Seoul

Seoul

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Seoul'
Start a new discussion about 'Seoul'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Seoul officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis
Metropolis
A metropolis is a very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and communications...

 of South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

. A megacity
Megacity
A megacity is usually defined as a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. Some definitions also set a minimum level for population density . A megacity can be a single metropolitan area or two or more metropolitan areas that converge. The terms conurbation,...

 with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world. The Seoul National Capital Area
Seoul National Capital Area
The Seoul National Capital Area is a region located in the north-west of South Korea. It is generally referred to as Sudogwon in Korean, and contains three different administrative districts; Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi-do....

 is the world's second largest metropolitan area with over 25 million inhabitants, which includes the surrounding Incheon
Incheon
The Incheon Metropolitan City is located in northwestern South Korea. The city was home to just 4,700 people when Jemulpo port was built in 1883. Today 2.76 million people live in the city, making it Korea’s third most populous city after Seoul and Busan Metropolitan City...

 metropolis and Gyeonggi
Gyeonggi-do
Gyeonggi-do is the most populous province in South Korea. The provincial capital is located at Suwon. Seoul—South Korea's largest city and national capital—is located in the heart of the province, but has been separately administered as a provincial-level special city since 1946...

 province. Over half of South Korea's population live in the Seoul National Capital Area, and nearly a quarter in Seoul itself, making it the country's foremost economic, political, and cultural center.

Seoul has been a major settlement for over 2,000 years, with its foundation dating back to 18 B.C.
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

 when Baekje
Baekje
Baekje or Paekche was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla....

, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea
Three Kingdoms of Korea
The Three Kingdoms of Korea refer to the ancient Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla, which dominated the Korean peninsula and parts of Manchuria for much of the 1st millennium...

, established its capital in what is now south-east Seoul. It continued as the capital of Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 during the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 and the Korean Empire
Korean Empire
The Greater Korean Empire was an empire of Korea that succeeded the Joseon Dynasty.In October 1897, Emperor Gojong proclaimed the new entity at Gyeongungung Palace and oversaw the partially successful modernization of the military, economy, land system, education system, and various industries...

.

The Seoul National Capital Area is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeokgung
Changdeokgung
Changdeokgung, also known as Changdeokgung Palace or Changdeok Palace, is set within a large park in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. Because of its location east of Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeokgung, with Changgyeonggung,...

, Hwaseong Fortress
Hwaseong Fortress
Hwaseong , the wall surrounding the centre of Suwon, the provincial capital of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, was built in the late 18th century by King Jeongjo of the Joseon Dynasty to honour and house the remains of his father Prince Sado, who had been murdered by being locked alive inside a rice...

, Jongmyo Shrine
Jongmyo
Jongmyo is a Confucian shrine dedicated to the memorial services for the deceased kings and queens of the Korean Joseon Dynasty. According to UNESCO, the shrine is the oldest royal Confucian shrine preserved and the ritual ceremonies continue a tradition established since the 14th century...

 and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
The Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty refers to the 40 tombs of members of the Korean Joseon Dynasty . These tombs are scattered in over 18 locations across South Korea. They were built to honour and respect the ancestors and their achievements, and assert their royal authority...

.

Today, Seoul is considered to be a leading global city
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

, ranking among the top ten global cities in the Global Cities Index
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

 of 2010. It is one of the world's top ten financial and commercial centers, home to major multinational
Multinational corporation
A multi national corporation or enterprise , is a corporation or an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation...

 conglomerates
Conglomerate (company)
A conglomerate is a combination of two or more corporations engaged in entirely different businesses that fall under one corporate structure , usually involving a parent company and several subsidiaries. Often, a conglomerate is a multi-industry company...

 such as Samsung
Samsung
The Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea...

, LG
LG
LG may refer to:*LG Corp., a South Korean electronics and petrochemicals conglomerate*LG Electronics, an affiliate of the South Korean LG Group which produces electronic products* Lawrence Graham, a London headquartered firm of business lawyers...

 and Hyundai-Kia
Hyundai Kia Automotive Group
The Hyundai Kia Automotive Group is South Korea's largest automobile manufacturer, the second largest automaker in Asia after Toyota and the world's fourth largest automaker after Toyota, GM, and Volkswagen as of the end of 2010...

. In 2008, Seoul was named the world's sixth most economically powerful city by Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

.

Seoul has a highly technologically advanced infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

. Seoul was the first city to feature DMB
Digital Multimedia Broadcasting
Digital Multimedia Broadcasting is a digital radio transmission technology developed in South Korea as part of the national IT project for sending multimedia such as TV, radio and datacasting to mobile devices such as mobile phones...

, a digital mobile TV
Mobile TV
Mobile television usually means television watched on a small handheld device. It may be a pay TV service broadcast on mobile phone networks or received free-to-air via terrestrial television stations from either regular broadcast or a special mobile TV transmission format...

 technology and WiBro
WiBro
WiBro is a wireless broadband Internet technology developed by the South Korean telecoms industry. WiBro is the South Korean service name for IEEE 802.16e international standard...

, a wireless high-speed mobile internet service. It has a fast, high-penetration 100 Mbit/s fibre-optic broadband network, which is being upgraded to 1 Gbit/s by 2012. Seoul Station
Seoul Station
Seoul Station is a major railway station in Seoul, South Korea. The station is served by the Gyeongbu Line, its high-speed counterpart and the Gyeongui Line, with frequent high-speed, express, and local services to various points in South Korea.-Services:...

 houses the 350 km/h KTX
Korea Train Express
Korea Train eXpress is South Korea's high-speed rail system, operated by Korail. Construction began on the first section of the high-speed line from Seoul to Busan in 1992. The project was later split into two phases and combined with conventional line upgrades, adding a second route from Seoul to...

 bullet train
High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...

 and the Seoul Subway is the third busiest in the world, with over 200 million passengers every year. Seoul is connected via AREX
AREX
AREX, spelled A'REX as a brand name, is a South Korean railway line that links Seoul with Gimpo Airport and Incheon International Airport. The section between the two airports opened on March 23, 2007, the extension to Seoul Station opened December 29, 2010...

 to Incheon International Airport
Incheon International Airport
Incheon International Airport is the largest airport in South Korea, the primary airport serving the Seoul national capital area, and one of the largest and busiest airports in the world...

, rated as the best airport in the world by Airports Council International
Airports Council International
Airports Council International is the association of the world’s airports. It is a non profit organization, whose prime purpose is to advance the interests of airports and to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations...

.

Seoul hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics
1988 Summer Olympics
The 1988 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIV Olympiad, were an all international multi-sport events celebrated from September 17 to October 2, 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. They were the second summer Olympic Games to be held in Asia and the first since the 1964 Summer Olympics...

