"Seoul - gigantic, traditional yet modern" Seoul by Vita500

Seoul Travel Guide: 3,137 reviews and 8,085 photos

What Seoul has to offer:

More than 20 million people, one of the world's largest subway network, thousands of cosy coffee-shops, modern buildings and gigantic underground shopping-malls, 600-year-old palaces, indoor amusement parks, 40+ kilometers of riverside (perfect for cycling, inlining, etc.), a magnificent mountainous landscape, shop-to-dead experiences... Seoul offers everything you can possibly imagine!

Considering the fact that almost 50% of Korea's total population is living in Seoul and adjacencies (10+ million in Seoul city, another 10+ million in the adjacent surroundings!), most visitors are stunned by the crowds of people that can be found simply everywhere and at any time of the day.
Nevertheless, Seoul has a pretty efficient public transportation network and in spite of traffic jams on the streets, transportation by subway or bus (mainly thanks to the newly introduced bus-only lanes) is really fast, reliable and cheap.

For visitors, I can only recommend to put on a pair of comfy shoes and spend as much time as possible on the streets, exploring the various sections of Seoul on foot. However, don't underestimate the vast distances...

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Quick facts:

World Ranking
Third to fifth largest city in the world (depending on source)

Geography
Area: 605 sq km (234 sq mi)
Population: ~ 10.3 million (2006 - only Seoul city!); about 23 million in the metropolitan area

Latitude (approx.): 37 - 35' North
Longitude (approx.): 127 - 03' East

Located in the Northwest of Korea, close to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), Seoul is divided into two halfs by the Han River which is emptying into the Imjin River just before entering the Yellow Sea (West Sea for Koreans).

Administration
The city is divided into 25 big wards (Gu) and 15,267 smaller districts (Dong), which are further divided into the smallest division, called 'Ban'.

Check out the below Travel Tips for more information and feel free to leave a comment to communicate how you like my tips or submit suggestions for improvement!!!

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NEW: Check out the Signs You Have Lived In Korea For Too Long and let me know if there is anything that I should add.

Aim is to achieve a similar number to the list of Hong Kong... we're definitely getting closer but are still about 20 signs behind... hence, any input is highly appreciated!!!

Thanks & have fun...!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Find everything you want in one huge place
  • Cons:Always crowded... whether it's shopping, having a stroll along Hangang or a hiking trip
  • In a nutshell:From historic sites in the North to modernity in the South
  • Intro Updated Aug 8, 2008
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Reviews (47)

Comments (22)

  • Mr.Sparkle's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2009 at 4:19 AM

    some pretty interesting and unique tips here. i'll be going to Korea in a week.

  • DSwede's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2008 at 10:36 PM

    There are so many in your "too long in Korea list" that are dead ringers. I know I've been here too long because I know the hourly schedules of the express buses.

  • Nov 11, 2007 at 12:56 AM

    I was in Seoul Oct 30 - Nov 3 guided by tips on your page. I found yr tips & yr sharing of yr travel experience helpful . Tell you one thing, I could not find the Sauna due to language problem. TQ for yr reply to my query prior to my tour of Seoul.

  • sakikot's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2007 at 12:53 AM

    What a helpful page:D Thank you~!!!

  • Pixiekatten's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2007 at 6:40 PM

    Great and detailed tips that will come extremely handy on my trip in June!! :)) Thanks for sharing!

  • Eurasian68's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2006 at 4:30 AM

    WONDERFUL! and fun to read:-) how long should i plan my trip...? *heehee*

  • bpacker's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2006 at 8:02 PM

    Rob, just to let you know, I laughed very loudly when I read this:You own at least one T-shirt and one pair of socks with a print of Bae Yong-Joon. I'm guilty as charged!!

  • mim95's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2006 at 10:29 AM

    Great info! I guess I'll have to ask a foreigner to take a pic for me. Interesting to know that non-korean food is spiced up.

  • mhiel's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2006 at 5:02 AM

    NANTA! watched it...and liked it very much! it was great, rob. entertaining and engaging---you won't get bored. audience participation was the best part... (as of this writing, im here in seoul...)

  • xuessium's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2006 at 6:27 AM

    You know what Rob, I'll just link my Seoul page to yours and save myself plenty of trouble. HA HA HA!

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Vita500

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