Designed with a cinematic theme
Has there ever been a city with a comeback story quite like Seoul’s? Devastated and impoverished after the Korean War, it has since morphed into a capital of culture and technology. Life and change both occur at a dizzying pace here, though in recent years the city has begun to slow down and savour its success – a trend that’s manifested itself in more green spaces, world-class culinary and coffee scenes and a renewed appreciation for traditional arts and architecture.
When to go:
Seoul is most pleasant in spring and fall, especially during the few weeks when its cherry trees dot the city with puffs of white (typically early April) and its gingko trees erupt in royal gold (typically October).
How to get around:
The Korean capital has one of the world’s best subway systems: cheap, clean, comprehensive and efficient. The city’s bike system is constantly expanding, and its website provides real-time info on bike availability at every one of the hundreds of rental locations.
Exhibitions tell the history of the Korean capital
Landmark building and culture hub
Neighbourhood filled with urban arts and indie music
Mountain trails near Seoul’s northern border
First and largest royal palace built during the Joseon Dynasty
Pieces made by renowned Korean craftspeople and artists
Flea market around Dongmyo Shrine
Part shopping mall, part cultural platform
High-concept glasses store
Fragrance shop in a miniature hanok near Gahoe-dong Alley