Seoul is the capital city of South Korea and is the largest metropolis in there. It is officially known as the ‘Seoul Special City’. It houses over 11.8 million people and the Seoul Capital Area is the second largest metropolitan area in the world. The city is 2000 years old and is situated on the river Han and is surrounded by mountains. It was the capital of entire Korea under the rule of Joseon Dynasty. The city is a fresh mix of traditional culture and digital technology. It has stark contrasts in everything with the traditional on one hand and modernized cutting edge technologies on the other. You will find street food and vendors and also find the luxurious night life districts. You will find the trend setting youth in the country as well as Buddhist temples.
There are a lot of Palaces in Seoul. These palaces represent the royalty of Korean empires. There are five major palaces and others are smaller. The most favorite of all the tourists is the Gyeongbok-Gung majorly because of the grand architectural building and the beautiful designing. This palace is also known as the Northern Palace because of the location of this palace is to the north. The term ‘Gyeongbok-gung’ in Korean language is the term for ‘Palace of Shining Happiness’. This palace was used by Joseon Dynasty. Under the rule of the Japanese during 1592-1598, the interior premises of the complex were destroyed. The Palace has 7,700 rooms which were later restored under the rule of King Gojong. The entire premises of the palace also include the Korean Folk Museum and the Joseon Museum.
Another palace that must be visited is the Changdeok-Gung. This palace is included in the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. This palace was built in 1405 and was used in 1618 till 1896. It has a blue roof Seonjeongjeon (King’s office), a Huwon (Secret Garden) and the Daejojeon (the King’s bedchamber). Other palaces are Deoksu-gung, Changgyeon-Gung, and Gyeonghui-gung which are also equally important in the history of the city and equally attractive and beautifully built on large portions of land.
Another major place to visit in the city is the N Seoul Tower situated on the Mt. Namsan. It is one the Asia’s tallest towers and the view of Seoul from this height is unmatched. It stands as the symbol of Seoul since the tmie it was opened in 1980. Not just the tourists, but even the locals are very fond of the view from up the N Seoul Tower and the glimpse of the city and enjoy the spectacular view of the mountains and the landscape. The tower has a high-tech multimedia design implemented in 2005 which made it even more attractive and advanced. The tourists can view a lot of performances, exhibitions and movies along with the fine dining and restaurants.
The city is perfect for Hiking with a lot of mountains. The maximum height of the mountains in the city is 800 meters (3,000 feet). The best mountain among all is the Mount Bukhan. It has the most efficient and cool hiking facilities in the entire city. It is located to the north of the Seoul and is even crowded during vacations and holidays. Other very popular mountain hiking and trekking place is Mount Gwanak which also has a temple located on it. Mount Samseong is also very convenient and good place for hiking.
The city also has a lot of Parks and museums. One of the very famous and most visited places of Seoul is the Yeouido Park. This park entertains approximately 60,000 visitors every weekend. The park covers an area of 230,000 square meters and has the field made of concrete. It was originally designed and constructed for military aviation in any cases of emergencies. The place has a Korean forest and many other shows to entertain you such as concerts, walks, cycling, etc. The place is covered with lots of trees and colorful flowers giving it the fresh environment and an ecological aura. There are three ponds in the park which are always recommended to visit and the place also has basket courts for you to play and cheer.
Another significant landmark in the city is Mount Inwang which is a 336 meter hill which is the home for the giant Inwang Temple, also known as Inwangsa. It also houses the most holy and sacred shrine in the entire city which is the Guksadang. There is a bronze bell of Bongwonsa towards the left stairs after you pass the temple gate. This bell is also considered very sacred and is also the most photographed spot in the entire area. Past this landmark, you can find the Gusadang shrine with a lot of shamanist offerings. There are some unusual and bizarre rock formations, which is popular as the Zen Rocks. If you still continue travelling on the hill, you will also find the Seoul Fortress. Do not disturb any of the rituals and take photographs meanwhile. Other temples are Jogye Temple, Bongeun Temple, etc. which must also be visited if you have enough time because each temple has a history behind it and each temple will provide you a glimpse of the historical times.