Top 15 Cities To Visit: No. 4 Seoul, South Korea

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Introduction: Seoul is one of my favorite cities because there are many different things you can do there. I could spend my whole trip just eating at all of the different Korean restaurants, and I feel like I would never run out of Korean foods I enjoy. Also, walking around Seoul feels a lot like walking around Tokyo to me. The only difference is that instead of seeing anime and hearing people speak Japanese, you hear a lot of k-pop and people speaking Korean. In terms of the atmosphere and the layout of the city, it is just a place that really appeals to me (for no particular reason, more so I just really enjoy the city as a whole).

Local Cuisine (how good the cities local cuisine/food was): 10/10

The local food in Korea is INCREDIBLE. If you like normal Korean food, you can have even higher quality Korean food in Seoul. There are just endless options in Seoul; bulgogi, galbi, bibimbap, kimchee pancakes, galbi tang, and naengmyoen just to name a few. In case you do not know what any of those are, click on the words to see a quick description. It is so easy to find any sort of amazing food in Korea. Just be aware that certain dishes can be spicy, but otherwise enjoy the food in Seoul!

Non-Local Food (how good food from other places was): 8/10

I have been to Seoul three times, but I have never eaten much non-local food while there. The local food is just so good that I don’t feel the need to try any other cuisine. I have eaten at a couple non-Korean restaurants in Seoul, and they were all decent. However, if you are only there for a short period of time, I would recommend not wasting your calories on non-Korean food.

Public Transportation (whether they had trains, subways, buses, etc. and how accessible they were): 9/10

The public transportation in Seoul is good. The subway system there is very good, although it is a bit harder to understand than some other subway systems. From what I remember, the maps there are just a bunch of circles, and it can be hard to find your exact destination. However, it is still a very efficient and clean subway.

Safety (how safe I feel the city is): 10/10

Like many of the other Asian countries that I have put on my list, Seoul is among the safest cities in the world. It is very hard to find a bad, unsafe area in Seoul (you would have to actively seek it out).

Scenery/Beauty (how pretty/cool the sites and nature were to look at): 9/10

Seoul is a modern city, but it is not quite as dense as cities such as Hong Kong. There is more space and natural scenery within the city. While there are plenty of high rises and nice buildings in places such as Gangnam, there are also plenty of parks and green areas. If you want to see a panoramic view of the city, you can go to a place such as Lotte World Tower.

History Monuments (how the city’s historical monuments are): 8/10

Seoul has some interesting historical monuments. With attractions such as Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace, you can see how the rich in Seoul lived in the past. Also, these are great places to take pictures. I believe you can also rent traditional Korean outfits and take pictures at the Palace. Overall, Seoul has some unique historical sites you should be sure to check out.

Price (how expensive it was to visit the city, not including airfare (lower score means more expensive, higher score means good value)): 8/10

One good thing about Seoul is that it is not as expensive as the other Asian cities. While it is not as cheap as a place such as Taiwan, the food and accommodations are still affordable. Seoul is a very fun city to visit, and this is true regardless of whether you are on a budget or not.

Cleanliness (how clean the city was in general): 10/10

Many of the buildings are relatively new, so they are in amazing shape. There is almost no litter on the streets, and Seoul is definitely one of the cleanest cities I have ever been to.

Tourist Friendly (how accessible and accommodating the city is for tourists (mainly English speakers)): 9/10

Seoul is definitely one of the most popular cities for tourists to visit. This means that even though many people speak limited English, they are used to being around tourists and know how to help them. Also, many tourists enjoy the culture of Seoul; whether it is because of K-Pop or something else, Seoul definitely tends to do well with a younger crowd.

Walkability (how easy it is to walk around the city): 8/10

Seoul can seem very spread out, and can be a little hilly at certain points. Even though a lot of the city is densely packed, the areas of Seoul need to be visited by subway rather than walking. It is nice to walk around Gangnam, Myeongdong, Itaewon, and other areas. However, you will need to take a subway or taxi if you want to go from Gangnam to another place like Myeongdong.

Conclusion: Seoul is just a really fun city to visit. I have been there 3 times already, but each time I go back, I find new foods to eat and new places to explore. It is hard for me to explain what is so appealing about Seoul, and I feel like you need to visit it yourself to appreciate it. I have never really heard anyone say they didn’t enjoy Seoul, and it appeals to people with all different interests. I don’t think it would be as high on my list if I had to live there (mainly because of the language barrier), but it is a great place to visit.

Total Score (Combined Score of all the categories): 89/100


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