Gauss-Telegraph: World trip from home in 30 days – Seoul
by Andrés Muñoz
My impression of Seoul
Seoul (서울) has become one of my favorite cities in the world. It’s modern mega-city full of culture and tradition. Very futuristic and vibrant – day and night, yet its palaces and heritage villages, like Bukcheon Hanok Village, will take you back in time.
Seoul offers a wide range of activities for all types of interest: art, architecture, history, music (namely K-Pop), fashion, nature, culinary experiences and shopping. Seoul’s recent urban development projects influenced by Pungsu-jiri (풍수지리) – Korean’s system of Geomancy – have brought charm to the city by redesigning spaces into wonderful urban landscapes.
In order to get the most out of your stay in Seoul, you should plan your visit by districts. Being a large city might make commuting times a bit tedious. However, Seoul has a good metro system and with over 20 metro lines, it will take you anywhere you want. The city center area (Jung-gu – 중구) comprises the most popular attractions like Deoksugung Palace, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul Museum of History, Namsan Tower, Culture Station Seoul 284, Namdaemun Market and Myeong-dong – one of the best shopping areas in Seoul. North to this area lies Jongno-gu (종로구). Here you’ll find Gwanghwamun Square, the main gate to Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest of the five palaces remaining in Seoul (The other three palaces are: Gyeonghuigung, Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung). Afterwards, you can have a look around the galleries and craft shops in Insa-dong or get lost in Korea’s heritage at Bukchon Hanok Village. Not far from here is the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), one of Seoul’s newest landmarks, which houses many exhibition halls and a design museum. This is also a nice place to start a hike towards Naksan Park by Seoul’s city walls. The park will provide a breathtaking of central Seoul.
You could also head to the district of Mapo-gu (마포구), known for its K-Pop and college culture or Yongsan-gu (용산구) to visit the National Museum of Korea, Itaewon and Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art; or Songpa-gu (송파구), where you’ll come across the Olympic park and Lotte World Mall & Lotte World Tower – the tallest skyscraper in the country and fifth tallest in the world. In addition, the glass floor at the observation deck is at 478 m the highest glass floor in a freestanding structure. Last but not least, check out the Gangnam District (강남구), a business and commercial zone, but also home to the Bongeunsa temple. Don’t forget to go to Banpo Hangang Park to watch the moonlight rainbow fountain show.
Best spot in the city
The 63 Square building on Yeouido (여의도) island, by the Han river, houses the AquaPlanet 63 and 63 ART Gallery, the highest gallery in the world. Located on the 60th floor, the observatory at the 63 ART has a marvelous view of Seoul, even though it’s not as high as the view from Namsan Tower or Lotte Tower. The design of the structure is based on the Hanja character for person or human being (人). A few blocks away from the building is Seoul Color Park, one of the many picnic spots along the Han River (Hangang Parks) with a beautiful view to enjoy your food or go on a bike ride.
Favorite local dish
Jajangmyeon (자장면), Korean black bean sauce noodles! Although this Korean dish is affiliated to a Chinese dish, it is one of the most popular noodle dishes in Korea. It’s made with a fried black bean sauce fried with pork and vegetables. Nevertheless, dishes like Bulgogi, Kimchi, Naengmyeon, Bibimbap or Korean barbecue will blow your mind out. Furthermore, Korea is famous for its street food as well. My favorite one is Tteokbokki (떡볶이), a spicy rice cake.
Note: Due to the spread of the coronavirus, we don’t recommend to travel until the all restrictions have been lifted.