Trendy locals walking along a busy street in Seoul

Top Things To Do In Seoul

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Wondering what to do in Seoul?

With contemporary and traditional roots visibly intertwined, Seoul is a city that unites the past and present like few places on earth, offering countless things to do. Twenty-four hours a day, the city is a place of nonstop entertainment that reflects not only Korean history and culture but all the attractions of an ultra-modern metropolis. Ancient temples, shrines, and traditional gardens give a glimpse into Seoul’s storied past and peaceful legacy, while inner-city alleyways flanked by neon-lit skyscrapers, tech start-ups, and fashion-forward boutiques paint the picture of a city with one foot firmly in the future. The best things to do in Seoul span centuries.

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Photographer capturing moments in Seoul
Past meets present

In Seoul, the relationship between old and new South Korea is starkly evident wherever you look. Old-school street markets are flanked by brightly-lit beauty stores, humble restaurants serving spicy Korean soul food hold their own alongside chic international eateries, and Joseon Dynasty-era hanok houses exist in the shadow of skyscrapers. The things to do in Seoul celebrate both these sides of the city’s cultural coin. Whether you stroll through ancient temples in a traditional hanbok dress or shop for K-beauty products in a store blasting K-Pop, you’ll find the spirit of Seoul.

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A typical food stall in Seoul serving locals traditional food
Fantastic food

Delicious Korean cuisine has rapidly gained popularity, and there’s nowhere in the world that does it better than Seoul. Between the city’s convenience stores, retro markets, mom-and-pop restaurants, street food stalls, and sophisticated eateries, it’s impossible to run out of things to do in Seoul. You’ll find local delicacies, from kimchi soup to tteokbokki (sticky rice cakes coated in a spicy sauce), at the oldest market in Korea, and entire streets dedicated to a single dish. Don’t be surprised if the foodie things to do in Seoul are the things that have you planning your second trip.

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A typical street view of Seoul at night
Seoul after sunset

When night falls, there’s no lack of things to do in Seoul. The city is brimming with upmarket cocktail lounges, gritty dive bars, live jazz clubs, and coffee shops staying open ‘til late. If you’re into the clubbing scene, you won’t be disappointed, but there are plenty of low-key ways to spend your time. Fuel up with bar snacks and a few shots of soju before belting out tunes at a self-service karaoke noraebang, hanging out at the Han river, or shopping for trendy clothes at a late-night boutique in glitzy Gangnam. The things to do in Seoul at night are as diverse as they are thrilling.

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