This is the scenery of Seoul, capital of South Korea

12 Instagrammable places in Seoul

Anastasia Ilchenko Anastasia Ilchenko 14 January 2021
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It is not easy to travel to South Korea, because the average flight takes 12 hours. It is easy to get lost here because the intricate interweaving of countless streets can drive even masters of orienteering crazy.

Yes, in this city there is certainly something to look at with contempt: if you turn off a well-groomed tourist street. The way of life of the locals may seem strange, and the choices that they make day after day - far beyond the European rationality.

But it is impossible to forget him - this giant metropolis, the city of the future, the East Asian "miracle on the Han River," the capital of the Republic of Korea, INDEPENDENT Seoul.

You and I will not chase photo masterpieces along and across the tourist destinations, but be sure to give them a little attention. Travel to Seoul risks losing all meaning without visiting the neighbouring modern buildings of Buddhist temples, palaces, street markets and another local must-see.

Where to go in Seoul

seoul

Despite the high-tech and incredible speed of development of the City of Architectural Paradoxes, the best places to visit in Seoul have been and remain one of the most intact and inaccessible to human influence.

It is better to get acquainted with the pristine nature of the capital Seoul from the Bukhansan National Park, located in its north-eastern part. Being "green lungs" of Seoul, the area of more than 70 square kilometres serves as a home for 1300 representatives of flora and fauna. Dozens of bottomless gorges and pointed, somewhere rocky peaks are penetrated through crystal clear streams. Getting into the atmosphere of absolute harmony between the striving forwards waters and proud real estate boulders, you inevitably forget where is Seoul. One of the best views of the national park opens up at Baegundae Peak: the capital and surroundings, as well as the surrounding river Hangang - at your fingertips. The exceptional brightness of memories (and Instagram photos!) is guaranteed in spring and autumn when the maples at the foot of the mountains bloom or purple.

temple of seoul

Among the human-made natural beauties of Seoul, the most extensive botanical garden in South Korea - Seoul Botanic Park - deserves special attention. It is an excellent place for a regular walk on a hot day, especially if you are eager to collect as many beautiful shots for a commemorative album as possible. Here you will be able to see and capture with your eyes dozens, if not hundreds of plants from all over the world. For those who prefer to combine the pleasant with the useful, there is an extensive library and lecture hall, which periodically hosts performances by scientists and other figures in the field of environmental protection. 

The melancholy Haneul Park, which is firmly entrenched in the top five of the rating of "most Instagrammable places in Seoul", is nothing but a photo zone created by nature. The perfect beauty of this paradise on the Korean Peninsula's southern growth attracts more and more people willing to take fascinating and aesthetically most liked Instagram photo every year.

Unbelievable but true: about 20 years ago, the park was a full dump, which the city administration decided to turn into a secluded corner of nature with its unique ecosystem. Today, one can enjoy the magnificent panoramic view of the South Korean capital from here, at the top of the highest plateau, where vast fields of silver miscanthus are spread.

Historical places

black pagoda building

Almost every second traveller, on his return from a tour of the South Korean capital, is convinced that the most Instagrammable places in Seoul are squares, religious buildings and palaces that have survived centuries of internecine struggle. At least Gyeongbokgung is the seat of the Joseon Dynasty rulers, located in the city centre. Its undoubted attractiveness goes far beyond the beauty of intricate interlacing of architectural details. Palace's walls keep secrets of royal intrigues and intrigues. Its multilevel curved roofs were once a shield that protected from invaders' arrows. South Korea reveals itself here from a very different side. However, being especially significant for those interested in history, Gyeongbokgun lures the growing number of tourists every year thanks to the championship in the list of best places to visit in Seoul. Gyeongbokgung's delightful shots are available at any time of year, regardless of the weather: "The Palace that shines with happiness" or, as it is called, "the Palace blessed by heaven" is always beautiful.

Built-in the VIII century, Bongeunsa' Temple is one of the oldest historically significant monuments of the entire Peninsula. The vast territory spreads on Mount Sudosan's slope. It is a classic example of Korean architecture, recreated in the course of reconstruction during King Wongsong's reign. Only when you cross the temple's threshold and come to a few steps closer to the Buddha statue - the complex's central structure - you will certainly not forget where is Seoul: one of the most developed countries in East Asia. But you may find it hard to believe that just a couple of hundred meters from the fence is the city of the future, the lively rumble of the metropolis. The idyllic harmony and majestic beauty of this place is an excellent reason to get a camera and take some panoramic Instagram photos. Be sure to walk through the halls inside the temple, notice the mesmerizing murals and altars. Going outside, feel the power of white stone statues, the meaning of each of which is better to learn from a local guide.

Spirit of the "old" Korea 

gwangjang market

For a short request "what to see in Seoul" search engine stubbornly gives out lists of the same places that have already managed to bore you a dozen times? Pay attention to the following three locations.

If it is better to start your unity with nature by visiting national parks, the best way to get acquainted with the local flavour is Market! Especially if it is one of the oldest and largest, such as the Gwangjang Market. Here you will quickly close all your culinary gestalt, from the incredible craving for fresh seafood to, and of course, the publication of photos of unusual dishes in Instagram. Choosing the "dish of the day", do not stop at one thing: try kimbap, tteokbokki, sundae, and a couple of pancakes made of mung beans. Local cooks cook so well and deliciously that you can forget about the weight in the stomach after the meal! Once you have pleased your receptors proceed with the plan according to the list of "most Instagrammable places in Seoul". Kwan Jang, which preserves the true folk identity, is not inferior in any way to the photo genius of the landmarks surrounding it. Here, on the very edge of the Jongno-gu district, you will not only delight your taste buds but also noticeably replenish the photographic film - guaranteed! 

bukchon

Next stop is Bukchon, a folk village inhabited by the Joseon Dynasty nobility. Today, the Northern Village is more like a typical historic quarter, which, however, has its distinctive features. For example, this part of the city has the largest complex of traditional Korean wooden houses - hanok, which, unlike other buildings of this type, are in private ownership. It seems to be the ideal reason to put on a bright hanbok for a luxurious Asian-style photoshoot. 

