Seoul

With its midnight shopping, monk’s cuisine, dynastic palaces and design-wonder skyscrapers, Seoul is just the ticket for an autumn trip. A giant fun fair where the modern goes hand in hand with the traditional. Here are 5 of the South Korean capital’s prime attractions.

MARRIAGE KOREAN-STYLE:
With its re-creation of a traditional Korean village, Namsan Park is a giant promenade with a library and hiking trails. Renewing your wedding vows Korean-style at one of the hotels in the vicinity is a new trend in Seoul. Inside this park, which takes its name from a majestic mountain that formed the southern border of the ancient Kingdom of Korea, are botanical gardens with exotic plants and colorful birds. Well worth seeing.

NIGHT MARKETS
Gaily colored paper lanterns, ceramics and porcelain vessels decorated with local motifs, jewelry boxes, silk garments, handmade pottery, alternative gift items and what all else... The shopping centers at Itaewon, famous for its tailors and antique dealers, is open till the wee hours.  Choose Insa-dong for handicrafts and traditional products, and Myeong-dong for fashion boutiques.  

BUDDHIST CUISINE
The most popular restaurants in this capital where Buddhism is widespread take their inspiration from the nutritional habits of the monks. Based heavily on vegetable dishes, soups and noodles, the local cuisine uses waterlily roots, red beans, peanut paste and plant extracts for spicing.

RIVER CRUISE
A cruise on one of the local ferries that ply the Hangang River which cuts the city in two is one of the most interesting touristic things you can do in Seoul. Livened up now by a traditional wedding ceremony, now by a performance of local musicians, the cruise makes four main stops: Yeouido, Jamsil, Nanji and Yanghwa. Lasting close to an hour, the cruise enables you to see all the city’s main touristic attractions.   

BIRD’S-EYE-VIEW OF SEOUL
Another spot definitely worth seeing in this city, which offers visitors convenient touring thanks to its advanced transportation network, is the 479-meter Seoul Tower. The world’s third tallest, it is an ideal spot for viewing the city from on high. And on your way up you can get great shots of the city, do your souvenir shopping in one of the Tower shops or sample the local cuisine.