Top things to do

Top Choice Cocktail Bar in Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Cobbler

This high-end bar is located inside a hanok (traditional Korean house) within a nest of small, dark alleyways. Owned by Robin Yoo, a pioneer in Korea's cocktail scene, the undeniably cinematic bar serves up a mean c…
Top Choice Korean in Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Gwanghwamun Jip

Following the same recipe since the 1980s, Gwanghwamun Jip is one of the most famous kimchi stew restaurants in South Korea. In true hole-in-the-wall fashion, the interior is shabby-chic but the food is truly fabulo…
Top Choice Palace in Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Changdeokgung

You must join a guided tour to look around World Heritage–listed Changdeokgung, the most beautiful of Seoul's five main palaces. English tours run at 10.30am and 2.30pm; if you don’t care about the commentary then t…
Top Choice Temple in Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Jogye-sa

The focus of Jogye-sa is the giant wooden hall Daeungjeon, Seoul's largest Buddhist worship hall. Completed in 1938, its design followed the Joseon-dynasty style. The exterior is decorated with scenes from Buddha’s …
Top Choice Palace in Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Gyeongbokgung

Like a phoenix, Seoul’s premier palace has risen several times from the ashes of destruction. Hoards of tourists have replaced the thousands of government officials, scholars, eunuchs, concubines, soldiers and serva…
Top Choice Shrine in Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Jongmyo

Surrounded by dense woodland, the impressive buildings of the Confucian shrine Jongmyo houses the 'spirit tablets' of the Joseon kings and queens and some of their most loyal government officials. Their spirits are …
Top Choice River in Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Cheong-gye-cheon

A raised highway was torn down and cement roads removed in this US$384-million urban renewal project to ‘daylight’ this stream. With its landscaped walkways, footbridges, waterfalls and a variety of public artworks,…
Top Choice Arts & Crafts in Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Insa-dong Maru

Around 60 different Korean designer shops selling crafts, fashion and homewares are gathered at this slick complex. Spread over several levels, the complex surrounds around a central rest area where a piano invites …
Top Choice Area in Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Bukchon Hanok Village

Meaning ‘North Village’, Bukchon, between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, is home to around 900 hanok, Seoul’s largest concentration of these traditional Korean homes. It’s a busy tourist area, but it’s still a ple…
Top Choice Vegetarian in Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Balwoo Gongyang

Reserve three days in advance for the delicate temple-style cuisine served here. Take your time to fully savour the subtle flavours and different textures of the vegetarian dishes which range from rice porridge and …