Seoul: One city, two faces
© Cristóbal Schmal

Seoul – One city, two faces

  • ILLUSTRATION CRISTÓBAL SCHMAL

The world’s second-largest city, Seoul is a sprawling conurbation and home to 26 million people. So it’s a monster of a metropolis, tumultuously noisy? Yes and no. We show you both sides of the South Korean capital

Lufthansa Magazin
© Cristóbal Schmal

Head for the hills

Every year a million people turn their hiking boots south and head out of Seoul to Gwanaksan Mountain to climb to the top of its 632-meter slopes.

gwanak.go.kr

© Cristóbal Schmal

Try a different pitch

Book a hotel room? Boring!  Instead, put up a tent on one of Seoul’s five urban campsites and enjoy a good night’s sleep (almost) beneath the open sky.

english.visitkorea.or.kr

© Cristóbal Schmal

Glorious way to glow

A jimjilbang is rarely truly peaceful, but the classic Korean version of a bath­house is an institution no guest departs without a deep sense of relaxation.

© Cristóbal Schmal

Sip tip

Switching off with a refreshing cup of tea is an art form in Seoul. The Korean tea ceremony goes back more than a thousand years and is now experiencing a revival.

© Cristóbal Schmal

Lovers’ lane

Or rather, bridge. In Seoul, young couples often head for Banpo Bridge to see the nightly Moonlight Rainbow Show, a shimmering water feature 1140 meters long.


Lufthansa Magazin
© Cristóbal Schmal

Buy, buy, buy!

Everything must go? Nope, this is just business as usual. Every day, around one million people jostle through Myeongdong, Seoul’s favorite shopping district.

© Cristóbal Schmal

Reaching for the sky

The din of construction is still grinding on today, but by 2016, the Lotte World Tower, at 555 meters, should have become one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.

© Cristóbal Schmal

Legendary nightlife

Seoul is famous for its clubs. Some of the largest, veritable dance temples, are located in the Gangnam district. Most popular music style: electro.

© Cristóbal Schmal

Fish for all

The stallholders at Noryangjin fish market create a cacophony of sound as they vie for custom – and offer passersby delicious sashimi tidbits to sample. Open: 24/7.

© Cristóbal Schmal

Fun unlimited

 quiet day out? Not at Lotte World, the largest indoor theme park on the planet. One truly unmissable ride is the breathtaking French Revolution rollercoaster.