20 Must-Visit Attractions in Seoul

Monument to Sejong-Daewang in Seoul
Monument to Sejong-Daewang in Seoul | © Pavel Sipachev / Getty Images
Seoul is one of the most exciting mega cities in Asia, and a major travel destination in the coming years due to the Winter Olympics 2018. Head to Seoul and you’ll find a mix of traditional and modern, with countless attractions and sites to explore for any taste! Here are the top 20 must-visit attractions in Seoul!


Laura Manglier / | © Culture Trip
You might be surprised that Seoul has not only one, but five main palaces. Gyeongbokgung is the largest and most important of them all. Often compared to the Forbidden City in Beijing, Gyeongbokgung is a large palace complex that also houses the National Folk Museum of Korea. If you wear a traditional hanbok dress, which you can rent around town, you get free admission!
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Gwanghwamun Square

This lovely square is located in front of Gwanghwamun Gate, the main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace. The square features a large statue of King Sejong The Great, the inventor of Korea’s Hangul alphabet, as well as statues of some of his other inventions.

Laura Manglier © Culture Trip


Laura Manglier
Laura Manglier | © Culture Trip
The second largest palace in Seoul is Changdeokgung. This palace is especially popular because it has a large ‘secret garden’ with countless temples, pavilions and exotic flora and fauna. Changdeokgung is especially popular during spring with the many cherry blossoms, and in the fall with colorful foliage.
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Bukcheon Hanok Village

In between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung lies a picturesque village featuring over 400 traditional Korean houses, called hanok. The village features small cafes, restaurants, and shops offering handmade crafts and souvenirs. You can also find a couple of traditional teahouses in this area.

Laura Manglier © Culture Trip

N Seoul Tower

Cable car to N Seoul Tower  at namsan south korea
© trus jomkhantiphol / Alamy Stock Photo
Located on Namsan Mountain, the N Seoul Tower is Seoul’s second highest point, with a total height of 236m. Take in breathtaking views during the day, as well as at night from the tower. Couples also like to leave love locks up on the tower to signify the long-lasting promise of their relationship.
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Namdaemun Market, Seoul

Market, Korean
South Korea, Seoul, Jung-gu, Namdaemun Market, the oldest and the largest country market
Namdaemun Market, the oldest and the largest country | © Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
The largest traditional market in Korea, Namdaemun Market is the place to shop for cheap goods, as well as fresh, local fruits and vegetables. It is also a popular place to try your way through Korea’s snack food culture. The market is open throughout the night from 11PM to 4AM and is almost always crowded.
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Seoul Nightlife
Myeong-Dong district at night | © SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images
Seoul’s bustling shopping district of Myeongdong is an absolute must if you are looking to pick up trendy Korean fashion and skincare to take home. Myeongdong is also the place to go to find quirky themed cafes, such as the Hello Kitty Cafe or various cat and dog cafes.
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Lotte World

Laura Manglier
Laura Manglier | © Culture Trip
Lotte World is Seoul’s largest recreation complex with the world’s largest indoor theme park, and an outdoor amusement park called ‘Magic Island,’ an artificial island inside a lake linked by a monorail and shopping malls. Lotte World also has a luxury hotel, a Korean folk museum, sports facilities, and movie theaters. If you’re looking for first-class entertainment, this is the place to go.
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National Museum of Korea

In Blue and White : Porcelains of the Joseon Dynasty
In Blue and White : Porcelains of the Joseon Dynasty | © KoreaNet /Flickr
Established in 1945, the National Museum of Korea is the country’s largest museum for Korean history and art. Due to its over 3 million annual visitors, the National Museum of Korea is one of the most-visited art museums in the world, as well as third most-visited in Asia.
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Jogyesa Temple

Buddhist Temple
Laura Manglier
Laura Manglier | © Culture Trip
The chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, Jogyesa Temple is one of the most important in the country. The temple was founded in 1395, at the beginning of the Joseon Dynasty. Visit this temple during Buddha’s birthday in May and you can take part in the local festivities.
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Banpo Bridge

Laura Manglier
Laura Manglier | © Culture Trip
What might be so special about a bridge? The answer is the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain,the world’s longest bridge fountain. The water for the fountain is pumped directly from the river itself and continuously recycled to reflect Seoul’s eco-friendliness.
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Thanks to Psy’s viral single ‘Gangnam Style,’ the neighborhood has probably become Seoul’s most famous part of town. A visit to Seoul would be incomplete without taking a photo in front of the ‘Gangnam Style’ statue in front of COEX Mall.

Gangnam Style statue in front of COEX mall, Gangnam District © YOORAN PARK / Alamy Stock Photo

War Memorial of Korea, Seoul

Building, Memorial
War Memorial and Museum, Seoul, South Korea, Asia
War Memorial and Museum, Seoul | © wendy connett / Alamy Stock Photo
The War Memorial of Korea opened in 1994 on the former site of the army headquarters. It showcases and pays respect to Korea’s military history. There are six indoor exhibits, as well as an outdoor exhibitions center displaying military equipment and war memorabilia.
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Demilitarized Zone

The DMZ is one of those attractions that makes one shiver and think at the same time. Being the border between North and South Korea, the DMZ is a place where the cold war is still very much existent. Take a glimpse of North Korea when you tour this part of the country.

Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul

Museum, Building
Spiral staircase, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea
Leeum Samsung Museum of Art | © Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
One of Seoul’s most prestigious art museums, the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, consists of two buildings showcasing traditional Korean art and contemporary art. 36 of the pieces in the traditional Korean art exhibition are designated national treasures by the Korean government.
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These recommendations were updated on July 9, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.