There are a number of places and sites in and around Seoul that are worth a visit. Following are some of them:
Alive Gallery presents an unusual introduction to famous works of art. The pieces all move and flow with the use of a little modern technology and a lot of imagination. Although it's all mostly in Korean, there are plans to introduce more English and the curator can also arrange for someone to guide English tours (groups of 5 or more). A few famous works include: Leonardo da Vinci’s, “The Last Supper” Wassily Kandinsky’s, “Impression Ill” and the captivating Vincent Van Gogh’s, “Café Terrace at Night.” Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” waves her hand and nods her head all while responding to visitor’s questions (in Korean only at this time). Directions: located near Jamsil Stadium. Sports Complex Stn (Stop 218) Exit 6 and 7. Tel: 02-416-0388 and ask for Jinny KANG or English speaker.
Art Museums: There are a number of art museums and galleries throughout the country, and in Seoul, especially. For a list of some of them, see the K4E Art Museums page.
Bank of Korean Monetary Museum is located in Myeong-dong close to the Central Post Office, the Bank of Korea Museum displays currency and other documents of not only Korea, but also other countries around the world. The building where the museum is located was built during the Japanese colonial rule and is one of the few remaining examples of Japanese architecture in Seoul. Over and above learning about the history of Korea's currencies and that of other countries, it offers visitors a chance to learn to differentiate real currency from counterfeits. There's even a money testing machine that visitors can try. Admission is free. Open from 10 to 5, Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays. Directions: Take Subway line 4 to Heohyeon Station (Stop 425) and go out Exit 7. Tel: 02-759-4881
Bukchon (the 'North Village'), right in the heart of Seoul, is an absolute must-see. A short walk tour through its villages of traditional Korean 'hanok' houses, past art galleries and quirky museums, with fine food and fashion outlets on the way, will soon reveal Seoul's hidden charms. Directions: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, Stop 328), Exit 2.Go straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok Village.
Chonggyecheon is an enhanced restored stream bed that runs from the city center for almost 6 km. Many performances are held at Cheonggye Plaza near the end of the 'stream'. Location: Gwangwamun. Between Seoul City Hall and Kyobo Bookstore, at the intersection next to the Seoul Finance Center.
COEX Aquarium, located in the basement of the COEX Mall of ASEM tower, offers six thematic exhibition areas. Directions: Samseong Station, Line 2 (219), exit 5. Parking: ample parking is available in the COEX Mall
63 Building (Square) has a small but interesting aquarium and Seoul’s only IMAX cinema. Hours: Every day 10:00-22:00 (last entry 21:30). Admission to the 'Sea World' Aquarium is W19,000 Adults / W16,000 Children. For IMAX it's W12,000 Adults and W11,000 Children between 10:00 and 17:30. Directions: For information on the free shuttle bus and other transit options, visit the 63 Building website.
Jogyesa (Temple) is located near Insa-dong and is the center of Zen Buddhism in Korea. The temple organises temple life programs that are open to foreign visitors and residents. As you walk around the sidewalks of Jogye Temple, you will find many Buddhist specialty shops displaying prayer beads, Buddhist writings, incense, souvenirs like dolls and key chains. Directions: Subway Line 1 Jonggak Stn. Exit 2 (Stop 131), plus a 5-minute walk / Line 3 Anguk Stn. (Stop 28) Exit 6, plus a 5-minute walk . By Bus: 151, 172, 606,1020, 0015, 0212, 1012, 7012, 7020
Korean Folk Village (한국민속촌) is a living museum that recreates daily life during the Chosun Dynasty. Located near Suwon, the Folk Village is a replication of an entire village. Directions: By bus: Express Bus #O5001-1, from Gangnam Station-Yangjae-Singal-Korean Folk Village. Takes about 40 minutes- By car : If you arrive at the Singal Tollgate from Gyungbu Highway, Youngdong Highway, or
Singal-Ansan Highway, or arrive at the Singal Five-Way Crossing by way of Gyungbu National
Road, or Suwon-Yongin National Road, you'll road signs for the Korean Folk Village - about 3km. Note the signs are sometimes in Korean only.
Music Fountain at Seoul Arts Center operates from 15 March to 15 November. Weekdays: 12:00 to 13:00, 18:30 to 20:00, 21:30 to 22:30. Weekends/Holidays: 12:00 to 13:00, 14:30 to 16:30, 18:30 to 20:00 and 21:30 to 22:30. Closed Mondays and if it's raining. The Seoul Arts Center 'Square' near the Musical Fountain is also a great place to meet friends, have a coffee, or just lounge on a beautiful day.
Namsan-gol (Namsan Traditional Folk Village - 남산골한옥마을), located next to Korea House, provides some insight into traditional Korean housing. Various cultural events, performances, classes and exhibitions are regularly held here. Admission is free. Hours: Nov. ~ Mar. - 09:00 ~ 18:00 / Apr. ~ Oct. - 09:00 ~ 19:00 / Jun. ~ Aug. - 09:00 ~ 20:00. Closed every Tuesday (traditional garden is open) Directions: Subway lines 3 & 4, Chungmuro Station (Stops 331 & 423) exit 3, 20 meters. (For taxi drivers: 남산골한옥마을, 주소: 서울특별시 중구, 필동 2가 84-1)
Tapgol Park (aka Pagoda Park) Located near Insadong, this was the first park in Korea. It was also the original place of the first Korean Independence Movement Day gathering on March 1, 1919 and the venue of the reading of the Korean Declaration of Independence. There are several national assets in the park, among them: Wongaksaji, a 10-story tower; Wongaksa Monument, Palgakjung, and the Declaration of Independence Monument. These days, it is usually full of elderly men, sometimes in traditional Korean clothes, passing the time chatting, playing Korean chess or having their hair cut outside. Directions: Take subway line 1 to Jonggak Station. Exit 3. Walk east for about five minutes, following the subway line. You'll come to an intersection with a walled-in park, that's Tapgol Park. If you were to turn left here, you would be at the entrance to Insa-dong.
War & Women's Human Rights Museum is located in Mapo-gu. Opened in 2012, the museum exhibits the history of Korean Comfort Women who suffered during WWII. A display on sexual slavery in Africa and Asia is organized on the first floor as well. Directions: Exit 7 from Sinchon Station (green line 2, stop 240) and cross the street. Walk for 10 minutes and the museum is on your right on the second floor.
War Memorial of Korea is the world’s largest war memorial displaying more than 8,000 war relics and weapons. It is located near Itaewon. Directions: 10 minutes walk from Namyong Station, Lline 1, Stop 134 or 5 minute walk from Samgakji Station, Line 4-6, Stop 428-628, Exit 12. Address: 29 Itaewon-ro Yongsan-gu, Seoul. Tel: 02-709-3139.
Seoul Tower offers a gorgeous view of the city on a clear day. Observatory Hours: Monday-Thursday and Sunday 10:00-23:00 / Saturday 10:00-24:00. Directions: see Seoul Tower website for various options in English.
Seonyudo Islet is an island park on the Han River where visitors can enjoy walking and picnicking in a park that has been created from a water purification plant. Directions: Access to the park is via a pedestrian bridge and there is a small playground providing good climbing facilities for children and seating for parent. It’s at Dangsan Station, Line 2, exit 4 with about a 700 meter walk. Parking is available at Riverside Park, jut a walk across the bridge.
If you know of other places you feel should be on this list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Forum
Last Updated on 2014-09-05
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