Sightseeing in Seoul

Sightseeing in Korea is quite cheap. For most sights you will pay only 1000 won maximum. To have enough time, don't arrive late, as most sights close between 17:00 and 18:00.

Gwanghwamun Area


The main sight in Seoul is Gyeongbokgung. It is the biggest palace in Seoul, which reminds you of the early years of Korean dynasties. Until 1592 Gyeongbokgung served as the principal palace for the Joseon dynasty. The palace of today is only an impression of the palace it once was. During Japanese occupation, nearly all 330 buildings were destroyed or moved. The 48-columned Gyeonghoeru pavilion and the imposing Genjeongjeon building hopefully still give you an idea of how it once existed.

Inside the palace walls you will also find the National Folk Museum, which gives you more information and insight to ancient Korean culture.


Because all other palaces were destroyed by the Japanese invasion, the Korean dynasty moved to Deoksugung palace. Although the palace is much smaller than Gyeongbokgung, it still gives an idea of ancient times. The scenery, with skyscrapers of City Hall area in the background, gives a beautiful contrast between the old and the new.

The two 20th century neoclassical buildings are the Royal Museum, which shows the life of a royalty in ancient times, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, with modern art dating from pre-1960.

The National Museum

The National Museum of Korea is the best Korea offers when it comes to art, culture and history. The newly built museum has a collection of 150.000 pieces, with 11.000 on display at any time. Masterpieces are the 10-story Pagoda of Gyeoncheonsa, prehistoric artifacts, Goryeo Celadon wares and National Treasures like Bangasayusang.

Insadong area

The Insadong area is also known as the Art district. In this area you can find a large number of small art galleries, traditional teashops, small restaurants, craft shops, etc.


This palace is on the World Heritage list. The palace can only be visited by a tour. The English speaking tour-guides start between 11:30 am and 3:30 pm from Tuesdays to Sundays. The tour takes 90 minutes, which will bring you along Seoul's oldest stone bridge, the mansion of Naksonjae and the wonderful secret gardens of Biwon.

Myeong-dong and Namsan area

Seoul Tower and Namsan Mountain

To get an idea of the size and structure of the entire city of Seoul, the Seoul Tower on Namsan Mountain is the best solution. From the Seoul Tower you can get a spectacular view over the city from 370 meters above sea level. The 218-meter high tower is built on the peak of the Namsan Mountain located in the heart of Seoul.

Seoul Tower and Namsan Mountain is a good start for exploring the city. It gives you an impression of the city size and city landscape.

Go back at least once, to enjoy the romantic view of Seoul by night.

Namdaemun area


The Great South Gate was built in 1398, but rebuilt 50 years later. The gate has been renovated often, but is still marked as the no.1 National Treasure. The Gate itself is located in the heart of the business center, surrounded by skyscrapers. Although you can't have a closer look at the Gate itself, the contrast between old and new Seoul creates a beautiful scene.


Cheonggyecheon is also known as Cheonggye Stream. This 5.8-kilometer long artificial creek streams through downtown Seoul, starting near City Hall to finally meet the Han River at its end. The stream has been a big attraction for Seoul citizens to relax and take a stroll.   


War Memorial Museum

The history of Korea is full of wars. Korea has suffered from many attacks by Mongolians, Chinese and Japanese, but has always survived. The War Memorial Museum can give you an impression of the turbulent history that Koreans have been through. Although the Korean War is over, nowadays the relationship between South and North-Korea can make you experience this museum even more as reality.

Outside Seoul

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

The DMZ situated 55 kilometers from the north of Seoul should be mentioned together with the main sights Seoul offers. From Seoul there are many tours which will bring you to the village of Panmunjeom. This village was established on the ceasefire line at the end of the Korean War in 1953.

The zone which separates the two Korea's itself is 248 kilometers long and 4 kilometers wide. It is one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world. At the South-Korean side of the border 5000 American UN soldiers hold guard, together with their South-Korean colleagues. At the North-Korean border there are only a few buildings and watch-towers. This small piece of the world gives you probably one of the most sobering and frightening sceneries you will receive, without even mention of the palpable tension.   

Visiting the DMZ can only be done by tour. When booking, make sure the tour includes a visit to Panmunjeom or the Third Tunnel, a tunnel dug by North-Koreans.



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