The bright neon lights of Seoul attract millions of visitors every year, but oftentimes, this city is overlooked for tourism.
The well-developed public transit system and hundreds of attractions make this city ideal for vacations. While the language barrier can be an obstacle, English is commonly taught in schools in South Korea, making it relatively easy to get help in a pinch. Plus, many signs in tourist areas are in English as well as Korean.
Changdeokgung Palace is a must-see landmark that dates back to the 15th century. It was burned to the ground in 1592 and rebuilt several years later. The rebuilt palace is one of the few structures to survive the Japanese occupation of the peninsula in the early 20th century, making it a precious site for South Korea.
If you want to go shopping, check out Myeong-dong, a massive shopping district full of fashionable stores. There's also lots of shopping near Ewha Women's University, and Namdaemun market offers thrifty deals. These areas are tourist-friendly enough that finding your desired goods should be no problem.
Families - or solo travelers who are young at heart - should check out Lotte World, which includes the world's largest indoor theme park. The massive complex has hotels, malls, a museum, magic shows, roller coasters, log flumes, and more. Admission is relatively inexpensive, with adult tickets running about 52,000 Won (about $52 USD) for an all-day, all-access ticket.
Namsan Tower, also known as N Seoul Tower or just Seoul Tower, is a TV broadcast tower and observation station on top of a mountain. There's a cable car up to the top, as well as a museum, gift shop, and a restaurant that revolves to offer varying views. The tower offers stunning views of the surrounding park and the city, of course, and it's likely the highlight of any trip.
While Seoul isn't the cheapest Asian city, it certainly offers plenty to enjoy in a safe and clean environment. Plane tickets are relatively easy to come by, making your scheduling easy, even if you hail from an out-of-the-way locale. Hotels aren't as expensive as they are in many US cities, and with the abundance of easy and cheap public transit means that you don't have to be picky about what side of town you stay on. Overall, Seoul is the perfect destination for adventurous spirits and old souls alike.
While the economy starts to recover, the travel industry will take much longer to reach full capacity again. That means you still have time to book an amazing trip aboard on just about any budget.
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