Finding an old soul and a young one in one entity seems next to impossible but not in South Korea’s capital city. Seoul meshes its elaborate palaces, temples, and shrines of old with the new. While a city of rich history, stretching back over 2,000 years, Seoul isn’t just an old timer. The city offers cutting-edge technology, diverse shopping, and a rich nightlife to lend a destination for all types of visitors. Where old meets new and East meets West, pack your bags and do some Seoul searching throughout these fun activities and attractions in town!
Time Travel at Bukchon Hanok Village
Encased by Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine, you can find time travel is very much a possibility in the middle of Seoul’s buzzing metropolis. Bukchon Hanok Village is one of Seoul’s historic treasures. Meaning North Village, the area is home to roughly 900 Hanok, or traditional Korean homes. The largest concentration of these traditional Korean homes in the city date back to the Joseon Dynasty. Many of the homes fill with guesthouses, restaurants, tea houses and cultural centers, making it the ideal spot in Seoul to get lost in time. The maze-like hilly lanes of Bukchon Hanok Village are a reminder of the days gone by in Seoul, all juxtaposed with the neighboring modern skyscrapers.
Get More Than Just Coffee When You Visit a Themed Café
Seoul is known for its themed cafés — establishments where you get much more than a cup of coffee. These themed cafés usual offer drinks and food in an environment honed in on a particular interest. Cat cafés are some of the most popular in town where you can sip on your tea with a number of feline friends. The unique café culture of Seoul doesn’t just end with cats. You can visit cafés like the Hello Kitty Café, a space dedicated to all things Hello Kitty; Bau House, a dog café in the Hongdae neighborhood; or even the Get and Show Café, where you can rent a LEGO set to construct as you grab a coffee.
Shop All Day and All Night at Dongdaemun
Shopping remains an integral part of the Seoul experience. To get the most bang for your buck in terms of shopping areas in the city, it’s hard to beat Dongdaemun, one of the biggest shopping districts in the city. Home to at least 20 shopping malls and more than 30,000 individual shops, Dongdaemun tends to be a shopper’s paradise, where you can buy practically anything you want. And the time of day you want to shop is never a problem in Dongdaemun — many shops stay open all night long so you can shop until you drop…or fall asleep.
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Impress Your Friends with Pics from the Trick Eye Museum
As its name would suggest, the Trick Eye Museum in Seoul will certainly have your eyes playing tricks on you. Known as the world’s first augmented reality museum, the space teases your five senses. Visitors can explore loads of 3D optical illusion paintings and installations, all while taking photos that seem to alter and distort reality and reason. The flagship museum was the first to open of its kind in 2010 and has been enthralling visitors ever since.
Dip Your Feet in the Cheonggyecheon Stream
While it seems they usually pave paradise and put up a parking lot, Seoul decided to reverse such a measure. A small stream that used to flow through downtown was hidden beneath a truck bypass and cement roads. However, in an effort to add a bit more greenery to the city, Seoul took down the highway and roads to recreate the Cheonggyecheon Stream. Covering an area of 11 kilometers long, you can take part in the amusing activity of wandering along a stream right in the middle of a major metropolis. The park features loads of landscaped walkways, 22 bridges, waterfalls, and even public art. In the summer months, you’ve got to do as the locals do and dip your feet in the stream.
Take in the Views from the N Seoul Tower
In order to understand the scope and size of Seoul, your best bet is to head for the N Seoul Tower. The iconic structure stands on top of the mountain Namsan. Measuring some 236 meters, the tower provides panoramic views of the city from its observation deck. Opened to the public in 1980, the tower was originally Korea’s first general radio wave tower. In addition to taking in the amazing views of Seoul, you can also grab a bite to eat at a number of eateries at the tower, including the rotating restaurant N’Grill.
Seoul isn’t just a one-note city. It’s the sort of town where you can roam historic palaces in the morning and have a cup of coffee with a few cats in the afternoon. The possibilities for an amusing time in Seoul are seemingly endless.
Have you been to Seoul? What’s your favorite fun attraction in town? Share your pick with us in the comments below.