Seoul is the capital of the Republic of Korea, the political, economic and cultural center of this country, a city with more than six centuries of history. The architecture of Seoul harmoniously combines ancient buildings in traditional Korean style, such as the royal palaces of Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, with modern high-rise buildings and skyscrapers. Seoul is also a major tourist center where tourists come from all over the world. The Myeongdong and Apgujeong areas are popular places for shopping, recreation and entertainment.
Changdeokgung Palace and Huwon Garden Changdeokgung
Palace consists of the public and official area, the king’s residence and the beautiful Huwon Garden. It is the only palace that has retained the architectural style of the Joseon Dynasty. The complex also preserved Geumchongyo Bridge, built in the 11th year of the reign of King Taejong (1411) and is the oldest surviving in Seoul.
Gyeongbokgung Palace, built in 1395, is located slightly north of the “East Palace” (Changdeokgung) and the “Western Palace” (Gyeonghuigung), so it is also called the “Northern Palace”. Among all the five palaces in Seoul, Gyeongbokgung is considered the largest and is proud of its beauty and rich history.
The palace was badly damaged and almost completely destroyed during the Imjin War (1592-1598), but during the Li Dynasty (1852-1919) it was rebuilt under the leadership of General Heungseong.
One of the most beautiful places in the palace, which has been preserved since the Joseon Dynasty, is the Gyeonghwaru, Hyangwonjeon and lotus pond buildings, which vividly display the extraordinary beauty of ancient Korea.
The National Palace Museum is located near Hongnemun Gate, and the National Folk Museum is located in Hyangwonjeong.
Deoksugung Palace is located in the heart of Seoul and is known for its neatly laid out stone paths. This is the only palace with Western-style buildings built inside, which gives its external appearance a significant uniqueness. The palace originally belonged to Prince Wolsan (1454-1488), the elder brother of King Seonjong (1469-1494) of the Joseon Dynasty. In 1611, the Gwanghae Gong Emperor (1575-1641) renamed the palace Gyeongyunggun, but the name was later changed back to Deoksugung.
Insadong, located in the heart of the city, keeping the ancient traditions of Korea, is of particular value. Insadong Road is a wide walking road with numerous side streets on both sides. Inside these lanes are galleries, traditional restaurants, tea houses and cafes. Gift shops in Insadong are very popular among people of all generations because each shop is unique in its own way.
Every Sunday from 10:00 to 22:00, Insadong becomes a street of festivities and walks. Many stores set up tents on the street and display their goods. Also here you can see numerous merchants of traditional Korean sweets and fortune tellers. Namsan Traditional Hanok Village There are five restored traditional Korean houses in this village. These houses were built according to the traditional houses of the Joseon Dynasty and represent the traditional dwellings of representatives of various social levels from an ordinary peasant to a king. Here, the furniture and interior decoration of the houses, corresponding to the status of the owner, are well displayed, which helps visitors to get an idea of the daily life of people in the past of the Republic of Korea.
Lotte Voldis a cultural and entertainment center in Seoul, which, in addition to a theme amusement park with many exciting rides, has an ice rink, an ethnographic museum, a picturesque lake and much more. It also hosts various festivals and performances. Lotte World is divided into two parts: indoor and outdoor. The theme of the park’s interior is ‘Adventure’, while the outdoor area next to Seokcheongho Lake is called ‘Magic Island’. The territory of the inner part of the park is divided into several sectors, each of which represents a particular country in the world. In the park, you can ride rides, and buy souvenirs and sweets in small shops. Enchanting parades and laser shows are regularly held here, as well as interesting films are shown.
On the “Magic Island” there is a beautiful castle and high-rise rides, which take your breath away from riding. Also here you can walk around the picturesque lake.
Myeongdong is a paradise for those who love shopping. This street has a large number of specialty shops and boutiques, as well as department stores. In these shops you can buy various goods such as clothes, shoes and accessories of world famous brands.