Photograph by Maremagnum, Photolibrary / Getty Images

 

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The statue of Maitreya stands over Seoul, South Korea.

Photograph by Maremagnum, Photolibrary / Getty Images

 

Everything to Know About Seoul

Here's how to plan the best possible trip to the South Korean capital.

Seoul is massive, with over 10 million residents spread out over 230 square miles. It is bright, bustling, and business oriented. The city plays as hard as it works, though, and its nightlife is known to extend into the early morning hours.

When to Go

Book your tickets for the autumn months between September and November, when the city experiences dry, milder weather and flight prices dip before the winter holidays.

Celebrate

To maximize scenic splendor, schedule your trip during the annual Seoul Lantern Festival in November. Throughout the first two weeks of the month, the city glows with festive lights as revelers take to the streets for nightly processions of song and dance.

What to Eat

The cuisine in Seoul leans heavily on the classic flavors of Korea, including fermented vegetables (kimchi is served with nearly every meal), barbecued meats, and umami-rich rice dishes such as bibimbap.

Souvenir to Take Home

Hanji is a traditional paper made of mulberry bark. It is fashioned into stationery, notebooks, lantern shades, and countless other handmade goods. Wherever it is applied, hanji evokes a strong connection to Korean culture, and makes for an easily transportable keepsake.

Sustainable Travel Tip

In 2015, Seoul launched its citywide bike share system. Today there are more than 800 stations scattered about the metropolis. The local government has done its part to encourage ridership by building out dedicated lanes and now biking is likely the most sensible way to tour the city.

Instagram-Worthy View

Every tourist needs a nighttime snap of the Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain. The 1,800-foot water feature consists of 380 nozzles spanning the Han River. Together they spray an arching mist in multi-hued lights, synchronized to orchestrated music.