When every inch of the folklore quarter has been captured in your film, do not hurry to take off your costume and move on to the next item on the Google "what to see in Seoul" request. To have a good rest and take some more outstanding shots, go to Cha-Teul Cafe, which is located in one of the houses right down the street. The traditional green interior, fragrant teas and delicious snacks will not keep you indifferent.

Known as the Western Village, due to its location relative to Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Village of Seochon is a quarter where progressive South Korea meets its past. Here, near the full mouth of the Gyeum River, you can take a lot of retro most liked Instagram photo against the backdrop of the houses where families of justice and science used to live. Overflowing with tiny galleries, coffee shops and boutiques, today the Village has more than 500 years of memories of the times when King Seochon, who was born here, created the Korean alphabet. The great creator of the "poetry of resistance" Yoon Dong-ju, in his works, did justice that was then unlawful back then. 

Korean Trends

korean traditions

Must-see and must-visit are desirable immediately upon arrival in the capital city of Asian pop culture - the world-famous Lotte World Tower. It is worth coming here not only for the breathtaking panoramic view from the highest glass observation deck of the world Seoul Sky Deck. Yes, to appreciate the beauty of a night city illuminated by bright lights from a bird's-eye view or to contemplate the bright orange sun, slowly sinking over the horizon, is an unforgettable experience. But how about diversifying your trip to the city of the future with more down-to-earth pleasures?

Within walking distance of the tower is Seoul, the city's most bohemian Seoul restaurant, whose terrace offers the best view of the fifth highest skyscraper in the world. An ultramodern serving of dishes here goes beyond any Instagram canons, and the unique interior combines the features of immortal classics and never ceases to amaze postmodern. No matter where the most liked Instagram photo is taken: in the hall, patio or on the roof - hundreds of red hearts and rapturous comments are provided!

Coming down from the observation deck, take a look at the adjacent mall to the tower called Lotte World Mall. The stunning interweaving of its golden stairs seems to be worthy of a separate frame.

lotte world mall

Today, few people are surprised by the large-scale paintings on concrete, brick or stone walls, but Seoul seems to have been created to impress! Another village in one of the bustling areas of the capital - Iwha Mural Village - is the most popular among the loyal fans of Korean culture and casual tourists who are eager to full the film with a couple of juicy shots. In 2006, when the local administration began to think about the restoration of old parts of the city, the Village started to come to life: walls, stairs and even roofs of houses were gradually decorated with sometimes strange, but incredibly bright, indeed beautiful paintings. At that time, locals themselves could not understand where Seoul was: on the same native land or the other side of reality. Today, there is no place left for greyness: every brick, every step is begging for your insta-tape!

Instagrammable places to visit in Seoul have to withstand increasingly fierce competition every year to hold on to this title, looking at different options for attracting clients. The highlight of the next place - mandatory in your Seoul route - is the uniqueness of the dishes, not the interior. If you want to get a portion of the most potent inspiration, eating an unusual kind of doughnut in a glass or toast with matches instead of avocado, you will find it in Cafe C.Through! The "Starry Night" or "Irisa" of the magnificent Van Gogh, the "Mona Lisa" of Da Vinci and even the "Three Musicians" of Picasso - you can see the masterpieces of great artists now not only in European museums but also ... On the delicate milk foam of the most delicious coffee in Seoul! Come to the cafe on Itaewon at the weekend, and you can see with your own eyes the local latte art master Lee Kanpin, who turns everyone's favourite drink into a unique work of art!

What to see in Seoul

seoul city

For those who tired of Seoul's fuss - a bonus: a cosy restaurant in the European style The Skyfarm. Situated on the 50th and 51st floors of The Federation of Korean Industries Hall, the Seoul restaurant is ideal for brunch or a leisurely brunch with a view of the Han River. The abundance of glass details in the rather minimalistic interior, decorated after farm greenhouses, is supplemented with bright green accents of leaves of lush plants. Where else can you take a stylish greenhouse photo in Seoul? Only in "Heavenly Farm" - don't miss this chance!

Don't rush to flip through the page - beautiful Instagrammable places to visit in Seoul don't end yet!

Seoul library 

library in seoul

The two-story library in the heart of the elite district of Gangnam-gu-Starfield Library is impressive not only for true book lovers but also for hunters of successful shots in the rays of the "golden hour". Riding up and down the escalator to finally get a decent most liked Instagram photo, you risk spending half an hour. But it is worth it: nowhere else will you be able to take such a bright and aesthetically appealing photo as inside this brightly lit building, whose glass walls shine and sparkle from dawn to dusk! 

It is said that the prototype of the Starfield Library was the Hogwart Library, a paradise for any book lover. It seems that South Korea decided to keep up with world trends because the popularity of the School of Witchcraft only increases over the years. 

If you do decide to come here to read at your leisure, remember: large 13-meter cabinets break down from books and magazines from all over the world, which are collected here more than 50 thousand! Although most of them are in Korean, choosing from the remaining variety of English-language literature is a challenge.

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Anastasia Ilchenko

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