, 2002 FIFA World Cup
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

 and the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit
2010 G-20 Seoul summit
The 2010 G20 Seoul Summit was the fifth meeting of the G-20 heads of government, to discuss the global financial system and the world economy, which took place in Seoul, South Korea on November 11–12, 2010...

. The city was named the World Design Capital
World Design Capital
The World Design Capital is a city promotion project by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design to recognize and award accomplishments made by cities around the world in the field of design.-World Design Capitals by year:...

 for 2010 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design
International Council of Societies of Industrial Design
International Council of Societies of Industrial Design was founded in 1957 from a group of international organizations focused on industrial design. Today Icsid is a worldwide society that promotes better design around the world...

.

Name



The city has been known in the past by the names Wirye-seong
Wiryeseong
Wiryeseong was the name of two early capitals of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Both are believed to have been in the modern-day Seoul area...

 (위례성; 慰禮城, Baekje
Baekje
Baekje or Paekche was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla....

 era), Hanju (한주; 漢州, Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

 era), Namgyeong (남경; 南京, Goryeo
Goryeo
The Goryeo Dynasty or Koryŏ was a Korean dynasty established in 918 by Emperor Taejo. Korea gets its name from this kingdom which came to be pronounced Korea. It united the Later Three Kingdoms in 936 and ruled most of the Korean peninsula until it was removed by the Joseon dynasty in 1392...

 era), Hanseong (한성; 漢城, Baekje
Baekje
Baekje or Paekche was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla....

 and Joseon
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 era), Hanyang (한양; 漢陽, Joseon
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 era), Gyeongseong (경성; 京城, during colonial era). Its current name originated from the Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

 word meaning "capital city," which is believed to be derived from the word, Seorabeol (서라벌; 徐羅伐), which originally referred to Gyeongju
Gyeongju
Gyeongju is a coastal city in the far southeastern corner of North Gyeongsang province in South Korea. It is the second largest city by area in the province after Andong, covering with a population of 269,343 people according to the 2008 census. Gyeongju is southeast of Seoul, and east of the...

, the capital of Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

.

Unlike most place names in Korea, "Seoul" has no corresponding hanja
Hanja
Hanja is the Korean name for the Chinese characters hanzi. More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation...

 (Chinese characters used in the Korean language
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

). Since was already being used in Chinese speaking countries, on January 18, 2005, Seoul officially adopted it as the official Chinese language name of the city. The use of the old name Hanseong (漢城 or 汉城) is still common, however.

History


Settlement began in Baekje
Baekje
Baekje or Paekche was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla....

, Wirye-seong
Wiryeseong
Wiryeseong was the name of two early capitals of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Both are believed to have been in the modern-day Seoul area...

, in 17 BC. The location of that site is thought to be within the boundaries of modern day Seoul, and the remains may be at Pungnap Toseong
Pungnap Toseong
Pungnaptoseong is a flat earthen wall built at the edge of the Han River, with a circumference of 3.5km. It is located in modern-day Pungnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, and previously was included in the neighboring city of Gwangju. It has a long oval shape, spreading to north and south, and leaning...

 or Mongchon Toseong. It became the capital of the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 in 1394. There were some modernization efforts by the late 19th century and Seoul became the first city in East Asia to have electricity, trolley cars, water, telephone, and telegraph systems all at the same time. During the Japanese colonial period in the early 20th century, the city was called Gyeongseong (경성, lit. "Capital City"; ). After independence in 1945, Koreans renamed the city Seoul (which also means "Capital City" in Korean). In 1949, Seoul was separated from Gyeonggi Province and was granted status as "Seoul Special City". In 1950, during the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, Seoul was occupied by North Korean troops and the city was almost entirely destroyed. The city was retaken by UN Forces on 14 March 1951. Since then, the city boundary has steadily grown into surrounding administrative divisions of Gimpo, Goyang, and Shiheung counties. The current boundaries were established in 1995.

Geography



Seoul is in the northwest of South Korea. Seoul proper comprises 605.25 km2, with a radius of approximately 15 km, roughly bisected into northern and southern halves by the Han River
Han River (Korea)
The Han River is a major river in South Korea and the fourth longest river on the Korean peninsula after the Amnok, Duman, and Nakdong rivers. It is formed by the confluence of the Namhan River , which originates in Mount Daedeok, and the Bukhan River , which originates on the slopes of Mount...

. The Han River and its surrounding area played an important role in Korean history. The Three Kingdoms of Korea
Three Kingdoms of Korea
The Three Kingdoms of Korea refer to the ancient Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla, which dominated the Korean peninsula and parts of Manchuria for much of the 1st millennium...

 strove to take control of this land, where the river was used as a trade route to China (via the Yellow Sea
Yellow Sea
The Yellow Sea is the name given to the northern part of the East China Sea, which is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It is located between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula. Its name comes from the sand particles from Gobi Desert sand storms that turn the surface of the water golden...

). The river is no longer actively used for navigation, because its estuary
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 is located at the borders of the two Koreas, with civilian entry barred. The city is bordered by eight mountains, as well as the more level lands of the Han River plain and western areas.

Climate



Seoul lies in the border region between a humid subtropical
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 and humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Cwa/Dwa), depending on the definition. Summers are generally hot and humid, with the East Asian monsoon
East Asian monsoon
The East Asian monsoon is a monsoonal flow that carries moist air from the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean to East Asia. It affects approximately one-third of the global population, influencing the climate of Japan , the Koreas, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and much of mainland China...

 taking place from June until July. August, the warmest month, has an average temperature of 22.4 to 29.6 °C (72.3 to 85.3 F) with higher temperatures possible. Winters are often relatively cold with an average January temperature of -5.9 C and are generally much drier than summers, with an average of 28 days of snow annually.

Administrative divisions



Seoul is divided into 25 gu (구; ) (district). The gu vary greatly in area (from 10 to 47 km2) and population (from less than 140,000 to 630,000). Songpa has the most people, while Seocho, the largest area. The government of each gu handles many of the functions that are handled by city governments in other jurisdictions. Each gu is divided into "dong" (동; ) or neighbourhoods. Some gu have only a few dong while others like Jongno-gu have a very large number of distinct neighborhoods. Gu of Seoul consist of 522 administrative dongs (행정동) in total. Dong are also sub-divided into 13,787 tong (통; ), which are further divided into 102,796 ban in total.


  • Dobong District
    Dobong-gu
    Dobong-gu is one of the 25 districts of Seoul, South Korea. It is located on the north side of the Han River.-Mountain:Donbong Mt. is nearby and actually its area is in charge of dobong-gu....

     (도봉구; )
  • Dongdaemun District
    Dongdaemun-gu
    Dongdaemun-gu is one of the 25 gu of Seoul, South Korea. It is located to the north of the River Han. Its district office is in Yongdu-dong where is close to the underground station of branch of Line 2....

     (동대문구; )
  • Dongjak District
    Dongjak-gu
    Dongjak-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. Its name was derived from the Dongjaegi Naruteo Ferry, located on the Han River which borders the district to the north...

