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Opodo Travel Blog
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The capital of South Korea is the megacity, Seoul, officially named Seoul the Special City. The capital city is a mix of ancient and modern architecture as its history dates back thousands of years. Over the past few decades, Seoul has been experiencing an economical, technological, and architectural boom that is visible to anyone visiting the city, which has a population of over 10 million. Take a walk with us through the Special City to experience a few of the architectural wonders the metropolis has to offer.

1. Dongdaemun East Gate

Dongdaemun East Gate, Seoul
image by Gael Chardon @ Flickr

Dongdaemun is one of the eight gates of the Fortress Wall of Seoul. Dongdaemun means “Great East Gate,” though the original name is Heunginjimun, “Gate of Rising Benevolence”. The original structure was built in 1398, but the current East Gate is the result of the rebuilding of 1869.

2. Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul
image by phochart @ Flickr

 The Palace, whose name means “Greatly Blessed by Heaven”, was first built in 1395 and later reconstructed in 1867 after it was destroyed in a fire. It is the largest of the Five Grand Palaces in Seoul.

3. Hyangwonjeong Pavillion

Hyangwonjeong Pavillion, Seoul
image by Arian Zwegers @ Flickr

On the Gyeongbokgung Palace estate there are beautiful gardens which include the Hyangwonji Pond and an artificial islet, where the 2 storey Hyangwonjeong Pavillion sits.

4. North Seoul Tower

North Seoul Tower, Seoul
image by lensfodder @ Flickr

The N Seoul Tower has many names, from its official “CJ Seoul Tower” to its more common “Namsan Tower” and “Seoul Tower”. The tower marks the highest point in the city and has an observation deck to admire the panoramic views of Seoul.

5. Floating Islands

Floating Islands, Seoul
image by Army Vet @ Flickr
Floating Islands, Seoul
image by Army Vet @ Flickr

There are three man-made islands that make up the Seoul Floating Islands located on the Han River. The islands are themed differently: Vista, Viva, and Terra, each housing its own community facility. The islands were made to boost the use of the Seoul waterfront for cultural activities.

6. GT Tower East

GT Tower East, Seoul
image by LievenVM @ Flickr

The GT Tower East is an architecturally fascinating high-rise in the Seocho-dong neighbourhood. The undulating office tower is 427 feet high and is one of the newer additions to the Seoul skyline as it was inaugurated in February 2011.

7. 63 Building

63 Building, Seoul
image by 2nd Infantry Division @ Flickr

The 63 building is so named because it has a total of 63 storeys, 3 of which are underground. The emblematic skyscraper was built in 1985 as a landmark for the 1988 Summer Olympics. The tower is 817 feet tall and is the tallest gold-clad structure in the world.

Are you ready to visit Seoul?

British Airways has announced the return of their non-stop service from London Heathrow (LHR) to Seoul Incheon (ICN), making the South Korean capital just one step closer.

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