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Travel Guide: Seoul

Posted on 13 November 2017

Our guest contributor, Iris of Pretty in Palm shares her guide to Seoul.

Seoul is known to be alive with bright lights, sleek style and pop music, but it also has a rich blend of history and culture that makes a weekend in this city uniquely dynamic. From century old tea houses to gargantuan underground shopping malls, Seoul maintains a careful balance of old and new with something for everyone.

EAT

Street Eat
Seoul packs some serious heat, literally and figuratively, in the street food department. Try local favourites like spicy dukbokki and kimbap 

Wooraeok
No trip to Korea would be complete without the sizzling sound of barbecue on the soundtrack. The bulgogi is a must-try at Wooraeok along with the signature naengmyeon (cold noodles). 

Pro Ganjang Gejang
Marinated in a mix of seasonings and sauces, raw soy crab is a delicacy that's been perfected at Pro Ganjang Gejang. The fermented crab is served with rice and has an uni-like (sea urchin) consistency that is sure to impress any sushi lovers out there.   

Italy Budaejigae
Aptly nicknamed "Soldier's Stew", this hearty dish is made with a mix of American comfort foods like hotdogs and spam, along with Korean staples like kimchi and rice cakes. Remember to top it off with ramen, each order comes with a bottomless supply so go ahead and treat yourself. 

Mr. Holme's Bakehouse
Great for both people watching and carb loading, Mr. Holme's Bakehouse is home to wonders such as the croissant-muffin lovechild better known as the "Cruffin" and the Churro croissant.

EXPERIENCE

Bukchon Hanok Village 
This picturesque village is centrally located between Gyeongbok Palace and Changdeok Palace. Along the romantic winding paths are hundreds of lovely traditional hanok style houses that are still in use today as homes, cultural centres and teahouses. 

Shin Old Tea House
A great place to unwind, Shin Old Tea House has been around for over 100 years. Opt for a spot in the traditional seating area to take it all in over a cup of cinnamon tea and their delicious sweet rice cakes. 

Garosu-gil
With tons of cool coffee shops, galleries and boutiques, Garosu-gil is a great neighbourhood to get lost in. Lined with ginkgo trees, these streets seem to be made for strolling, and maybe even the occasional celebrity sighting or two. 

Itaewon

If you're looking for a night cap, Itaewon is where all the cool kids hang after hours. Full of bars and eateries, locals and visitors alike come to this trendy neighborhood to wind down or turn up, depending on your mood. 
 

SHOP

Myeongdong 
With endless rows of shops lining the streets and street food vendors everywhere in between, this buzzing neighbourhood is a shopper & eater's paradise. K-Beauty brands dominate the streets so make sure to pace yourself as you make your way through this make-up mecca. 

Coex Underground Mall

If shopping was a sport, Coex would be where champions are made. You could easily spend half a day wandering around the sprawling underground complex full of fashion finds and accessories shops. 

As South Korea's largest retailer, this store hosts a slew of luxury designers along with duty-free shopping on the upper levels and a vast food court in the basement.  

 

Follow Iris @prettyinpalm

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