Visit the heart of the capital city of Korea first, seeing the royal palaces that represent both ancient and modern-day Korea, the Cheonggyecheon Stream and N Seoul Tower. Shopping and sightseeing will make the day seem too short, so, let’s go! Here’s a short list of some of the most attractive destinations in Metropolitan Seoul.
A UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, this is the only palace that has preserved the original royal architecture of the Joseon Dynasty. The hidden treasure is the Secret Garden, an intimate Korean-style retreat behind the palace.
Location: Take Subway Line 3 to Anguk Station, and take Exit 3 for the short walk to the palace.
Sightseeing time: Approximately 1.5 hours, Foreign language services available in English,
Japanese and Chinese.
Only ten minutes from the Changdeokgung Palace, the streets of Insa-dong reflect traditional culture and bustle with tourists day and night. Here visitors can find a great selection of traditional items and souvenir gifts as well as many popular Korean restaurants such as Min’s Club, Gung, Sawon, Dimibang, Volga, Jirisan and Sanchon.
Location: Take Subway Line 3 to Anguk Station, and go out of Exit 6. Walk up to the tourist information center (less than 1 minute). Insa-dong starts there.
After a good Korean meal in Insa-dong, head towards Cheonggyecheon Stream for an urban landscape tour. Once the place to do the laundry, the area was industrialised in the 1970s with concrete roads built over the stream. Now it has been restored to become a leading tourist attraction, especially popular in the evening.
Location: Take Subway Line 1 to Jonggak Stati.
Offering a birds’ eye view of Seoul, this is a particularly popular local destination for a romantic dinner.
The market in Dongdaemun is busy day and night with shoppers looking for fashion bargains. Business Hours: 10:00~22:00.
Location: Take Subway Line 2, 4, or 5 to Dongdaemun Stadium station, and take Exit 14. Walk about 100 metres in the direction of Dongdaemun Market for big shops like Hello apm, Milliore, and Doota.
The historic site of Hwaseong Fortress and the Hwaseong’s Haenggung Palace in Suwon have spurred increasing numbers of travelers in Korea since the TV drama ‘Jewel in the Palace’ was shown. Also, the fantasy-filled Everland theme park is just a short stop away.
Travel from Seoul to Suwon Hwaseong Fortress by subway: Take Subway Line 1 to Suwon Station. At the bus stop across the station, take bus 5 or 7 and get off at Paldalmun Gate (15 minutes). Visit the Tourist Information Center at the Suwon Station for more information.
In Suwon (about 40kms from Seoul) Hwaseong Fortress is considered an important relic of the late Joseon Dynasty’s architecture. The gates, which face in all four directions, are called Changnyongmun, Hwaseomun, Paldalmun, and Janganmun. Begin your trip at Paldalmun Gate. It is closest to Suwon Station and thus, most easily accessible by public transportation. After seeing Paldalmun, visit Hwaseong Haenggung Palace first before heading up to the fortress. If you go straight to Hwaseong, you will miss the palace. The palace is certainly worth a visit and only 10 minutes away it was the film location for Jewel in the Palace.
Viewing Time: About 3.5 hours (including Hwaseong Fortress and Hwaseong Haenggung Palace).
Viewing Tip: There are numerous regular and special weekend cultural events at Suwon Fortress – experience the reenactment of a traditional guard-changing ceremony at the fortress gates, try on a royal costume or hone your culinary skills at traditional Korean cooking classes.
After your visit, return to the bus stop near Paldalmun Gate, and take a bus to Everland. (If you want to arrive at Everland after 5pm in time for the evening hours, it may be a good idea to see the Hwaseong Fortress beforehand.)
The largest theme park in Korea, Everland offers special events for every season. Visitors love the wide
variety of rides, and it is reputable for its friendly attendants, good service and hospitality. If you are visiting with your children, make sure to stop here for some unforgettable fun.
Itinerary compliments of Visit Korea.