Whenever I walk into a travel agency and have a browse at all the brochures on various tourist destinations around the world, for whatever reason, I find South Korea to be neglected and quite hard pressed to find anything related to the country, save for a small snippet in an Asian travel magazine. Let me get you on track immediately and let you know why you should visit Seoul in South Korea, a traditional city with a modern edge.
In my travels, I have visited Seoul in South Korea on three separate occasions, and yet I find the country’s capital to be a very underrated tourist location. Perhaps the demand is not as high, can’t imagine why. Maybe travellers are wary of the neighbours in the north, don’t be, in my own opinion, it’s all talk. Of course, you need to have your basic travel senses as you do when you visit travel any country and that’s where travel insurance is mandatory, but Seoul in South Korea is as safe as it gets.
Don’t get me wrong, The capital or the country for that matter does attract many visitors and so it should, there is so much to do with a magnitude of activities, day trips, theme parks, classy restaurants, fantastic shopping districts to visit and plenty of wonderful places to stay in Seoul. Not to mention the surrounding mountains and beautiful landscapes that beautifies the city. There is so much to do for those tourists who wish to have a busy time, but also have relaxation while you’re at it.
Visit Seoul in South Korea – A Traditional City with a Modern Edge
Family fun is Assured
Family fun is through the roof in Seoul with plenty of theme parks to keep you occupied for hours on end, day after day.
A popular day out is a trip to Everland Theme Park, a mega park and safari that is located about an hour out of Seoul in Suwon and is crazy fun attraction full of rides, entertainment shows, plenty of food and a few African animals to get up close and personal to, amongst other things in the park. A whole day out is not enough with all the things to do in Everland and the fun hits the roof on the fun barometer scale.
Another theme park is Lotte World is another theme park in downtown Seoul. An Indoor theme park will keep the family entertained for hours. Lotte World is jam packed with rides, carnival activities and even an ice skating rink at the basement of the mega indoor complex. The time will disappear quickly as you lose yourself in this extraordinary theme park that is not all full of entertainment but camera happy scenery.
Take the whole family to the N Seoul Towerand see the best views of Seoul from high above, the tower is not only about seeing great city views there is also entertainment and restaurants to make a great day out of your visit.
Other family fun entertainment to keep in mind in Seoul, is The Grand Children’s Playground which is a beautiful part of nature in the city that has open parklands, a miniature zoo and gorgeous gardens. For Water Parks when it’s summertime, it might be quite the trip, but Vivaldi Park Ocean World is the most famous in South Korea and is a two-hour trip from Seoul by public transportation.
Jjimjibang is another replace to relax and unwind for hours on end and it is the perfect place to do so many saunas and even cold rooms located within the peaceful area of the Jjimjibang. It’s the ideal scenario to read a good book, have a massage, relax and fall asleep, because you’re on holidays in Seoul.
Below you can find some great Theme-Parks in Seoul that are sure to create plenty of fun for families.
Go on a Shopping Spree in Seoul
You will never have to look too far to get a little retail therapy in Seoul and spend your hard-earned money. Normally you just have to come down from your hotel apartment and in an instance, you’ll land at some shopping district because they are everywhere. Whether it’s one the great Shinsegae shopping centres, or the many other shopping districts and markets in the city, including the fascinating underground shopping malls, especially Goto Mall, that are usually attached to so many subways, it’s a blast to go find that bargain in the city.
the streets of Seoul that also come alive in a big way, especially during the night. Make your way to Myeongdong and see for yourself why it is the shopping paradise in Seoul. Insadong is another place to lose yourself in a traditional sense, while indulging a little Korean culture.
List of great shopping paces:
- Lotte Department Store
- Namdaemun Market
- Gwangchang Market
- Underground shopping mall – Goto Mall
Korean Food is a real treat
There are many places in Seoul that are either a café or a restaurant, so a suitable location to enjoy delicious Korean food is easy to find. Much like the rest of the world, the Koreans are hooked into their food, where dining out or buying take out can be a way of life, due to their busy lifestyles and long work hours.
Whether you choose 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, there are plenty of steakhouses, Italian, chicken restaurants on offer in Seoul. 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 when it comes to food in Korea, the beer is cheap, so raise glasses and shout out cheers or Kombai for that matter.
Hiking and cycling in the Seoul Region
Mountains surround a lot of the outskirts of the city giving the whole region a real picturesque look and many provide good family-friendly hikes and then those that are for the ultra professionals.
The Namsan mountain, is a small hike that takes you to the base of the Seoul N Tower, A tower previously mentioned in the article that gives you are fantastic 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 on the city’s doorstep that is located right on the edge the famous Gyeongbokgung Palace, although it’s not specifically a large hike, but it does make a peaceful walk in the nature so close to the city.
In Seoul to have a little adventure by food or pedal, you need to get down to Han River. A stunning river location that is free of the hustle and bustle of the city. You can hire a bike and cycle along the river, or take it slow and steady with a stroll instead, stopping by a at a café for coffee or cool drinks, while admiring the surrounding views.
Lastly is the very popular Cheonggyecheon stream, a stunning city walk that takes you through the middle of the CBD for an 11 kilometre stretch and helps you to avoid the busy streets and traffic if you need to get to a location through Seoul by foot. You can create a few great photos inside the stream and best of all lose those holiday calories.
Tradition is alive in Seoul
South Korea does not forget about its tradition and neither should with thousands of year of proud history that comes with the country. Inside the city, there are several palaces and temples that you can visit for a real history lessons with guided tours. A must is to visit the five Grand Palaces of Seoul, with the most popular and largest being the Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is not only for its beautiful buildings and heritage, but also for its luscious landscapes, which makes it a peaceful stroll in a centuries old palace.
In the city centre itself, there are a lot of famous and traditional villages to visit, which makes for a great photo opportunity while exploring the modern city. Insadong is a shopping and café strip where the old meets the new and the locals and tourists love to dress in the traditional Hambok dress to fit the appropriate theme of Insadong. The Bukchon Hanok Village is another traditional village in Seoul and has a long stretch of traditional Korean buildings that are still used for business such as doctor surgeries, dentist and general offices to this day.
The weather will get freezing cold during the winter months as the snow begins to fall and the scarfs, beanies and jackets come out, but that just means there is fun to be had in the snow. If you go in winter never fear, I am sure you would have planned it well, because there are plenty of ski resorts located in the northern parts of South Korea and most are within a couple of hours of Seoul when travelling by bus or train.
A favourite of mine is to visit in South Korea is the Deogyusan Resort in Muju, it’s a European style resort, which is located three hours south of Seoul with plenty of skiing and breathtaking hikes that give you great views of the Deogyusan National Park as you take the trail up the mountains.
If you’re travelling to South Korea, do your own homework and research your very own ski resort.
I have only touched on a little on what you can do in when you visit Seoul in South Korea. If you are contemplating a trip to the busy city full of life and dazzling attractions, don’t think about putting it on you’re bucket list, just get there and see for yourself why South Korea is fast becoming a tourism haven. You will not be disappointed, that I can assure you.