Welcome to Seoul, the capital of South Korea, a city where you will find giant skyscrapers next to buddhist temples, heavenly food, and a crazy nightlife. If it’s your first time in town, these are the five top things to do in Seoul.

Seoul by night
Image via Flickr by doegox

Party like a rockstar… Gangnam style!

If you are into nightlife, you have come to the right place. Seoul is often considered one of the best party cities in Asia and the world. Start your night at one of the four big casinos such as Seven Luck Casino Seoul Gangnam. It’s not a bad idea to practice in advance with online casino games so your chances to win will be higher.

Then it’s time to head to the party! Gangnam district is where you’ll find the hottest concentration of clubs that play electronic dance music. Clubs and bars here are posh, and you can easily spot the rich and famous of Seoul. Head to Hongdae for something more laid back. Hongdeah is the hipster district of Seoul, and where most university students hang out. Did I say that a bottle of soju liquor costs about $2?

Visit a Cat Cafe

Are you a cats lover? You are going to love this. In Seoul, it’s easy to find a cat cafè, which is indeed a cafè where you can spend some time touching and petting cats and playing with them. Most cat cafès are located in Hongdae district, and some of them will also welcome your own cat. A fun – and weird – way to spend an afternoon.

Experience a traditional Korean village

When you look at Seoul’s skyline, it looks like Seoul is all about modern buildings and neon lights. However, there’s a special corner in the city where you can experience the traditional Korean life. Bukchon Hanok Village, located between Gyeongbok and Changdeok, is a traditional Korean village with picturesque alleys and traditional Korean houses made of wood. Many of the Hanok houses now host a variety of restaurants, tea shops, art galleries, and cafès. A stroll in what is considered one of the most beautiful traditional villages in the world is a must do.

Eat and shop at Seoul’s oldest market

Korea is a foodie paradise, and there’s a place in Seoul foodies definitely shouldn’t miss. Gwangjang Market, first opened in 1905, is Seoul’s oldest market, and a synonym for yummy, traditional Korean cuisine. It’ll be hard to choose among blood sausages, spicy rice cakes, kimchi, and bindaeddeok pancakes, then why not having them all?

When you are done eating, go for a stroll among the stalls on the second floor. It’s shopping time! Here you can find hanbok (traditional clothing), silk, satin, linen bed sheets, and much more. The best part is their high quality combined with wholesale prices.

Spend a day at a jjimjilbang

Good luck pronouncing that! A jjimjilbang is a traditional bathhouse and relaxation center, and spending a day at one of them is the best way to immerse yourself -quite literally- in the Korean culture. At a jjimjilbang you’ll find teenagers mixed with old people, all looking for some relax time. Men and women are separated, and the process starts with the assorted saunas with different properties and temperatures. Then you can soak in the herbal waters or relax in the relaxation rooms. Sometimes you can even sleep at a jjimjilbang.

Seoul is an exciting and surprising destination, what are you waiting for?

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