Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is one of the most densely populated cities in the world with ten million inhabitants living on a 650 square km area. It embodies a dynamic, rather complicated, and colorful history and combines ultra-modern skyscrapers with ancient royal palaces, Buddhist temples, large parks, and crowded shopping centers.
There are many kinds of tours available for tourists, many of which start at the City Hall Station. There are many royal palaces scattered around the heart of Seoul, and the first one to see is the Doksu Gung Palace. Not too far away is another dynasty’s former residence: the royal palace of Kyongbukkung, and yet another example of admirable architecture is the 14th century Gyeongbokgung Palace of the Joseon Dynasty.
Art lovers and museum enthusiasts can visit numerous museums, such as the National Museum of Korea, the Folk Museum, the Royal Museum, or the National Museum of Contemporary Art.
Well worth exploring is the artists’ district of Insadong, famous for its antique character. Here, small private galleries show some of the best local art collections, and the antique, ceramic, paper and painting shops offer a perfect opportunity to get familiar with local culture.
Due to the high density of inhabitants, the government has been focusing on the improvement of the environment in and around the city. Visiting one of the 12 marvelous parks will provide a very special experience. Local parks are very well designed, and offer some outdoor facilities, such as swimming pools, jogging paths and roller-skating rinks: and for those who simply long for a comfy afternoon, there are the floating cafés and restaurants.