 by the Japanese and remained so till the end of the WW II. The Korean war that followed again saw a large portion of the city damaged or destroyed. Seoul was redeveloped after the war and picked up pace during the 1960s and the decades that followed, adding the nearby towns and villages into it's own area, growing into the global city that it is today.

Nightlife in Seoul

Seoul has a vibrant nightlife. The Itaewon, Hongdae, Gangnam station and Apgujeong are the main districts in Seoul renowned for their nightclubs and hip crowd. The first two places attract mostly a young crowd, with the latter two a little classier, Apgujeong being the most expensive area out of all of these. Clubs open around 10:00 PM and go on till the mornings!

Shopping in Seoul

Shopping options in Seoul are endless. For example, Dongdaemun is a sprawling shopping area, divided into 5 districts, with thousands and thousands of shops and 26 malls. The Myeongdong area is a hub for shoppers and is often called the best place to shop because of the huge number of international and Korean brands on offer. Itaewon is another crowded and bustling district popular for shoppers. Shopping streets are aplenty in Seoul.

Currency in Seoul

The Korean won is the only currency accepted in Seoul. Most international Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted in Seoul. ATMs which accept international cards are marked with a 'Global' sign.

Exchanging Money in Seoul

You can exchange currencies at the airport as soon as you land, or most of the banks in Seoul also have currency exchange services. If not that, you will find many currency exchange booths in the commercial areas of the city, Itaewon and Insadong or Myeongong are some places where you'll find these.

Daily Budget for Seoul

Seoul is a moderately expensive place to visit. Your budget range will depend mostly on shopping and eating. A low budget should be in the range of KRW 60,000 - 80,000. A mid range budget should lie around KRW 150,000 - 250,000. A high end budget should start around KRW 300,000 and upwards.

Religion of Seoul

The biggest religions in Seoul are Buddhism and Christianity.

Seoul Customs

Greetings are sufficed by a short bow of the head and a hello and if you're invited to a Korean's home, do bring along a gift such as a fruit or flowers. Dress smartly, you might see local girls in revealing clothes a lot, but foreigners are expected to dress well. Tipping isn't expected in Seoul. However, if you're pleased with the service you've received, you can always leave about KRW 100 - 200 as a tip.

Restaurants and Local Food in Seoul

Food in Seoul is of a good variety. There are loads of street food joints, as well as all the international fast food joints like McDonald's, Domino's and so on. The local dishes themselves are of many types, from seafood to all sorts of poultry, rice, soup, noodles and so on. Some of the popular local dishes you should try are Memil Mundu (a stuffed dumpling with a buckwheat covering), Tteok (rice cakes, of which there are many types), Saengchi Mandu (a dumpling stuffed with pheasant meat) and Galbijjim (short ribs), among many, many others!
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