As a flight attendant, I have had the opportunity to travel to many beautiful destinations around the world. However, one of my favorite places to visit is Seoul, South Korea. Seoul is a bustling metropolis that combines modern technology with ancient traditions. In this article, I will share my personal experiences and tips on how to make the most of your visit to Seoul.
Why Seoul is a Must-Visit Destination
Seoul is a city that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, food, shopping, or nightlife, you’ll find it in Seoul. The city is home to beautiful palaces and temples, such as Gyeongbokgung Palace and Jogyesa Temple, which offer a glimpse into Korea’s rich cultural heritage. In addition, Seoul is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide variety of delicious dishes to try, such as Korean barbecue, bibimbap, and kimchi. If shopping is your thing, you’ll love exploring the many markets and shopping districts in Seoul, such as Myeong-dong and Gangnam. And if you’re looking for a night out, Seoul has a vibrant nightlife scene, with countless bars, clubs, and karaoke rooms to choose from.
Planning Your Trip to Seoul
Before you head off to Seoul, there are a few things you should know to make your trip as smooth as possible. First, make sure you have all the necessary travel documents, such as your passport and visa (if required). It’s also a good idea to research the weather and pack accordingly. Seoul can get quite cold in the winter, so be sure to bring warm clothing if you’re visiting during that time. Additionally, you’ll want to decide on your accommodations and transportation options. Seoul has a great public transportation system, including buses and subways, so getting around the city is relatively easy.
Must-See Attractions in Seoul
Seoul has so many amazing sights to see that it can be hard to know where to start. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the most iconic landmarks in Seoul. Built in 1395, it was the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty. Today, visitors can tour the palace and see the beautiful traditional Korean architecture and gardens.
Namsan Tower is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Seoul. Located on top of a mountain, it offers stunning views of the city. You can take a cable car up to the tower, or hike up if you’re feeling adventurous.
Myeong-dong is a shopping district that’s popular with both locals and tourists. It’s home to countless shops, restaurants, and street vendors selling everything from clothes to cosmetics to street food.
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village is a traditional Korean village that’s located in the heart of Seoul. It’s home to hundreds of traditional Korean houses (hanoks), many of which have been converted into museums, galleries, and cafes.
Trying Korean Food
No visit to Seoul would be complete without trying some of the delicious Korean food on offer. Here are a few dishes you should definitely try:
Korean barbecue is a must-try for meat lovers. You’ll typically grill your own meat (beef, pork, or chicken) at your table and wrap it in lettuce leaves with various toppings and sauces.
Bibimbap is a popular Korean dish that consists of rice, vegetables, meat, and a fried egg, all mixed together with spicy gochujang sauce
Kimchi is a staple of Korean cuisine and is made from fermented vegetables (usually cabbage) and spices. It’s spicy, tangy, and delicious, and is often served as a side dish.
Tteokbokki is a popular street food in Korea that consists of spicy rice cakes. It’s a perfect snack to have while exploring the city.
Shopping in Seoul
Seoul is a shopper’s paradise, with a wide variety of markets and shopping districts to explore. Here are a few places you should check out:
Myeong-dong is a bustling shopping district that’s popular with both locals and tourists. It’s home to countless shops selling everything from cosmetics to clothes to electronics.
Gangnam is another popular shopping district in Seoul. It’s known for its high-end fashion boutiques and luxury department stores.
Namdaemun Market is one of the oldest and largest traditional markets in Seoul. It’s a great place to buy souvenirs, clothing, and food.
Nightlife in Seoul
Seoul has a vibrant nightlife scene, with countless bars, clubs, and karaoke rooms to choose from. Here are a few places you should check out:
Hongdae is a neighborhood that’s popular with young people and is known for its nightlife. It’s home to countless bars and clubs, as well as street performers and artists.
Itaewon is another popular nightlife district in Seoul. It’s known for its international crowd and is a great place to go if you’re looking for a night out.
Karaoke is a popular pastime in Korea, and there are countless karaoke rooms (known as noraebangs) throughout the city. It’s a great way to let loose and have some fun with friends.
Cultural and Etiquette
If you’re visiting Korea, there are certain cultural etiquette and customs that you should be aware of to avoid any cultural misunderstandings. One of the most important things to remember is to show respect to elders and those in authority, as respect for age and hierarchy is deeply ingrained in Korean culture.
In addition, there are several other customs to keep in mind when in Korea, such as removing your shoes before entering someone’s home, using both hands when giving or receiving something, and avoiding public displays of affection.
When it comes to dining, there are also some important cultural etiquette to keep in mind. For example, it’s considered polite to wait for the oldest person at the table to begin eating before you start, and it’s customary to use chopsticks rather than a fork and knife.
Koreans also value cleanliness, so it’s important to maintain good hygiene and avoid littering in public places. When using public transportation, it’s also considered polite to give up your seat to someone who is older or in need.
By being aware of these cultural customs and etiquette, you can show respect for Korean culture and make a positive impression on those you interact with during your visit.
Seoul is a city that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, food, shopping, or nightlife, you’ll find it in Seoul. As a flight attendant, I’ve had the opportunity to visit many beautiful destinations around the world, but Seoul remains one of my favorites. So if you’re looking for your next travel adventure, I highly recommend adding Seoul to your list.
What is the best time of year to visit Seoul?
The best time to visit Seoul is during the spring (March to May) or fall (September to November) when the weather is mild and the scenery is beautiful.
Is Seoul a safe city to visit?
Yes, Seoul is generally a very safe city to visit. However, it’s always a good idea to take basic safety precautions, such as not carrying large amounts of cash and being aware of your surroundings.
Do I need to speak Korean to visit Seoul?
While it’s helpful to know some basic Korean phrases, it’s not necessary to speak the language in order to visit Seoul. Many people in Seoul speak English, and there are plenty of resources available for non-Korean speakers.
What is the transportation like in Seoul?
Seoul has a great public transportation system, including buses and subways. It’s relatively easy to get around the city, even if you don’t speak Korean.
What is the currency used in Seoul?
A: The currency used in Seoul (and throughout South Korea) is the Korean won.
Can you recommend any must-visit restaurants in Seoul?
Yes, there are so many amazing restaurants in Seoul! Some of my personal favorites include Gwangjang Market for traditional Korean street food, Myeongdong Kyoja for delicious noodles, and Hanilkwan for high-end Korean barbecue.
What is the nightlife like in Seoul?
Seoul has a vibrant nightlife scene, with countless bars, clubs, and karaoke rooms to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a wild night out or a more relaxed atmosphere, you’ll find it in Seoul.
What are some cultural attractions to see in Seoul?
Seoul is home to many beautiful palaces and temples, such as Gyeongbokgung Palace and Jogyesa Temple. It’s also a great place to learn about Korean history and culture, with museums such as the National Museum of Korea and the Korean War Memorial Museum.
What is the food like in Seoul?
The food in Seoul is delicious! Korean cuisine is known for its bold flavors and use of spices such as gochujang and kimchi. Some must-try dishes include Korean barbecue, bibimbap, and tteokbokki.
What is the best way to get around Seoul?
Seoul has a great public transportation system, including buses and subways. It’s relatively easy to get around the city, and taxis are also readily available. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, I recommend renting a bike and exploring the city on two wheels.
Thanks for reading my flight attendant’s guide to visiting Seoul! I hope this article has inspired you to plan your own trip to this amazing city.