City Spotlight: Seoul, South Korea

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Seoul, South Korea (and surrounding area)

April 2015

Length of visit: 3 Days

Lodging: Grand Hilton Seoul

It’s a bit out of the way, but it’s exceptionally nice. There is a shuttle that runs into the heart of the city throughout the day, and you can catch it on the way back. The views are incredible and the staff is exceptional.

Can’t Miss Sights and Tours

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+ Gyeongbokgung Palace – One of five in the city, don’t miss the changing of the guards ceremony

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+ Changdeokgung Palace – Sister to Gyongbokgung, this one is worth seeing because of its secret garden

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+ Mt. Namsan – N. Seoul Tower is at the top, but it’s nice to walk the whole way up and take in the natural beauty in the heart of the city

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+ DMZ & Panmunjeom (Joint Security Area) Combined Tour – We did ours through All Seoul Tours and had a great experience. We went into the Joint Security Area, were able to drive past the Bridge of No Return, went to the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, traveled to the Dora Observatory platform in the DMZ, and visited the Dorasan Train Station. Definitely worth doing.

Great Food

+ Honestly, anywhere you can get bibimbap or hot pot is delicious. Just avoid tourist traps!

Overall

Honestly, Seoul was fun, but I’m not a huge city person. I liked the historic palaces and the natural beauty of Namsan. Our day in the DMZ and JSA was unbelievably powerful, and I think those experiences are great additions to your itinerary, but I think in the future, I would simply pass through Seoul on my way to other cities.

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