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  • 1 Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbok Palace) Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    161 Sajikno, Jongno-gu

    Gyeongbokgung, a royal palace built in the 19C on the ruins of the former city of kings (late 14C) of the Joseon Dynasty, was damaged in the early 20C during the Japanese occupation. Regular restorations have revealed the outstanding heritage of this..

  • 2 Bukchon Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Bukchon, on the doorstep of Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, is home to a host of early 20C traditional buildings, hanok, erected on the site of the former aristocratic district of the Joseon Dynasty. This charming neighbourhood, whose streets are li..

  • 3 Changdeokgung (Changdeok Palace) Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    99 Yulgok-ro

    A Unesco world heritage site, Changdeokgung was built in 1404 to house the royal family and remained a royal residence up until 1989. The palace, fully worthy of its illustrious residents, is flanked by the splendid Huwon Garden, steeped in serenity ..

  • 4 National Museum of Korea Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    168-6 Yongsan-dong 6-ga

    Calligraphy, painting, sculpture, lacquered and wooden objects and porcelain are among the countless works of exceptional quality on display at the National Museum of Korea, which provides a unique panorama of Korean history. This huge museum also ho..

  • 5 Gwanghwamun Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Sejongno

    Gwanghwamun is the historical, political and emblematic capital of Seoul. Avenue Jongno, the oldest shopping street that runs from the east and the century-old Dongdaemun Gate, owes its name to the city's belfry, Boshingak. The district is famous for..

  • 6 National Palace Museum of Korea Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    34 Sajikno, Jongno-gu

    For a complete picture of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), head straight to the National Palace Museum of Korea. It presents the symbols, artefacts and rituals of this monarchy impregnated with Confucianism, through displays that range from the refine..

  • 7 Jongmyo Shrine Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    157 Jongno

    Like many buildings dating from the Joseon Dynasty, the Jongmyo sanctuary was rebuilt in the early 17C on the ashes of the original edifice destroyed by Japanese invasions. This Confucian sanctuary, an architectural masterpiece, remains the scene of ..

  • 8 Changgyeonggung (Changgyeong Palace) Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    2-1 Waryongdong - Jongno-gu

    The palace's royal origins date back to the 12C, and despite successive reconstructions following Japanese invasions and fires, the edifice's handsome proportions and superb ornamentation continue to impress. Not to be missed, particularly when the g..

  • 9 Insadong Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Insadong-gil

    Insadong was formerly the haunt of Seoul's bohemian artists and its tiny lanes dotted with hanok and old shops selling brushes, paper and antiques were steeped in charm. Even though it is more akin to a centre of mass tourism today, a few gems remain..

  • 10 Cheonggyecheon Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    The historic centre of Seoul laid out around the town hall is where the majority of the city's public transport networks, underground shopping malls, hotels, offices, luxury department stores, countless boutiques and major historic monuments, includi..

  • 11 Deoksugung (Deoksu Palace) Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    5-1 Jeong-dong

    Deoksugung, a palace built in the 15C, provided sanctuary for the royal family on several occasions. Among the various edifices, most of which were rebuilt in the early 20C after a fire, look out for the amazing Seogodang. The reconstitution of the c..

  • 12 Jung-gu Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Namchang-dong

    Start exploring the Jung-gu district by Namsangol Hanok Village and its traditional hanoks, then go for a stroll along the streets of Namdaemun and Chungmuro to admire the buildings dating from the Japanese occupation. You may also be tempted by the ..

  • 13 Leeum Samsung Museum of Art Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    747-18 Hannam-dong

    Three architects, three halls and three exhibition areas. Jean Nouvel, Mario Botta and Rem Koolhaas combined their skills and talents in Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, creating a series of complementary and attractive volumes where traditional Korean a..

  • 14 Unhyeongung (Unhyeon Palace) Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    114-10 Unnidong, Jongno-gu

    Built in the second half of the 19C for the formidable Prince Regent Daeweongun, Unhyeongung provides a chance to see an interior typical of aristocratic homes and features a remarkable complex of wooden buildings restored in 1996. A small exhibition..

  • 15 Itaewon Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Itaewon-dong

    While the cultural highlights of the Itaewon district are undoubtedly the National Museum of Korea and the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, it is also home to a rich and varied nightlife, a throwback to the former American military presence. Caution reco..

  • 16 Namsan Park Interesting

    Nature and gardens

    Mount Namsan (265m) is first and foremost a historic site, as the bonghwadae (monticule from which messages were transmitted) at its summit bears witness. This hilltop was vital to the capital's defence during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Admire t..

  • 17 Samneung Park Interesting

    Religious buildings

    47 Gil 5 Seonneungro-dong

    Samneung Park, a haven of greenery in the sprawling business district of Seoul, is home to three royal Seonjeong tombs, which are Unesco world heritage sites, as are the other Joseon Dynasty royal tombs. Not to be missed.

  • 18 Seodaemun Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Muak-dong

    An unusual ambience reigns in Seodaemun at the heart of urban Seoul. Climb to the top of Inwangsan (338m) and walk along the old ramparts round the city to enjoy the view over this lush green district. It is home to the Seoul Museum of History and Se..

  • 19 Dongdaemun markets

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    A larger-than-life, authentic picture of Korea today! The countless Dongdaemun markets clustered along the banks of the Cheonggyecheon and as varied as they are numerous, are still organised by theme: pharmacopeia, food, electronic goods, flea market..

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