Seoul

Travel Guide
Seoul showing a city, a high-rise building and a river or creek

The South Korean metropolis has some of Asia’s busiest markets and nightlife districts alongside tranquil teahouses and palaces surrounded by gardens.

Seoul is brimming with youthful vibrancy. Art galleries, cinemas, bars and boutiques are dotted all over the city. Seoulites are also in touch with their past, and you’ll find plenty of instances of traditional Korean culture in palaces and theatres.

Korea has suffered from many conflicts, and some of the bruises still show in Seoul. The city’s Five Grand Palaces are testament to this; all of these complexes have been destroyed or badly damaged. Today they have largely been restored to their former glory and house national treasures, art and traditional architecture. For particularly fine examples of these palaces, visit Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung and Changgyeonggung.

Locals possess optimism and friendliness in abundance. Younger Seoulites will be eager to use their language skills to help you out, and older residents, although not as proficient with their English, are still overwhelmingly warm.

Shopping opportunities in Seoul are boundless. Choose from designer outlets in Myeongdong, traditional craft shops at Insadong and bargain malls at the huge Dongdaemun Market. Wear your new attire while exploring the city’s nightlife. Hongdae Young Street has an eclectic collection of bars, clubs, live music and independent cinema.

Soak up classic Korean culture at venues like Chongdong Theatre. Here, you can marvel at spectaculars featuring traditional music, dance and costume. Sample local cuisine at well-priced stalls and restaurants that serve Korean classics such as kalguksu (“knife noodles”) or donkas (deep-fried pork cutlets). Foodies will want to pay homage to the Korean national dish (kimchi) at the Pulmuone Kimchi Museum. Kimchi is a fermented vegetable (cabbage, radish or cucumber) dish seasoned with spices. Finish your dining experience with a visit to one of Seoul’s excellent teahouses.

When you want some quiet time, escape to one of Seoul’s regenerated areas, such as Cheonggyecheon Stream. This stretch of water in the city center features greenery, wildlife and local art. It’s a great example of Seoul’s ability to innovate, educate and entertain all at once.

Seoul has hot summers and cold winters. The best time to visit is around March through May (spring), or September through November (fall) . Navigate the city using the well-priced and efficient subway system, considered one of the best in the world.

Seoul Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Seoul

ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
4 out of 5
36, Sejong-daero 11-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is S$83 per night from 24 Jan to 25 Jan
Located in Jung-gu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sungnyemun Gate and Deoksugung Palace. Cheonggye Plaza and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park are ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (1,717 reviews)
"It is very close to the City Hall subway station which is a great area to access a lot of shopping and tourist sites."

Reviewed on 17 Jan,2022

ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
InterContinental Seoul COEX, an IHG Hotel
InterContinental Seoul COEX, an IHG Hotel
5 out of 5
524, Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is S$184 per night from 26 Jan to 27 Jan
Located in Gangnam, this luxury hotel is steps away from Starfield COEX Mall and COEX Convention and Exhibition Center. SMTOWN coexartium and Seonjeongneung ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (932 reviews)
"Staff were amazing. Amazing hotel."

Reviewed on 30 Dec,2021

InterContinental Seoul COEX, an IHG Hotel
L7 Gangnam by LOTTE
L7 Gangnam by LOTTE
4 out of 5
415, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Gangnam
The price is S$111 per night from 7 Feb to 8 Feb
Located in Gangnam, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from COEX Convention and Exhibition Center, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Namsan Park and National Museum of Korea. ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (1,433 reviews)
"Convenient location with polite and professional staff"

Reviewed on 4 Dec,2021

L7 Gangnam by LOTTE
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Orakai Insadong Suites
Orakai Insadong Suites
4 out of 5
18 Insadong 4-Gil Jongno-Gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is S$144 per night from 22 Feb to 23 Feb
Located in Jongno, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Jogyesa Temple and Gwanghwamun. Bukchon Hanok Village and Gyeongbok Palace are also within 1 ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (781 reviews)
"This hotel is very comfortable. The suite (apartment) is well equipped and modern. My only complaint is the pillows. Maybe consider giving extra pillows on the bed for those of us who prefer fluffy over flat pillows."

Reviewed on 30 Dec,2021

Orakai Insadong Suites
Oakwood Premier Coex Center
Oakwood Premier Coex Center
5 out of 5
46, Teheran-ro 87-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is S$251 per night from 6 Feb to 7 Feb
This family-friendly Seoul aparthotel is located in Gangnam, within 1 mi (2 km) of Bongeunsa Temple and Starfield COEX Mall. Lotte World and Apgujeong Rodeo ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (938 reviews)
"This hotel is located at the best place. Kind staff and very clean. Recommend."

Reviewed on 9 Jan,2022

Oakwood Premier Coex Center
Somerset Palace Seoul
Somerset Palace Seoul
4 out of 5
7, Yulgok-ro 2-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is S$149 per night from 3 Feb to 4 Feb
Located in Jongno, this family-friendly Seoul aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Jogyesa Temple, Gyeongbok Palace and Gwanghwamun. Bukchon Hanok Village ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (1,197 reviews)
"good location staffs were very friendly I enjoyed staying this property"

Reviewed on 28 Oct,2021

Somerset Palace Seoul
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Seoul

Top things to do in Seoul