     (동작구; )
  • Eunpyeong District
    Eunpyeong-gu
    Eunpyeong-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea.The mayor of this district is Jaedong NOH since July 2006.-Administrative divisions:*Bulgwang-dong *Daejo-dong *Eungam-dong...

     (은평구; )
  • Gangbuk District
    Gangbuk-gu
    Gangbuk-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. Its name is derived from the fact that it is located at the north of Han river. It was created from neighbouring Dobong-gu in 1995...

     (강북구; )
  • Gangdong District
    Gangdong-gu
    Gangdong-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. It is located on the east side of the city....

     (강동구; )
  • Gangnam District
    Gangnam-gu
    Gangnam-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the most affluent areas of Seoul and is located in the southeast of the city...

     (강남구; )
  • Gangseo District
    Gangseo-gu, Seoul
    Gangseo-gu is one of the 25 wards of Seoul, South Korea. It is located on the south side of the Han River. Gimpo Airport is in Gonghang-dong, where many flights fly to cities like Busan, Jeju, and Gwangju....

     (강서구; )
  • Geumcheon District
    Geumcheon-gu
    Geumcheon-gu is one of the 25 gu of Seoul, South Korea. It was created from neighboring Guro-gu and small sections from Gwangmyeong in 1995. Its district office is located in from of Siheung Station, now Geumcheon-gu Office Station, in Siheung-dong.Geumcheon-gu is located in the southwest corner...

     (금천구; )
  • Guro District
    Guro-gu
    Guro is a district of Seoul, South Korea, which was separated from Yeongdeungpo on April 1, 1980. Located in the southwestern part of the city, Guro has an important position as a transport link from the rest of Seoul to the south of the country. The Gyeongbu and Gyeongin railway lines connect...

     (구로구; )
  • Gwanak District
    Gwanak-gu
    Gwanak District, or Gwanak-gu is an administrative subdivision of Seoul, South Korea. It lies on southern skirt of Seoul, bordering Seoul and Anyang of Gyeonggi Province. Craggy ridgeline of Mt...

     (관악구; )
  • Gwangjin District
    Gwangjin-gu
    Gwangjin-gu is one of the 25 wards of Seoul, South Korea. It is located on the north side of the Han River. It was created from neighboring Seongdong-gu in 1995.Gwangjin-gu is home to Konkuk University and Sejong University...

     (광진구; )
  • Jongno District
    Jongno-gu
    Jongno-gu is a gu, or district, in central Seoul, South Korea. It takes its name from a major local street, Jongno, which means "Bell Street". Jongno-gu has been the center of the city for 600 years, since where the Joseon dynasty established its capital city...

     (종로구; )
  • Jung District
    Jung-gu, Seoul
    Jung-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. It is located on the north side of the Han River, and is the historical center of the city .-Overview:...

     (중구; )
  • Jungnang District
    Jungnang-gu
    Jungnang-gu is one of the 25 gu, or districts, of Seoul, South Korea. It is located on the north side of the Han River.The mayor of this district is Byungkwon MOON since his election in July 2006.-Administrative divisions:...

     (중랑구; )
  • Mapo District
    Mapo-gu
    Mapo-gu is a gu, or district, within Seoul, South Korea. It lies northwest of the Han River. Several universities and government buildings are located here. Mapo is especially well-known for the Hongdae club district around Hongik University. Seoul Metropolitan Subway Line 1, Line 5, and Line 6...

     (마포구; )
  • Nowon District
    Nowon-gu
    Nowon-gu is a residential district of Seoul, South Korea, Located in the northeastern part of the metropolitan city. It has the highest population density in Seoul, with 619,509 people living in the area of 35.44 km²....

     (노원구; )
  • Seocho District
    Seocho-gu
    Seocho-gu is a gu of Seoul, South Korea. It is a popular residential area for the mid- or upper-class residents in Seoul and home to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Prosecutors' Office. Seocho Samsung Town in Seocho-dong, near Gangnam Station, is the headquarter of the several corporations of the...

     (서초구; )
  • Seodaemun District
    Seodaemun-gu
    Seodaemun-gu is a gu located in northwestern Seoul, South Korea. The name derives from Seodaemun, meaning literally "Great West Gate", which was once located in the district...

     (서대문구; )
  • Seongbuk District
    Seongbuk-gu
    Seongbuk-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. It is located in the mid-north part of the city. The current Mayor is Seo Chan-gyo, who has been mayor since July 1, 2006.-Administrative divisions:...

     (성북구; )
  • Seongdong District
    Seongdong-gu
    Seongdong-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. It is situated on the north bank of the Han River. It is divided into 20 dong .The mayor of this district is Hojo Lee since July 2006....

     (성동구; )
  • Songpa District
    Songpa-gu
    Songpa-gu is a district of Seoul, South Korea. Songpa is located at the southeastern part of Seoul, the capital of Korea, Songpa is a district with the largest population...

     (송파구; )
  • Yangcheon District
    Yangcheon-gu
    Yangcheon-gu is a gu, or district, of Seoul, South Korea, located on the southwest side of the Han River. At the centre of this district is the Mok-dong area, which is home to numerous shopping outlets, bars and restaurants, an ice rink, and large residential buildings inhabited by mostly middle...

     (양천구; )
  • Yeongdeungpo District
    Yeongdeungpo-gu
    Yeongdeungpo-gu is an administrative district in southwest Seoul, South Korea. Although the origin of the name is uncertain, the first two syllables are thought to be from "yeongdeung" or "divine ascent", a shamanic rite. The third syllable is "po", representing water , referring to the...

     (영등포구; )
  • Yongsan District
    Yongsan-gu
    Yongsan-gu is a district of Seoul, South Korea. Its name means "Dragon Hill", derived from the hanja characters for dragon and hill/mountain . It sits to the North of the Han River under the shadow of Seoul Tower. Geographically, it is located right in the center of Seoul. It is home to roughly...

     (용산구; )

  • Demographics


    Seoul proper is noted for its population density
    Population density
    Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

    , which is almost twice as concentrated as New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

     and eight times greater than Rome
    Rome
    Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

    , though slightly less than that of Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

    . The density of its metropolitan area is the highest in the OECD. Nearly all of Seoul's residents are Korean
    Korean people
    The Korean people are an ethnic group originating in the Korean peninsula and Manchuria. Koreans are one of the most ethnically and linguistically homogeneous groups in the world.-Names:...

    , with some small Chinese
    Overseas Chinese
    Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

     and Japanese minorities. As of 2009, the city’s population is 10,208,302. The number of foreigners living in Seoul is 255,501 in 2010 according to Seoul officials. As of the end of June 2011, 10.29 million Republic of Korea citizens lived in the city. This was a .24% decrease from the end of 2010. As of June 2011, 281,780 foreigners were located in Seoul. Of them, 186,631 foreigners (66%) were People's Republic of China citizens of Korean ethnicity. This was a 8.84% increase from the end of 2010 and a 12.85% increase from June of 2010. The next largest group consisted of PRC citizens who are not of Korean ethnicity; 29,901 of them resided in Seoul. The next highest group consisted of the 9,999 United States citizens. The next highest group were the Republic of China (Taiwan) citizens, at 8,717.

