2014 I lived in Seoul, South Korea, for almost 4 months. Looking back now I had such a great time exploring the city day by day. There is so much to experience and change goes quick. Even though I put together a list of my favorite places, which are spread all over the mega city.
- Changdoekgung Palace – Seoul has many beautiful and great palaces and ancient buildings. But to me Changdeokgung in particular is stunning. Walking trough the entrance one is surrounded by ancient Korean buildings. After a while you will reach the remarkable garden. Actually I liked it the most during winter, when it was really cold and snow was everywhere. It is calm, peaceful and culturally pleasant.
- Cafés – Iced Americano or Green Tea Latte? Seoul is the modern source to it. Stylish but cozy and sometimes crazy, you can have it all. Cafés are everywhere and the spot to chitchat, learn, work or chill. I experienced, that it is worth it walking small alleys, because you never know what you might find. I definitely found some really great Cafés.
- Hangang River – separating the city into North and South the Han River is a special place to be. My favorite way to explore the area was by bike. There a bicycle lanes just right next to the river. In this case cruising is not just a word, it becomes reality.
- Bongeunsa Temple – This Buddhist Temple is quite a touristic place. But if you choose the right time to visit, it is possible to enjoy every part of it. Although it is still an active temple, meaning that locals are still coming there to pray. Bongeunsa is one of my favorite places, because it is like a calm island right in the middle of the urban jungle. Located in Gangnam, the temple is surrounded by skyscrapers and big boulevards.
- Local Restaurants and night markets – Korean food. Bibimbap, BBQ, Ricecakes or Gimbap. Going out to grap something to eat was one of my favorite things to do whilst in Seoul. … Getting in contact with locals using body language and followed by the experience of deliciousness – nothing more to say.
- National Museum & Dongdaemun Design Plaza – Looking for great museums and galleries? Well, Seoul is the perfect place to find exactly that. My favorites were the Korean National Museum, which offers a detailed overview of the Korean history trough different art collections. Secondly a must-see is the Dongedaemun Design Plaza, which is a highlight for all modern-architecture-loving people – outside as well as inside of the building.
- Naksan Park – located in Jongno-gu this parc is worth visiting. I found it accidentally through a more or less hidden entrance where one has to walk, walk, walk up the stairs until the top. Especially during sundown or night time the parc is marvelous! At the top you can sit on a great wall overlooking the city.
- Shopping in Hongdae – Hongdae is a vibrant area of Seoul. Many stores, many cafés – much to explore. I liked it.
- Old Campus of Sungkyunkwan University in Fall – the old part of the campus is beautiful and inspirational. It was one of my favorite spots in autumn time, when all the Ginko leaves changed their color. It was all yellow.
- Bukhansan National Park – Before I lived in Seoul, I was not a huge fan of hiking. Whilst being there it is crucial to get out of the urban hustle and bustle from time to time. Bukhansan is then the place to go to. There are many entrances to the park and even more trails to hike. Full-day or Half-day – everything is possible.
That’s it – some of my favorite spots in Seoul. I hope you liked those recommendations. Leave a comment if you have any questions or more great spots in Seoul. <3