Seoul is one of the most exciting destinations in Asia. It has a bustling and unique culture that, when coupled with its illustrious history, stands out in every aspect. A metropolitan with more than 10 million people, it is also a beautiful city of art, history, and technology, and those are just a few fun facts about Seoul you ought to know.
There is a good reason why this Korean city is such a popular travel destination that keeps people coming back. Here are more interesting facts about Seoul that give you a glimpse of the vibrant capital.
Historical Facts about Seoul
This dynamic city with a blend of new and old is for everybody. Its historical attractions, such as the decades-old markets, are all the rage among tourists as they reflect the historical happenings and facts of Seoul.
Capital Of Korea Since 1394
Many of us know Seoul as the modern capital of South Korea today; it was also the capital of the past Unified nation.
The city was founded in the year 1394 and took up the mantle. At that time, the city was small, and it was surrounded by a wall to protect it from its enemies. Since that time, the city has evolved into a technological hub.
The Evolution of Its Name
The city was initially named “Hanyang,” but when South Korea was founded, the name was changed to Seoul in 1948. This was due to its liberation from Japan’s occupation after World War II ended.
This also marked the end of the rule of the Japanese over Korean land. One of the lesser-known facts about Seoul is that the official name of the city is actually Seoul Special City.
The Olympic Host City of 1988
Seoul has a history of holding sporting events. The Olympic Games were held in Seoul in 1988. It was an extremely memorable occasion with extravagant opening and closing ceremonies. The international event was managed very professionally.
Namdaemun Market: A Historic Shopping Hub
The Namdaemun market, which dates to the year 1414, is yet another historical landmark in Seoul that is beloved by tourists and locals. It originated during the Joseon Dynasty.
This is one of Asia’s largest traditional markets and has around 10,000 stores. It is perfect for tourists as it sells pretty much everything in one place. Not to mention the experience is worth it because of the market’s historical significance and diverse product range.
Cultural Facts about Seoul
When it comes to culture, Seoul has a lot to offer. From its traditional food to its snacks, it’s fun and exciting. This part of Korea is especially attractive to tourists because it’s diverse and has an ensemble of cuisines from all over the world. It’s also a trendsetter when it comes to skincare and cosmetics, which are an integral part of their daily lives.
Seoul’s Influence on the Music and Television World
Korean music, specifically K-pop, has gained popularity globally. Several K-pop musicians are based in Seoul. In addition, the global influence of K-dramas cannot be ignored. Some of the most famous shows, such as “Squid Game,” and Oscar-worthy films, such as “Parasite,” have made South Korean television known worldwide.
Traditional Cuisine and Dining Culture in Seoul
Koreans are proud of their traditional cuisine, which also includes different and diverse Western-style food and cuisines adopted from all over the world. Koreans can often be found ordering takeout or dining out for a meal.
Another fun fact about South Korea that may be pleasing to tourists is that it is easy to find affordable food all across Seoul. You can get some delicious and cheap eats by the road stalls or street vendors.
In addition, side dishes in Korea are commonly given out for free as a complement to a proper meal. And they add immense value to the delectable food options that are readily available.
In all honesty, we can even make a meal out of just a bowl of rice and the diverse range of tasty side dishes (also called “Banchan” in Korean). So if you are still feeling hungry after your main dish, you can fill yourself up with those.
Seoul’s Beauty Culture
When it comes to skincare, Koreans go all out. Seoul is famous for having a very strong culture surrounding skincare and beauty. It is a part of their daily routine.
The streets are also filled with cosmetic shops offering a multitude of products and treatments at discounted prices and complimentary samples. Cosmetic surgery is also very common and accepted in Seoul.
One of the interesting facts about Seoul and across South Korea is that plastic surgery is also commonly given out as presents, such as a high school graduation gift from a parent to a child.
Famous Cultural Events In Seoul
People in Seoul like to celebrate their culture in the form of festivals and events. Seoul has numerous events throughout the year. Some of these include but are not limited to the Korean New Year as well as the mid-Autumn Festival, famously known as the “Chuseok.”
Simple Facts About Seoul For Kids
If you are traveling with kids, it’s good to know what kind of activities and places would be attractive to them. Here are some fun facts about Seoul that are interesting for young ones.
Lotte World Tower: A Sky-high Attraction In Seoul
South Korea is famous for its architecturally beautiful skyscrapers, and Lotte World Tower is one of them.
Built in 2009, the Lotte World Tower provides amazing views of downtown Seoul. This is one of the busiest areas in Southeast Asia, with shopping malls, museums, theme parks, skating rings, and much more. Lotte World was also rated as one of TripAdvisor’s top attractions in South Korea.