    The two major religions in Seoul are Buddhism
    Buddhism
    Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

     and Christianity. Other religions include Shamanism
    Shamanism
    Shamanism is an anthropological term referencing a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world. To quote Eliade: "A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = technique of ecstasy." Shamanism encompasses the...

     and Confucianism
    Confucianism
    Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

    , the latter seen more as a pervasive social philosophy rather than a religion.

    Economy




    As the headquarters for Samsung
    Samsung
    The Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea...

    , LG
    LG
    LG may refer to:*LG Corp., a South Korean electronics and petrochemicals conglomerate*LG Electronics, an affiliate of the South Korean LG Group which produces electronic products* Lawrence Graham, a London headquartered firm of business lawyers...

    , Hyundai
    Hyundai
    Hyundai ) is a global conglomerate company, part of the Korean chaebol, that was founded in South Korea by one of the most famous businessmen in Korean history: Chung Ju-yung...

    , Kia
    Kia Motors
    Kia Motors , headquartered in Seoul, is South Korea's second-largest automobile manufacturer, following the Hyundai Motor Company, with sales of over 1.4 million vehicles in 2010...

     and SK
    SK Group
    SK Group is the third largest conglomerate in South Korea. The SK Group is composed of 92 subsidiary and affiliate companies that share the SK brand and culture....

    , Seoul has become a major business hub. Although it accounts for only 0.6 percent of South Korea's land area, Seoul generates 21 percent of the country's GDP.

    Finance


    A large concentration of international companies are headquartered in Seoul. International banks with branches in Seoul include Citigroup
    Citigroup
    Citigroup Inc. or Citi is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. Citigroup was formed from one of the world's largest mergers in history by combining the banking giant Citicorp and financial conglomerate...

    , Deutsche Bank
    Deutsche Bank
    Deutsche Bank AG is a global financial service company with its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. It employs more than 100,000 people in over 70 countries, and has a large presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and the emerging markets...

    , HSBC
    HSBC
    HSBC Holdings plc is a global banking and financial services company headquartered in Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom. it is the world's second-largest banking and financial services group and second-largest public company according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine...

    , Goldman Sachs
    Goldman Sachs
    The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

    , JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Grupo Santander
    Grupo Santander
    The Santander Group is a banking group centered on Banco Santander, S.A., the largest bank in the Eurozone and one of the largest banks in the world in terms of market capitalisation. According to Forbes Magazine Global 2000, it is the 13th largest public company in the world...

    , UBS, Credit Suisse
    Credit Suisse
    The Credit Suisse Group AG is a Swiss multinational financial services company headquartered in Zurich, with more than 250 branches in Switzerland and operations in more than 50 countries.-History:...

    , UniCredit
    UniCredit
    UniCredit SpA is an Italy-based, pan-European banking organization, with aprox 40 million customers and operations in 22 countries.- Geography :...

    , Société Générale
    Société Générale
    Société Générale S.A. is a large European Bank and a major Financial Services company that has a substantial global presence. Its registered office is on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, while its head office is in the Tours Société Générale in the business district of La...

    , Calyon
    Calyon
    Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank is Crédit Agricole's corporate and investment banking entity. With a staff of 13,000 employees in 58 countries, Crédit Agricole CIB is active in a broad range of capital markets, investment banking and financing activities...

    , BBVA, Macquarie Group
    Macquarie Group
    Macquarie Group Limited is a global investment banking and diversified financial services group, providing banking, financial, advisory, investment and funds management services to institutional, corporate and retail clients and counterparties around the world...

    , ING Bank and Standard Chartered. The Korea Exchange Bank
    Korea Exchange Bank
    Korea Exchange Bank is a specialized foreign exchange bank in South Korea. It is headquartered in Seoul, and was established in 1967.Korea Exchange Bank is the fifth largest bank in South Korea measured in assets and the largest foreign exchange bank in South Korea, providing the largest range of...

     is also headquartered in the city.

    Shopping


    The largest market in South Korea, the Dongdaemun Market
    Dongdaemun Market
    Dongdaemun Market or Tongdaemun is the large commercial district comprising traditional markets and shopping centers in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea...

    , is located in Seoul. Myeongdong
    Myeongdong
    Myeong-dong or Myong-dong is a dong in Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea between Chungmu-ro, Eulji-ro, and Namdaemun-ro. It covers 0.99 km² with a population of 3,529 and is mostly a commercial area, being one of Seoul's main shopping and tourism districts.-History:Myeongdong dates back to the...

     is a shopping and entertainment area in downtown Seoul with mid- to high-end stores, fashion boutiques and international brand outlets. The nearby Namdaemun Market
    Namdaemun market
    Namdaemun Market is a large traditional market in Seoul, South Korea. The market is located next to Namdaemun, the "Great South Gate," which was the main southern gate to the old city. It is the oldest and largest market in Korea.-History:...

    , named after the Namdaemun Gate, is the oldest continually running market in Seoul. Sinchon
    Sinchon
    Sinchon or Sinchon-dong is a neighbourhood and a judicial dong in Seodaemun-gu in Seoul, South Korea....

     is a shopping area that caters mainly to a younger and university student crowd.

    Insadong
    Insadong
    Insadong is a dong, or neighborhood of the Jongno-gu district of the South Korean city of Seoul. The main street is Insadong-gil, which is connected to a multitude of alleys that lead deeper into the district...

     is the cultural art market of Seoul, where traditional and modern Korean artworks, such as paintings, sculptures and calligraphy are sold. Hwanghak-dong Flea Market
    Hwanghak-dong Flea Market
    Hwanghak-dong Flea Market is a market located in the neighborhood of Hwanghak-dong, Jung-gu, South Korea to sell second-hand goods. It has over 500 shops and stalls near Dongdaemun Market supplying a wide range of used products such as electronic appliances, clothes, and other items. The market is...

     and Janganpyeong Antique Market also offer antique products. Some shops for local designers have opened in Samcheong-dong
    Samcheong-dong
    Samcheong-dong is a dong, neighbourhood of Jongno-gu in Seoul, South Korea. It lies north of Jongno and east of Gyeongbokgung. This hilly neighborhood is characterized by numerous small art galleries, shops, and restaurants. The Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea is located here...

