Gyeongbok Palace, sometimes referred to as Gyeongbokgung Palace, was constructed in 1395 by King Taejo. Largest among the Five Grand Palaces built in Seoul around this time, Gyeongbok served as the central palace during the Joseon dynasty, doubling as the official kingly residence and seat of the Joseon government. The palace was designed with majestic towers, grand facades, intricate furnishings, a massive royal court, and no fewer than 7,700 individual rooms. Much of the palace was restored in the 19th century, and it continues to undergo work as part of a campaign to restore the site to its original glory. At once visually stunning and culturally significant, Gyeongbok Palace and its onsite museums offer excellent insight into Korean history.
Located in the heart of Seoul city, the Lotte World Tower stands at a height of 555.7 meters (1823.16 feet). The super-tall skyscraper was opened to the public on April 3, 2017 and is one of the tallest building in South Korea and the world. The tower is home to several stores, cafes, restaurants, galleries, an aquarium and even a concert hall. In addition they have a theme park that contains an ice rink and folk museum. On the top floors of the tower they have an observation deck, a sky-walk, and a luxury hotel. The tower is very popular with locals and tourists who spend the entire day exploring and enjoying a plethora of activities under one roof.
Built in 1971, the N Seoul Tower, located at the peak of Mt.Namsan is 236.7 meters (777 feet) tall. The iconic landmark, built for transmitting signals of radio and television, is visible from nearly everywhere in the city. Now, a famed tourist attraction, the tower offers stunning views from the top. One of the most romantic places in Seoul, the N Seoul Tower or Namsan Tower is a favorite for couples and as any Korean Drama fan will recognize, is the top spot to profess undying love, much like the Eiffel Tower in France. Around the roof terrace, there are locks in a colorful display, proclaiming messages of true love, as couples come here to leave a love lock as a symbol of their devotion to each other. Accessible by cable car, car or hiking, the tower has other attractions including art exhibitions, restaurants, and a cultural experience center.
This impressive gate was originally constructed in 1395 as the main entrance from the majestic Sejong Boulevard into Kyongbuk Palace. The three arched gates and a two-story pavilion are typical of the architectural design and shape of that period. It has been completely reconstructed after years of conflict and falling into disrepair and it is now made of modern materials such as concrete and steel. It presently serves as a secondary entrance to Kwanghwamun Park.
This Korean-style village is nestled at the foot of Pukansan between Gyeongbok Palace and the secret garden. There are over 2,000 buildings of which more than half are Korean-style houses. Most of these structures have antique tiled roofs and stone walls. The village is a fascinating walk down olden times and a much needed escape from the otherwise modern environs of the city. Some of the attractions that are incorporated in the Bukchon Hanok Village include Gahoe Museum, Han Sangsu Embroidery Museum and Rakgojae.
Designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) is one of the most iconic landmark structures in Seoul. The cutting-edge modernity of this mega-structure coupled with its unique design won Seoul city the title of World Design Capital in 2010. The structure of the building is curvaceous and fluid, devoid of any straight lines or walls. It houses as many as five spaces inside, namely an art hall, a museum, a design lab, the Oullim square and the Dongdaemun History and Culture park. Visit the DDP at night for a dazzling view of this modern wonder.
Myeongdong Cathedral was the first redbrick building to be constructed in Seoul. It is located in one of the most affluent shopping districts in Korea. Consecrated in 1898, it was built in the Gothic style and took four years to complete. The main edifice is 23 meters (75.45 feet) high, while the steeple soars another 22 meters (72.17 feet). Twenty different types of bricks in two colors, red and gray, were used in the construction. Sunday English masses are at 10a. The cathedral has been designated a historical site.
Seoul grooves to the energetic beat of K-Pop, a 24/7 city that ties the past, present and future together in a neat little bundle of pleasing contrasts. Surrounded by mountains, perched on the edge of the Han River, Seoul is the heart of South Korea, a miracle child born of the ravages of the Korean War. The city encapsulates nearly 2000 years of history, revered as the capital city of the Joseon Dynasty. The markers of its regal past are interwoven with care into the fabric of the modern city, with attractions like Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine, Namhansanseong and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty granted protection as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Alongside ancient temples, palaces and pagodas, a cosmopolitan city has come to the fore as a global cultural icon and the worthy capital of South Korea. From the futuristic facade of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and the landscaped gardens along the river, Seoul is well on its way to redefining its image as a charmless industrial center. Paired with its chaotic night markets, quaint tearooms, traditional soju bars, trend-setting fashion, sparkling nightlife and music that has taken the world by storm, Seoul is a global sensation; a technology-ready metropolis that is steeped in culture.
This palace is the most preserved among major and minor palaces in Seoul, because the descendants of the royal family lived here until recent years. This is the one of the best places to observe the culture of the nobility of old Korea. This building has few restricted areas, with the southern half of this building widely open to the public. In addition, you can take various classes to learn about Korean culture, like court etiquette, tea ceremony, and general formality.
Originally named Sugang-gung, this impressive palace was constructed in 1419 by King Sejong and is one of the oldest of all existing royal palaces in South Korea. It was built in memory of King Sejong's father, Taejong. Under Japanese colonial rule, the ornate palace and its grounds served as a zoo. It was not until 1911 that the name was changed to Changyong Palace. In 1986, the building was restored to its original glory and opened to the public as a historical monument.