Seoul is a city of infinite discovery, and visitors who come to Seoul for the first time are often surprised to find a thriving metropolis.
The city was devastated during the Korean War but has succeeded in rising from the rubble as one of the fastest growing cities in the world. It is blazing a trail as the cultural, business, and transportation hub of Northeast Asia.
Seoul has been the capital of Korea for 600 years and is full of reminders of a long and glorious past, from the imposing royal palaces in the downtown area, to the world-class collection at the National Museum of Korea in Yongsan. The city’s long history has handed down a wealth of precious cultural remnants from palaces, fortresses, neo-modern temples to timeless patches of ancient architecture.
People who love the great outdoors will love the city’s natural surroundings, with towering granite peaks and forested hillsides dotted with peaceful temples and shrines. Those who go sightseeing can stroll among the city’s ancient palace grounds and take in Seoul’s spectacular nighttime scenery.
IT’S MY FIRST TIME
Deoksugung became a main palace for King Gojong of the Joseon Kingdom from 1897 to 1910. History is written into every bit of the palace walls. Junghwajeon, or the main throne hall, was the site of official courtesy calls by foreign envoys and was built in 1902. If you look inside the hall, you will see a dragon-embellished throne and a traditional folding screen featuring five mountains, the sun, and the moon, all of which are emblems of Korean royalty.
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I’VE BEEN BEFORE
National Museum of Contemporary Art
Located in the midst of natural surroundings and man-made buildings, while preserving the Korean elements of architectural space, the Museum of Contemporary Art expresses traditional and modern Korean culture in one key location. This outstanding institution of culture is also within reach of the Seoul Grand Park at Gwacheon, and is endowed with a total floor space of 12,000 square metres and is adjacent to an open-air sculpture garden and a concert stage, all of which enhance the ease of movement among the facilities.
WHERE TO SHOP
You could spend weeks at the city’s fascinating traditional markets and the upscale shops of Myeongdong and Gangnam. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of Korean food. Korean cuisine has something for everyone. Meat lovers will love dishes like galbi and bulgogi, and vegetarians will love favorites like bibimbap as well as Korea’s famous rich noodle dishes.
With first-class cultural facilities, terrific night-life and a never-ending schedule of public events, you will never be bored in Seoul.