6 Hidden Gems You Can Visit at Downtown Seoul

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With globalization Seoul has become more complicated and sometimes excessively crowded. At times we might just want some quiet time alone for total relaxation, or longing for uninterrupted time with love ones, but with the crowds everywhere especially during the weekends, having some quality outdoor activity could be a luxury.
Here are some sites worth exploring and these places are relatively quiet than the major tourist sports.

This half day tour plan including 6 relatively peaceful sites around downtown Seoul (aka City Hall Station area). These sites are not only perfect for a slow stroll, but also ideal for quality time with your love ones. If you need an injection of Korean arts, musical or simply want a good dip in the Korean culture and humanities in the downtown area, and if my suggestion matters, this half-day tour plan is great for you.

Downtown/ City Hall Half-day Tour Plan: Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace → Stone Wall Street → Seoul Museum of Art → Jungmyeongjeon Hall → Jeongdong First Methodist Church  → Jungdong Theatre

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1.Daehanmun Gate @ Deoksugung Palace. 덕수궁 대한문 

The Daehanmun Gate right outside the Deoksugung Palace is a landmark at the area. This colourful gate stands out among the concrete forest of downtown Seoul, leaving its guests a prominent first impression. The palace conduct daily changing of Royal guards ceremony. Be sure to catch the ceremony on time. 

Ceremony Schedule: 11:00, 14:00, 15:30 (Closed on Mondays)


2. Stone Wall Street 덕수궁 돌담길 

The Deoksugung Stone Walk Street or Doldam-gil is one of the most beautiful walkway in Seoul. Stretching about 900 metres in total, the walkway has over 20 benches and 130 trees, which provide an extraordinary romantic atmosphere especially in Autumn and Winter. This stone wall street was Korea’s first successful attempt at creating a comprehensive urban space where both people and nature can coexist.The road was built using eco-friendly material and the utmost precautions were taken to ensure pedestrian safety.


3. Seoul Museum of Art 서울 시립 미술관 

Being one of Korea’s leading art museums, SeMa has gained its reputation through a series of impressive special exhibitions. Bring your date here for a romantic escapade. Impress her by telling her some historical facts of the beautiful building: It is build at the site of Gyeonghuigung Palace in 1988 and moved it its current location on May 2002. The entrance of the museum has a beautiful Renaissance Façade, originally part of the Supreme Court which was built in 1928.

Opening Hours: 
Weekdays: 10:00-20:00
Weekends & Holidays: 10:00-19:00
Nov- Feb: 10:00-18:00
Last Admission: 1 hr before closing.
Closed on Mondays.

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4. Jeongdong First Methodist Church 중동 제일 교회 

Established in 1987 by American Methodist missionary Henry Appenzeller, Jeongdong First Methodist Church is the first Protestant Church in Korea. It was the one and only church which was built in 19th century in Korea. This church has great historical significance as it was the place that fountainhead the “March First Movement” (One of the earliest public movement of anti-japanese occupation in Korea).

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5.  Jungmyeongjeon Hall 중명전 Jungmyeonjeon Hall, a three-story western style building was designed by Russian architect Seredin Sabatin. This building was used as imperial library from 1897 to 1901. After Deoksugung Palace caught fire, Jungmyeongjeon Hall became the main office of King Go Jong. The building also witnessed the tragic part of history in which the infamous Eulsa Treaty was signed.

Opening Hours: 
10:00-17:00, Closed on Mondays.
Free Admission.


6. Jeongdong Theatre 정동극장 

Lastly, you may catch your traditional Korean Musical here at the Jeongdong Theatre. There are 2 shows everyday at 4pm and 8pm. Plan your date wisely. You can either finish off the night with a dinner at the 길들여지기 restaurant in the theatre compound after the show (will be about 530pm), or wind down at the restaurant before getting into the theatre to catch the 8pm show.

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Source & Photo Credit: Pheuron

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