Discover Seoul’s hidden gems: A guide to 10 of the city’s most unusual experiences

Seoul is one of Asia's great cities. (Image by 이룬 봉 from Pixabay)

Seoul, a city where ancient meets modern and tradition fuses with innovation, offers a plethora of experiences that are as diverse as they are unique. From its bustling markets to serene temples, the city is a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered by the intrepid traveller. Here are 10 of them:

Explore the labyrinthine alleys of Ihwa Mural Village

Nestled on the slopes of Naksan Park, Ihwa Mural Village is a vibrant canvas of street art that offers a kaleidoscope of colours and creativity. Wander through the winding alleys adorned with murals and sculptures that tell stories of the area’s history and culture. This living gallery is a testament to the power of community art and its ability to transform spaces and spirits.

Step back in time at Seoul’s Seodaemun Prison

Seodaemun Prison stands as a sombre reminder of Korea’s struggle for independence. Here, you can walk through the same halls that once held freedom fighters, absorbing the poignant atmosphere and learning about the country’s tumultuous past. The prison’s preserved cells and exhibitions offer a deeply moving experience, connecting you with the spirit of resilience that defines Seoul’s history.

Indulge in the curious at the Owl Art and Craft Museum

The Owl Art and Craft Museum is a charming nook that celebrates the enigmatic bird of the night. This unique museum showcases a collection of owl-themed art and crafts from around the world, offering insight into the cultural significance of owls and the artistic expressions they inspire. It’s a quaint stop for anyone looking to add a touch of whimsy to their Seoul adventure.

Revel in the abandoned charm of Yongma Land

Yongma Land, an abandoned amusement park, provides a hauntingly beautiful backdrop for exploration and photography. The rusting rides and deserted spaces evoke a sense of nostalgia and wonder, making it a perfect spot for those looking to capture the beauty in decay. This eerie yet picturesque location is a stark contrast to the city’s bustling streets.

Savour the flavours at Noryangjin Fish Market

Dive into the heart of Seoul’s culinary scene at Noryangjin Fish Market. This sprawling market is a sensory overload, with vendors selling a dizzying array of fresh seafood. Select your catch and have it prepared on the spot at one of the many restaurants within the market. It’s an immersive experience that offers a taste of the local lifestyle and cuisine.

Witness the spectacle of Banpo Bridge Moonlight Rainbow Fountain

The Banpo Bridge Moonlight Rainbow Fountain is not just a bridge but a mesmerizing display of water and light. As the world’s longest bridge fountain, it dazzles onlookers with its colourful jets dancing to music against the night sky. This stunning attraction is best enjoyed during a leisurely evening stroll along the Han River, adding a touch of magic to your Seoul nights.

Learn about fermented cabbage at the world’s only kimchi museum

Museum Kimchikan is an ode to Korea’s beloved fermented dish, kimchi. Here, you can delve into the history and science behind kimchi-making and even participate in a workshop to create your own. This interactive museum not only educates but also tantalizes your taste buds, making it a must-visit for food enthusiasts.

Find serenity at 108 Heaven Stairway

The 108 Heaven Stairway offers a peaceful retreat amidst the urban landscape. This series of steps leads to a quiet spot that provides a panoramic view of the city. It’s a place for reflection and meditation, where you can escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy a moment of tranquillity.

Discover the hidden Coffee Hanyakbang

Tucked away in a narrow alley, Coffee Hanyakbang is a hidden gem that serves some of the best specialty coffee in Seoul. The intimate setting and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee make it an ideal spot for a quiet break. Finding this secluded café is part of the adventure, rewarding you with a truly local experience.

Metro Farm is an unexpected oasis located within a subway station. This urban farm grows fresh vegetables underground using hydroponic technology, showcasing the innovative use of space in Seoul. Visitors can learn about sustainable urban agriculture and even sample some of the produce. It’s a refreshing glimpse into the future of city farming.

ENS Editors

Learn More →