8 Exciting Things You Can Do in Seoul

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is an exciting destination with seemingly endless sites for tourists to explore. The densely populated city has everything you’d expect from a city destination, with the addition of easy access to natural parks and scenery. Of all the things to see and do, these eight are some of the most interesting and exciting.

1. Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbok Palace)

One of the most popular tourist sites in Seoul is the Gyeongbok Palace. The palace, built in 1395, served as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty until it was destroyed during the Japanese invasion in the 1590s. Although the palace was later restored, the restoration too was destroyed in another invasion. It was restored once more in the 1990s and now serves as a site to learn about the Joseon Dynasty and the history of Seoul.

The site’s architecture is praised for being highly intricate and beautiful, and the location allows you to see the Seoul skyline and Seoul’s mountainous landscape. Your admission to the site includes a tour, and it can even be bundled to include admission to the other palaces in Seoul built during the Joseon Dynasty, like the Changdeokgung (Changdeok Palace), which became the primary palace following the Gyeongbok Palace’s first destruction.

Many people who have visited highly recommend working the guard ceremony, which happens twice daily, into your itinerary if you can. 

2. Bukhansan National Park

Bukhansan National Park invites its visitors to walk, hike, or simply sit and look at the region’s natural beauty. There are many hiking trails to climb to the park’s peaks; one of the most popular trails, Bukhansanseong trail, takes you to a lookout over Seoul. Regardless of your hiking level, the variety of paths will ensure you have something you’re comfortable trekking through. Within the park, you’ll also find Buddhist temples and the Bukhansanseong Fortress, another artifact of the Joseon Dynasty built in 1711.

3. Hongdae 

If you’re looking for indie arts, culture, and nightlife, Hongdae is a popular area to visit day or night. It’s located right by Hongik University, so it attracts a younger and very creative crowd. You’ll find restaurants, shops, galleries, live music, and nightclubs, giving you a feel for Seoul’s nightlife. On weekends, the area also becomes a shopping hub with its markets.

4. Paradise Casino Walkerhill

The Paradise Casino Walkerhill has delivered entertaining casino games and luxurious accommodations to its guests since the late 1960s. It’s located along the Han River, bringing a natural thematic element to the glittering lights of the casino. The building’s architect brought nature indoors by planting a tree in the lobby — creating a statement piece right at the entry.

On the game floor, you’ll find everything from slots with a few of the highest RTP games and electronic game tables to baccarat, blackjack, and more. The casino and hotel is a one-stop place for comfort and fun.

5. Dongdaemun Market

Offering a staggering number of shops — 30,000 of them — Dongdaemun Market is a 24-hour shopping extravaganza. It’s considered the go-to place for Korean fashion and traditional market fare. Tourists often describe the immense size as being simultaneously amazing and overwhelming and that the market is a must-visit while in Seoul.

6. Dongdaemun Design Plaza

In the same region as the Dongdaemun Market, you’ll find Dongdaemun Design Plaza. The Dongdaemun Design Plaza is lauded for its unique and striking architecture, which is unsurprising given that it was designed by the world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid. The building was created to be a cultural hub, so it’s huge in stature to accommodate a vast array of cultural events and facilities, from exhibitions and galleries to conferences and lounge spaces.

7. Lotte World

Lotte World brings the world of amusement parks indoors, offering everything possible for a day of fun and excitement. You’ll find a huge variety of heart-racing rides, a shopping mall, a Korean folk-art museum, restaurants, snack carts, Cirque du Soleil performances, ice skating, and parades.

8. Namsan Park

Appealing to people with its views of Seoul’s city center, Namsan Park is a scenic place to walk and take in the region’s history. The fortress wall built along the mountain and running alongside the park once served as an important security measure during the Joseon Dynasty to keep an eye out for threats and to communicate across the city with warning beacons. Today, the locations of these beacons offer places to sit and take in the view, and the wall is traced with stairs, allowing visitors to walk the park.

In addition to displaying the history of Mount Namsan, the park is also home to tourist attractions like an aquarium and a library. The most exciting tourist attraction, however, is the N Seoul Tower, which you can walk, drive, or take a cable car up to the top of the mountain to see. 

The tower offers an observation deck with an uninterrupted view of Seoul from over 700 feet high. You can visit the deck day and night and even sit down to enjoy a meal in the tower’s restaurant. Many couples also leave a lock attached to the observation deck, which has a large collection of locks left by those hoping their love will be everlasting.

Where Will You Visit First?

With so much to see and do, your biggest challenge will be figuring out what you can reasonably fit into your itinerary, leaving you with one question: which of these sites will you make your top priority to visit?

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Haps Staff
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