Seoul is an amazing city - it's easy to get around (both by walking and on the efficient metro system), has both good food and good coffee, is less expensive than London and has the perfect balance of old and (very) new. It's not all high rise buildings - I hiked up a mountain, rode a bike and ate in a tent restaurant with loo roll hanging from the ceiling. Koreans are super friendly and on said bike ride were keen to make sure I wasn't lost (probably due to my wholly inappropriate biking attire) and always checked that I did mean to order red bean desserts (maybe other visitors are not fans of the not-sweet-not-savory taste of them but I go crazy for all things red bean).
I'd recommend getting a decent guidebook, reading the tips on Eat Your Kimchi and Waegook Tom, learning the Korean alphabet if you're super keen (I did it while on tube journeys, standing in queues and while watching Netflix because my inner over-achiever just won't quit) and booking a few trips on Viatour. And no, you probably won't be served dog meat, be obliterated by North Korea and nor will you hear a peep of Gangnam Style...
|The change of the guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace.|
|Cheonggyecheon stream in central Seoul - grab a coffee from one of the many nearby coffee shops and enjoy a peaceful break from the city.|
|Kitty time at Godabang "cat attic" in Myeongdong. I took so many cat pictures that an entire post may be in order... The guesthouse's dog gave me a wide berth when I got back that evening.|
|Stepping over the board into North Korea for a Kodak Moment - I did this tour which took in the Demilitarised Zone, a walk down the third infiltration tunnel, a visit to the shiny new but as-yet-unused train station to Pyongyang and a trip to the truce village. Possibly one of the most surreal days I've had and an experience I'll never forget.|
|Zaha Hadid's spaceship-like Dongdaemun Design Plaza - the fact that someone can dream something like this up and then have it made into a physical reality blows my mind a little bit. Humans are amazing as much as they are balling and ridiculous.|
|Jogyesa Temple - a short walk from Insa-Dong and a lovely place for quiet time.|
|A very relaxing day at Dragon Hill Spa - I had an amazing massage, hopped between outdoor scented hot tubs and steamed parts of my body that maybe shouldn't be steamed... The spa areas are separate for men and women and are a swim-wear and inhibition free zone. If the spa-ing becomes too much then you can hit the games arcade or stop for a spot of fried chicken in one of the many cafes - a bizarre but very Korean experience! This guide is useful for spa etiquette.|