If you’ve got a day or two to spare in Seoul at the start or end of your tour, why not take this time to discover more of South Korea’s capital city. Whether you are a culture vulture, adventurous foodie, tea connoisseur or serial sightseer, there is plenty to see and do!
For culture vultures: See South Korea’s most famous stage show
If you’ve got a free evening in Seoul, why not indulge in an evening of culture and laughter at a performance of JUMP – a South Korean comedy that has gained international recognition and success around the world, from London’s West End to off-Broadway in New York. Incorporating the martial arts of Taekwondo and Taekkyeon, this non-verbal hit show tells the story of a family of martial arts experts who have to defend their home from burglars and is guaranteed to be a side-splitting performance! Shows run twice daily at the Kyunghyang Art Hill in Seoul.
For adventurous foodies: Dine at the oldest restaurant in Seoul
While the capital of South Korea is today a vibrant and modern city with wonderful restaurants, chic bars and buzzing shopping malls cropping up left and right, travellers can still find remnants of the city’s past in age-old restaurants which have withstood the test of time. Dating back to the early 1990s – just a few years after the end of the Joseon Dynasty, Imun Seolleongtang is perhaps one of the oldest restaurants in all of Seoul. Although the building itself is relatively new, they continue to serve up dishes that have been on the menu for over 110 years. So if you are at a loose end for dinner, why not head to this historical and traditional Korean restaurant and order their speciality, Seolleongtang soup.
For tea connoisseurs: Visit a traditional tea shop
After a long day of sightseeing in downtown Seoul, why not relax and soak up the tranquil atmosphere of Seoul’s traditional tea shops. Located in the popular Insa Dong area of the city, with a lovely courtyard surrounded by art galleries and cherry blossom trees, Dawon is one of the capital’s oldest tea houses (running for over 30 years!) and well worth a visit. If you are wondering what to order, the daechucha tea, made with dry jujubes, is very tasty and comes highly recommended!
For serial sightseers: Discover the five palaces of Seoul
Grand, beautiful, timeless – these are the words that describe the stunning five royal palaces of the Chosun Dynasty, which can be found dotted around Seoul. Most of the palaces are made up of an array of buildings, including throne and council halls, and are made out of wood with multi-coloured painted pillars throughout. Whilst all five palaces are well worth a visit, Changdeokgung Palace with its beautiful Secret Garden and the ornate Gyeongbokgung Palace, which has an hourly changing of the guard ceremony, are highly recommended should you not have time to visit all five.