A city in perpetual motion, Seoul is boiling. The capital of South Korea is a concentration of shops, restaurants and markets open almost all night long. In Seoul, the old palaces meet the impressive buildings. Only the steep mountains bring a little peace of mind to this capital, which is magnetized by the future and whose energy is insatiable.
Discovering Seoul: What to do in Seoul
Go to Namdaemum Market
Seoul has more than twenty markets, each more eclectic than the next. At the Namdaemum market, we sneak in between nearly 10,000 stalls and let ourselves be tempted by ginseng sold in jars. In the tiny Kalguksu alley, more than 20 restaurants are elbow to elbow. The opportunity to taste boribap, a giant bowl of barley filled with vegetables, or kimchi, fermented and spiced cabbage.
Sleeping in Cappuccino
In the Gangnam-gu district, the dynamic heart of South Korea’s southern Seoul, Cappuccino is the trendy hotel in Seoul that does not go unnoticed. More than a hotel, Cappuccino is a real place to live. What is its objective? Provide a meeting place in attractive spaces so that everyone feels at home. Based on the principle of “overcycling” (or upcycling), the hotel is part of an eco-friendly dynamic by focusing its decoration on recovered and vintage objects. The rooms are minimalist and refined, with black and white tones, a bit like a cappuccino. What really makes the strength of this trendy hotel in Seoul is undoubtedly its rooftop, a meeting place for the locals to relax after a long day’s work. Located on the 17th floor, the rooftop welcomes you in a chic and stylish setting, with dimmed lights and a cosy atmosphere.
Shopping at Dongdaemun Design Plaza
The DDP, opened in March 2014, is the work of architect Zaha Hadid, who died in March 2016. Dedicated to design, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza houses a museum and an exhibition hall. Popular throughout Seoul and the fashion world, this museum, similar to a silver spaceship, is a major symbol of the South Korean capital’s urban development. A little something extra: its green roof allows you to walk around “in the middle of nature”. It is perfect for a successful trip to South Korea.
Swaying at the Glam Lounge
To have a drink in Seoul, we head to the Glam Lounge, the meeting place for the Korean jet set in Itaewon. There is a glamorous atmosphere in this bar with blue, pink and purple walls that serves sophisticated sushi for dinner and elaborates cocktails. At midnight, the place becomes even more crowd-pleasing and jazz-lounge music flows through the crowd.
Singing to Helicon
It’s no surprise to anyone; Seoul is the queen of Karaoke. Also known as Noraebang, the art of singing at full speed until the early hours of the morning is a highly respected tradition in this city that never sleeps. Is there an address not to be missed? Helicon, a very nice karaoke bar divided into six private rooms. Each room is equipped with state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting equipment, wireless microphones and giant TV screens. Helicon offers a wide range of premium whiskies, premium champagnes and a selection of Korean and Western gourmet dishes. What is the hardest part? Choose from 15,000 songs in Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese.
Visit Seoul Tower
It is always nice to see the extent of a city when overlooking it. To do this, go to the top of the Seoul Tower, icon of the Korean skyscraper and the city’s highest observatory. Is it at its peak? There are restaurants, museums, cafés, souvenir shops, which makes it one of the most beautiful places to rest and soak up the city’s softness. Here, even the toilets offer a panoramic view of the capital. This means that the show is unstoppable, no matter where you are.