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Seoul Station was originally called Gyeongseong Station when it opened in 1899. It took its present name in 1946 and was designated as a historical monument in 1981. As well as railway services, it hosts a shopping arcade, the Railroad Museum and a cultural center. Seoul functions as a hub for the country's fast and reliable rail network that offers an efficient way to see the country. The Metropolitan Subway system is probably the most efficient means of movement in and around Seoul. There are eight subway lines that merge with the national railway lines and each line is colored differently for easy recognition. A surface line of the government-run Korean National Railroad (KNR) merging with these serves Seoulites and visitors most effectively. Trains run at intervals of two-and-a-half to three minutes during the morning and evening rush hours, and at intervals of four to six minutes during the non-rush hours. Tickets cost around KRW600 for Service Area One (yellow color code) and around KRW700 for Service Area Two (orange color code).
Comprising of peaks crowned by striking rock formations, Mount Dobongsan is a hiker's haven. A part of the Bukhansan National Park, this craggy mountain range shelters a dramatic contrast of gleaming granite and wild greenery. Divided by beauteous valleys, it also cocoons temples like Cheonchuksa and Mangwolsa. One of its most prominent peaks is the Seoninbong, which is sliced with 37 hiking trails alone.
Established in 1994, the War Memorial of Korea is one of the largest of its kind in the world and occupies the former army headquarters. It honors those who lost their lives fighting for their country through the course of the Korean War. The memorial comprises both indoor and outdoor exhibition halls that display a curated selection of 10,000 military relics, artillery, ammunition, documents, photographs and other artifacts from the museum's 33,000-strong collection pertaining to the nation's long and illustrious war history. Although primarily focused on the events of the Korean War, the museum also delves into battles preceding it and the international wars that Korean troops were involved in to provide a wider and more comprehensive understanding of the topic. An evocative memorial to the cost of war, as well as a testament to the nation's military prowess, the War Memorial of Korea is a chronicle of the events that shaped the geo-political history of the Korean Peninsula.
With a height of 338 meters, this mountain is located in Jongno-gu, downtown Seoul. Many huge granite peaks form the summit of this mountain and each rock has its own interesting name, such as Train Rock (kicha bawi), Dress Rock (chima bawi), Dew Rock (isul bawi), Hat Rock (moja bawi), and Worm Rock (jiryungii bawi). From the top, you can get a panoramic view of Seoul. It is especially beautiful at night, when the lights of the city are turned on. Due to Seoul's increasing population, this mountain is now covered with houses and buildings. There is no admission fee.
The granite peaks of this mountain are a famous sight in Korea. Between the peaks are beautiful valleys with areas of woodland, where you will find many rare plants and interesting flowers. In the vicinity are historical sites, too, such as Bukhan Fortress, and some 100 temples dot the nearby hills. For those seeking a bit of exercise, various paths have been laid out, allowing walkers and climbers of all ages and levels to discover the natural joys of this famous landmark.
Located in the heart of the city, the Olympic Park was built when the Summer Olympics visited Seoul in 1988. It houses tennis courts, weight-lifting and fencing gymnasiums, a gymnastics arena and an indoor swimming pool. With the games done and dusted, these venues now play host to numerous cultural and sporting events, and the park is a popular tourist attraction by itself. Enter through the majestic Peace Gate with the Olympic flame atop, and soak in the freshness of manicured lawns donned with stone and metal sculptures. An inanimate version of Hodori, the games' mascot welcomes you at the Olympic Museum to celebrate the history of the games and witness various exhibitions.
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.
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.
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.
One of the top theme parks in South Korea, Lotte World is a stimulating facility of outdoor and indoor recreational zones. Home to one of the biggest indoor theme parks across the globe, the range of activities inside the park are astounding. For an adrenaline rush, the Magic Island offers an abundance of thrills, while the Across Dark ride takes one on an adventurous journey through space. The complex also features a fantastic folk museum, shopping malls, performance venues and a massive aquarium. Entertaining and exciting, it is no wonder that Lotte World is counted among Seoul's top tourist destinations.
Peering down from a height of about 17 meters (56 feet), the statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin is fashioned from bronze and is located in front of Gwanghwamun Square. The statue was raised in 1968 by the Statue Establishing Committee, led by Kim Jong-Pil, at the behest of the President. Erected in honor of the 16th-century war hero's role in securing Korea's victory during the Japanese Invasions of Korea, the statue always pays tribute to the admiral's legendary skill, admired by Koreans and the Japanese too. In front of the statue lies a miniature turtle ship that represents a Korean warship that was commanded by the admiral. Surrounding the statue is a water fountain, called the 12.23 Fountain, commemorating the 23 battles fought by Yi Sun-sin with the help of 12 warships.