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What to do in Seoul, South Korea

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Seoul is a lively city with so many things to do and see. From its ancient history and architecture to the modern skyscrapers and design, there are a variety of different destinations to explore. You can learn about the history of Seoul through the palaces and museums scattered throughout the city and you can explore the different districts in Seoul which offer unique experiences. There is so much to see in the biggest city in South Korea. I have compiled a list of the best attractions and things to do while you are in Seoul.
A great thing to do in Seoul to learn more about its history is to go to museums! There are many museums to visit in Seoul and many of the main exhibits are free. The first museum that I recommend is the National History Museum of Korea. I have visited this museum and since it is one of the largest in Asia, it took us a long time to see everything. It focuses on Korean history, art, and ancient civilization. Admission is free to the Main Exhibition Hall. While I was in the area, I visited the National Hangeul Museum and we learned more about the Korean language. Another history museum that I recommend is the Seoul Museum of History. This was my favorite museum because it is within the Gyeonghuigung Palace site, which is one of the “Five Grand Palaces” in Seoul. You can explore a museum and a palace all within walking distance. Both are free admission as well. The Seoul Museum of History shows the evolution of Seoul from its ancient civilizations to the modern-day city. Two very informative museums about tragic events that have happened in South Korea are the War Memorial of Korea and the Seodaemun Prison History Hall. The War Memorial of Korea focuses on the Korean War and the Vietnam War and admission is free for this museum. The Seodaemun Prison History Hall was a prison for Korean rebels during Japan’s occupation. These two museums are still on my list to visit. These are all important places to see so you can understand Korea’s history.
There are many other palaces and temples to visit in Seoul. The Gyeongbokgung Palace was the main royal palace of the Joseon family and it is the largest palace in Seoul. You will see people touring in traditional hanbok dresses and if you wear one, they will let you in for free. Rolling Korea actually has hanbok dresses that students can wear on traditional activity days and we have taken students to Gyeongbokgung Palace so they were able to wear the dresses there. The Changdeokgung Palace is another one of the “Five Grand Palaces”. There are also two temples that I recommend going to see. The Jogyesa Temple and the Bongeunsa Temple are both Buddhist temples. The Jogyesa Temple is still used by locals and the Bongeunsa Temple is home to many Buddhist scriptures. To experience more of Seoul’s traditional culture, you can visit the Bukchon Hanok Village. This is a village in Seoul with traditional houses which are called Hanok. These houses date back to the Joseon Dynasty between 1392 and 1910. People still live in them so be respectful when you visit.
Exploring Seoul’s more modern attractions can be lots of fun too. You can go to one of the largest indoor amusement parks in the world in Seoul which is in Lotte World Amusement Park. I went to the amusement park for an entire day and it was so much fun. It will keep you busy and the rides and attractions are some of the best you’ll ever experience. You can be in the indoor amusement park and go to Magic island which is their outdoor amusement park. The ticket includes both parks. If you wanna see Lotte World Amusement Park from up above, then look no further than Lotte World Tower. I also visited this building with my fellow interns. It is the tallest building in South Korea and the sixth tallest building in the world. You can see amazing views of all of Seoul from the top. If you want to see more views of Seoul and its cityscape, visit N Seoul Tower located on Mt. Namsan. I went with the students at Rolling Korea for a cultural activity there. We took a cable car up the mountain and explored what was at the top. Many couples put locks on the fences and it is believed that their love will be secured forever. There are also many lookout points where the students and I hung out. We also got to go to the top of the tower. The views were amazing from up there. Lastly, the Banpo Bridge’s sparkling water and light show at night is a must-see. Take the sunset Han River Cruise if you want to experience this light show up close.
There are many districts to visit in Seoul as well. They are known for different things and I will highlight a few of them. Rolling Korea is located in Hongdae and there are many great restaurants, shopping areas, and street performances. If you are looking for a shopping district, make sure to check out Myeong-dong. This neighborhood in Seoul is famous for its shopping and it has every cosmetic store and brand imaginable. For more traditional goods, Insadong is the district to go to. If you are into K-Pop, then you will love Gangnam. This district has become very popular and has a large K-pop scene. Make sure to check out the famous Gangnam style statue while you are there too. I have traveled to all of these places and each one offers something unique.

A great way to connect and understand the culture of Korea is to visit the historical sites and explore the modern attractions. You will come back with pictures and memories that will last a lifetime. I am so happy that I have been able to explore the city with Rolling Korea and the other interns I came to Korea with. Rolling Korea puts on many social and cultural activities for the students, so make sure to take advantage of these opportunities. There are so many things to do in Seoul and this vibrant city will not disappoint.