Seoul is a huge, sprawling mega-city, and though it seemed intimidating at first, after spending a few days there I soon realized that the majority of the central part of the city revolves around the Seoul N Tower on top of Namsan mountain (pictured straight ahead).
The Gyeongbukgung Palace is one of Seoul's most iconic landmarks.
Originally built in the 14th century, the palace has experienced an up and down history of being destroyed and rebuilt.
Now the compound is open to thousands of locals and tourists that leisurely browse and relax on the palace grounds.
Seoul just wouldn't be the same without bustling markets. The Namdaemun Market in central Seoul is one of the oldest and largest in the city.
You can buy all sorts of locally made Korean products, clothes, and there's even an indoor section that's full of imported foods from around the world.
If you're looking for fresh seafood you've got to check out the Noryangjin fish market.
Directly in the center of skyrise buildings is the traditional Korean Jogyesa Buddhist Temple.
On the outside of the temple there is an ancient tree that is strung with impressively bright pink, green and blue paper lanterns.
To be honest, when I first showed up at the Korean War Memorial and Museum I wasn't all that thrilled.
However after walking around and exploring the selection of real tanks and interactive military vehicles I was impressed.
The Bukchon Hanok village is one of the best places to take a stroll in Seoul.
The traditional style of village offers a chance to catch a glimpse of historical Seoul.
On one street there's also a good selection of tempting street snacks!
What would Seoul be without delicious food? It would certainly be a lot less entertaining, but we don't have to worry, because I can assure you there's absolutely no shortage of food in Seoul.
When I was there, my absolute favorite place for Korean food was at the Gwangjang Market.
For a nicer sit-down meal, nothing beats a Korean barbecue.
Sitting at a table and cooking raw meat on a grill right before your nose is simply one of the joys of being in South Korea!
People from around the world visit Seoul with a mission to go shopping. Myeongdong is probably the most famous and most popular shopping streets in the city.
Each day countless people come to purchase cosmetics, bright colored tennis shoes, and cheaper street clothing.
When the sun dies down, Seoul stays alive.
The endless shopping, the scrumptious food and the friendly spirit of Seoul make it a wonderful city with so much to offer!
Mark was raised in central Africa before migrating back to the U.S. for University. After graduating, he decided to continue traveling the world. On Migrationology, he shares the cultural side of travel from a slow-paced local perspective that often revolves around his love for eating all forms of food. Join him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @migrationology.
Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:
- G Adventures for small group tours.
- World Nomads for travel insurance.
- Hostelworld for booking hostels.
- Rail Europe for train passes.
Tuesday 7th of March 2017
What a lovely photo essay on Seoul! South Korea is such a beautiful Korea. I moved here two years ago. It still is a hidden gem as not many traveler there! What else did you do when you were in Korea?
Tuesday 19th of June 2012
I've always wondered what there was to do in Seoul, nice to get a few ideas here (especially that military museum) as it's not on many people's 'must see' list.