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Seoul Attractions

Category: Destinations

8 Sep 2013 | 04:51 AM

Korea may be famous for its dramatic landscapes and scenic natural attractions in its outlying provinces, but its bustling metropolis is also a fertile ground for exciting discoveries.

Seoul, with its many skyscrapers and hectic highways, may come across like any other metropolitan city to a first time visitor but don't be fooled by its modern facade. It holds a rich history that dates back to the 13th century and it has plenty to offer tourists of varied interests.

The Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the most remarkable attractions of Seoul. Established in 1395, it is home to several stately gardens and magnificent apartments. It now houses the National Folk Museum that offers a fascinating glimpse to the rich cultural legacy of this country and its people.

Hidden amidst towering skyscrapers is the Namsangol Traditional Korean Village where time seems to stand still. Visitors will find a working village where beautiful ponds offer a refreshing respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can also while away the time browsing exhibits and crafts in many of the shops that can be found in the area.

If you want to visit some temples when in Seoul, Jogyesa is one of the places you do not want to miss. It is believed to have been established back in 1395 and considered one of the most important sites of Buddhism in the country. Inside the temple grounds you will find an ancient white pine tree that has been declared a significant natural monument in South Korea. Even more ancient is the Buddhist temple of Bongeunsa in Gangnam-gu. If you wish to explore the possibility of living the life of a monk, you can follow in their footsteps for a limited period of time in the temple.

Namsan Park is another popular destination in Seoul. It stands on Mount Namsan that towers right in the city center. Take the cable car to the summit and check out its impressive Maritime Aquarium right on top. You can also enjoy its scenic botanical gardens and charming fountains. For a dramatic view of the city's panorama, climb up the 1,575 feet Seoul Tower and treat yourself to a fantastic view of the city's skyline.

Another favorite Seoul attraction is the biggest indoor theme park in the world, the Lotte World. Discover this jaw-dropping entertainment capital and enjoy the profusion of rides, shops, parades, castles and more. It even features a beautiful lake and scenic trails for visitors to enjoy.

For an exciting Seoul shopping experience, head to Myeong-dong where you'll find a seemingly endless stretch of department stores, shops and boutiques with restaurants and entertainment hubs scattered around.

You also want to check out the famous Insa-dong district where hundreds of art and antique galleries can be found. You can easily spend a whole day browsing for that perfect souvenir. Great finds are plentiful, so you may want to check your purchases and how much they are costing you every once in a while for good measure!