Thanks to Instagram, rental shops for traditional Korean costumes have mushroomed around the city’s historical areas. Those clad in hanbok get free entry to medieval royal sites such as Gyeongbok Palace.
Affectionately called ‘friendly Uncle Tom’, the actor is adored in Seoul for spending hours taking selfies with fans during local premieres. Busan, South Korea’s second city, even made him an honorary citizen when he visited in 2013.
Han river picnics
Leave your food at home and get a ritzy meal delivered to the Han River. You don’t even need an address: ‘red picnic blanket next to the basketball court at Banpo Hangang Park’ is enough.
Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market
Eat fresh sashimi or spicy stews at one of the hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Seoul’s 64,583-square-foot fish market. Get there early to catch the tuna auctions – they finish around 6:30am.
Kakao is the internet giant behind popular South Korean chat app KakaoTalk and shared car service KakaoTaxi. Offline, Kakao’s iconic emoji characters have taken over Gangnam at shops and cafes.
The area’s warehouses have transformed into gallery-cafes (Daelim Changgo), craft beer pubs (Amazing Brewery) and an art complex with exhibition halls and shops for brands featured in events like Fashion Kode – the next one takes place at S-Factory (above) over 15-17 March.
Cathay Pacific flies to Seoul from Hong Kong and Taipei 42 times a week