On a recent trip to South Korea, here are our favorite spots and where we stayed in Seoul, Gyeongju & Busan. South Korea is an amazing, adventurous and vibrant place to choose as your next destination.
Our Favorite Spots in Seoul
- Gyeongbokgung Palace – Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is also commonly referred to as the Northern Palace because its location is furthest north when compared to the neighboring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeonghuigung (Western Palace) Palace. Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful, and remains the largest of all five palaces.
- Geunjeongjeon Hall – the main throne hall of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Originally built in 1395, Geunjeongjeon is now the largest and most formal hall at the palace. The name translates to “all affairs will be properly managed if Your Majesty demonstrates diligence.”
- Myeong-dong – a shopping area packed with international fashion brands, luxury department stores and homegrown cosmetics shops. Casual eateries offer Korean dumplings and ginseng chicken soup, while street vendors sell Japanese and Thai snacks. Shows mixing folk music and drama are staged at Myeongdong Nanta Theatre. Nearby 19th-century Myeong-dong Cathedral features a Gothic-style bell tower.
- Gangnam District – Seoul’s upscale, modern center, home to gleaming skyscrapers, designer brands and stylish nightclubs where big-name DJs spin techno and house. Dining options span high-end restaurants to bars serving fried chicken and soju rice wine. Starfield COEX Mall draws visitors to its aquarium, while Seoul Arts Center has a design museum and a theater. Buddhist temple Bongeunsa dates to the 8th century.
- Han River – a major river in South Korea and the fourth longest river on the Korean peninsula after the Amnok, Tuman, and Nakdong rivers. The river begins as two smaller rivers in the eastern mountains of the Korean peninsula, which then converge near Seoul, the capital of the country.
- Jeongdong Theater – popular theater showcases traditional Korean performances with modern flair.
- Jihwaja – Operated by the late Master of Culinary Arts of Joseon Dynasty Hwang Hae-seong and current chief director of Institute of Korean Royal Cuisine Han Bok-ryeo, Jihwaja is a restaurant that specializes in authentic Royal Cuisine of the Joseon Dynasty (Intangible Cultural Property No. 38) since 1991. Using fresh seasonal ingredients all year-round, meals are prepared to best fit any occasions such as business meetings, celebrations, anniversaries and more. Here you can experience the unique food culture of Korea and the secret recipes of the family of Hwang Hae-seong using all your five senses.
- Sulwhasoo Flagship Store -a signature space that gathers the essence of Asian beauty. Like a lantern lighting the way through the dark, Sulwhasoo’s Flagship Store radiates with the beauty of Asian wisdom. Experience the ideal of truly holistic care, the perfect balance of inner and outer beauty.
Where we Stayed in Seoul
- Park Hyatt Seoul
- Amazing views of the city & modern with natural elements interior design
- Located in Gangnam area of Seoul (ever heard of the song “Gangnam style” by Psy?) – very posh/upscale neighborhood
- Located across the street from SMTown headquarters – huge entertainment company
- A luxury stay awaits you here in Seoul! Perfectly located in the Gangnam near the COEX Convention, Park Hyatt Seoul provides an uncommon experience, promising elegant and gracious service on a personal level. From top-class gourmet options to tranquil spa services, you will enjoy an unparalleled level of comfort and sophistication that exceeds every expectation.
- Mayfield Hotel
- Great place for conferences and banquets
- Close to Gimpo and Incheon airports
- MAY+FIELD, Garden of May – In the month of May, nature is at its finest. From colorful spring flowers to fresh green leaves, one can really relax and rejuvenate in the green fields of nature. Mayfield was designed with this Eco-Friendly heart over 40 years ago and stayed close to this quality of standard by preserving the nearby wildlife. Mayfield hotel coexists with nature to bring you a peaceful and refreshing atmosphere
- Signiel Hotel
- A great hotel for those interested in a luxury stay.
- Amazing views of the city!
- The first luxury landmark hotel representing Korea and is operated by LOTTE Hotels & Resorts, the country’s biggest hotel group that boasts of half a century’s expertise and premium services. As a signature brand of LOTTE Hotels & Resorts, SIGNIEL SEOUL offers the ultimate experience for top-class customers from all over the world.
- Gyeongwonjae Ambassador Incheon
- Exclusive rooms, suites and villas with unique Korean Ondol floor heating and Korean style beds. Besides being close to Convesia Conference Center, explore the Central Park and water activities like water taxi, kayaking or shopping at NC Cube mall.
- Experience the true Korean way of living at Gyeongwonjae Ambassador Incheon with traditional Korean architecture. The hotel offers exclusive rooms, suites and villas with unique Korean Ondol floor heating and Korean style beds. Besides being close to Convesia Conference Center, explore the Central Park and water activities like water taxi, kayaking or shopping at NC Cube mall. Sura restaurant in the hotel offers regional specialities on its menu, with a choice of American breakfasts in the morning.
Our other blog posts about this South Korea trip:
- Vacationing in South Korea (South Korea #1)
- Our Favorite Spots in Gyeongju (South Korea #3)
- Our Favorite Spots in Busan (South Korea #4)
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