Welcome to Seoul — capital and largest metropolis of South Korea where over 10 million people reside. Known as the most wired city in the world (highest number of smartphone users, wifi on buses, implementation of 5G networks) and home to K-Pop idol stars and BB creams, it came with no surprise when Uber finally arrived in August of 2013 to move people around in a more seamless and stylish way.
To give you an idea of what Seoul looks like, we hopped in an Uber and rode around the city – from old palaces up north to across the river down to Gangnam.
There are tons of awesome things to do and places to visit in Seoul but here are the 5 must sees:
1. Cheonggyecheon Stream / 청계천
Opened in 2005, Cheonggyecheon is the beautiful result of a massive restoration project in the center of Seoul. A walk along this 5.8-km (3.6-mile) stream is almost as good as a spa for clearing one’s mind or rethinking a deal. While it’s just off Sejongro, one of the busiest boulevards in Seoul, Cheonggyecheon is remarkably quiet because the stream is more than 15 ft below street level and feels a little like a dugout. You can take an organized walking tour or stroll alone. It’s very serene with small waterfalls, and nearly two dozen overhead bridges.
2. Gyeongbokgung Palace / 경복궁
Originally built in the late 1300s, the grand palace has seen a few ups and downs having been destroyed in the 1500s, reconstructed in 1800s, and destroyed again in the early 1900s (like I said, ups and downs!). Like the resilient and amazing people of Seoul, the palace is returning to its original glory and is more than half way through its 40-year restoration project ran by the Korean government.
3. Garosugil / 가로수길
The fashion focal point of Seoul. On this alleyway of hip and modern, you’ll find cool and upcoming boutique clothing brands, great restaurants, trendy bars and cafes. If you want the best and the latest, this is where you need to visit!
4. Gwangjang Market / 광장시장
Established in 1905, Gwangjang Market is the oldest public market in Seoul. There are over 5,000 independent shops and is known to be the go-to place for anything textile – from silk to custom made hanbok, market is full of vendors who supply the entire nation. But more important than fabric are the hundreds of food stalls called pojangmacha full of delicious snacks lining the center of the market.
5. N Seoul Tower / 남산타워
Located right at the heart of the city (literally the geographic center), this is the place for you to see what Seoul is all about. Known as Namsan Tower among locals, you can see a 360 degree view of the city from the observation deck. It also has a revolving restaurant that rotates every 48 minutes. Across the balcony at the base of the tower is a slew of padlocks with messages and initials of significant others that couples have locked as a declaration of their eternal love.
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