“Seoul is a city of layers and Jesse peels them back with his penetrating gaze, taking in the glitzy Western bars, the alleys sloping upward into cramped housing developments, the doorways leading to dark hallways that lead to offices and noodle shops the casual observer would never even know existed.”
― Paula Stokes,
Seoul is the capital of South Korea for about 600 years. The Seoul city is by far South Korea’s largest and one of East Asia‘s financial and cultural epicenters. It is located on the Han River (Han-gang) in the northwestern part of the country, with the city center some 37 miles (60 km) inland from the Yellow Sea (west).
Seoul is a city of contrasts. From ancient palaces with centuries of history to high-tech skyscraper of steel and glass, from ancient texts dating back millennia to the highest rate of broadband Internet access in the world, Seoul is a place where the old and new exist in harmony. With one foot in the past and another in the future, Seoul is a city that never ceases to amaze.
History of Seoul City
- Over half of Korea’s population is living in Seoul greater metropolitan area – the capital of South Korea and center of politics, finance, culture and creativity
- Seoul is divided by the Han River and surrounded by stony-crested mountains and harsh, yet beautiful landscapes.
- With the foundation of the Joseon Dynasty in 1394, Seoul became the capital city.
- Seoul acquired its name after Korea was liberated from colonial reign on August 15th, 1945.
- In 1946, Seoul was re-affirmed as the capital city when the Republic of Korea was founded.
- Seoul city abounds with things to do, offering ample opportunities for tourists as well as local residents to explore and appreciate a mixture of modern and traditional Korean culture.
Top experiences in Seoul
From old to new, explore all that the city has to offer. Visit the best parks, mountains, the top historical sites, and the places with the best views of the city skyline. Whether you prefer modern architecture or the charm of the royal palaces, there is something for everyone!
As the ancient seat of Korea’s royalty, there are no fewer than 4 major palaces in Seoul, and some are definitely worth a visit.
Seoul offers many excellent opportunities for hiking. The mountains in Seoul are at most 800 m (3,000 ft), accessible by public transit and the trails range from easy to difficult. There are many famous mountains in Seoul and some of them are:
Seoul and cities in the metropolitan area are dotted with pretty parks, perfect for spending a day out. Some of these parks have even been used as filming sites for Korean dramas and movies, a big draw for Hallyu fans. However, the most charming aspect of a picnic at the park is that you can have a full day of fun on a limited budget, perfect for young travelers.
4.19 Memorial Cemetery
Temples and shrines
Seoul masterfully balances rapid urbanization with revered cultural traditions. Among its steel skyscrapers and bustling cities lie the calming beauty of more than 900 traditional Buddhist temples, centuries-old architecture tucked among the country’s numerous mountains. Here are some famous Temples of Seoul: