in South Korea
Seoul is deeply traditional yet on the cutting-edge as one of the world’s most forward-looking metropolises.
The historic walls of Seoul were erected around the city in 1394 when the Joseon Dynasty permanently settled and ordered the construction of the stunning Gyeongbokgung Palace. The rapid development of Seoul began at the end of the 19th century when the gates were opened to foreigners and modernization after hundreds of years of isolation. During the Korean War in the 1950s, Seoul changed hands between the Russian and Chinese-backed North Korean forces and American-back South Korean forces, leaving the city heavily damaged following the conflict. This was followed by a period of recovery and recuperation before it became the economic, political and cultural powerhouse it is today.
Seoul is a fascinating mix of futuristic metropolis and fascinating history. Between temple visits and palace tours, the city offers a number of cultural sites for those who want to dive into the enriching tradition of Korea. Thanks to more than 200 food stalls, fresh-seafood vendors and kimchi counters, Gwangjang Market is an enticing mix of aromas, tastes and sights. This also is a city that’s at the epicenter of international fashion, music and design trends.
The brilliant network of public transport is a clean and efficient way to move around the city. Thanks to the country’s mild weather, spring and fall are ideal seasons to visit Seoul, however, December and January bring some of the most celebrated Korean holidays such as the Solar New Year. In Seoul, the culture of eating out is seen as a social activity for groups. A number of Korean meals, such as galbi (beef ribs) or jjimdak (spicy chicken pieces with noodles) are often not available for solo diners to protect the integrity of these culinary experiences.