Respect for Age: A Cultural Trait of Seoul
This is yet another surprising Seoul fact that you will admire. One aspect of culture within Korea is that they are very respectful of old people. Their respect for old people can be seen when it is reflected in their language as well as mannerism.
There are formal and informal references in the language which you need to be aware of when learning Korean. They use specific words such as “teacher” instead of using informal titles or any other terms that may be disrespectful towards people older than them.
Most Of The Places Are Open All Night
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Seoul never sleeps. If you are a night person, then you are going to love Seoul. You can find restaurants, shopping malls, PC Bangs, and even spas open late at night. As a metropolis, the South Korean capital has a rather vibrant nightlife.
Useful Seoul Facts for Travelers
If you are planning a trip to the city, you should know that it has a lot of lovely places that all seem like must-visits. Here are some fun facts about Seoul that can help organize your itinerary, as well as some attractive places to visit.
A Nighttime Delight and Attraction, The Han River
A key natural attraction that is breathtakingly beautiful and located within Seoul is the Han River. It provides excellent nighttime views and is another beloved and busy spot within the city. This is also a super romantic hangout spot for locals, so you will often see couples strolling and dating here.
Undoubtedly one of the most prominent landmarks in South Korea that you have to check out.
A Timeless Treasure in The Form of Gyeongbokgung Palace
Gyeongbokgung Palace is a landmark in Seoul that is also a tourist attraction and popular with a rich history. It was built around the year 1395 by King Taejo on top of Mount Namsan.
The palace is very iconic for its historic features, and a lot of tourists like to visit the grounds, which have been preserved for years. It is a very popular attraction that is both culturally and visually striking. You should visit early.
Seoul’s Highly Efficient Metro System
The city of Seoul has a convenient and hassle-free subway system that allows locals and tourists to get around easily. It has more than 20 lines that go across the city, which is yet another appreciable fact about Seoul. This will likely be your main form of transport around the capital.
Namsan Tower: A Romantic Symbol of Luck
One of the tallest towers in Asia is the Namsan Tower which is 79 m height above sea level. This tower is popular specifically amongst couples who visit to enjoy its romantic atmosphere.
One of the reasons why this spot is so attractive is because you can write your name on a love padlock and lock it into the tower’s railing to bring good luck. It is one of the iconic landmarks in Seoul; and the best place to try Tonkatsu (Fried Pork Cutlet).
Common Facts about Seoul
There are some general facts about Seoul that contribute to its essence and are good to know.
Lantern Festival, a Colorful Tradition in Hangang Park
Residents gather at Hangang Park every summer for an annual lantern festival near the banks of the river. This festival has been celebrated since the year 1848 and is charming.
It’s popular amongst visitors, and the park itself is considered a peaceful spot with beautiful biking and hiking trails along with picnic spots to wind down away from the busy city.
Dongdaemun Market: A Diverse Range of Shops
This market was established in the year 1905 and is located at the heart of an old town area, featuring a huge range of diverse stores. It’s known as the Dongdaemun market and is the largest wholesale market in Korea. With more than 50,000 fashion stores, it’s a dream come true for those interested in trendy clothes and street food.
Seoul Hosts The Largest Christian Congregation
Most South Koreans don’t affiliate themselves with any of the major religions; however, of the people who do follow a religion, the majority are affiliated with Pentecostal Christianity.
Many people who are not Koreans might not know this, but Seoul is also home to the Yoido Full Gospel Church. This church holds the title of the largest Christian congregation in the entire world.
Other Interesting Facts about Seoul
Internet is a necessity in the modern world, and South Korea has invested heavily in its digital infrastructure, resulting in the widespread availability of high-speed Internet connections.
When you are visiting Seoul, you can enjoy one of the fastest internet connections in the world. The cafe culture is also strong, which makes it a great destination for remote working, although the cost of living isn’t the cheapest.
An Exceptional Fountain Bridge
Banpo Bridge, located in Seoul, is the largest fountain bridge in the entire world. The bridge overpasses the Han River and is a sight to behold, especially at night.
As clear from the name, fountains sprinkle out from both sides of the bridge. The lights on the bridge make the fountain more colorful. It is incredibly beautiful and romantic, which is one of the reasons why the Han River is a hotspot for couples.
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Discovering More Fun Facts About Seoul
Seoul is a remarkable city. The city is famous for its rich history and diverse population, as well as its beautiful culture. It’s also full of fascinating sites supported by truly heartwarming traditions.
These interesting facts about Seoul are just a small portion of all the amazing things that this city consists of and offers to its visitors and residents. From its mouthwatering cuisine to historical monuments, it is a very exciting city for those who wish to explore this wonderful metropolitan city.