    , where numerous small art galleries are located. Itaewon
    Itaewon
    Itaewon is a city district, in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is served by Seoul Subway Line 6 via Itaewon, Noksapyeong and Hanganjin stations. About 22,000 people reside in the district and it is a popular area for residents of Seoul, tourists, and U.S...

     caters mainly to foreign tourists and American soldiers based in the city. The Gangnam district
    Gangnam District
    Gangnam, Seocho and Songpa are three "gu" in Seoul, South Korea, individually known as Gangnam-gu, Seocho-gu and Songpa-gu and often collectively referred to as "Gangnam". These districts are known for their expensive real estate. Media reports frequently refer to this area when they cover stories...

     is one of the most affluent areas in Seoul and is noted for the fashionable and upscale Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong
    Cheongdam-dong
    Cheongdam-dong is a ward of Gangnam-gu in Seoul, South Korea. It is referred to as "Fashion and Art Street" of Gangnam which has 50 shops for imported foreign brands, local fashion designers' shops, and 30 galleries near the upscale Galleria Department Store in Apgujeong-dong towards Cheongdam Park...

     areas and the COEX Mall
    COEX Mall
    COEX Mall is an underground shopping mall located in Gangnam-gu Seoul, South Korea. It is Asia's largest underground shopping mall with an area of about 85,000 square metres...

    . Wholesale markets include Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market
    Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market
    Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market or shortly Noryangjin Fish Market is an extensive farmers fish market in the neighborhood of Noryangjin-dong in Dongjak-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is located east of 63 Building, and just south of the Han River. Metro line One passes through at Noryangin...

     and Garak Market
    Garak Market
    Garak Fish Market or Garak-dong Agricultural Market is an extensive farmers fish market in the neighborhood of Garak-dong in Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is served by Garak Market Station.-See also:*Noryangjin Fish Market*Jagalchi Market...

    . The Yongsan Electronics Market
    Yongsan Electronics Market
    Yongsan Electronics Market is a retail area in Seoul, South Korea. Comprising over 20 buildings, housing 5,000 stores that sell appliances, stereos, computers and peripherals, office equipment, telephones, lighting equipment, electronic games and software, videos and CD's. A variety of electronic...

     is the largest electronics market in Asia. The Gasan Digital Complex also has an extensive variety of electronic products.

    Communication


    June 2011: Seoul will have free wifi
    WIFI
    WIFI is a radio station broadcasting a brokered format. Licensed to Florence, New Jersey, USA, the station is currently operated by Florence Broadcasting Partners, LLC.This station was previously owned by Real Life Broadcasting...

     in outdoor spaces with cost 47.7 billion won ($44 million) project to give residents and visitors Internet access on 10,430 parks, streets and other public places by 2015.

    Architecture



    The traditional heart of Seoul is the old Joseon Dynasty
    Joseon Dynasty
    Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

     city, now the downtown area, where most palaces, government offices, corporate headquarters, hotels, and traditional markets are located. Cheonggyecheon
    Cheonggyecheon
    Cheonggyecheon is an 8.4 km long, modern public recreation space in downtown Seoul, South Korea. The massive urban renewal project is on the site of a stream that flowed before the rapid post-war economic development required it to be covered by transportation infrastructure...

    , a stream that runs from west to east through the valley before emptying into the Han River
    Han River (Korea)
    The Han River is a major river in South Korea and the fourth longest river on the Korean peninsula after the Amnok, Duman, and Nakdong rivers. It is formed by the confluence of the Namhan River , which originates in Mount Daedeok, and the Bukhan River , which originates on the slopes of Mount...

    , was for many years covered with concrete, but was recently restored through an urban revival project in 2005. The most historically significant street in Seoul is Jongno
    Jongno
    Jongno is one of the oldest major east-west thoroughfares in central Seoul, South Korea, connecting Sejongno to Dongdaemun. It remains one of Seoul's most important financial and cultural areas to this day...

    , meaning "Bell Street," on which one can find Bosingak
    Bosingak
    Bosingak is a large bell pavilion on Jongno in Seoul, South Korea. The bell in Bosingak gives Jongno its name, which literally means "bell street." It was originally constructed in 1396 but destroyed many times by both war and fire...

    , a pavilion containing a large bell. The bell signaled the different times of the day and therefore controlled the four major gates to the city. The only time it is usually rung now is at midnight on New Year's Eve, when it is rung thirty-three times. It was, however, rung on the day that President Kim Dae-jung took office. To the north of downtown is Bukhan Mountain
    Bukhan Mountain
    Bukhansan, or Bukhan Mountain, is a mountain on the northern peripheries of Seoul, South Korea. At 836.5 meters above sea level and bordering a considerable part of the city, Bukhansan is a major landmark visible from most districts of the metropolis...

    , and to the south is the smaller Namsan
    Namsan (Seoul)
    Namsan is a 262-meter peak in the Jung-gu district of south central Seoul, South Korea. Although known as Mount Mongmyeok, or 목멱산, in the past, it is now commonly referred to as Namsan. It offers some hiking, recreation and views of downtown Seoul's skyline...

    . Further south are the old suburbs of Yongsan-gu
    Yongsan-gu
    Yongsan-gu is a district of Seoul, South Korea. Its name means "Dragon Hill", derived from the hanja characters for dragon and hill/mountain . It sits to the North of the Han River under the shadow of Seoul Tower. Geographically, it is located right in the center of Seoul. It is home to roughly...

     and Mapo-gu
    Mapo-gu
    Mapo-gu is a gu, or district, within Seoul, South Korea. It lies northwest of the Han River. Several universities and government buildings are located here. Mapo is especially well-known for the Hongdae club district around Hongik University. Seoul Metropolitan Subway Line 1, Line 5, and Line 6...

    . Across the Han River are the newer and wealthier areas of Gangnam-gu
    Gangnam-gu
    Gangnam-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the most affluent areas of Seoul and is located in the southeast of the city...

    , Seocho-gu
    Seocho-gu
    Seocho-gu is a gu of Seoul, South Korea. It is a popular residential area for the mid- or upper-class residents in Seoul and home to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Prosecutors' Office. Seocho Samsung Town in Seocho-dong, near Gangnam Station, is the headquarter of the several corporations of the...

     and surrounding neighborhoods.

    Historical architecture



    Seoul has many historical and cultural landmarks. In Amsa-dong Preshistoric Settlement Site
    Amsa-dong
    Amsa-dong is a dong, neighbourhood of Gangdong-gu in Seoul, South Korea. The dong is well-known for the Amsa-dong Preshistoric Settlement Site in which Neolithic remains were excavated after a large number of diagonal-line patterned earthenware underneath the earth were accidentally uncovered by a...

    , Gangdong-gu
    Gangdong-gu
    Gangdong-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. It is located on the east side of the city....

    , neolithic remains were excavated and accidentally discovered by a flood in 1925.

    Urban and civil planning was a key concept when Seoul was first designed to serve as a capital in the late 14th century. The Joseon Dynasty
    Joseon Dynasty
    Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

     built "Five Grand Palaces" in Seoul: Changdeokgung
    Changdeokgung
    Changdeokgung, also known as Changdeokgung Palace or Changdeok Palace, is set within a large park in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. Because of its location east of Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeokgung, with Changgyeonggung,...

