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