Sky-scrapers, traditional shopping, markets and more…. check out Jongro
Jongro is Seoul’s main business and embassy district, and is the main stop for international business in Korea. There’s much more to it than you might imagine, though. You will probably recognise the area, too, since most TV broadcasts by CNN and other foreign media take place in the streets here (the Press Centre is on the main road…they just set a camera up outside their office for the generic ‘Seoul’ street shot).
An area of soaring office towers, Jongro also has many hidden reminders of Korea’s long history, including Dongdaemun, the old city gate. Bargain hunters will struggle to find a better range of cheap and cheerful shopping than that offered at the nearby Dongdaemun markets, either.
If you’re craving an English novel, the Kyobo Building (you won’t miss it when you get there) has a great range of foreign language books. You might want to check out the Youngpoon bookshop or Bandi & Luni’s, too.
Probably best known in the Jongro area is Insadong (which is pictured above), a mix of traditional attractions and the tackiest of Seoul’s tourist shops. It’s not to be missed, especially if you’re on the hunt for gifts for family and friends at home.
My suggestion is to just take a wander around the Kwanchul-dong area – it’s a major hangout for university students, and there’s always something going on.
Getting there – All roads lead to Jongro! Take the 1, 3 or 5 lines to Jong 3-ga subway station. It’s about a W8000 trip from Gangnam in a taxi.
Hint – Sick of living like a student? Splurge on the dinner buffet at Top Cloud for a great view of Seoul