Here’s a movie about Seoul. This movie will give you a quick impression of the destination. The movie is produced for IFLYtheworld.com by bluepig.nl.
Kyeong-Bok Palace, also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace is a royal palace located in north part of downtown Seoul. The palace was first constructed in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867. It was the largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty. The name of the palace means ‘Palace of Shining Happiness’.
Today the palace is open to the public, and houses the National Folk Museum of Korea and the National Palace Museum of Korea. The palace is located at Jongnogu Sajingno 34 and you can go there by subway to Gyeongbokgung Station, exit number 5.
The Palace is open six days a week. It’s only closed on Mondays. The opening hours on weekdays are from 9 am to 6 pm. On weekends and public holidays it is from 9 am to 7 pm. There is a free guided tour in English at 3 pm or you can rent an audio tour for 1000 KRW.
Cheonggyecheon is a nearly 6 km long, modern public recreation space in downtown Seoul. The stream is located in the middle of downtown Seoul.
In the old days it was a drainage system. After the Korean War they covered it with concrete and made it a highway. In July 2003 the mayor of Seoul initiated a project to remove the elevated highway and restore the stream. The stream was opened to the public in September 2005 and was lauded as a major success in urban renewal and beautification.
Nowadays it’s a popular hang out spot for city residents and tourists. It’s wonderful to walk along the river at night as the stream is beautifully illuminated. A lot of cute young Korean couples in love spend their time on the riverbanks.
D.M.Z. Border tour
A very special place in South Korea is the demilitarized zone, shortly called DMZ. It is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula that serves as a buffer zone between North and South Korea. As one of the last relics of the Cold War, the DMZ attracts a great deal of public interest, and is a popular destination for travellers visiting Korea. These days the DMZ is a safe destination that we would thoroughly recommend to any traveller. The DMZ and its surroundings contain many interesting historical sights and pristine untouched natural surroundings.
Various organizations offer DMZ guided tours. Itineraries differ, but most tours will take visitors to an observatory, one of North Korea’s infiltration tunnels, a military base, and right into Panmunjeon, the Joint Security Area in the middle of the DMZ where negotiations between the two sides are held.
Tours can be done in a half-day or full day from Seoul. You can book your tour at various locations and agencies from Seoul or you can go to Panmunjeon yourself by train and arrange your tour there from the Lotte Hotel.
There’s even a daily bus service that leaves every morning at 8 am from Incheon airport. This DMZ Transit Tour covers the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, Dora Observation Platform, the Bridge of Freedom, and Imjingak, and takes about two hours. The price of the package is 21,000 Won, which includes all admissions and transportation. The tour starts at 8 am from the B2 Gate on the first floor of Incheon International Airport and ends at 12:30 pm on the 3rd floor of the airport.
Itaewon western style neighbourhood
Itaewon is a neighbourhood with many nice restaurants and bars. A large number of Americans (both military and civilian) and other foreigners visit Itaewon to shop and relax.
Most of the places are Western style. Many restaurants serve international dishes including cuisine from India, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Thailand and Mexico, foods that are not widely available in Korea.
In the main street clothing shops and big chain restaurants occupy most ground floors. Many bars and clubs are at the first floor or basement. This is a great neighbourhood if you want something non-Korean and like to hang out.
Itaewon is located in the south of Seoul. You can go there by subway, Line 6 to Itaewon Station. And of course every taxi driver knows where it is.
In Sa Dong
If you like it really, really Korean, you have to go to Insadong. In this neighbourhood you will find a very local market, which is good for your Korean souvenirs. But it’s also the place to eat real Korean food.
Walk into the small side alleys to see find the lovely small local restaurants. Eat one of the most famous dishes of Korean cuisine like Bulgogi or Bibimbab. Everything in this area is Korean. Even Starbucks is written in Korean.
It is located in downtown Seoul in between Anguk station and Jonggak subway station. Anguk station is really at the beginning of the main street of Insadong. It’s nice to go there in the evening and the Cheonggyecheon stream is in walking distance, so that could be a nice combination.
Seoul has many nice shopping options and we like to mention two completely different but very famous ones. Dongdaemun is a shopping area for the youngsters, and Namdaemun is the old fashioned street market.
Dongdaemun Market is located near Dongdaemun of which it takes its name. The market has 26 shopping malls situated over 10 blocks, 30,000 speciality shops, and 50,000 manufacturers. The market sells all types of goods but notably silks and fabric, clothes, shoes and leather goods, sporting goods, plumbing and electronics, office supplies, fortune-tellers, and toys. It also has many pet shops.
The market was traditionally a night market. Nowadays most of the shops are open 24/7, although most stores close on Mondays and holidays.
Namdaemun street market is located near the downtown area. It is a huge market in several streets with a lot of clothes, cosmetics, fake stuff and much more. Of course you have to go there for a good bargain. You have to go there during daytime. And they are closed on Sundays. You can go there by subway, line 4 to Hoehyeon Station.
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Language of the world
Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Seoul.