1. Deoksugung Palace & National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
● Deoksugung Palace
Deoksugung Palace was used as a temporary residence for Seonjo(who was one of the kings of Joseon) after the Imjin War. Many changes have been made in the palace since 1884. For example, western-style buildings were built and roads were created.
One of the buildings, Seokjojeon had been used as the National Museum of Korea from the end of the Korean War to 1986. The upper part of the column is decorated in Ionic style and the interior is decorated in Rococo style. The western part of Seokjojeon is used as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Deoksugung pavilion).
The mix of traditional Korean style and western styles will give you a strange but marvelous feeling. Entrance fee is 1,000 won.
● National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul pavilion is located right next to Gyeongbokgung, a national cultural heritage. Therefore, it could not be a high-rise building. Under this condition, the core spaces for exhibition and storage in the Seoul Pavilion were constructed underground. The site on which the museum was built was the ROK Security Command in 20th century. Also, it was for the Joseon Dynasty's genealogy in the Joseon Dynasty. Exhibitions are held periodically and so you can find interesting one on its websites.
2. Yongsan Dragon Hill Spa
Dragon Hill Spa is one of the biggest spas in Korea. Dragon Hill Spa is located right next to Yongsan Station and consists of various facilities from the first basement to the seventh floor. You can experience various types of sauna, outdoor pool, massage, fitness center, screen golf at the same building.
Normally, Spa hill(='hanjeungmak' said Korean) has a typical food culture, such as roasted egg, sikye. You should try some food if you have a plan to go to hanjeungmak. If you want to experience hanjeungmak and others, I highly recommend this place.
3. Hangang River Park
There is a total of 12 Hangang River Parks in Seoul. Each of them has various facilities like tracks for running, swimming pools, football fields, parking lots and so on.
If you go to one of these Han River Park, I would like you to try Hanriver Bbogeuli-ramen, which is self-making-instant-ramen. You can buy this at a convenience store nearby and cook by yourself easily. Also, Chi-maek(chicken & beer) is a popular meal in the park. People gather around and eat chi-maek which can be ordered through delivery services.
4. Gwangjang Market
Gwangjang Market is one of the traditional markets in Seoul. Try various Korean food at a very cheap price. You can find the Gwangjang market at Jongro-5-ga station.
This market is well-known for its popularity of Yukhoe(Korean-style raw beef)and bindaedduck(Korean-style pancake) restaurants. I would highly recommend these dishes if you go to this market. You can also try various kind of market foods, such as Tteokbokki, Sundae, Kimbap and so on.
5. Jamsil Lotte tower & Seokchon Lake
● Lotte tower
Lotte tower is the highest building in Korea, which has 123 levels, 555m high. It is a complex building of residences, office, accommodation, shopping, and dining. You can just find anything for your perfect date.
● Seokchon Lake
“Seokchon Lake” is a park divided into Eastern part and Western Part and is used for jogging and walking by citizens. The trail along the lake is around 2.5 km and takes about 40 minutes’ walk. If you want to enjoy the quietness, the eastern part is better. Western part embraces Lotte World Magic Island so you will hear the screams of people on rides.
Every year, the cherry blossom festival is held around Seokchon Lake from mid-April to late. It is a 5-minute walk to Seokchon Lake from Jamsil Station, exit 2.
6. Gyeongbokgung Palace & Bukchon Hanok Village & Gwanghwamun
● Gyeongbokgung Palace
Gyeongbokgung is the representative palace of Joseon built by Taejo who founded Joseon. The Gyeongbokgung Palace has a living space for the royal family, facilities for rest. There are several small palaces, including a palace for the queens and the princes.
Gyeongbokgung was burned down during the Imjin War, and was rebuilt during Gojong. Japan, which was later forced to colonize our country, broke down most of the palace and built a Joseon Government-General building in its place. It takes a lot of time and money to properly restore the damaged Gyeongbokgung Palace.
If you want to explore the Joseon Dynasty’s history, visiting Gyeonbokgung is the best option. This palace is right next to Gyeonbokgung station, exit 5.
● Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon literally means northern village. Bukchon was inhabited by upper-class people before in Joseon times. Bukchon Hanok Village is our traditional residence with 600 years of history in Seoul. All the hanoks here have been preserved from Joseon Dynasty. Walking around the Bukchon area, you can imagine what the atmosphere of the old Joseon would look like. However, Bukchon Hanok Village is still inhabited by residents, so in order to preserve a sustainable tourist destination, tourists must remain silent while sightseeing.