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Things to do in Seoul

Things to do in  Seoul

Welcome to Seoul

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a thriving metropolis that marches to the beat of millions of busy residents. Dominated by the towering peaks of Mt. Bukhansan and Mt. Namsan, the city boasts an impressive infrastructure that makes getting around the city by public transport easy. However, sightseeing tours provide added value with insightful commentary and off-the-beaten-track attractions. Discover UNESCO World Heritage–listed treasures such as Changdeokgung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and the Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae); take a day trip to the DMZ, the no-man’s-land between North and South Korea; or shop until you drop in the commercial zones of Dongdaemun, Myeongdong, and Gangnam—birthplace of the global hit, “Gangnam Style.” Sample hearty Korean cuisine and local craft beers on a food tour or during a cooking class; peruse the stalls at the markets in Gwangjang, Insadong, and Namdaemun; and watch the city lights dance across the Han River on an evening cruise. Plus, Seoul serves as a convenient launch pad for outdoor adventures. Pull on your hiking boots and join throngs of South Koreans exploring Seoraksan National Park, the UNESCO Biosphere Protected Site home to Mt. Seorak. Or practice your turns at the ski resorts of Elysian Gangchon or Yongpyong. If you’ve got a flexible itinerary and wish to explore more of South Korea, use Seoul as a gateway to Gongju, Buyeo, Suncheon, Yeosu, and Busan.

Top 10 attractions in Seoul

#1
DMZ

DMZ

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Nowhere is the tension between North and South Korea more palpable than in the no-man's-land known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ. As a divided nation, only 2.5 miles (4 km) separate the North from the South at what is the most heavily armed border on earth. The 150-mile (241-km) zone has served as a buffer since the 1953 cease-fire agreement between the United Nations and North Korea that put the Korean War on hold.More
#2
Namsan Tower (N Seoul Tower)

Namsan Tower (N Seoul Tower)

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Head to the top of Namsan Tower (N Seoul Tower) in hilly Namsan Park, the largest in Seoul, for some of the best panoramic views over the South Korean capital. The 777-foot (237-meter) tower offers three observation decks and half a dozen restaurants where you can soak in the views, day or night.More
#3
Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

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Arguably the most beautiful and easily the biggest of Seoul’s five main palaces, Gyeongbokgung (also known as the Northern Palace) is one of South Korea’s must-visit attractions. Built in the 14th century, this is the oldest Joseon Dynasty palace in the nation, and it’s right in the heart of Jongno-Gu, the most culturally happening part of Seoul. Come for 600 years of history—and one brilliant changing of guards ceremony.More
#4
Third Tunnel of Aggression

Third Tunnel of Aggression

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The Third Tunnel of Aggression is one of four known tunnels situated within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North Korea and South Korea. Located more than 70 meters beneath the ground and at 265 meters long, the Third Tunnel of Aggression is a highlight of any DMZ tour.The tunnel was built by North Korea in the 1970s, who initially denied its existence when South Korea discovered it later. The North were then said to have claimed it was a coal mine, before it was revealed that they had dug the tunnel in order to launch a surprise attack on Seoul. The South eventually took control of the tunnel, blocking off the demarcation line with the North via concrete barricades.Although the Third Tunnel is now very much a tourist site (there’s even a gift shop near its entrance), it still remains guarded and taking photography is forbidden once inside. The tunnel passage is dark, long, and narrow, and it’s a steep incline to access it.More
#5
Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village

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Flanked by Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace—two of Seoul’s Joseon Dynasty palaces—Bukchon Hanok Village comprises hundreds of traditionalhanok houses that today are home to restaurants, teahouses, cultural centers, art galleries, and B&Bs. It’s one of the best places to experience a taste of old Seoul.More
#6
Insadong

Insadong

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Insadong is Seoul’s cultural and artistic hub, as well as the place to shop for local crafts, visit a traditional Korean tea shop, or catch an impromptu street performance. The neighborhood, located in the Jongno-gu district, offers one of the largest antiques and craft markets in the country, with many shops and cafés housed in historic buildings.More
#7
Dae Jang Geum Park (MBC Dramia)

Dae Jang Geum Park (MBC Dramia)

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Previously known as MBC Dramia, Yongin MBC Daejanggeum Park is owned by Munhwa Broadcasting Company (MBC) and Yongin Municipal Office. This outdoor historical film set covers a vast area. It opened to tourists and the general public to visit in 2011.Fans of Korean drama are in for a treat, as series such as Jumong, Dong Yi, Queen Seondeok, Goryeo, and many more dramas, documentaries, and films were shot here. The park features permanent sets that consist of ancient buildings and villages, with architecture imitating that from the Korean Three Kingdoms era. In fact, Daejanggeum Park was created based on historical records and so accurately reflects the buildings, villages, and culture of ancient times.There are of course plenty of photo opportunities here, with a number of different sets to explore. There’s also a coffee shop and snack bar on­site.More
#8
Gangnam

Gangnam

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For better or worse, Korean rapper PSY's 2012 hit song "Gangnam Style" has drawn the world's attention to Seoul and the district of Gangnam. Long before the K-pop hit rocketed to the top of the charts, Gangnam was already one of Seoul's hippest neighborhoods—a spot in the southern part of the city where the young come to see and be seen.More
#9
Jogyesa Temple

