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Seoul Neighborhood Guide

Seoul Neighborhood Guide

The Han River cuts Seoul in two, and the vibrant South Korean capital is further divided into two dozen districts, each with its own flavor and character. Whether you’re stepping back into Joseon dynasty history or finding your Gangnam style, be sure to explore these fascinating neighborhoods. 

Gangnam

Gangnam has become South Korea’s most famous neighborhood in recent years. This upscale district, known for its K-pop connections, is also home to designer boutiques, high-end restaurants, and the massive COEX mall. It’s not all modern flash, though: To learn more about Korean Buddhism, consider a temple stay at Bongeunsa Temple.

Jongno

The historic heart of Seoul is home to the city’s five grand Joseon dynasty palaces (including the Changdeokgung Palace UNESCO World Heritage Site), as well as the traditional Korean houses of Bukchon Hanok Village. Cheonggyecheon Stream, which runs to the south of the neighborhood, is a popular spot for a stroll.

Myeongdong

Part of the larger Jung-gu District, Myeongdong is the go-to neighborhood for shoppers and foodies. This busy district has a little bit of everything, from small local boutiques to big department stores, as well as street-food stalls and numerous restaurants serving both Korean and international cuisine.

Itaewan

Thanks to its location near the US Army base, Itaewon is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in Seoul. Come in the evenings or on weekends to mingle with locals and foreigners over dinner at an international restaurant or drinks at a bar or club. Nearby Yongsan is home to one of the biggest electronics markets in the world.

Hongdae

Home to Hongik University, Hongdae ranks among Seoul’s most youthful and energetic neighborhoods. By day, visitors can browse art galleries, watch street performers, and sip coffee at trendy cafés. Once the sun goes down, Hongdae transforms into one of the city’s nightlife hubs, known for its live music and dance clubs that stay open long into the night.

Yeouido

Known as the Manhattan of Seoul, this island on the Han River features some of the city’s tallest buildings and landmarks, including the 63 Building. Stroll through Han River Park for a breath of fresh air (or a view of cherry blossoms in spring), or duck into the 63 Building to visit the aquarium or catch a show at the IMAX theater.

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7 Tours and Activities

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Seoul City Sightseeing Tour Including Gyeongbokgung Palace, N Seoul Tower, and Namsangol Hanok Village

Seoul City Sightseeing Tour Including Gyeongbokgung Palace, N Seoul Tower, and Namsangol Hanok Village

star-4
65
This full-day sightseeing tour of Seoul showcases the best of Korea’s history, culture, and traditions. Led by a guide, see the city’s major landmarks, including Jogyesa Temple and Gyeongbokgung Palace, National Folk Museum, N Seoul Tower, and Namsangol Hanok Village. Watch the changing of the guards during a stop at Gwanghwamun Gate and enjoy a traditional Korean lunch with your fellow travelers in Insadong. Your full-day tour also includes a stop at a traditional ginseng center.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$90.00
From
$90.00

Historic Jongro District Authentic Food Tour in Seoul

Historic Jongro District Authentic Food Tour in Seoul

star-5
70
Immerse yourself in the culinary and drinking culture of Seoul's historic Jongro District on this evening walking tour. Follow a guide to three different local restaurants to try traditional dishes such as chicken stew, Budaejjigae, pancakes, and Korean barbecue. Learn about the traditional foods served here, as well as the history of the district, through the guide's in-depth commentary. Limited to a small group of 10 people or fewer, this tour provides personalized attention and an intimate atmosphere.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$81.03
Price varies by group size
From
$81.03
Price varies by group size

Korean Palace and Market Tour in Seoul Including Insadong and Gyeongbokgung Palace

Korean Palace and Market Tour in Seoul Including Insadong and Gyeongbokgung Palace

star-4
125
Discover the history and cultural traditions of Korea on this full-day tour of Seoul’s palaces and markets. Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace including its National Folklore Museum, and see Jogyesa Buddhist Temple and Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Your informative guide accompanies you to Insadong and Namdaemun to explore these bustling local markets on foot. Enjoy a Korean lunch and convenient round-trip coach transport from your hotel.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.11
From
$84.11

Morning Walking Tour: Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village

Morning Walking Tour: Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village

star-5
59
Admire South Korea’s palace architecture and learn of life in the country’s capital on this 3-hour Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village walking tour. Stroll to Gwanghwamun Gate and visit Gyeongbokgung Palace. Listen as your guide details Joseon Dynasty history and admire traditional construction techniques. Visit the National Folk Museum of Korea and discover over 98,000 artifacts detailing South Korea’s history. Head between Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace to Bukchon Hanok Village. Peer inside traditional houses and learn about Korean lifestyles from the past to the prefect day.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.26
From
$60.26

Seoul Hop-On Hop-Off Downtown Palace Course

Seoul Hop-On Hop-Off Downtown Palace Course

star-3.5
42
The royal palaces dotted around Seoul are widely considered among the South Korean capital’s most important sites of interest. With this hop-on hop-off  bus ticket, save time and effort reaching palaces including Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, and Gwangwhamun, and enjoy the freedom to jump on and off the service at your leisure. With buses every 25 to 30 minutes and on-board audio guide bringing Seoul’s history to life, you can visit all the grand palaces in one day in comfort.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$18.47
From
$18.47

Hipster Seoul: West Side Food Tour

Hipster Seoul: West Side Food Tour

star-5
13
Follow your nose—and your private guide—to the Mullaedong district in Seoul, which has recently become home to artists making it the city’s hippest district. On this evening tour, taste the best Korean BBQ and soju in town, followed by traditional chicken and ice-cold beer. Experience the best of Korean culture through local drinking games and funny stories. Get insider suggestions for street food and dessert.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$102.57
Price varies by group size
From
$102.57
Price varies by group size

Korean Heritage Tour: Palaces and Villages of Seoul Including Gyeongbokgung Palace

Korean Heritage Tour: Palaces and Villages of Seoul Including Gyeongbokgung Palace

star-4
24
This full-day tour of Seoul offers an in-depth look at Korea’s rich cultural heritage. With your guide, tour the gates and pavilions of Gyeongbokgung Palace; browse historical exhibits at the National Folklore Museum; and visit the Korean Folk Village and Jogyesa Buddhist Temple. Enjoy a Korean lunch and comfortable round-trip coach transport from your hotel.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$101.35
From
$101.35