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Showing friends and family around Seoul is a great way to rediscover the city. Whether you like history, the arts, fashion or music – South Korea’s capital has something for everyone. Culture Trip takes a look at seven great things to do when you have guests in town.
Standing atop Namsan mountain, N Seoul Tower marks the highest point in Seoul. The 236 meter (774 ft) tall tower is a popular destination for visitors and locals alike who are trying to get a birds eye view of the Korean capital. The area around the tower features romantic photo opportunities and the chance to purchase love locks to show their dedication to one another. On the highest floor of the tower, guests can enjoy a lovely meal inside a revolving restaurant with 360-views of Seoul. Be sure to book in advance.
K-Live is the world’s first hologram K-POP performance hall and is the perfect chance for K-Pop lovers to experience their favorite idols (almost) live. G-Dragon, Big Bang, Psy, Wonder Girls and many more artists take part in a unique hologram concert specifically created for real fans of Korean pop music. Besides the concert, the venue also offers the opportunity to take photos with your favorite K-Pop stars and purchase merchandise.
With more than 5,000 shops and stalls, Gwangjang market is one of the oldest and largest traditional markets in South Korea. Over 1,500 vendors offer a variety of local fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, handicrafts and souvenirs to customers. Moreover, you will find plenty of traditional Korean restaurants and street food stalls here selling anything from mung bean pancakes to gimbap rice rolls.
What better way to experience South Korean culture than dressing up in traditional clothing? It is possible to rent traditional hanbok costumes at various locations throughout Seoul. A popular place is OneDayHanbok near the main palace. The best part is that you will not only look amazing during your sightseeing trip, but you also gain free access to temples and palaces when wearing traditional Korean clothing.
Seoul’s largest shopping district is a vibrant area filled with local and international brand outlets, such as Louis Vuitton, Forever 21 and Gap. Myeongdong is especially popular among female shoppers looking to purchase a variety of Korean skincare and cosmetic products from popular Korean brands, like The Face Shop, Skin Good, Missha and Etude House. Besides the shopping, you will also find plenty of restaurants and pubs here to keep you going.
Seoul is home to the “Five Grand Palaces” with Gyeongbokgung being the main one. It’s no wonder that this palace is Seoul’s most popular tourist attraction and should not be missed when visiting the city. The palace was built in 1395 during the Joseon Dynasty. The large palace area also features a beautiful royal park, the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum.
Seoul isn’t all high-rises and crowds. A hike up Bukhansan Mountain will not only give you a new perspective of the city but also offer lots of beautiful scenery and fresh air. The national park is situated in the north of Seoul and offers a variety of different hiking trails for beginners and advanced hikers.
Cruising the Han River is an unconventional but brilliant way to see the city. If you have the chance to visit Seoul in the spring when all the cherry blossoms along the riverbank are in full bloom it is beautiful. A dinner cruise is also always a spectacular way to see the city in a new light.
Seoul has a large number of beautiful parks but one of the most scenic is Yeouido Hangang Park, a small island in the middle of the Han River that boasts particularly beautiful landscapes. In spring, the famous Yeouido Cherry Blossom festival is held here and the entire island seems to be one pink cloud. Bring your picnic basket and a blanket and you’ll have a memorable travel moment in the middle of Seoul.