Seoul is one of the most populous and largest cities in the world and boasts countless beautiful sights, such as palaces, temples, museums and (evening) markets. This is a city where you should take the time to see everything, because there is definitely something for everyone. Seoul has an extensive and perfectly functioning subway, with the stations also being indicated in English. As a result, the metro is the best way to visit the sights in Seoul. What are the best highlights of Seoul?
The 10 best highlights of Seoul that are great fun and interesting to visit.
1. War Memorial and the museum
One of the best highlights of Seoul is the War Memorial and the museum. The Korean War of 1950-1953 left its traces in the history of the country. In front of the museum is an impressive memorial to all those who fought in this war. The monument symbolizes two brothers who meet again on the battlefield. One brother is fighting for South Korea and the other for North Korea. This is a symbol of the tear in the people of Korea. There are also various war vehicles and weapons shown.
The museum is incredibly large and full of paintings and video footage with information about the Korean War and about the Japanese occupation and the Vietnam War. The museum displays the image from the perspective of South Korea and you also learn more about the tense relationship with North Korea. Realize that everything is shown in the South Korean perspective. You definitely need a few hours to visit this museum.
The opening hours are daily from 09:00 to 18:00.
2. The Bongeun-sa temple
There are a lot of temples in Seoul and several temples are worth a visit. The special thing is that in the Bongeun-sa Temple every Thursday from 14:00 to 16:00 there is a temple life program for tourists. Here you get a little insight into the life as a monk in South Korea. You start with a tour of the temple and you receive a lot of interesting information. The program is also having a part where you meditate with a monk and participate in a tea ceremony and make lotus flowers. You can ask the monk anything at any time during this visit and this creates impressive conversations.
3. The neighborhood of Hongdae
Seoul’s most cozy neighborhood is Hongdae and this is also the nightlife and shopping area of the city. This area is especially fun in the evening to walk around and experience the ambiance of the hipsters in Seoul. There is so much to see and do so it’s a very exciting experience. This area is for sure one of the best highlights of Seoul!
4. Seodaemun Prison History Hall
This prison was used during Japanese rule to torture and enforce Korean political prisoners. The prison cells, torture chambers and workplaces can all be seen. With dolls and sound recordings, it is shown to be quite violent and lifelike, and you experience how terrible a prisoner’s life would have been during that time. All information is available in English and the opening times are from Tuesday to Sunday from 09:30 to 17:00.
5. A Food tour
The best way to get acquainted with Korean cuisine is through a Food Tour. Many restaurants in Seoul do not have English menu cards and that makes choosing a bit difficult. The food tour lets you know the typical Korean dishes and also the Korean BBQ. In this case you eat a piece of pork that is dipped into herbs and then put into a lettuce with a mushroom and then eaten in one bite. It may not sound good, but it was! The sweets in South Korea are also very tasty and often consist of some kind of ice-cream with some powder.
6. The Olympic park
The 1998 Olympic Games were held in Seoul and its stadium is in this park in Jamsil. This park is nice and spacious and it is nice to discover this by bike.
7. The N-Seoul Tower
If you are looking for the best view of the city then you must visit this tower on the mountain. The road to the top is a walk of about three kilometers, but you can also go up with the cable car. The tower itself is 236 meters high and is open daily from 10:00 to 23:00. There is a viewing platform and there are several restaurants and souvenir shops on Mount Namsan.
8. The Trick Eye Museum
In the Hongdae district you can find the nicest Seoul museum and this is the Trick Eye museum. In this museum you make pictures with an optical illusion and this is super funny. It’s a busy museum, but one that you really can’t skip.
9. Samsung D’Light Store
If you are a lover of technology, the Samsung D’Light Store is something for you. This is an exhibition of Samsung where you can see the latest products and test all sorts of gadgets. The store is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00.
10. Bukchon Hanok Village
There are about 900 traditional Korean houses in this area, which are still inhabited by Koreans. This neighborhood is more of a big open-air museum and it’s great to walk through the narrow streets and experience the authentic Korea. At the local Tourist Information they have a map with a good walk through the district so you can see all the highlights.
These are my 10 best highlights of Seoul! What do you think are the best highlights of Seoul?
I loved my stay at Lotte City Hotel Myeongdong. I really liked the location, because many malls and restaurants are nearby, like 5-10 min walk. The staff was amazing! They were all friendly, helpful and super polite that they will make you feel queen or king! The breakfast is wonderful with a breathtaking view.
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