my top 5 places to visit in seoul

i lived in seoul for a year between 2016 and 2017. alot happened that year, and i wouldn’t be the person i am today without all the lovely people i met during that year and all the things i did. i discovered wine for the first time and very good coffee, and what it means to find other lonely s(e)ouls that you rely on to be a home away from home.

5. jogyesa temple

finding older sites in seoul can be a little hard; the civil war between 1950-53 was pretty brutal and in the post-war period, the south korean nation embarked on a huge scale modernisation project. what makes jogyesa special is that it was first established in 1395 and remained a strong fortress of korean buddhism, even during the japanese invasion which sought to undermine the religion.
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3. national museum of korea

my favourite floor was the ground floor which houses the prehistory and ancient history gallery, notable are the goguryeo, baekje, gaya and silla rooms and its brilliant illustration of the unification of these four kingdoms.

or the leeum samsung gallery

alternatively, if you prefer galleries instead of museums, seoul has a good bunch to offer. i recommend the daelim, the MMCA and my personal favourite: the leeum, samsung museum of art (hangangjin station line 6, exit 1). a very-well curated venue which introduced and sparked my love of several artists including francis bacon. who thought i had to travel across the world to discover a british painter. the gallery offers a great mix of western artists including john beuys, mark rothko, jeff koons and andreas gursky as well as prominent korean artists.

a francis bacon at the leeum
2. bukhansan

it’s going to take you a day to hike but once you reach the top, you’ll find lush, green mountains which are drawn in the chinese-styled shan shui paintings. definitely worth the pain but remember to pack bottles of water and kimbap, you’re going to need them.
1. han kang

a truly idyllic location in the center of booming, metropolitan city. take chicken, beer and a group of fun pals to the han river, especially recommended in warm weather. if you prefer to be more active, rent bicycles.

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