The heart of downtown Seoul with something going on all the time! I’ve never been in a safer, cleaner city that allows you to feel at ease no matter your age, gender, or the time of day.
I’ve never felt more safe in a downtown city than Seoul. It is unbelievably clean and safe, no matter if it is 9:00 am or 1:00 am. There are policemen patrolling big areas for safety and also making sure any manifestation/protest doesn’t get out of hand. I never saw anything that made me feel unsafe or at risk. When I would step out on my own, I felt completely safe and respected. The men are gentleman all the time, and the women will try to help with and dote on your kids no matter what! Koreans are very respectful people who will run up behind you and return the money you dropped 100 feet back, they’ll help you with your kids in any way they can, and peace is they’re ultimate desire in any situation. It is THE family-friendly capital.
Gwanghwamun Plaza is at the heart of downtown Seoul. It is basically a plaza-size street divider with the traffic on either side. It is just across from Gyeongbokgung and has space for events, concerts, and hosts the Sejong the Great Statue, the Admiral Yi Fountain, Gwanghwamun subway station, and a memorial for those that passed or are missing from the boat tragedy a few years ago. There is an event here at least on weekends on often during the week in the summer. We attended a farmer’s market, a Anniversary for Seoul Forest, a University event, and a FIFA event, so, chances are if you’re walking by, something will be going on!
If you continue down Sejong-dero 2 blocks, you’ll run into Cheonggyecheon Stream (look for the pink unicorn horn-looking monument, east side of the street). This stream was a restoration project to bring some green space into downtown. It lights up and night, and is a great way to walk to Kwangjang Market and even walk all the way down to Dongdaemun! There are events during the summer and is a very enjoyable and peaceful walking path. Just know where the elevator is if you have stroller, it wasn’t super stroller-friendly, so know where you need to go in relation to the elevator or have two sets of hands to carry it, just in case.
Gwanghwamun Plaza (Jongno-Gu, Green and Blue Lines, Green Maeul buses #9 and #11, Gwanghwamun Stn)
- Gwanghwamun Gate, and Gwanghwamun Plaza across the street (south) from Gyeongbokgung and the Gate
- Events always on weekends, and often during the week (I tried to find an event calendar, but I didn’t have any luck)
- Admiral Yi Sun Shin Fountain and King Sejeong the Great Statues + free museums at the Sejong Center on west side of plaza and in the Sejong statue
- Dozens of museums (here is a list of the museums in Seoul, look for museums located in Jongno-gu for downtown area), this was the Pet exhibit at the Sejong Art Center just across the street (west), but look at the website in Korean for a better representation of what is available, the English site doesn’t have very much listed on it
- Walking around Downtown
Cheonggyecheon Stream (Jongno-gu, Blue and Green Lines, #9 and #11 Maeul Buses)
- Fly, Ishimi Traditional Puppet Show from June-July, on weekends (image from visitseoul.net)
- About 5.5 miles long with stone paths across, lush greenery, and beautiful murals
- Elevator about 3/4 of a mile down from the head, north side is more stroller-friendly with the elevator and a wider walking path
- Walk to the famous Kwangjang Market (about 1 mile down), which was the first market in Seoul, and then all the way to Dongdaemun if you wanted!
Need more advice on Seoul or traveling? I’ve got you covered with my posts:
Need Korean recipes to get you through until the next time you’re in Korea? I’ve got you covered with Korean and other Asian recipes on my Recipe Index: Team Korea
WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU DONE AT GWANGHWAMUN PLAZA AND CHEONGGYECHEON STREAM? WHAT LOOKS THE MOST ENJOYABLE TO YOU? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!