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Destination Guide: Seoul

Regal architecture, spicy rice dishes and delicate silks
Recall royal history with a stroll through the brightly coloured courtyards of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Explore narrow streets for glimpses of contemporary art and Korean porcelain in gallery windows.

Food and Drink

Feast on international flavours in glamorous restaurants, or try traditional rice dishes. Gaze down on rivers of neon from the city centre's towering hotel restaurants where fusion chefs meld European, Asian and North American flavours. Fiery bibimbap chilli rice dishes and bulgogi barbecued beef fill the menus of tiny Insadong eateries.

Sightseeing and relaxation

Follow the water through Korean history. The royal Gyeongbokgung Palace's eaves span overhead with brightly painted floral and geometric motifs. View millennia of Korean artefacts, from ancient tools to Buddha statuary, at the National Museum. Sit and relax beside Cheonggyecheon Stream, which wends its way through downtown Seoul flanked by colourful murals and fountains.

Shopping

Seek out a contemporary take on traditional Korean artwork. Custom-made suits and made-to-measure shoes are best found in Itaewon, while Asian herbs and green tea fill shopping bags at Namdaemun Market. Pick up hand-made celadon ceramics and silk in Insadong.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Watch traditional Korean dance or relax in European pubs. Discover the pageantry and elegance of Korean culture at the National Centre for Korean Traditional Performing Arts. Live music clubs and European-style pubs serving German sausages and Korean soju and British beers fill Itaewon.