Jogyesa Temple

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Established in 1910, Jogyesa Temple serves as the center of Zen Buddhism in South Korea. Highlights of the temple complex include Daeungjeon, Seoul’s largest Buddhist shrine, as well as a garden area with a white pine tree that is more than 500 years old.More
#10
Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market

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Gwangjang Market, Seoul’s first and oldest covered market, was originally the place to buy traditional Korean clothing items, such as hanbok. Though the market still specializes in textiles, it’s become one of Seoul’s biggest street food hot spots, where foodies can sample nearly any type of Korean cuisine under the same roof.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Seoul

How to Spend 3 Days in Seoul

How to Choose a DMZ Tour

How to Choose a DMZ Tour

Top activities in Seoul

Small-Group Korean Night Food Tour

Small-Group Korean Night Food Tour

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$106.79
Private DMZ Tour

Private DMZ Tour

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$200.06

Recent reviews from experiences in Seoul

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Superb activity
Roam49242666568, Dec 2019
Seoul Hop-On Hop-Off Downtown Palace Course
Great experience to visiting famous sightseeing activity particularly the palaces.
star-5
Nice tour
OnAir751732, Oct 2019
Seoul City Private Full-Day Tour Including Lunch
It was a very nice tour, the guide was very good, made sure we were at the palace to see the changing of the guards, the native village and the Buddhist temple were very nice, and the view from the Seoul tour was amazing.
star-5
Julie was really nice and took gd care of us
Voyager23728378222, Oct 2019
Seoul by Night with fantastic view
I not been to Seoul so it was good to see the city from the Seoul Tower & from the river
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Day at Nami Island
Voyager23728378222, Oct 2019
Full Day Nami Island and Petite France Tour from Seoul
The tree's leaves changing their fall colors were beautiful
star-5
Great tour!
Saad_U, Oct 2019
No shopping Half-Day Korean DMZ Tour from Seoul
Unfortunately the main DMZ area was closed at the time but we managed to see some very good alternatives around the area.
star-5
Excellent tour!!
Alexia_D, Aug 2019
No Shopping DMZ Half Day Tour from Seoul
The guide spoke excellent English and told us so many interesting stories about Korea.
star-5
Fantastic day tour
Raul_G, Aug 2019
Seoul City Private Full-Day Tour Including Lunch
He was knowledgeable, informative and his English was great.
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A day trip in Seoul, Korea
TAYSOCK_M, Apr 2019
Alpaca World & Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm Tour
Really enjoy the attractions in Seoul with the Animals, Scenery and the Mother Nature like the Flowers and Trees.
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Night shopping tour
myron_k, Jul 2018
Night Shopping Tour in Seoul
It was especially helpful to see what areas of Seoul to shop at as this was our first time here.
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My Seorak 2 hours from...
Cleo, Nov 2017
Mount Seorak and Nami Island Day Trip from Seoul
Hiked to the Falls.
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Our tour guide was super friendly...
Rosa C, Feb 2018
DMZ Small Group Tour from Seoul Including Dora Observatory
The tour itself is great for a half day if you don’t have heaps of time in Seoul and a must do to see the DMZ!
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Quick 3 hour tour of a Buddhist...
Jose G, Oct 2017
Best of Seoul Tour in the Morning
I wish I had more time to see other sites like the DMZ and other Seoul places of interest
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Thank you to our tour guide...
MOHDASHRAF_Z, Feb 2018
Fully Customizable Private Tour From Seoul to Gyeonggi
Looking forward to visit Seoul again.
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Erica was a wonderful guide and our...
Munah A, Mar 2018
Day Trip to Nami Island and Gangchon Elysian Ski Resort from Seoul
We hope to see Erica again if we visit Seoul in the future.
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Great to see the temple, changing of...
Zackary S, Nov 2017
Best of Seoul Tour in the Morning
Great to see the temple, changing of the guard, and the palace.
star-5
My tour guide was Ben. It was my...
Greg_V, Apr 2018
Best Walking Tour- City Adventure All in Oneday
Ben's English is very good.
star-5
Great experience to see many of the...
Sabrina W, Jun 2017
Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour
Great experience to see many of the temples in Seoul.
star-4
It was a good tour, had a glimpse of...
Josephine_I, May 2017
Seoul City Sightseeing Tour Including Gyeongbokgung Palace, N Seoul Tower, and Namsangol Hanok Village
David our tour guide was very accommodating and speaks very good english.
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Our tour guide, Chloe was super nice...
Khoua L, Sep 2016
Seoul City Sightseeing Tour Including Gyeongbokgung Palace, N Seoul Tower, and Namsangol Hanok Village
The tour is worth doing because you get to see all the top attractions in Seoul.
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Seoul City Private Full-Day Tour Including Lunch
MARIELOU_O, May 2019
Seoul City Private Full-Day Tour Including Lunch
We enjoyed the tour and was able to visit all the places we wanted to see.

All about Seoul

When to visit

Spring in Seoul sees thousands of cherry blossoms burst into bloom (late March to mid-April), while the fall months of October and November turn Bukhansan National Park shades of burnt orange and bright red. These shoulder seasons also boast moderate temperatures and lower travel costs.

Frequently Asked Questions
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