How is vegetarianism seen in South Korea
10 must-see sights in Seoul
Seoul is so big that in a few days you won't be able to see and experience everything that is possible. There are a few things you should definitely not miss out on. Here are mine Top 10 Seoul Attractions and attractions that, in my opinion, best convey the special flair of the city.
1. Play baseball
Alongside soccer, baseball is the most popular sport in South Korea. You can also tell from the fact that there are baseball hitting cages all over the city. You just go in there and can hit 10 balls into the nets with a baseball bat for around 1000 won (70 euro cents). It's great fun, but also very exhausting.
2. Visit the Jogyesa Temple
There are many temples and palaces in Seoul. I was particularly impressed by a smaller Buddhist temple that is rather inconspicuously located in the center of the city: The Jogyesa Temple. It is the headquarters of the Jogye sect, which makes up 90 percent of Korean Buddhists.
On the temple complex you will see monks walking around and people making offerings. You can enter the main building without any problems to watch the people worshiping the 3 large gold statues. Photography is also allowed inside the temple. As everywhere in Korea, if you go in anywhere, you have to take off your shoes beforehand.
3. Eat Korean food
If you are in Seoul, you will find numerous restaurants that offer typical traditional cuisine. Before every meal there are usually small bowls with vegetarian starters, as shown in the picture (in the vegetarian restaurant Sosim). Also included is the national dish kimchi (2nd bowl at the back from the right with red content). It's pickled cabbage, which is damn hot. When I tried kimchi for the first time, I put it away again. After eating it a few times, it has become one of my favorite dishes from South Korea.
Bibimbap is also very popular. It's a bowl of vegetables, beef, rice, and a raw egg. Everything is mixed together to eat. There are different versions of the bibimbap. My favorite variant is the Dolsot Bibimbap because it is served in a warm stone bowl. You can also get this dish on a plane with Korean Air. In restaurants in Seoul, such as Jirisan, a very traditional establishment, it tastes much better.
4. Visit a Korean jazz bar
Seoul is also known for its jazz scene. Anyone looking for a quieter atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle with loud techno beats from the streets and flashing, bright neon lights in the city is well advised to go to a jazz bar. Here you can end the day to relaxed sounds with a glass of wine. I myself have been to “All that Jazz”, the oldest jazz bar in Seoul (since 1976), and can highly recommend it. There is always something going on here, especially on weekends.
5. Observe the hustle and bustle in the Dongdeamun market
I was particularly fascinated by the hustle and bustle in Seoul's numerous markets, some of which are small districts of their own. The largest of these is the Dongdeamun Market, and you can buy almost anything you can imagine here. You could spend whole days here and get lost again and again. And that's just one of the many markets across Seoul. You don't even have to buy anything. It is fascinating enough just to watch the vendors and the crowd.
6. Marvel at the sunset from the N Seoul Tower
The 236.7 meter high N Seoul Tower can be seen from almost everywhere. It is located on Mount Namsan and offers the best view of the city. It is particularly beautiful here during the sunset. Because then you can watch how the lights go on and how the city slowly transforms into a sea of lights at the end of a long day.
7. Take a step to North Korea
It is quite difficult to get to Norkorea. From Seoul there are organized day trips with guides to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), the border area between South and North Korea. You also have the opportunity to visit the blue buildings in the border village of Panmunjeom. In this, after the Korean War in 1953, the armistice was negotiated between the two sides. So half of the building belongs to North Korea. As a normal tourist, you won't get any closer to the isolated country of Kim Jong-Uns than here.
A detailed article by the DMZ and Panmunjeom is available here: Panmunjeom - The Peace Village in the Crisis Area.
8. Dance the Gangnam Style in Gangnam
In 2012, this song by K-pop musician Psy was the first one-billion-click YouTube video: Gangnam Style. This name has its origin in Seoul, because Gangnam is a district south of the Han River and the most affluent area in South Korea. In the song, the residents of this district are parodied. You can see for yourself on site whether they really dance around as funny as Psy shows in his video. In any case, it's not unlikely that you will run into a few Korean celebrities or models here.
9. Stuff your stomach with sweets
Crown Bakery is the MacDonald's of bakeries. There are bakeries everywhere where you can fill your stomach with all kinds of sweet Korean delicacies for little money. There is also coffee. The Crown Bakery is just one of many bakery chains in Seoul. There are tons of others, as you can read in this article, for example.
You can find some of the oldest bakeries in Seoul on the visitseoul.net website.
10. Climb Building 63
A big city like Seoul has numerous skyscrapers. One of the most impressive, however, is Building 63. It was built in 1985 but with its golden reflective exterior facade is one of the most handsome high-rise buildings in Seoul. There is also an IMAX cinema, Sea World and a viewing platform on the 60th floor.
Extra Seoul tip
You can find lots of discounts on many attractions across Seoul and other cities in Asia using the Klook Travel app or website.
For example, you can find entry tickets for the N Seoul Tower for € 4.49 instead of € 8. And there are often combination tickets for various Seoul attractions that include other attractions.
Here are the apps:
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About the author: Matthias
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