Tuesday, July 7, 2015

28 Places to Visit When You Travel in South Korea

Thinking about traveling to South Korea?
Let me give you the ULTIMATE LIST of every single places that is worth to go starting from Seoul!

I live in Korea and even I like to give myself some free time traveling around places even down south and even the islands. (I might do a lot of these kind of series But starting with SEOUL!)

So if you are smart you would note these down for your destination

28 Places to Visit When You Travel Seoul

1. Coex Mall



The biggest shopping mall, the only shopping mall that I can easily get lose in.

It has various fashion, electronics, and even restaurants, there's my favorite Turkey restaurant here.

There is even various events and exhibition that goes year round that change every month or so.

2. Various Parks


Within Seoul there are various parts that you can just visit and relax under the sun and enjoy the water sports, cycling, or just a simple picnic. If you check their festival calendar you can even go there when there is some sort of celebration going on, makes the parks so much interesting.

Some of the famous Land marks like the Saturn Mong Chon(Long Road where it used to be a defense line and decorated with lakes and trees) is in World Cup Park.
Current Parliament Building and Memorial Tribute Land Marks is at Seongyudo Park(The whole island is a park!)

So pack some good food and and camera and march off to the parks for pictures of nature and land marks!

Some of the Biggest Parks In Seoul is :
  • 여의도공원(Yeouido Park), 
  • 월드컵공원(World Cup Park), 
  • 올림픽공원(Olympic Park), 
  • 일산호수 공원(Ilsan Lake Park),
  • 선유도공원(Seonyudo Park)
  • 한강시민공원(Han River Park)

3. 북촌 한옥마을 (BukChon Traditional Korean Homes)


Even in a developed city like Seoul there is a places where you can taste the traditional taste that is well protected over the years.
If you are okay with cash  you can even find home rental places where you can live in a traditional homes!

4. 이태원 (Itae Won)


Wanna feel like home when you are in Korea?
Visit  ItaeWon! Various western culture have merged together with Seoul giving a very exotic atmosphere and yet feels so familiar to all Western country traveler.
If you ever start to get tired of eating spicy food in Korea visit Itaewon and get a nice juicy western season stack in the scenery of Seoul. You might feel a very strange feeling!

Itaewon is also a place where many musicians come together to get inspired so you might be lucky to see some free road show as if you are in Europe!
Sometimes if you are REALLY lucky you might see some k pop stars roaming around to get a couple of bear.

4. Palace in Koea


Korea has a lot of palaces in Korea, you can go taste the scenes of Korean traditional drama. The places used to take a lot oft he city but now very few remains after various wars. Each palaces was built for a specific reasons, either for the king or the queen or a specific person etc.

The biggest palace  in Korea is 경북궁(GyeongBuk Palace) Although the remains is only 15% of the actual palace I feel that it's the most well emerged with nature and the building. Our forefathers tend to think the balance between nature and human is very important and you might be able to see that when you walk through the palace. It's a great place to feel the power of the king of that time.

However if you do visit GyeongBuk Palace don't waste that day only to see the palace just to the left you will see a very well build building it's the National Palace Museum where the treasures of the Palace is kept safe! On the right there is The National Folk Museum of Korea where you can see the earily 90's of Korea. So you can catch 3 fishes in one net when you visit GyeongBuk Palace! A great way to spend the day seeing and walk back to the days of the history of Korea!

Other Palaces in Seoul : 

  • 창경궁 (ChangGyeong Palace) : Most loved by the Royal Household the large places to use for various purposes, most of the Korean drama take place here.
  • 창덕궁(ChangDeok Palace): Won the World Heritage! Famous for the beautiful nature scenery you will feel like you are in a forest!
  • 덕수궁 (DeokSu Palace): You can see the influence of the Japan Ruling in the Palace. The mixture of the Traditional Korea building the European atmosphere gives out a very unique picture. The DeokSu Art Musium is here too! There are a lot of modern building that the Royal Family have built which made the building more interesting.
  • 경희궁 (Gyeonghui Palace): One of the least popular palaces, it used to be where princes lived, but so much is ruined that only few building stands.

5. 삼청동거리 (SamCheong-Dong Street) : Street That Still Living In The History

Its literately translated as "3 clear street" which is called like this because it has clear water, beautiful mountain and joyful people. It's by the GyeongBuk Palace and heads towards the Northern Korea Mountain. The road itself is very beautiful to stroll on a good day.

The road has a lot of places where artist get together. The Tea shops and food shops shows their taste and beauty on each plate, various unique accessory and small shops draws attentions, and fun of just seeing the place give you the "3 Joy". The street as people young and old all enjoying themselves. The road has many museums to visit so don't forget those!

6. 청계천 (CheongGyeCheon)


I like to visit here at night for a date the night lights makes this place look more beautifully. It's part of a river that goes 10.84km far. The river goes around Bukan Mountain, InWang Mountain and Nam Mountain. Also connects to Han River.

