Seoul in the fading twilight hours is a breathtaking sight. One of the largest and most densely populated cities in the world, the capital of South Korea may seem overwhelming at first. Scratch the surface though and it soon becomes clear that Seoul is not only one of Asia’s most exciting cities, it’s also a great place to explore with the family in tow.
Straddling the Han River and boasting a 2,000-year history as the focal point of Korean culture, there are so many things to see and do in Seoul, it can be hard to know where to start. Never fear though, because Escape Travel has done the hard work for you, so sit back and relax with our list of the top five family friendly things to do in Seoul.
Visit Seoul Tower
One of the city’s most recognisable landmarks is the 236-metre tall Seoul Tower, which soars majestically into the Seoul skies from its vantage point atop Namsan Mountain. Many visitors ride the scenic Namsan cable car to the tower’s base, before ascending to one of the four observation decks for a bird’s-eye view of the city. A popular tradition is to hang a named padlock on one of the designated ‘padlock trees’ as a symbol of your love, so why not bring the family and leave your own memento?
Stroll into Myeong-dong
For many the beating heart of Seoul is not found in its Joseon-era palaces or traditional neighbourhoods like Insa-dong, but rather the bright lights and bustling streets of the thoroughly modern Myeong-dong. This is one of Asia’s premier shopping districts and the place to go for major brand-name labels, but even if you’re unwilling to part with a small fortune, Myeong-dong is a great place for a spot of people-watching – particularly when the whole neighbourhood lights up after dark.
Wander around Gyeongbok Palace
What’s an overseas holiday without a dash of history? Gyeongbok Palace is the largest of the Five Grand Palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty and it’s a treasure trove of Korean history. Visitors can watch the changing of the guards in front of the main gate Gwanghwamun, enjoy the splendid aquatic surrounds of lake-bound Gyeonghoeru Pavilion and explore the sleeping quarters of the former Joseon Kings at Gangnyeongjeon, at what is undoubtedly one of Seoul’s most popular tourist attractions.
Catch an FC Seoul game
The FIFA World Cup came to South Korea in 2002 and one of its legacies is the impressive 66,000-capacity Seoul World Cup Stadium. Nestled in a busy northwest pocket of the city, the stadium is home to FC Seoul – one of Asian football’s most popular clubs and a great place to bring the family for a fun-filled afternoon, particularly when local rivals Suwon or Seongnam are in town.
Take time out at Bongeunsa
While Seoul is home to several child-friendly tourist attractions – including the world’s largest indoor theme park at Lotte World – why not take some time to relax and reflect in the urban oasis that is Bongeunsa Temple? This traditional Buddhist temple was founded as far back as 794 and today, it’s one of Seoul’s most popular attractions. Experience the life of a monk, for a few hours at least, and marvel at the views from its spectacular vantage point on the slopes of Sudo Mountain.