Seoul was an enjoyable trip. I visited for Christmas in 2016, and spent most of the time there forgetting it was Christmas. Perfect. In no particular order, here are my top 5 spots and sights for Seoul.
This is the area I stayed in, and is quite possibly my favourite neighbourhood. It’s a cultural hub; littered with little craft shops, art shops, restaurants, and cafes. It’s close proximity to a subway station means it’s a good jump off for the rest of the city, and it’s a great place to pick up traditional Korean wares to take home.
A statue at the far end of Insadong’s main shopping street.
A very popular tourist spot, Gyeongbukgong is one of the Great Palaces of Seoul. Stepping into its grounds is like stepping back in time. It’s beautiful, peaceful, and has a wonderful backdrop. Wearers of Korea’s traditional Hanbok can enter for free (there are plenty of rental places around the area), or you can pay the fee. I’m a big lover of architecture, so this was a treat.
The banquet hall “floats” on a lake, which in December is frozen over.
A Twosome Place.
This is actually a cafe chain, but it’s worth mentioning, because their cakes are divine. As I said, I visited during Christmas, so it was fucking cold, and A Twosome Place was the perfect escape from winters icy grip. A huge chunk of banana cake washed down with a hot chocolate is just the relief you need.
Cake and hot chocolate is the perfect “fuck you winter” treat.
If you haven’t heard of Gangnam, where have you been?? This amazing district was made famous by Korean artist PSY, and I can see now why he dedicated an entire song to it. It’s great! Lots of shopping to suit all tastes (the make up shops especially were my favourite), as well as a plethora of eateries, and some eye-catching street art. Oppa Gangnam Style!
PSY dedication in Gangnam Square.
Technically still in Insadong, Jogyesa is a Buddhist temple worthy of its own spot. It’s a fantastic piece of architecture, the bright colours standing out against its modern counterparts, and of course, it’s peaceful. I’m an atheist who loves temples; I love their welcoming vibes, their beauty, their tranquillity, and their history. Jogyesa delivers this in spadefuls.
The main part of the temple contrasting against the slick skyscrapers behind.
What’s your Seoul top 5?