Dec 2, 2017 Travel

From Bustling Markets to Lavish Palaces, the Top Things to Do in Seoul

by Dacy Knight

If you're traveling to Seoul for the first time, planning an itinerary can be a tall task, as there are so many things to see and do. With a population of 10 million people, Seoul is an action-packed city boasting bustling markets and busy streets but also serene pockets and welcome hideaways in cozier neighborhoods, ancient temples, and the peaceful gardens of lavish palaces. While there is certainly more to take in than what can be confined to one list, we've compiled a shortlist of the best things to do in Seoul for every attraction that can't be missed.

Keep clicking for the top things to do in Seoul.

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In Korean, the name of Gyeongbokgung Palace translates to "palace greatly blessed by heaven."

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Namsan Park boasts panoramic views of Seoul. For a few won, take in the sights from the skies from the observation platform atop N Seoul Tower.

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Nestled in the hills between Gyeongbokgun Palace and Changdeokgung Palace, Bukchon Village has the largest collection of privately owned hanoks, traditional Korean homes that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. In addition to these picture-perfect homes, a stroll through Bukchon Village will have you stumbling upon tea houses, cafes, art galleries, and museums.

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Constructed in 1405, Changdeokgung Palace is the most intact of Seoul's five Joseon Dynasty palaces.

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If you're looking to do some shopping and pick up some cultural souvenirs, the quaint neighborhood of Insa-dong is the perfect spot. There you'll find street vendors selling Korean crafts, wooden tea houses, street performers, and artists.

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Take a break from the busy city with a trip to Bukhansan National Park, a mountainous escape covering more than 30 square miles.

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Built in the late 14th century, Jongmyo Shrine is one of the oldest Confucian royal shrines in the world. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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A sprawling 10 city blocks, Dongdaemun Market features over 20 malls and 30,000 specialty shops.

In addition to South Korea, see what other countries made the list of the top travel destinations of 2018.