Seoul is the capital city of South Korea that is vibrant with numerous tourist attractions, like shopping areas, museums, amusement parks, and royal palaces in some of its districts. Being a metropolitan area, Seoul is one of the cities which has a large number of visiting tourists compared to any other region in South Korea. This city is also the home to 5 major palaces in this country: Gyeongbok-gung, Changdeok-gung, Deoksu-gung, Changgyeong-gung, and Gyeonghui-gung. Here, tourists can try the experience of wearing a Hanbok – South Korea’s traditional outfit – while exploring the palace. Visiting Seoul is obviously incomplete without shopping for some makeup. Myeong-dong, Apgujeong, Itaewon, and Insadong are a few areas that are packed with tourists due to its well-known makeup stores that line up along the streets. Don't forget to go to Gwangjang or Namdaemun traditional market to enjoy authentic local food for a fun culinary adventure.
Seoul Metro is an underground railway system with over 20 lines that cover most areas of South Korea’s capital city. The subway operates daily from 04.00 to 01.00.
It is affordable to use this public transportation, with ticket prices starting from 1,350 won or approximately US$1 for one person. You can even enjoy a discount of 100 won if you use Tmoney (local electronic money). Besides being affordable, Seoul Metro also offers fast Wi-Fi. Many of the city's sights are a walking distance from various metro stations.
To find Seoul Metro’s schedule, you can simply download apps like Subway Korea and KakaoMetro. These apps provide a real-time train schedule based on the stations, so there is no need to worry about missing the train. The trains are timely.
If you want to explore Seoul comfortably, avoiding the subway during rush hours is advisable, particularly from 07.00 to 09.00 and from 18.00 to 19.00.
The South Korean won (KRW/ 원/ ₩) is the official currency of South Korea. The won banknotes are available in 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 50,000. Coins are available in 1, 5, 10, 100 and 500 won. However, 1 and 5 won coins are few in circulation. Regarding currency conversion, 2,000 KRW equals about US$1.5.
Seoul has several elite areas where South Korea's most famous and richest people live. Cheongdam-dong and Apgujeong-dong in the Gangnam district are often called the Beverly Hills of South Korea.
There is also Hannam-dong in the Yongsan district. This area is strategically located in the heart of Seoul and has beautiful views of the Han River.
Seocho-gu is another elite area in Seoul. This region is the center of finance and business in South Korea. Seocho-gu is also famous for its beautiful gardens and tourist spots such as Namsan Tower.
Seoul has four seasons. There is spring (April to June), humid and wet summers (July to August) and autumn (September to November). During winter (December to March), the weather will be freezing and snowy but dry.
Bukchon Hanok Village is one of the must-visit sites. This place used to be a residential neighborhood. It has now been redeveloped into a restaurant, teahouse and more so visitors can feel the traditional Korean lifestyle.
Don’t miss Gyeongbokgung Palace. It is one of the five main beautiful palaces in Seoul.
Another place to visit is Insadong. This place is known as a famous shopping and leisure place. Here you can find various shops, restaurants, tea museums and tea houses.
Besides these three places, don't forget to stop by the National Museum of Korea, the Lotte World Tower (skyscraper) and the Seoul Museum of Art. Jingwansa (Buddhist temple) and Cheonggyecheon (public recreation area) are other sites worth exploring.
You can take a bus or subway to go to Gyeongbokgung Palace. If you take the subway, you can go up to Gyeongbokgung Station (Line 3), then get out of Exit 5 and walk for about 5 minutes. If you go by bus, take bus number 1020 or 1711 and get off at the Gyeongbokgung Palace stop.