    , Changgyeonggung
    Changgyeonggung
    Changgyeong Palace is a palace located in Seoul, South Korea. Originally the Summer Palace of the Goryeo Emperor, it later became one of the Five Grand Palaces of the Joseon Dynasty....

    , Deoksugung
    Deoksugung
    Deoksugung, also known as Gyeongun-gung, Deoksugung Palace, or Deoksu Palace, is a walled compound of palaces in Seoul that was inhabited by various Korean royalties until the colonial period around the turn of the 20th century. The buildings are of varying construction, including some of natural...

    , Gyeongbokgung
    Gyeongbokgung
    Gyeongbokgung, also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, is a royal palace located in northern Seoul, South Korea. First constructed in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867, it was the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty...

     and Gyeonghuigung
    Gyeonghuigung
    Gyeonghui Palace was a palace located in Seoul, South Korea. It was one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built by the Joseon Dynasty....

    , all of which are located in the district of Jongno-gu
    Jongno-gu
    Jongno-gu is a gu, or district, in central Seoul, South Korea. It takes its name from a major local street, Jongno, which means "Bell Street". Jongno-gu has been the center of the city for 600 years, since where the Joseon dynasty established its capital city...

     and Jung-gu
    Jung-gu, Seoul
    Jung-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. It is located on the north side of the Han River, and is the historical center of the city .-Overview:...

    . Among them, Changdeokgung was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 as an "outstanding example of Far Eastern palace architecture and garden design". The main palace, Gyeongbokgung
    Gyeongbokgung
    Gyeongbokgung, also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, is a royal palace located in northern Seoul, South Korea. First constructed in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867, it was the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty...

    . is currently being restored to its original form. The palaces are considered exemplary architecture of the Joseon period. Beside the palaces, Unhyeongung
    Unhyeongung
    Unhyeon Palace , also known as Unhyeongung Royal Residence, is a former Korean royal residence located at 114-10 Unni-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea. It was formerly the residence of Prince Regent Daewon-gun, ruler of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty in the 19th century, and father of Emperor Gojong...

     is known for being the royal residence of Regent Daewongun, the father of Emperor Gojong at the end of the Joseon Dynasty.

    Seoul has been surrounded by walls that were built to regulate visitors from other regions and protect the city in case of invasion. Pungnap Toseong
    Pungnap Toseong
    Pungnaptoseong is a flat earthen wall built at the edge of the Han River, with a circumference of 3.5km. It is located in modern-day Pungnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, and previously was included in the neighboring city of Gwangju. It has a long oval shape, spreading to north and south, and leaning...

     is a flat earthen wall built at the edge of the Han River which is widely believed to be the site of Wiryeseong
    Wiryeseong
    Wiryeseong was the name of two early capitals of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Both are believed to have been in the modern-day Seoul area...

    . Mongchon Toseong (몽촌토성; 蒙村土城) is another earthen wall built during the Baekje
    Baekje
    Baekje or Paekche was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla....

     period which is now located inside the Olympic Park
    Olympic Park, Seoul
    The Seoul Olympic Park, shortened to Olpark, is an Olympic Park built to host the 1988 Summer Olympics. Olympic Park is located in Songpa-gu, Bangi-dong.- Competition facilities :*Olympic Velodrome, Seoul*Olympic Fencing Gymnasium...

    . The Castle Walls of Seoul (서울성곽; 서울城郭) are the remaining walls of Seoul from the Joseon Dynasty
    Joseon Dynasty
    Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

    .

    Although many walls and fortresses were demolished, some palace and fortress gates have played a role in the city's heart such as Sungnyemun
    Sungnyemun
    Namdaemun, officially the Sungnyemun, is a historic pagoda-style gateway located in the center of Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The gate, which was begun in the 14th century, is now listed first among the National Treasures of South Korea...

     and Heunginjimun. The gates are more commonly known as Namdaemun (South Great Gate) and Dongdaemun (East Great Gate). Namdaemun was the oldest wooden gate until a 2008 arson attack, and is currently undergoing reconstruction. Situated near the gates are the traditional markets and largest shopping center, Namdaemun Market
    Namdaemun market
    Namdaemun Market is a large traditional market in Seoul, South Korea. The market is located next to Namdaemun, the "Great South Gate," which was the main southern gate to the old city. It is the oldest and largest market in Korea.-History:...

     and Dongdaemun Market
    Dongdaemun Market
    Dongdaemun Market or Tongdaemun is the large commercial district comprising traditional markets and shopping centers in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea...

    .

    There are also many buildings constructed with international styles in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The Independence Gate
    Independence Gate
    The Independence Gate is a memorial gate located in Seoul, South Korea. The gate was built following the first Sino-Japanese war to inspire a spirit of independence away from previous Korean arrangement as a Chinese protectorate...

     was built in 1897 to inspire an independent spirit. Seoul Station
    Seoul Station
    Seoul Station is a major railway station in Seoul, South Korea. The station is served by the Gyeongbu Line, its high-speed counterpart and the Gyeongui Line, with frequent high-speed, express, and local services to various points in South Korea.-Services:...

     was opened in 1900 as Gyeongseong Station.

    Modern architecture



    Major modern landmarks in Seoul include the Korea Finance Building, N Seoul Tower
    N Seoul Tower
    N Seoul Tower is a communication and observation tower located on Namsan Mountain, central Seoul, South Korea. Built in 1969, at a cost of approximately $2.5 million, and opened to the public in 1980, the tower has been a symbol of Seoul and measures in height and tops out at above sea level. It...

    , the World Trade Center
    World Trade Center Seoul
    The World Trade Center Seoul is a building complex comprising six buildings, and centered around the COEX Convention & Exhibition Center on Teheranno in the Gangnam-gu district of Seoul.- External links :* - Official Website...

     and the seven-skyscraper residence Tower Palace. These and various high-rise office buildings, like the Seoul Star Tower and Jongno Tower
    Jongno
    Jongno is one of the oldest major east-west thoroughfares in central Seoul, South Korea, connecting Sejongno to Dongdaemun. It remains one of Seoul's most important financial and cultural areas to this day...

    , dominate the city's skyline. Due to its high density, Seoul has a vast array of skyscrapers; the city council is now planning a series of new highrises, including a 640-meter business center in Sangam Digital Media City district and the 523-meter Lotte World 2 Tower in the Jamsil
    Jamsil-dong
    Jamsil-dong is a neighbourhood, dong of Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Its name is strongly related to silkworm breeding during the Joseon dynasty and Jamsil literally means a room or place for sericulture...

     district of Songpa-gu
    Songpa-gu
    Songpa-gu is a district of Seoul, South Korea. Songpa is located at the southeastern part of Seoul, the capital of Korea, Songpa is a district with the largest population...

     and Gangdong-gu
    Gangdong-gu
    Gangdong-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. It is located on the east side of the city....

