South Korea’s capital offers a rich diversity of experiences, from its busy markets to its grand Joseon dynasty palaces. If this is your first time in Seoul, here are our top tips for experiencing the best of the city in one trip.
Cruise the Han River
The Han River flows through the heart of Seoul, and a leisurely cruise along the waterway shows off the city’s landmarks from a different perspective. Choose an evening cruise to see Seoul illuminated, including the popular Banpo “Rainbow” Bridge.
Visit the DMZ
If you only have time for one day trip from Seoul, head to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) for a fascinating exploration of the history and modern-day tensions between North and South Korea. Most tours offer the chance to peek into North Korea from the Dora Observatory.
Savor Some Street Food
Seoul is known for its street food, so don’t leave without treating your tastebuds to some local flavors. Join a food-themed walking tour through the city’s busy markets and back alleys to find the best bites where locals go to eat.
Visit the Palaces
Step back in time to the Joseon dynasty with a visit to one of Seoul’s grand palaces. If you’re pressed for time, opt for Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s included on many city sightseeing tours.
Shop the Markets
Experience firsthand why Seoul is a shopper’s paradise with some retail therapy in one of the city’s renowned shopping districts. Look for local fashions and cosmetics in Myeongdong, or take a guided shopping tour of the immense Dongdaemun market.