It's a great place to your feet in the water and just cool off in a hot summer Seoul.

7. 서울대학교 (Seoul National University)




Korea has a lot of College to visit and just enjoy the campus, although it's not famous like Harvard and Oxford but still it's worth a visit. 

In Korea these college has the ratio as high as of 6 : 1 competition to get in! While visiting is free become part of the college is not easy. Seoul University is open for visits anytime funny thing is even not many Koreans know that this college is available for sightseeing. Well it's fun to experience the college life of Koreans. 

Just to let you know that the college is a so big that I advice you to take a bus.


8. Theme Park


It's a common destination for me to go when I visit US (to see Disenyland) and when I visit Japan (They have world class rollercoster there). Well Korea does have various theme parsk that are scary enough for me! Its a good place to just take pictures and enjoy!

Places you can go : 에버렌드, 롯데월드
I personally like Everland for water park and Lotte World for the rollercoster they have some of the scary ones out there.
Also around Han River you can also see various water sports, that's really scary. I also like the sling hanger and high bungee jumping. These two are mostly around outside of Seoul but

9. Walls of Seoul


Seoul has part of the walls that used to go around the whole city which is about 18km, it's a great place if you like light hiking up the hills of Korea and just see the city view as you walk along the tall walls of Seoul.

Even parts of many drama use these sites for their drama background.

10. Various Streets of Youth!


It's like to shop, eat and feel the crazy night light of youth of Seoul!
Usually beside a University, these places is very dense commercial places where you can eat street food, or eat at a fancy restaurant, watch movies(I advice you watch English movies only, they don't provide subtitles), enjoy the crazy shopping where most of the cosmetic brands are located, and also just experience the night life that is "Made in Korea"!

Each and every street has their own style it's fun to see and experience every single one of them!

Famous Streets of Youth

  • 헤화(HaeHwa) : This place is better to visit at night where various street food shops we call them PoJangMaCha(포장마차) that serve simple dishes that goes well with alcohol like SoJu(소주). Seafood, kimbalb, sundae, etc.
  • 홍대(HongDae) : Street by a famous Art University, you can feel the artistic behind this street, You can see various funky idea restaurant here (like sheep cafe, steaming ice food, etc). Also you might be lucky to see B boys doing a free street stage.
  • 명동(MeongDong) : Most crowded place where the biggest musical building stands. You can see various street shows and events. I find this place has the most restaurants of all types. This place even has their own famous foods! Which I'll post more info later.

11. 동대문(Dong Dae Moon) and 숭례문(SungNyeMun Gate)




DongDaeMoon is a place where the Korean fashion industry take place, there is even a Seoul's Biggest fashion studium right in the center. You can go shop Korean fashion here.

But please do not forget that there is the one of the gates of Seoul just near the shopping mall, SungNyeMun Gate, as the Southern Gate of Seoul, It's the biggest city wall related building in Seoul.


12. 남대문 (Nam Dae Mun Market)


If DongDaeMoon is for fashion NamDaeMoon is where you can buy fashionable clothes for children from infant to primary school. It's also a place famous for older generations.

In NamDaeMoon, what's fun is that as sun dies down they open a street market right in the middle of the road with food and various pojangmacha(포장마차).

Both DongDaeMoon and NamDaeMoon is very busy even till the next day because of all the wholesale trades going on, the whole place will be more busy than it was in the afternoon. Also, there is various food shops opened for the workers which taste good after long hours of shopping.


12. Various Street Markets


Before big malls comes into Korea, street market is where everyone get together and just enjoy themselves. Not only do Koreans shop for groceries its a place where people just eat and drink with friends and family.

There is many Famous Street Markets
but there are some special ones like
  • 광장시장 (GuangJang Street Market) is the most famous for it's food, they even have their own famous food called Drug KimBalb. Because it's so addictive!
  • 경동 약령시장 (Gyeongdong Yangnyeong Market) Korean Herbal Medicine is vary popular all around the globe, if you have some good information about it you can actually go buy the herbs yourself! GyeongDong YangnYeong Market is one of the places to visit buy Medicine Herbs.

13. 인사동(InSa-Dong) Traditional Street inside Seoul!


In InSa-Dong you can see various traditional street shows and even various funny merchant being goofy to get your attention. This street is where you can see various Antiques, art galleries, frame maker, handicrafts, traditional coffee shops, traditional restaurants are all concentrated in InSaDong. So remeber to go through the narrow streets to find a unique restaurant that serves beautiful dishes in Seoul!

Also, they tend to do some events like paraid 

14 독립문 (Independence Gate)


If France has the Triumphal Arch Korea has the Independence Gate!
This independence door has a lot of meaning in history for Koreans. It was the start of creating equality for every people in Korea.

15 국립중앙박물관 (National Museumof Korea)


Where all the national treasures of Korea stand. Opened in 1909 since than various historical treasures have been collected and protected in this one Museum of Korea. There is a lot of museum in Korea but if you have to choose one to go, this would be it.

