12 Hours in Seoul
Trendy, fashion conscious and ultra-modern, Seoul is one of Asia’s most progressive and fast moving cities. But you don’t have to look too far below the surface to gain a glimpse into its unique history and culture. South Korea is a relative newcomer on the cruise ship scene, so there’s no time like the present to explore its capital, Seoul.
8am - Gyeongbokgung Palace
Start your day with a stroll around the walled gardens of Korea’s most impressive Royal Palace. Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace remains a symbol of power and prosperity. For those looking to boost their knowledge of Korean architecture and royal customs, tours are available in English and offer a fascinating link between the nation’s past and present.
10.30am - Bukchon Hanok Village
Another location blending old and new Korea is the Bukchon Hanok Village. Seoul’s largest collection of traditional Korean homes can be found here, with the patterned walls and tiled roofs offering a glimpse into a bygone era. It’s also home to a series of quaint cafés and restaurants, making it the perfect location to grab lunch before heading to your next destination.
1.00pm - The War Memorial of Korea
It would be easy to spend at least half a day in this massive museum, which chronicles the history of the Korean war and features dozens of artefacts, military items and impressive statues. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting on a Friday between April and June, you’ll also witness the Honour Guard ceremony at the War Memorial Peace Plaza involving members of South Korea’s army, navy and air force.
4pm - Cheonggyecheon Stream
Seoul might be a bustling metropolis but there are a number of peaceful havens available for those looking to escape the crowds. Located just off Sejongno and nearly five metres below street level is the Cheonggyecheon Stream. Noted for its small waterfalls, neatly constructed bridges and serene atmosphere, the 5.8km-long Cheonggyecheon Stream is especially popular with young couples and is one of the most romantic spots in Seoul.
6.30pm - Dinner and drinks at N Seoul Tower
Standing nearly 480m above sea level, the N Seoul Tower is the perfect vantage spot for sunset cocktails and a memorable feast before you head back to your cruise ship. The tower’s revolving restaurant offers views across the city and a traditional Korean meal is the ideal way to cap off a memorable 12 hours in Seoul. This meal is bound to feature amongst your cruise ship holiday highlights.
8pm - Return to ship.
Tired but content, your 12 hours in Seoul has come to and it’s time to board your ship where you’ll trade stories about your exciting day.
A city unlike any other, Seoul is a destination that should be on every traveller’s bucket list. The best way to see it is via cruise ship and there are a number of itineraries now available for those looking to explore the South Korean capital. For information on travel routes that include Seoul, call one of our Cruiseabout consultants on 1300 954 661 today.
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Images courtesy of Getty.