The Korean Peninsula lies in the center of Northeast Asia. The coordinates of its capital, Seoul, are 37.34° N and 126.59° E, putting it in close proximity to the Yellow Sea. Seoul is within a three-hour flight from 43 cities with populations of over one million people. Korea’s location between China and Japan has been a great geographical advantage for the nation.
The Hangang (River) flows horizontally across Seoul, dividing the city into two sections lying north and south of the river.
There are 25 autonomous districts and 423 administrative “dong” units in Seoul. The city covers 0.28% of the entire peninsula (or 0.61% of South Korea), and spans an area 30.30km north-to-south and 34.78km west-to-east.
Historical Sites in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine
Located on busy streets of Seoul, the four palaces were built during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897). Discover traces of the past as you walk through the old doors guarding the entrance, enjoy beautiful gardens hidden at the back of the palaces, and marvel at the delicate wall decorations.
Dedicated to dead kings and queens of the Korean Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), Jongmyo is an oldest preserved Confucian shrine. The ceremonial ritual accompanied by Korean traditional music is called Jongmyo Jerye, established in 14th century. The ritual was designated as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
(*You can find an Integrated Palace Ticket for the four palaces and Jongmyo Shrine at 10,000 KRW)
Korean Traditional Neighborhoods: Bukchon Hanok Village and Insa-dong
Surrounded by Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine, Bukchon neighborhood consists of rows of Korean traditional houses called Hanok. This neighborhood offers a unique mix of traditional and modern sceneries.
Insa-dong is a cultural district well-known for its hand-made arts and crafts and small Gong-Bang’s (small crafts stores) where visitors can make small goods themselves. Visit numerous art galleries and try Kkul-Tarae (“honey skein”, Korean court cake) while you walk around the streets of Insa-dong.