2012 saw PSY release Gangnam style, a video that became the most popularly viewed on YouTube until two years ago. The video is the perfect example of how Korean culture has become popular. Television dramas, music, fashion, and even food is going k-pop now with social media being on the driver seat. Unless you live in a cave, you have interacted with Korean culture in one way or another.
However, South Korea offers more than drama fueled entertainment and trendy fashion statements. If you are wondering what to do in Seoul, there are many scenic sights where you can relax. From luxurious hotels to restaurants offering Korean foods, there are many options. Some places you can visit include:
This palace was a royal home for more than 200 years. It is now a UNESCO heritage site ranking among the five best-preserved mansions in the region. Going there is not just an opportunity to see government buildings; there is a breathtaking garden where you can enjoy some quiet time. The yard is landscaped with lawns furnished with seating spaces and ornate pavilions. If you want to experience culture at its best, Changdeokgung is a place to start – you will see plenty, including the Jogyesa Temple.
N Seoul Tower
It is in the name, N Seoul Tower is about a beautiful view. If you are not the mountain-climbing type, but you still love to see beauty in nature, this is the place to go. You stand over 450 meters high on an observation deck that is designed to serve you the best Seoul has to offer. It is like a view from the sky or on top of Namsan Mountain. You can take photos with a city that is alive with activity without having to trek to a summit. There are cable cars and lifts that you can use.
If you are more of a people person, preferring to see culture at work from close up, this market is a place you must see. No other traditional market is as big as the Gwangjang market. It is mostly known for its street food. It is a sure bet that there you will enjoy all types of Korean foods from tteokboki to mayak gimbap.
Leeum Samsung Art Museum
This art museum features a variety of traditional, contemporary and modern works from Korean international and local artists. The works are divided between structures designed by Rem Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel, and Mario Botta. There, art lovers get a taste of Korean art from contemporary painters. While there, be sure to go to the sculpture garden.
If shopping is your idea of a good time, you want to visit Dongdaemun. There are 24-hour wholesale outlets there, forming the heart of the underground shopping scene under a cultural hub which is Zaha Hadid’s brainchild. Dongdaemun is a goldmine for the fashion conscious, thrifty shoppers. You can find everything including street stalls that serve soju.
Seoul is the capital of South Korea. It is a cultural and business hub where skyscrapers tower over Buddhist temples. Having an idea of what you would like to see will help you to narrow down your options.