Seoul is a fast-moving modern metropolis and one of the largest cities in the world. Home to over 10 million citizens, it is a friendly city that is easy to get around.
Seoul has been the capital of Korea for about 600 years since the time of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Seoul was referred to as "Han Yang" during the Joseon Dynasty, but after the liberation from Japan in 1945, the newly founded Republic of Korea officially changed its capital city's name to Seoul. Seoul has developed into a bustling metropolis, acting as the hub for political, economic, social and cultural matters.
The Hangang River runs through the heart of the city. The river divides the city in two; the northern part of the city is a focal point for culture and history, while the southern part is well known for its business district.
Seoul has hosted many international events including: 1986 Asian Games, 1988 Olympic Games and 2002 Korea/Japan FIFA World Cup. The success of these events has shown people that Korea is truly an international city.
Seoul is also filled with cultural spaces in countless parts of the city center. Daehakro and Hongdae are known as the representative outdoor cultural spaces in Seoul, and the Citizen’s Park near the Hangang River is also widely used as a cultural ground
Seoul is a city that takes environment into deep consideration, centering on Cheonggyecheon Stream and the Hangang River.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Seoul is home to six UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Jongmyo Royal Shrine, Changdeokgung Palace, Jeongneung Royal Tomb Taereung and Gangreung Royal Tombs, Seonjeongneung Tomb and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty.
Visitors to Seoul often name Korean cuisine as one of the memorable highlights of their trip. You can enjoy not only Gimchi, Galbi or Bibimbap, but also taste a wide variety of world cuisines.
Seoul (population: 10.2 million as of 2017)
1,012km (North -> South)
165km (East -> West)
Country Dialing Code
GMT +9 (KST – Korean Standard Time)
(writing system: Hangeul)
Korea, Perfect Balance between Old and New
The Korean peninsula stretches southward from the center of the Northeastern coast of Asia, encompassing a land area of approximately 220,000 Km² with some 3,400 islands dotting its coastline. Over their 5,000-year history, Koreans have achieved an indigenous culture, and their unique cultural properties can be found throughout the peninsula. Koreans have put a high value on learning, and have earned a reputation for diligence and dedication.
Korea has four seasons, with a wet monsoon/summer season in the middle of the year, and a cold winter from November to March. The ideal time to visit Korea is during the autumn months (September-November). During this time, the country experiences warm, sunny weather, skies that are cobalt blue and spectacular foliage that is perhaps the biggest draw. Winters are cold and dry and are a good time to visit if you are interested in winter sports as there are numerous ski resorts. Spring (April-May) is also beautiful with all the cherry blossoms in bloom. The summer months are muggy and hot, and rather crowded.
Korean food is referred to in Korean as Hansik. While many other Asian ethnic foods such as Chinese or Japanese cuisine have become popular throughout the world, Korean food has yet to reach its peak. The Korean government is crusading for the globalization of Hansik in cooperation with companies, civic groups and the mass media. As the people of the world gain a better understanding of Korean food its flavors, and its roots, Korean food will undoubtedly become a global commodity like the foods of Korea's neighbors.
Hangeul, the Best Korean Invention of All Time
Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, refers to the series of letters that form syllables with which the Korean language is written. The most unique aspect of Hangeul is that it was intentionally created by the government as a written means of expressing the Korean language. History states that King Sejong, who was the 4th king of the Joseon Dynasty, sponsored and helped in the scientific creation of the alphabet with the help of a team of scholars, making it the most significant invention in Korean history.
Hanbok, the Traditional Costume of the Korean People
Hanbok is the traditional outfit of the Korean people. Koreans nowadays wear this outfit only on festive days or special anniversaries; however, it was worn daily until just 100 years ago. It is a kind of traditional formal dress, and most Koreans keep a Hanbok for these special times. Children wear Hanbok on their first birthday, and adults wear it for their wedding ceremony and on their 60th birthday.
Hanok, the Breathing House
Hanok is the traditional architecture style of Korea. The word Hanok embraces all types of traditional architecture including thatched-roof, shingle-roofed and tile-roofed houses. However, these days, the term Hanok is generally understood to mean only the tile-roofed house. While the thatched-roof houses made of straw or shingle-roofed houses have nearly disappeared, the tile-roofed hanok can still be found throughout the country. There are many tile-roofed houses that are being maintained as cultural heritages, but many are also still private residences.
Four distinct seasons in Korea:
– Spring (March ~ May)
– Summer (June ~ August)
– Autumn (September ~ November)
– Winter (December ~ February).
The temperature in Seoul in May ranges approximately between 15-20℃
The unit of Korean currency is the Won(￦).
Coin denominations are ￦10, ￦50, ￦100 and ￦500.
Banknotes are ￦1,000, ￦5,000, ￦10,000 and ￦50,000.
The exchange rate is approximately USD 1 to KRW 1,135 as of August 2018.
Value-Added Tax (VAT) is levied on most goods and services at a standard rate of 10% and is included in the retail price. In tourist hotels, this 10% tax applies to rooms, meals and other services and is included in the bill.
In Korea, 220V outlets are most common.
Please check the power supply before use since some hotels provide 110V outlets for the convenience of the customers.
– 1339 : Medical Emergency
– 119 : Emergencies for Fire, Rescue & Hospital Services
– 112 : Police
– 129 : First Aid Services