Most world travelers worth the visa stamps in their passport have a visit to South Korea somewhere in their globe-hopping itinerary–whether it’s a memorable trip from the past or a potential journey planned for sometime in the future. Rich in history with a vibrant modern culture and economy that bridges both East and West, South Korea (best referred to as just “Korea” during your visit) is a destination that appeals to any travel lover. And it’s capital city of Seoul is a must-visit.
Flip through a guidebook and peruse a travel site and you’ll get an idea of what to do on any potential sojourn to Seoul, from local delicacies to nosh to famous clubs and museums to visit, all of which is pretty standard for a trip to any major international city. But here are four unique/fun/awesome things that you can only do in Seoul.
Stroll Through Korea of Old
Any visit to Seoul requires a trip to Gyeongbok Palace, the destroyed and rebuilt (and re-destroyed and re-rebuilt) main palace of Korea’s famed Joseon Dynasty, so while you’re inevitably there, make a point to detour to the nearby Bukchon Hanok Village. Preserved to resemble Korean life from 600 years ago, Bukchon Hanok is a picturesque local with plenty of traditional Korean homes, shops, cafes, and more.
Visit North Korea & DMZ
Arguably,THE elephant in the room for most Westerners visiting Seoul is the close proximity to North Korea. Being just 35 miles from the Korea’s famed Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), offers tourists the unique opportunity of visiting one the most contentious spots in the world. Visitors can sign up to technically step on North Korean soil (and safely return), learn the history of the DMZ, and more.
Take a Trip to Lotte World, Home of the Largest Indoor Theme Park
Korea’s answer to Disney World, Lotte World is a massive theme park/resort that’s open year round and combines outdoor and indoor attractions. It’s even the Guinness World Record holder for largest indoor theme park and also includes a manmade island inside a lake, a monorail, hotel, and plenty of other features.
Attend Service at the Largest Church in the World
Even if you’re not religious, there’s something kind of appealing about checking out what’s often credited as the largest church in the world (even if it’s for bragging rights). Founded in 1958, the Yeouido Full Gospel Church is a Pentecostal megachurch with nearly a million members. It features seven services every Sunday that can fit 26,000 people. Just don’t be late, otherwise you’ll have to watch everything on the TV screens in the overflow rooms.