Whenever I walk into a travel agency and take a look at all the brochures of the fabulous tourist destinations around the world, for whatever reason, I find South Korea to be neglected. It can be hard pressed to find a brochure dedicated to this great country, particularly, their capital Seoul .

 I have visited South Korea on three occasion and  yet I find Seoul to be a very underrated tourist location. Perhaps the demand is not as high. Maybe travellers are wary of the neighbours in the north, don’t be. Of course you need to have your travel sense like you do when you travel to any country, but otherwise, never fear because Seoul, South Korea is as safe as it gets.

 Don’t get me wrong. The capital does attract many visitors as it should. Not surprising either with so much to do with a magnitude of activities, day trips, theme parks, classy restaurants and amazing shopping districts to visit. Not to mention the surrounding mountains and beautiful landscapes that beautify the city. There is so much to do for those tourist who wish to keep busy, but also keen to take it easy and relax.

 

children's Grand playground, South Korea

children’s Grand playground, South Korea

 

Family fun

Family fun is through the roof in Seoul with plenty of theme parks to keep you occupied. A popular day out is a trip to Everland, a mega theme park and safari, full of rides, shows, foods and Africa animals amongst other things, where a whole day out is not enough.

Lotte World is another theme park in downtown Seoul.  An Indoor theme park will keep the family entertained for hours. jam packed with rides, carnival activities and even an ice skating ring the time will move quickly as you lose yourself in this extraordinary theme park

Take the family to the N Seoul Tower and see Seoul from above, it is the best view in Seoul. Take the family to the Grand Children’s Playground and see beautiful nature of the city. Water parks are huge in Korea, you may need to travel away from Seoul to get there, but it’ll be worth it. Vivaldi Park Ocean World is the most famous and is about a two-hour trip from Seoul.

Jjimjibang is another replace to relax and unwind for hours on end. Jjimjibang is made up of many saunas and even cold rooms. take a book, book a massage, relax and fall asleep, you’re on holidays.

 

Everland Theme Park

Everland Theme Park

Shopping

You will never have to look too far to get a little retail therapy in Seoul. Normally you just have to come down from your hotel apartment. Whether it is the great Shinsegae shopping centres, or the many other shopping districts and markets in the city, including the fascinating underground shopping malls that are attached to so many subways.

the streets of Seoul also come alive in a big way, especially during the night. Make your way to Myeong-Dong and see for yourself why it is the shopping paradise in Seoul. Insadong is another place to lose yourself in while also being alive with Korean culture.

 

Night shopping at Venture of Youth in downtown Seoul

Night shopping at Venture of Youth in downtown Seoul

 

Food

Every second shop in Seoul is either a café or a restaurant. Much like the rest of the world. Koreans are hooked into their food, where eating out or take away can be a way of life mainly due to their busy lifestyles.

Whether you want to dine in on Korean cuisine and taste the Korean favourites such as Bulgogi (a marinated grilled beef), Sundae (a black liver sausage), Bibimbap (rice with mixed vegetables and beef) and not to mention my favourite, Korean BBQ. You will never have any issues satisfying your needs for local cuisine.

Perhaps your tastebuds desire a bit of western flavour. Never fear, with plenty of steakhouses, Italian, chicken and beer restaurants on offer. Of course there are the popular worldwide franchises such as McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King. So there is never a need to feel homesick when on vacation.

The best part is the beer in Korea is cheap.

Shabu-Shabu, Korean Style

Shabu-Shabu, Korean Style

 

Hiking and cycling

Mountains surround the outskirts of the city. With many providing good family-friendly hikes. The Namsan mountain, is a small hike that takes you to the base of the Seoul N Tower. A tower where you get your best 360 view of Seoul. Bukhasan Mountain is the most famous to hike with many temples to visit along the way. Mt Bugak is also very popular and is right on the edge the famous Gyeongbokgung Palace, but not specifically a large hike.

In Seoul you need to get down to Han River. A stunning river to be free of the hustle and bustle of the city. Hire a bike and cycle along the great river, or take it slow and have a stroll instead. Stop for a coffee and take in the surrounding views. It is breathtaking.

Cheonggyecheon stream is a stunning walk that takes you through the middle of the CBD for an 11 kilometre stretch. A very popular way to get from point A to point B, especially if you want to avoid the busy subways.

 

Hangang Park, South Korea

Hangang Park, South Korea

Tradition

South Korea does not forget about its tradition. Several palaces and temples are located throughout Seoul. Visit the five Grand Palaces of Seoul, the most popular and largest being the Gyeongbokgung Palace. which is not only for its beautiful palaces and heritage but also for its luscious landscapes. It is a walk you will fall in love with.

In the city itself there are a lot of famous old traditional villages to visit and take a good photo. Insadong is a shopping and café strip where the old meets the new. Bukchon Hanok Village is another traditional village in Seoul, which has a long stretch of traditional Korean buildings that are still used for business.

 

Gyeongbokgung Palace, South Korea

Gyeongbokgung Palace, South Korea

 

Winter Wonderland

The weather may get freezing cold but that just means there is fun to be had. If you go in winter never fear, there plenty of ski resorts located in the northern parts of South Korea and all within a couple of hours of Seoul.

A favourite of mine is Deogyusan Resort in Muju. A European style resort three hours south of Seoul with plenty of skiing and breathtaking hikes, that trail up the mountains.

Muju

Muju, South Korea

Conclusion

Really I have only touched a little on what you can do in Seoul. So if you are contemplating a trip, don’t think, just go and see for yourself why South Korea is fast becoming a tourism haven. You will not be disappointed.

Looking for accommodation in Seoul, check out TripAdvisor.

 

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