    .

    The World Trade Center of Korea, located in Gangnam-gu
    Gangnam-gu
    Gangnam-gu is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the most affluent areas of Seoul and is located in the southeast of the city...

    , hosts various expositions and conferences. Also in Gangnam-gu is the COEX Mall
    COEX Mall
    COEX Mall is an underground shopping mall located in Gangnam-gu Seoul, South Korea. It is Asia's largest underground shopping mall with an area of about 85,000 square metres...

    , a large indoor shopping and entertainment complex. Downstream from Gangnam-gu is Yeouido
    Yeouido
    Yeouido is a large island in the Han River in Seoul, South Korea. It is Seoul's main business and investment banking district. Its 8.4 square kilometers are home to some 30,988 people. The island is located in the Yeongdeungpo-gu district of Seoul, and largely corresponds to the precinct of...

    , a island that is home to the National Assembly, major broadcasting studios, and a number of large office buildings, as well as the Korea Finance Building and the world's largest Pentecostal church. The Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, and Lotte World
    Lotte World
    Lotte World is a major recreation complex in Seoul, South Korea. It consists of the world's largest indoor theme park which is open all year around, an outdoor amusement park called "Magic Island", an artificial island inside a lake linked by monorail, shopping malls, a luxury hotel, a Korean folk...

     are located in Songpa-gu, on the south side of the Han River, upstream from Gangnam-gu.

    In recognition of all the notable recent buildings erected in the city, in 2010 Seoul was designated the World Design Capital
    World Design Capital
    The World Design Capital is a city promotion project by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design to recognize and award accomplishments made by cities around the world in the field of design.-World Design Capitals by year:...

     for the year. As of 2011, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park
    Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park
    The Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park is a large urban development project under construction in Dongdaemun, Seoul, South Korea. It will contain of a multi-use park, a fashion plaza, an underground mall, and a restoration of a number of items of national heritage...

    , designed by Zaha Hadid
    Zaha Hadid
    Zaha Hadid, CBE is an Iraqi-British architect.-Life and career:Hadid was born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. She received a degree in mathematics from the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.After graduating she worked...

    , is still under construction as is the new wave-shaped City Hall.

    Museums


    Seoul is home to over 100 museums, including three national and nine official municipal museums. The National Museum of Korea
    National Museum of Korea
    The National Museum of Korea is the flagship museum of Korean history and art in South Korea and is the cultural organization that represents Korea...

     is the most representative of museums in not only Seoul but all of South Korea
    South Korea
    The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

    . Since its establishment in 1945, the museum has built a collection of 150,000 artifacts. In October 2005, the museum moved to a new building in Yongsan Family Park. The National Folk Museum
    National Folk Museum of Korea
    National Folk Museum of Korea is a national museum of South Korea, located within the grounds of the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Jongno-gu, Seoul, and uses replicas of historical objects to illustrate the history of traditional life of the Korean people.-History:...

     is situated on the grounds of the Gyeongbokgung
    Gyeongbokgung
    Gyeongbokgung, also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, is a royal palace located in northern Seoul, South Korea. First constructed in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867, it was the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty...

     Palace
    Palace
    A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

     in the district of Jongno-gu and uses replicas of historical objects to illustrate the folk history of the Korean people. Bukchon Hanok Village
    Bukchon Hanok Village
    Bukchon Hanok Village is a Korean traditional village with a long history located between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The traditional village is composed of lots of alleys and is preserved to show a 600-year-old urban environment...

     and Namsangol Hanok Village
    Namsangol Hanok Village
    Namsangol Hanok Village, also known as "A Village of Traditional Houses in the Namsan Valley", is a Korean village located in the area of Pil-dong neighborhood in Jung-gu, a central district of Seoul, South Korea where hanok or Korean traditional houses have been restored to preserve the original...

     are old residential districts consisting of hanok
    Hanok
    Hanok is a term to describe Korean traditional houses. Korean architecture lends consideration to the positioning of the house in relation to its surroundings, with thought given to the land and seasons....

     Korean traditional houses, parks, and museums that allows visitors to experience traditional Korean culture. The War Memorial
    War Memorial (Seoul)
    War Memorial of Korea is located in Yongsan-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It was opend in 1994 on the former site of the army headquarters, it exhibits and memorialises the Military history of Korea...

    , one of nine municipal museums in Seoul, offers visitors an educational and emotional experience of various wars in which Korea was involved, including Korean War
    Korean War
    The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

     themes. The Seodaemun Prison
    Seodaemun prison
    Seodaemun Prison History Hall is a museum and former prison in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It was constructed beginning in 1907. The prison was opened on October 21, 1908, under the name Gyeongseong Gamok. Its name was changed to Seodaemun Prison in 1923.The prison was used during the...

     is a former prison built during the Japanese occupation, and is currently used as a history museum.

    The Seoul Museum of Art
    Seoul Museum of Art
    The Seoul Museum of Art is an art museum operated by Seoul City Council and located in central of Seoul, South Korea. It was opened in the Gyeonghuigung Palace area, a royal palace of Joseon dynasty, with six exhibition rooms and an outdoor sculpture park.. However, in 2002 a larger main branch was...

     and Ilmin Museum of Art
    Ilmin Museum of Art
    Ilmin Museum of Art is a private art museum of South Korea, located on Sejongno street in Jongno-gu, a central district of Seoul, known for exhibiting mainly Korean art...

     have preserved the appearance of the old building that is visually unique from the neighboring tall, modern buildings. The former is operated by Seoul City Council and sits adjacent to Gyeonghuigung Palace, a Joseon dynasty royal palace. For many Korean film lovers from all over the world, the Korean Film Archive
    Korean Film Archive
    The Korean Film Archive or called Korean Federation of Film Archives and KOFA is the sole film archive in South Korea with nationwide coverage. It was founded in Seoul in 1974 as a non-profit organization...

     is running the Korean Film Museum and Cinematheque KOFA in its main center located in Digital Media City
    Digital Media City
    Digital Media City is the first high-tech complex in the world for digital technologies, housing ubiquitous networked offices, apartments, exhibitions, conference halls and cultural centers in Seoul, South Korea. It was constructed in 2002 across and approximately 1.7 times the size of the Canary...

    (DMC), Sangam-dong. The Tteok & Kitchen Utensil Museum
    Tteok & Kitchen Utensil Museum
    Tteok & Kitchen Utensil Museum is a museum located in Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Founded by Yoon Sookja, the chief director of the Institute of Traditional Korean Food , it opened in December, 2002...

     and Kimchi Field Museum
    Kimchi Field Museum
    The Kimchi Field Museum in Seoul, Korea is a museum whose mission is to inform the world about one of the major items of Korean cuisine, kimchi. Exhibitions focus exclusively on kimchi’s history, its varieties, and its importance to Korean culture and cuisine. It is open to anyone who is willing...

     provide information regarding Korean culinary history.

