Seoul is a city of contrasts. Business centers have come close to ancient temples, historical sights are surrounded by a scattering of high-rise buildings, and ultra-modern junctions around the corner are replaced by peaceful park landscapes. Check liuxers for customs and traditions of South Korea.
According to legend, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty, Lee Songye, could not choose a place to build his residence for a long time. For some reason, he listened to a simple plowman and went to the north of Seoul, where he built the grandiose Gyeongbokgung Palace. The main buildings of the complex are the Geungjeonjon Hall and the Kenkhweru Pavilion.
Of great historical importance is also Gyeonghigun, which has become a “second home” for the rulers in case of an emergency. Today there is a historical museum.
With residences, Changdeokgung competes with scenic beauty. After examining its halls, tourists rush to admire the “Secret Garden” and “Jade Stream”. In the palace complex of Changnyeokung, it is interesting to look at the Botanical Garden and the Queen’s Pavilion. Deoksugung Palace in Seoul used to be built as a country villa and therefore looks modest.
The architecture of Seoul’s palaces may seem arbitrary, as the objects are so softly inscribed in the overall picture. But if you study the issue and take a closer look, it becomes clear that during the construction they not only observed a strict hierarchy, but also took into account the principles of Confucianism and even the location of the stars.
Seoul buildings are impressive not only in history, but also in scale. You can evaluate them by clicking the camera, but it is much more interesting to test yourself for phobias and climb up to the sky – to the observation deck of one of the skyscrapers. The most famous skyscraper in Seoul is Yuksam Building, whose elevator rises at a speed of 54 m / s. Take your breath away at the top cloud restaurant at Jongno Tower. A popular spot is the Seoul TV Tower, which offers stunning views of the city.
Buddhist temples in Seoul are a must to visit. At least one – Chogesa. The monks offer tourists Temple Life – programs with accommodation. The oldest of all the Confucian cathedrals in Korea, Jongmyo Temple is amazingly beautiful. It was erected in honor of the rulers of the Joseon Dynasty, and its decoration is appropriate, worthy of royalty.
There are also many museums in Seoul. A visit to the War Memorial of the Republic of Korea will be unforgettable. And the most complete picture of the country is given by the National Museum of Korea (website with an English version), which has a collection of 220,000 exhibits.
Folk Village, located 50 minutes from Seoul, consists of houses typical of different Korean provinces. Street performances, “wedding ceremonies”, “funeral processions”, circus acts, kite flying competitions, folk dances and competitions in traditional sports are regularly held there.
8 things to do in Seoul
- Buy red ginseng in the market to live forever.
- Become a monk for a couple of days, settling in a temple, and discover Buddhism as a comfortable philosophy.
- Look into a Korean bath for a peeling procedure and rejuvenate yourself by 10 years.
- Spend the night on the floor at a traditional Korean hanok house in Bukchon Hanok Village.
- Throw a coin at the “moon rainbow” at Banpo Fountain Bridge.
- Become an apprentice tea master.
- Drink the local sweet potato soju vodka, forget the appetizer (only 20°!) and drift off into another reality.
- Buy something incredibly cheap, fly away, and then think that you should have taken more.
Seoul for kids
Seoul is home to one of the world’s largest theme parks, and there’s no better reason to go on vacation with kids. Moreover, the city is always happy and ready to welcome small guests. Transport is adapted for wheelchairs, and even in the metro there are original children’s rooms.
So, Lotte World is a grandiose building (it can be seen from space!), where there are fun for every taste and age. Kids are welcomed here by fairy-tale heroes, countless trains and carousels. Older children will appreciate the year-round skating rink, as well as the opportunity to soar under the very dome of the building in a hot air balloon. Exciting rides can be found on the “Magic Island”. Of these, the most “reckless” – “Gyro-Drop” and “Gyro-Swing” – a fall from a 70-meter height and an adventure inside a tornado.
Kids and adults will love Coex Aquarium, the largest oceanarium in Korea. Tens of thousands of fish and marine animals have become inhabitants of 90 survey aquariums. The most exciting sensations await visitors to the tunnel with sharks and sea turtles.
Not so large-scale, but still an impressive aquarium is located in the basement of the Yuksam Building skyscraper. There are shows with seals, penguins and sea lions.
In good weather, we recommend a ride in the “Grand Park”, which is located south of Seoul – in the city of Gwacheon. Children will be delighted with the huge zoo and the Korean Museum, while adults can enjoy the beautiful scenery.