Modern life mingles with ancient tradition in Seoul, the large and lively capital of South Korea. Seoul is buzzing with futuristic plazas, towering skyscrapers, pop culture, and historical landmarks. Ancient Buddhist temples and palaces mix with neon lights and modern architecture. Visiting certain parts of Seoul can feel like traveling to the future while walking through others is like stepping back in time.

Meander through the lively streets and picturesque parks, taste the local cuisine and enjoy the best shopping in East Asia. No matter how you choose to spend your time, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable experience.

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01Explore Gyeongbokgung Palace

Built during the Joseon Dynasty, The Gyeongbokgung Palace is a remarkably beautiful building and one of the finest examples of traditional South Korean architecture. The palace was once home to thousands of scholars, officials, and soldiers. Today, they've been replaced by thousands of tourists who visit to explore the grounds, museums, and gardens. Be sure to catch the royal guard changing service, which happens Wednesday through Monday every hour from 10 am until 4 pm.

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul GoranQ / Getty Images