16 광명동굴 (GwangMeong Cave)


It's a old gold mine that have been  made into a theme park. Remember that the cave is very cold you might need a thick coat. Although it's not technically in Seoul and bit closer to Incheon but It's the closes Cave Theme park to Seoul and I feel that I should be into the list.
*Also the Place where Running Man was Filmed*

17 남산타워 남산 (Nam Mountain and Nam San Tower)


Every big city seems to have one tower that is the biggest and tallest. In Seoul we have Nam San Tower where you can see the city of Seoul when there is no smog around. There is many people who hike up Nam Mountain and just enjoy the nature in Seoul.


18. 남산골 한옥마을 ( NamSan Korean Traditional Village)


Another Traditional Korean Town, what's different is that it has a big beautiful park around it ans it was made for the Nobility. There is 5 houses but they are so big that some might think its a small version of the palace.

19. 보신각 (BoSinGak)


Every New Year Korea rings a bell called BoSinGak. Its have been use to ring every new year since 1398. The bell have been destroyed and recreated many times during war and fire.

You can even book a time when you can ring the bell yourself but I heard that you'll have to book months ahead of time. For the new years only the most powerful and famous people can ring the bell :)

20.  탑골공원 (TapGol Park)


The first city park in Seoul, this was the place where young student in 3.1 shouted our country name for freedom. There is a beautifully carved stone tower with a traditional building with beautiful paintings, a good place to just visit and take some pictures.

21. 이화동 골목길 (YiHwaDong Alley)


The old streets of Seoul you will see how beautiful it have been transferred. The whole street is painted with beautiful paintings that have so many photo zones!

22. 서울광장 (Seoul Square)

This is the image of the Seoul Square when we were in World Cup Season! See All The Red

If there is New York Square in New York Seoul have the Soul Square, where there is event year round! The square is at the middle of a very busy street, the grass is where many families come to just sit around. Children would play in the fountains and business man would just stroll around after a day with hard work.

23. 홍릉수목원(HongNeung Arboretum)


Walk into the Forest inside a City.
HongNeung Arboretum is the first Arboretum in Korea. It used to be where our last Empress was buried but later moved. Right now all there is left is a sign that shows what it used to be. The Arboretum was build under Japanese rule. The fact that the forest is made inside a city is intruding.

TIP: You can only visit the Arboretum on Sunday. The size isn't so big but it's a good place to just see the 1200 different type of flowers, trees that you can only see in Korea.

24. 아차산 (Achi Mountain)


It's more a hill than a mountain only 287m high. But once you reach the top you can see the Han River and the view of Seoul. It's a great place to just relax and stroll. It's a great view for a dense city. That's the beauty of Seoul isn't it :)

25. 북한산국립공원 (BukHanSan National Park)


Another for Nature and Mountain Lover. When you get tried of the thick smoggy air of the city the strong scent of the forest is really revealing. If you love hiking, you'll love the relatively medium level of hiking the mountain. It's more beautiful in the fall where the leaves are burning red.

26. 63빌딩 (63 Square)


The one tall building by the Han River. Their sky view is extremely beautiful especially the sunset. The 63 Square has aquarium, Sky Art, Restaurant on the high floors, shows and movies, wax museum, etc. It's best to buy in packages to reduce the cost (you can reduce up to 50%)

27 태릉 (TeaReung)


The Queen's tomb in Seoul. She was the second Queen of 11st King of JoSon (1506~1544) She is from very powerful family that you can just tell by seeing her tomb. There is a sad story to this. The Queen MonJeongEmpress wanted to be buried next to her son and his wife but for various reasons she did not get her dieing wish.Instead she lies here in Seoul

28 절두산 (JeolDoSan / JeolDoMountain)


This is where all the people who came to our country when we were one of the poorest country in the world. Came and spread the gospel of love, hope and dream. The idea the whole concept of Catholic and later Christianity is the reason how Korea made the Han River Miracle. I personally thank their sacrifice for their lives and their love to us. Just like they helped out a poor country Korea will learn and do the same to countries that need help. The Pope even visited here when he visited Korea, if you like this sort of things you should too :)

Let me know on the comments what




Estella Roy
Estella Roy

About the Author : Born in Korea but lived overseas for 12 years, loves Korean Skin Care. Back in Korea and enjoying her hometown more than ever! Loves buying Cosmetic and Skin care and loves to share that opportunity to her readers! See her shipping delivery on her private google community.

4 comments:

  1. Nice list. I've been to Korea a bunch of times but found a few more places to check out next time I'm there. Also, I'm a new reader so not sure what your community is all about. I applied but would you mind filling me in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey dear, thanks for commenting on my post.
      LOL, I am glad that I helped you places to visit next time you come to Korea :)

      Delete
  2. lovely! I will definitely point my friends to this list when they planning a trip to Seoul!

    ReplyDelete

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