On The Ground

Insider tips for travellers to Seoul

Destination advice from passionate travellers – Cathay Pacific’s own people. This month, travel advice for Seoul

Seoul, Cathay Pacific, Lee Eun-kyung, assistant manager, marketing and digital sales

Lee Eun-kyung

Assistant manager,
marketing and digital sales

The history buff

There’s lots of modernity in Seoul – but there’s also plenty of history to be charmed by.

An example is the Korea Furniture Museum, which has over 2,000 pieces of traditional furniture within 10 beautifully preserved hanok houses in the hillside village of Seongbuk-dong. Visitors can take in the views over the city from the attached garden.

Elsewhere, Huwon, the so-called secret garden at the rear of Changdeokgung Palace in Jongno district, is as serene and secluded today as it was in the days of the royal family.

For a break, stop off in one of Seoul’s many cafes. My favourite is Coffee Hanyakbang. Hidden down an alley in Euljiro, it has shabby-chic interiors with vintage furniture and roasting equipment – and it serves some of city’s best drip coffee.

Korea Furniture Museum, Seoul, South Korea
HD SIGNATURE CO.,LTD / Alamy Stock Photo / Argusphoto
Seoul, Cathay Pacific, Yoo Seungwook, Corporate sales executive, sales and marketing

Yoo Seungwook

Corporate sales executive, sales and marketing

The outdoor type

Yeouido, an island on the Han river, may be Seoul’s financial heart (and Skyscraper Central) but it’s also the city’s green lung.

Stop by the National Assembly building and take a tour of the adjacent library (free – but advance booking is required). Once you’ve ticked those boxes, make a beeline for Yeouido Park and its tree-lined cycling paths (bikes are available to rent), lake and lawn. In spring, the arrival of the cherry blossoms casts the park in shades of white and pink; while in early October the park becomes the backdrop for a spectacular firework festival.

Around this time of year, you’ll often see young people camping alongside the river, busking with guitars by the paths or putting on live K-pop performances in the evening.

Seoul, on the ground, insider tips, cheery blossom
Chalamkhav / Shutterstock
Seoul, Cathay Pacific, Hong Ji-in, Senior marketing officer

Hong Ji-in

Senior Marketing officer

The insider

Start your day with brunch on the terrace of The Grove, a hidden gem in Seorae Village – a secluded cafe-lined neighbourhood known as Seoul’s Little France.

Then go for a walk to Montmartre Park, a hilltop park where wild rabbits roam and the views extend over to nearby Gangnam district.

After all that, you’ll want to pop into one of the area’s bars and restaurants. CraftBros, a tap house and bottle shop, is one of my favourites and serves dozens of interesting brews. In Seoul, hon-sul (single drinking) is pretty popular, so don’t be shy and find yourself a barstool.

For dinner, it’s hard to beat Doughroom by Soigné, where the chefs make the pasta fresh from the open kitchen. Try its signature squid ink capellini with garlic butter, shrimp and chives.

Seoul, On the ground, insider tips
Westend61 /Getty Images

Cathay Pacific flies to Seoul from Hong Kong 35 times a week

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