It incorporates the wider metropolitan area, out to Incheon, and regional lines serve locations like Suwon, as far as 100 kilometres from the centre of Seoul. As with the rest of the fortress system it also helped keep Siberian tigers out, which were a real hazard until they were hunted to extinction during the Japanese occupation in the 20th century. This experience is available through A host of prestigious companies and ensembles are based at the Sejong Center, like the Seoul Philharmonic, the Seoul Metropolitan Theater Company, the Seoul Metropolitan Opera and the Seoul Metropolitan Chorus. The Trickeye Camera app lets you to interact with the AR paintings, becoming absorbed into these little worlds for photos and videos, riding a dragon or a pair of sharks, dancing in Jack Vettriano’s The Singing Butler, sitting on horseback in John Collier’s Lady Godiva or relaxing in Provence, in Vincent van Gogh’s the Starry Night. The futuristic new city hall was ready in 2012 and looks like a big breaking wave, but is also a nod to the past, evoking the curled eaves of Hanoks. In 78 acres, this is only visitable by guided tour and was plotted exclusively for the royal family and gungnyeo (female officers of the royal court). You can start your visit at the extraordinary Cheonggye Plaza, which has a design inspired by bojagi, traditional Korean wrapping cloth. Have a go at Noraebang, Korea’s answer to karaoke, in private booths, hit the Zzang Games video arcade, try some of the delectable street food and hang out with sheep (really!) If you have time to spare pre-book a tour of Huwon Garden when you visit Changdeokgung Palace. An emblem and head temple for Korean Buddhism, the Jogyesa Temple is on Insa-dong, close to Gyeongbokgung. From late-March to mid-April and then for the whole month of September the Myeong-dong festival brings parades, special sales, live music and dance performances. Down these you’ll come across up to a hundred galleries, interspersed with cafes, traditional Korean restaurants and teahouses. This annual one-day K-Pop festival at the Seoul World Cup Stadium celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019. There’s an information centre, a gift shop and a range of cafes and kiosks for Korean snacks. Itaewon is an international enclave just east of the U.S. Army’s Yongsan Garrison and as well as being extremely diverse is heaving with shops, restaurants and nightclubs. Something worth mentioning about the layout is that the museum incorporates the concept of “madang”, a large convivial courtyard for gatherings. Linger over the views of Seoul’s mountains, the Han River and west to Incheon on the coast when the skies are clear. Korea’s first permanent market harks back to the end of the Joseon Dynasty and was founded in 1905. The plot entails three cooks racing to prepare a wedding banquet and coping with a manager’s incompetent nephew among the kitchen staff. Jeongjeon is a sensational piece of architecture, and believed to be the world’s longest freestanding wooden structure at 109 metres. Check out this list of our favorite 10 things to do in Seoul that’ll help you get the best out of this city! The Seoul streets can get hectic, but whenever the city gets too much you can escape to the banks of the Han River, where’s there’s a continuous chain of parks (12 in total) on both banks, with riverside trails, sports facilities, boat piers and outdoor swimming pools. This is also the main temple for Jogye Order, which can be traced back 1,200 years to Master Doui who brought Zen to Korea from China in the 9th century. Leading off from the Gwanghwamun Gate, once the main gateway to Gyeongbokgung, Gwanghwamun Square is an awe-inspiring open space that was created in the 2000s where there used to be a 16-lane roadway. Traditional Korean art and contemporary art by Korean and international artists is on the menu at this museum in two parts. These residences belonged to some important people, like the parents of Queen Yun, consort to King Sunjong, the Joeon Dynasty’s 27th King, and Lee Seungeop who oversaw the construction of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Gwagjang Market, a brief walk west of Dongdaemun Market, has a high reputation for its fabrics, which you’ll find at the second floor’s profusion of stores for silks, satin and linen. If you think the opera house looks like something you’d wear on your head you’re not mistaken, as it was designed to evoke the gat, a traditional Korean bamboo hat. Gyeongbokgung Palace. We have reviews of the best places to see in Seoul. In the afternoon the tour takes you to Bukchon Hanok Village, before ending the day with a roam around the Myeong-dong shopping area, sampling street entertainment and trying some more Korean street food delicacies.

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