So it's the seventh largest city in the world. So it's a bustling metropolis of over 10 million people. But that's not what makes Seoul such a dream destination. Rather, it's the tech-savvy architecture of the Digital Media City, World Trade Center of Korea and the N Seoul Tower that contrasts with the traditional stone, wood and tile houses of the Namsangol Hanok Village. It's the old-school Korean opera and dances performed in the Korea House that juxtaposes with the contemporary night life of the Dongdaemun district and the eclectic Irish and German pubs of the Itaewon neighborhood frequented by the young and hip. Welcome to both the old and the new – the epitome of Seoul.
Seoul is a feast for the senses. Start your tour in the newly restored Gyeongbokgung Palace where you can also visit the Joseon Palace Museum and Korean Folk Museum. Experience ancient Korea's royal history at the Grand Palaces of Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung and Gyeonghuigung. Seoul is also dotted with temples and shrines that speak of the spirituality of its people. The Jongmyo Shrine and Mount Inwang are just two of these. If you've got the kids in tow, then Lotte World, Everland, Seoul Land and the Children's Grand Park are all perfect amusement park destinations.
Food and Drinks
For a taste of authentic Korean kimchi, bibimbab, bulgogi, gimbap or noodles, check out the Insadong, Gangdonggu and the Yeongdeungpogu districts. In the Samcheongdong district, you can satisfy your craving for Korean barbecue and Asian fusion bistros that dot the district. A taste of the lively market scene at Meokjagolmok allows you to choose delectable offerings from over 200 stalls. For more Western-style fare, head out to Seoul's international district of Itaewon where most bars designate Thursdays as Ladies' Night.
For fashionistas with supermodel sensibilities, the best place to shop for clothes and accessories is the Myeongdong area. Foreigners also flock to the Itaewon district for shoes and clothes that fit a fuller figure at bargain prices. If you want to rub elbows with Seoul's elite, go to Apgujeong, a high-end residential, fashion and shopping district. But nothing beats the fun and chaotic shopping in Seoul's markets. Check out Dongdaemun Shijang, Gwangjang Shijang and Namdaemun Shijang for the best bargains. These are the largest traditional markets in all of South Korea, so you'll definitely feel like you are going native.
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