26. Seoul  SOUTH KOREA    | Total Sights: 50+  |  Nickname: The Soul of Asia

 

 

 

 

A. Strengths and Weaknesses of Seoul

Korea, Republic of  Set amongst eight mountains and divided by the Han River, Seoul with a population of over 10 million is one of the most populous and successful cities on earth.

The speed with which it has been transformed has produced a fascinating combination of ultra-modernity and ancient tradition

  Seoul is home to several substantially pedestrianized shopping districts, five ancient palaces and numerous temples and shrines. 

The city is very safe, easy to get around and delights visitors with glorious shopping and vibrant nightlife. Due to an excellent public transport system it is very easy to get around. 

 There are no extraordinary sights, the city possesses no real centre, and the price level is high.

Do not expect great weather since in winter it is generally cold and in summer very rainy. Best months are September to November and March to May.

Criteria 

Sights 

Location

Pedestrian Zones

Affordability

Safety 

Cleanliness

Shopping

Climate

People

Nightlife 

Transport

Size

Total Score

Score

6.75/10

6/10

6.5/10

3/10

7.75/10

6/10

7.75/10

3.5/10

5/10

7.5/10

9/10 [6th]

9/10 [10.3 Mio.]

192.50

B. Best Things to Do in Seoul (Detailed List with Photos and Information)

These sights and attractions contribute to a sights score of 6.75/10.

Gyeongbokgung Palace  7
Gyeongbokgung with its wonderful royal court architecture of high historical significance and attractive gardens is the largest and arguably the most beautiful of the five Joseon palaces in Seoul and the most visited tourist site in Korea.

Among the many fascinating sights in this huge complex including hundreds of edifices, don't miss the two-story hexagonal Hyangwonjeong Pavilion and its distinctive arched bridge (Chwihyanggyo) over a small lake, the Gwanghwamun gate, where you can see the changing of the guards, the Main Throne Hall (Geunjeongjeon) and the Royal Banquet Hall (Gyeonghoeru), the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum. The still ongoing restoration and reconstruction of the palace after systematical destruction during Japanese occupation the early 20th century, began again in 1990.

Palace  (reconstruction)

Best Things to do in Seoul | Best Cities |Seoul | Gyeongbokgung Palace (huge complex)

CHANGDEOKGUNG PALACE  7
While the colourfully painted buildings of the palace grounds are remarkable, the highlight of the Changdeokgung is its vast 78-acre (32 ha) beautiful Secret Garden' Biwon'  , with its lotus pond, fountains and pavilions surrounded by 26,000 trees.

The Secret Garden can be visited through a guided tour.

Palace complex  with gardens  (World Heritage Site since 1997)

Best Things to do in Seoul | Best Cities | Seoul | CHANGDEOKGUNG PALACE (huge complex with immense SECRET GARDEN)

Lotte World Tower  7
Completed in 2017 and standing at a height of 555m, the sleek Lotte World Tower is the 6th highest in building the world.

From the observation deck "Seoul Sky" located on the 117th ~ 123rd floors of the tower, which is at 554 m the second highest in the world (after Shanghai World Tower) you will be able to enjoy breathtaking views of the city.

Skyscraper  (total 555 m, observation deck 554 m,)

Best Things to do in Seoul | Best Cities | No. 26: Seoul | Lotte World Tower | 7/10 by Cyberdoomslayer / CC BY-SA 4.0

N Seoul Tower  6
Observation Tower  (Total height 236 m, observation deck 168 m, completed 1975)

Best Things to do in Seoul | Best Cities | Seoul | N Seoul Tower by Cyan / CC BY-SA 4.0

Myeongdong  5
City District  (Shopping)

Things to do in Seoul | Best Cities | Seoul | Myeongdong (city district, shopping)

Cheonggyecheon Stream  5
Stream  (with modern riverside walk)

Best things to do in Seoul | Best Cities | Seoul | Cheonggyecheon (Stream with modern riverside walk) |

Dongdaemun Design Plaza  5
Modern Building  (by Zaha Hadid, completed 2014)

Best things to do in Seoul | Best Cities | No. 26: Seoul | Dongdaemun Design Plaza (by Hadid)

National Museum of Korea  5
Museum  (Highlight of the collection: Ten-Story Pagoda from Gyeong Cheon Sa Temple)

War Memorial of Korea  5
Museum  (Highlight of the collection: Replica of an ironclad turtle warship [geobukseon])

JONGMYO SHRINE  5
Shrine  (World Heritage Site since 1995)

Scoring and Icons Legend (Click here for detailed information)

10 = top-10 sight in the world
9 = world-class  
8 = outstanding
7 = excellent 
6 = impressive
5 = interesting
4 = decent
3 = mediocre
2 = bad
1 = abysmal

= World Heritage Site
= Excursion

Weather Forecast

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Today 02/24 0%
High 6° / Low -2°
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Tomorrow 02/25 0%
High 7° / Low -4°
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Monday 02/26 0%
High 9° / Low -2°
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C. Other Notable Sights and Attractions in Seoul

-Insadong (city district) 5

-Bukhansan National Park  5

-Bukchon (traditional city district)  5

-Banpo Bridge  5

-National Palace Museum of Korea  5

-Leeum Samsung Museum (by Botta, Nouvel and Koolhaas, 2004) 5

-Tangent Seoul (modern architecture by Libeskind, 2005) 5

D. Best Day Trips and Excursions from Seoul

HWASEONG FORTRESS in Suwon (World Heritage Site since 1997, ca 30 km from Seoul)  6

E. Top 10 List of the Best Things to Do in Seoul (including close-by excursions)

Gyeongbokgung Palace (huge complex, reconstruction)  7
CHANGDEOKGUNG PALACE with SECRET GARDEN  7
Lotte World Tower (total 555.7 m)  7
N Seoul Tower (total 236 m)  6
 HWASEONG FORTRESS in Suwon (ca. 30 km from Seoul)  6
Myeongdong (city district, shopping)  5
Cheonggyecheon (city district with modern riverside walk) 5
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (by Hadid, completed 2014) 5
National Museum of Korea  5
War Memorial of Korea (museum)  5


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