This is the 2013 OUTDATED version of the top things to do in Seoul (maintained for sentimental value). Follow the link to the new TOP 50 Things to do in Seoul.
#30 Old Seoul Station
The Old Seoul Station started operation more than 100 years ago. It has recently been reopened to the public after years of remodeling. It currently sits right next to the modern Seoul Station train hub, the main train station to go anywhere out of Seoul, and is quite interesting to get a good view of the two buildings simultaneously from a distance. As they were built almost a hundred years apart, you can see the development of Korean architecture from 1900 (European based) to today (almost futuristic). Unfortunately, for the time being, there is nothing really inside the old building besides a few modern art exhibitions (which isn’t my type of art) so the pretty building (and a lot of imagination) will have to do.
Seoul is the city I currently live in, so naturally, I have a lot of great things to say about it. Here are three more things to do in Southern Seoul using the Express Bus Terminal Subway Exit as a reference point. I am using that station as a starting point because it is a good central location in the South side of Seoul, and a likely location for visitors who take the long distance buses to locations outside of Seoul to places like Yeoju (King Sejong’s Tomb). However, you can of course see these any time you are in southern Seoul. This is essentially a “part 3” post, so in case you missed the first two articles, they are here, and here.
1) Bongeunsa Temple and Temple Stay
Bongeunsa is always decorated with lanterns. (credit wikipedia)
This is the main Buddha statue in the temple (credit: Wikipedia)
While it feels calm inside, you are still in the heart of the city. The sky scrappers of Seoul are clearly visible. (credit: Wikipedia)
Many temples in Korea have stone pagodas in the front. This temple has been around for hundreds of years. (credit: Seoulistic.com)
While this is a different temple, the picture is meant to show a temple stay experience. Here, the monks are doing their afternoon prayers in Haeinsa Temple.
Bongeunsa is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Seoul. Despite what websites like tripadvisor might tell you, it is actually quite easy to find a Buddhist temple in Seoul. However, just like you wouldn’t tour just any regular church, most Buddhist temples are meant for meditating or praying, not tourism. This one however is quite impressive for its size and history given that it is in the heart of Seoul. Most of the other important temples in Korea, such as Haeinsa Temple near Daegu (article coming soon) or Bulguksa Temple near Gyeongju (also coming soon) are quite far from the city and are deserving of a trip in their own right. Bongeunsa however, is perfect for people on a “time budget” who don’t have an extra day to visit far away temples.