City Orientation Walk I, Seoul

The capital of South Korea, Seoul is a bustling metropolis replete with modern skyscrapers, high-tech infrastructure and pop culture mixed up with Buddhist temples, ancient palaces and street markets. Some of these attractions, such as the Deoksu Palace, a piece of 15th century Chosun Dynasty royal architecture (nowadays housing the Royal Museum), Gyeonghuigung Palace, and Namdaemun Market, are particularly notable and make up, alongside other sights, this Seoul orientation walk.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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City Orientation Walk I Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk I
Guide Location: South Korea » Seoul (See other walking tours in Seoul)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
Author: vickyc
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Seoul City Hall

1) Seoul City Hall

Seoul City Hall is a place for the government of Korea. It is set in beautiful Seoul Plazza. There is a fountain near the building. The design of this building was thoroughly chosen. It is modern but recalls the traditional style of Korea buildings.
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Deoksugung Palace

2) Deoksugung Palace (must see)

Deoksugung is a walled compound of palaces in Seoul that was inhabited by members of Korea's royal family during the Joseon monarchy until the colonial period around the turn of the 20th century. It is one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. The buildings are of varying styles, including some of natural cryptomeria wood, painted wood, and stucco. Some buildings were built of stone to replicate western palatial structures.

Deoksugung Palace is special among Korean palaces. It has a modern and western-style garden and fountain. The Changing of the Royal Guard (at 11am, 2pm, and 3:30pm), in front of Daehanmun (Gate), is a very popular event for many visitors. The royal guard was responsible for opening and closing the palace gate during the Joseon Dynasty. Outside of the palace is a picturesque road with a stone wall.

Why You Should Visit:
This is the only palace in Seoul where you can take photos with the Royal Guards after the changing ceremony. Unlike other palaces, you can also enter the grounds at night to enjoy a moonlit stroll.
Beyond the palace, you can explore the historic neighborhood and the famous Stonewall Walkway along the palace walls.

Tip:
Going inside the castle, you'll need to pay a fee, unless you're wearing a 'hanbik' – then it's free!
Make sure you check out the Jeongdong Observatory, located next door to the palace. From the observation deck (18th floor) you can capture panoramic views of the Deoksugung Palace grounds, CBD skyline, City Hall grounds and other landmarks – and its free! You'll get some amazing photos as a souvenir.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 9am-9pm (last admission: 8pm)
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Seoul Museum of History

3) Seoul Museum of History

Seoul Museum of History tells about the history and culture of Seoul. The most interesting exhibitions are on the 3rd floor. It displays the landscape of Seoul during Joseon Dynasty, the atmosphere of everyday life, and the model of the future Seoul. There are tours in English and Japanese.
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Gyeonghuigung Palace

4) Gyeonghuigung Palace

Gyeonghuigung Palace stands on the territory of Seoul Museum. It was built in 1616 and is the smallest of 5 palaces. Tourists enter the palace through Heunghwamun Gate that is designed in typical Korean style. There is a splendid throne room richly decorated and colored in bright colors with paintings of dragons on the walls.
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Royal Museum

5) Royal Museum

Royal Museum is housed in one of the halls of Deoksu Palace. It displays the objects of royal culture and life of the Joseon Dynasty. This palace contains the models of royal architecture of the Chosun Dynasty and beautiful throne room. It is protected by the government as a historical monument.
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Namdaemun (Sungnyemun) Gate

6) Namdaemun (Sungnyemun) Gate (must see)

Officially known as the Sungnyemun ("Gate of Exalted Ceremonies"), this is one of the Eight Gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul, which surrounded the city in the Joseon dynasty.

Dating back to the 14th century, Namdaemun is a historic pagoda-style gateway and is designated as the first National Treasure of South Korea. It was once one of the three major gateways through Seoul's city walls which had a stone circuit of 18.2 km (11.3 mi) and stood up to 6.1 m (20 ft) high. It was first built in the last year of King Taejo of Joseon's reign in 1398 and rebuilt in 1447.

Tip:
Throw in a visit while on your way to Namdaemun Market, but make sure that you're there after 9am because they don't open before that.
Sight description based on wikipedia
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Namdaemun Market

7) Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market is called after Namdaemun Gate. The gate is Korea's most important national treasure. Locals and Tourists prefer this place as they can find here everything from clothes to food for a very reasonable price. Numerous small shops are set along pedestrian streets of Namdaemun. You can find here everything you want.
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Myeongdong Cathedral

8) Myeongdong Cathedral (must see)

Also known as the Cathedral Church of Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception, the Myeongdong Cathedral clearly represents South Korea's Catholicism. Styled in Gothic Revival architecture, its red and gray brick facade is actually atypical of its kind but more like a fusion with Korean-style finish. The structure itself is quite outstanding (but not imposing), being built on a much higher ground than the rest of its adjoining structures. The grounds are well maintained and kept spotlessly "immaculate" despite the throngs of tourists that flock the area. The interior is equally magnificent with its high vaulted ceilings, pointed arches, and stained glass windows.

The street where Myeongdong is located comes alive especially during weekends so one can visit the shops and try the various street food that plies the alleyways.

Tip:
It might look like it's closed, but the doors either side of the main door are quite possibly open.
Read a bit of the history (free guides in many languages) as it makes it more relevant.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 6am-10pm

Walking Tours in Seoul, South Korea

Create Your Own Walk in Seoul

Create Your Own Walk in Seoul

Creating your own self-guided walk in Seoul is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Seoul Museums Walking Tour

Seoul Museums Walking Tour

Seoul is an old city with rich history. There are many museums about Asian traditions, food, technological development, wars. Some of the museums are located in beautiful palaces, that are national historical monuments and national heritage protected by UNESCO. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most important museums of Seoul:

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 km
City Orientation Walk II

City Orientation Walk II

The capital of South Korea, Seoul is a bustling metropolis replete with modern skyscrapers, high-tech infrastructure and pop culture mixed up with Buddhist temples, ancient palaces and street markets. Among the local attractions not to be missed are the high-rising Jongno Tower with a rooftop restaurant and bar offering visitors a remarkable view of the city; Gyeongbokgung Palace, once comprising more than 7,000 rooms; and Jogyesa Temple, the site of ancient locust and pine trees. These and other attractions make up this orientation walk of Seoul.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Seoul Top Attractions, part II

Seoul Top Attractions, part II

Seoul is the capital and the largest city of South Korea with a two thousand year history. Also known by the name "tech capital of the world", Seoul is the second largest mega city in the world. It attracts thousands of tourists due to the unique combination of World Heritage Sites and modernistic atmosphere. Below are listed the most popular attractions in Seoul.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Seoul Top Attractions, part I

Seoul Top Attractions, part I

Seoul is the capital and the largest city of South Korea with a two thousand year history. Also known by the name "tech capital of the world", Seoul is the second largest mega city in the world. It attracts thousands of tourists due to the unique combination of World Heritage Sites and modernistic atmosphere. Below are listed the most popular attractions in Seoul.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.2 km
Landmarks of Seoul Walking Tour

Landmarks of Seoul Walking Tour

Seoul is a city of ancient historical monuments built in BC era and a modern metropolis of glass and steel skyscrapers. Some of its historical sightseeings are ancient wall around the Old town, gates to the town. Among modern landmarks there are the tallest skyscrapers in the world. This self-guided tour will lead you through this historical and contemporary places:

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.2 km

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Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Seoul, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.