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Seoul - South Korea's Megacity

Seoul is one of the largest cities in the world with a population of over 10 million.

Seoul has been a major settlement for over 2,000 years, with its foundation dating back to 18BC.

Today, Seoul is considered to be a leading global city, ranking among the top ten global cities in the Global Cities Index of 2010 and is one of the world's top ten financial and commercial centres.

The city was proud hosts of the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Information Technology is at the heart of Seoul's commercial industry and the city has a highly technologically advanced infrastructure.

It offers many activities for everyone, including museums and palaces, parks and mountains, and amusement parks and night clubs.

If you enjoy shopping and food then head off to the Dongdaemun and Namdaemun markets.

english.seoul.go.kr/

Top 5 things to do in Seoul

Gyeongbok Palace

The royal palace of Gyeongbokgung is located in northern Seoul and its name translates in English as " Palace of Shining Happiness".

First constructed in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867, it was the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty.

From 1911, the Japanese government systemically demolished all but 10 buildings during the Japanese occupation of Korea. The Korean government started an ambitious 40-year initiative in 1989 to rebuild the destroyed structures.

Some of the buildings in the palace complex include the King's Quarters, the Throne Hall (inset picture), the Royal Banquet Hall and the Private Royal Library.

Generally open daily from 9am until 5pm. Children under 6 and seniors 64 and over can get in for free.

www.lifeinkorea.com/Travel2/seoul/66

National Museum

The National Museum of Korea is the flagship museum of Korean history and art in South Korea.

The museum was established in 1945 when South Korea gained its independence from the North.

A newly built extension was added in 2005, designed to withstand a magnitude 6.0 quake and protect the artifacts within. The display cases are equipped with shock-absorbent platforms and the museum is also made from fire-resistant materials.

The museum is divided into three floors. Symbolically, the left of the museum is supposed to represent the past while the right side of the museum represents the future.

It also has special exhibition halls, education facilities, a children's museum, huge outdoor exhibition areas, restaurants, cafes, shops and other amenities.

As well as permanent exhibits the museum also shows temporary exhibits and hold regular events. Check the website to see what's on when you are there, opening times and ticket prices.

www.museum.go.kr/main/index/index002.jsp

Lotte World

Open all year round, Lotte World consists of the world's largest indoor theme park and an outdoor amusement park called "Magic Island".

Magic Island is linked to by a mono rail and as well as the amusement rides has several shopping malls,a luxury hotel, a cinema complex and you'll also find the Korean Folk Museum here.

Opened in 1989, Lotte World receives over 8 million visitors each year and is considered along with Tokyo Disney Resort as one of the world-class theme parks in Asia.

Details of the rides and facilities can be found on the park website.

www.lotteworld.com/Global_eng/

Namsan Park

The public park surrounds the 262m Namsan mountain in the Jung-gu district of south central Seoul.

The popular park is a great spot for panoramic views of downtown Seoul's skyline.

It is also the location of a smoke signal station called Mongmyeoksan Bongsudae' (Mongmyeoksan Beacon Tower) which was part of an emergency communication system during early times until decommissioned in 1985.

There are various walking and hiking trails that lead up to the summit or if you'd rather stay closer to the ground you can explore the Library, Open Botanical Garden, Martyr Ahn Jung-geun Memorial Hall and Cultural Center.

If you'd like an easier way up and down from the Namsan summit you can take a cable car from the Hoehyeon-dong platform (near Myeong-dong) to the Yejang-dong platform near the top of the mountain.

At the summit is N Seoul Tower. The tower features a gift shop and restaurants on the ground floor and four observation decks climbing up to the revolving top restaurant.

parks.seoul.go.kr/eng/common/park_info/introduce.jsp?park_id=namsan

Coex Mall

You'll find this large underground shopping mall at Samseong-dong and it is Asia's largest underground shopping mall with an area of about 85,000 square metres.

The Samseong Station connects directly to the mall on Seoul Metro Line 2.

Along with hundreds of shops, the mall houses two food courts, a 16-screen multi-cinema complex, an aquarium attraction, a large bookstore, and the Kimchi Field Museum.

The museum is dedicated to informing the world about one of the major items of Korean cuisine, kimchi. Well worth a visit while wandering around the mall and a welcome break from all those shops.

The mall also features a game area which is used to film computer game tournaments which are broadcast on local television. Be prepared to drag your teens kicking and screaming away from the area if a tournament is under way!

www.coexmall.com/eng/index.asp

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Great Airfare Deals to Seoul

Book your airplane ticket to Seoul now. Use our list of airline providers to find discount flights to Seoul.


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