Learn Korean in Seoul, the capital of South Korea and one of the largest cities in the world. With a population of 10.2 million, nearly a quarter of the country’s population live within this city. Seoul is one of the leading financial and commercial centers in the world and has one of the most advanced technology infrastructures of any city in the world, making it increasingly valuable to learn Korean in Seoul.
This is a city that has had to adapt to incredible population density, with almost twice the concentration of people of New York City! Despite this there is superb public transport which makes it very easy to get around. The brilliance of Seoul’s urban planning has garnered it the title of World Design Capital for 2010. However, Seoul also has a history spanning over 2000 years. Seoul holds four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all of which demand to be seen while you study Korean here.
With its long history as a capital city, Seoul has several major palaces. The best known is the Gyeongbok-gung, built in 1394 and destroyed by a Japanese invasion in 1592. It was rebuilt to be nearly destroyed again by the Japanese in 1910 but was again being rebuilt and is nearly halfway finished. Another notable palace to be seen while you learn Korean in Seoul is Changdeok-gung, built in 1405. While both are incredible examples of Korean architecture, the Deoksu-gung is a unique palace that blends Korean and Western influences.
Seoul is also home to many important temples. The Jongmyo Shrine is dedicated to many generations of the royal family and is the most famous. Up Mount Inwang there is the Inwang Temple and the Guksadang shrine, the most important shamanist site in Seoul. The Great South Gate (Namdaemun) of the old city walls has survived and become a major city landmark and National Treasure, definitely worth a visit. The Namsan Tower, built in 1969, was once the tallest tower in Asia and has an incredible view of the entire city!
Other impressive views are available from the mountains that surround the city. Bukhansan to the north is the most famous. You should also hike Gwanaksan (the hat-like mountain), with its numerous Buddhist temples and the nearby Samseongsan.
Should hiking up mountains seem too strenuous there are dozens of incredible parks to visit throughout the city. Such as Boramae Park which features a zoo and a huge pond. One of the most visited parks is Yeouido and there is also 4.19 Memorial Cemetery honouring the casualties of the April Revolution in 1960. You can learn more about this and other important historical moments as you learn Korean in Korea.
Namsan park is the most symbolic park in Seoul situated on the central Namsan mountain and visible throughout the city. It is filled with wild animals and pine trees. Seoul is a city of diversity, with history and plenty of opportunities to study the language of this cool metropolis!