For at least two millennia, Seoul has served as a capital for various kingdoms on the Korean Peninsula. It first became a capital during the Baekje era (18 BC-660) and was reinstated as the capital in 1394 during the Joseon period. Against this background, Seoul has grown into Korea’s capital and largest city. Today, Seoul is the national hub of politics, economy, business, sports, and the arts including the fine arts and performing arts. Seoul is a city where the past and the present coexist, serving as the historic starting point of the nation’s modern culture. It boasts stunning cityscapes and vitality. It is full of new discoveries and an exciting vibe.
Jongno, an urban oasis
Jongno is surrounded by mountains on three sides with a stream flowing through its center. It is located near the Fortress Wall of Seoul, which was constructed along the ridges of Bugaksan, Naksan, Namsan, and lnwangsan Mountains. In this district, the past and present and nature and state-of-the-art technology are brought together. Diverse programs are available for visitors to stroll along the stream, hike in the mountains, and enjoy the bustling life of the city.
When the Naksan section of the Seoul Fortress Trail is lit at night, it creates a breathtaking nightscape filled with a historic vibe.
Cultural heritage reflecting Seoul’s past footsteps
Seoul, the heart of the country, is home to Korea’s major cultural assets, including many palaces. The five major Joseon palaces of Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Gyeongungung (now Deoksugung), and Gyeonghuigung serve to connect the city’s past and present. Visitors feel as if they have been transported back to the past as they step through the thresholds of these majestic royal residences. As Seoul served as the starting point of Korea’s modern era, it also houses a variety of modern cultural heritage items. The city continues to grow and evolve based on reinterpretations of traditions from a modern perspective.
Urban roads and spatial diversity
Roads are where cherished memories are made during travels. On the road, we encounter new people, new sights, and new experiences. Seoul offers a wide spectrum of such colorful experiences. You can marvel at antiques and artistic craftworks in lnsa-dong and walk among century-old houses in the Bukchon Hanok village in tranquility. You can watch local residents relaxing by Cheonggyecheon Stream, which was reinvented into an ecological stream with aquatic plants. Furthermore, Seoul is famous for Daehangno, the vibrant center of the performing arts; Itaewon’s Gyeongnidangil, a multi-cultural space with food from all around the world; Myeong-dong, a shopping mecca packed with stores; and Gangnam, where high-tech industries, art, and culture coexist in harmony.
Hongdae, a neighborhood of youth and music
Hongdae is the epicenter of Korea’s indie culture and music brimming with an artistic vibe and creative talent. Here, you can check out the underground culture scene, explore distinct and unique works by emerging artists and cartoonists, and see tomorrow’s rock stars making music. The wide range of attractions includes flea markets, back alleys with murals and graffiti, art galleries, and dance clubs.