Seoul is renowned as the technology capital of the world and it’s no wonder why! Everything is super high-tech and up to date, whilst also boasting the fastest internet connection in the world – something every traveler is happy to hear. Seoul is most definitely a fascinating city to spend some time in and experience something a little different to home, so if you are heading there here’s what you should be getting up to!
Be a tourist & head to Myeongdong District
Famous for its intense Korean influenced shopping – I’m talking cosmetic and technoloy stores everywhere you turn – and great but different markets, you can’t stay away from Myeongdong. Although it is super touristy in parts, it is a great place to get your bearings and a real feel for what the city is known for! You can find anything in the markets from dried squid to sweets, gangam style toys, socks… the list goes on! It’s also a great spot for restaurants if you are having trouble finding something Korean to experience.
Head to Gyeongbokgung Palace & Museum
For a real experience of South Korean history and culture, Gyeongbokgung Palace needs to be on your list! Situated centrally in the city it is super easy to get to via public transport, or even by foot if you like to wander! This palace was part of the Joseon dynasty and built in 1395, so holds over 600 years of history. The palace grounds itself are huge with plenty of things to see, traditional shows performed, and quarters where you can go inside and experience what it was like to be a royal. The museum is also very informative on Korean history and culture, so if you are a history buff like me then you will be in your element.
Put a love lock at the top of Nam San Mountain
And check out the view over the city while you’re at it! You can choose to hike up the mountain, or cheat and take the cable cars, but either way you will be impressed by the view from the top. Nam San is also a haven for couples to declare their love – Seoul’s version of Paris’ love lock bridge – so you will find plenty of love locks, or even phone cases, of couples declaring love for each other, and you are welcome to add your own if you choose!
& While you are there check out the view from N Seoul Tower
It costs around AU$20 to take the lift to the top of the tower, but it definitely boasts the best possible views over Seoul than anywhere else in the city. I visited just before sunset and it was a beautiful sight – there’s even a cafe where you can grab a beverage and watch the sun set on this electric city.
Hang out in a ‘sheep’ cafe
My time in Japan and Korea saw me searching for weird and wonderful cafes and cafe experiences. While cat cafe’s are now all the rage around the world, why not check out a sheep cafe? I bet you’ve never eaten pancakes while fluffy sheep were wandering around the tables. The Thanks Nature Cafe is in Mapo-gu district just a little out of the city centre, but easily accessible by the metro – and they make a mean stack of pancakes and waffles! The area itself is also a quirky place with markets, shopping, and trendy cafes for you to explore.
Eat, Eat, Eat!
Did I mention you should eat? Korean food is some of the best in the world (in my opinion) if you are after full flavours, hot spices, and a combination of different things – think pickled veg, kimchi, and even weird foods! Don’t be afraid to let your tastebuds explore in Seoul and eat as much as you can, you will not be disappointed.
Dress in a traditional Hanbok
I love dressing up in traditional attire when I explore a new culture, and Korea was no exception. We found the Princess Diary, a cute little cafe in the University district of Ewha University where for around AU$30 you can spend an hour dressed in a traditional Hanbok of your choosing (you pick the design of the top and the skirt) and drink tea or milkshakes. It was a pretty girly experience – they also offer wedding dresses which a lot of the Korean girls were there for – but they did have outfits for men if you a dragging a partner along. It was a fun way to end my time in Seoul!
Have you been to Seoul? What did you love about this electric city?