    Religion



    There are also religious buildings that take important roles in Korean society and politics. The Wongudan
    Wongudan
    Wongudan Altar, located in Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, was built in 1897 to serve as a site for the performance of the rite of heaven. The site was also known by other names, such as Hwangudan , Jecheondan and Wondan...

     altar was a sacrificial place where Korean rulers held heavenly rituals since the Three Kingdoms period. Since the Joseon Dynasty adopted Confucianism as its national ideology in the 14th century, the state built many Confucian shrines. The descendants of the Joseon royal family still continue to hold ceremonies to commemorate ancestors at Jongmyo
    Jongmyo
    Jongmyo is a Confucian shrine dedicated to the memorial services for the deceased kings and queens of the Korean Joseon Dynasty. According to UNESCO, the shrine is the oldest royal Confucian shrine preserved and the ritual ceremonies continue a tradition established since the 14th century...

    . It is the oldest royal Confucian shrine preserved and the ritual ceremonies continue a tradition established in the 14th century. Munmyo
    Munmyo
    Munmyo is Korea's primary Confucian shrine...

     and Dongmyo
    Dongmyo
    Dongmyo is a shrine in metropolitan Seoul built in honour of the 3rd century Chinese military commander, Guan Yu....

     were built during the same period. Although Buddhism was suppressed by the Joseon state, it has continued its existence. Jogyesa
    Jogyesa
    Jogyesa is the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, becoming so in 1936. It thus plays a leading role in the current state of Seon Buddhism in South Korea...

     is the headquarters of the Jogye Order
    Jogye Order
    The Jogye Order, officially the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism is the representative order of traditional Korean Buddhism with roots that date back 1,200 years to Unified Silla National Master Doui, who brought Seon and the practice taught by the Sixth Patriarch, Huineng, from China about 820...

     of Korean Buddhism
    Korean Buddhism
    Korean Buddhism is distinguished from other forms of Buddhism by its attempt to resolve what it sees as inconsistencies in Mahayana Buddhism. Early Korean monks believed that the traditions they received from foreign countries were internally inconsistent. To address this, they developed a new...

    . Hwagyesa and Bongeunsa
    Bongeunsa
    Bongeunsa is a Buddhist temple in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It was founded in 794 during the reign of King Wonseong by the monk Yeon-hoe, then the highest ranking monk of Silla, and originally named Kyongseoungsa. It is located on the slope of Sudo Mountain in Samseong-dong, across the street...

     are also major Buddhist temples in Seoul.

    The Myeongdong Cathedral
    Myeongdong Cathedral
    The Cathedral Church of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Myeongdong, commonly known as Myeongdong Cathedral, is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Seoul, South Korea, located in the Myeongdong neighborhood of Jung-gu, Seoul...

     is a landmark of the Myeongdong
    Myeongdong
    Myeong-dong or Myong-dong is a dong in Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea between Chungmu-ro, Eulji-ro, and Namdaemun-ro. It covers 0.99 km² with a population of 3,529 and is mostly a commercial area, being one of Seoul's main shopping and tourism districts.-History:Myeongdong dates back to the...

     district and the biggest Catholic church established in Korea. It is a symbol of Christianity in Korea. It was also a focus for political dissent in the late-20th century.

    There are many Protestant churches in Seoul. The largest number are Presbyterian, but there are also Methodist, Baptist
    Baptist
    Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

    , and Lutheran churches.

    Seoul Central Mosque
    Seoul Central Mosque
    The Seoul Central Mosque opened in 1976 in Itaewon, Seoul. It is located in Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu. It holds lectures in English, Arabic, and Korean. Friday prayers regularly attract up to 800 worshipers at 1pm, the majority of them being of Arab, Indian, Pakistani or Turkish descent...

     which is located at Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu
    Yongsan-gu
    Yongsan-gu is a district of Seoul, South Korea. Its name means "Dragon Hill", derived from the hanja characters for dragon and hill/mountain . It sits to the North of the Han River under the shadow of Seoul Tower. Geographically, it is located right in the center of Seoul. It is home to roughly...

     was the first Mosque built in Korea after the Korean War
    Korean War
    The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

    . It is still the only mosque in Seoul, and is a tourist attraction for Koreans who visit on weekends to hear talks given on Islam.

    Festival


    Hi! Seoul Festival
    Hi! Seoul Festival
    Hi! Seoul Festival is an seasonal cultural festival held four times a year every spring, summer, autumn, and winter in Seoul, South Korea since 2003. It is based on the "Seoul Citizens' Day" held on every October since 1994 to commemorate the 600 years history of Seoul as the capital of the country...

     is a seasonal cultural festival held four times a year every spring, summer, autumn, and winter in Seoul, South Korea
    South Korea
    The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

     since 2003. It is based on the "Seoul Citizens' Day" held on every October since 1994 to commemorate the 600 years history of Seoul as the capital of the country. The festival is arranged under the Seoul Metropolitan Government
    Seoul Metropolitan Government
    Seoul Metropolitan Government is the administrative organization of Seoul. The mayor is elected to a four year term by the Seoul citizens and is responsible for the administration of the city government...

    .

    Parks



    Namsan Park
    Namsan (Seoul)
    Namsan is a 262-meter peak in the Jung-gu district of south central Seoul, South Korea. Although known as Mount Mongmyeok, or 목멱산, in the past, it is now commonly referred to as Namsan. It offers some hiking, recreation and views of downtown Seoul's skyline...

     offers hiking, recreation and views of the downtown Seoul skyline. The N Seoul Tower
    N Seoul Tower
    N Seoul Tower is a communication and observation tower located on Namsan Mountain, central Seoul, South Korea. Built in 1969, at a cost of approximately $2.5 million, and opened to the public in 1980, the tower has been a symbol of Seoul and measures in height and tops out at above sea level. It...

     is located here. Seoul Olympic Park
    Olympic Park, Seoul
    The Seoul Olympic Park, shortened to Olpark, is an Olympic Park built to host the 1988 Summer Olympics. Olympic Park is located in Songpa-gu, Bangi-dong.- Competition facilities :*Olympic Velodrome, Seoul*Olympic Fencing Gymnasium...

     is located in Songpa-gu
    Songpa-gu
    Songpa-gu is a district of Seoul, South Korea. Songpa is located at the southeastern part of Seoul, the capital of Korea, Songpa is a district with the largest population...

     and was built to host the 1988 Summer Olympics. The Wongaksa Pagoda
    Wongaksa Pagoda
    Wongaksa Pagoda is a twelve metre high ten-storey marble pagoda in South Korea, once on the grounds of the Gyeongbokgung palace but now held at Seoul's Tapgol Park in a protective glass case...

     10 tier pagoda is situated In Tapgol Park
    Tapgol Park
    Tapgol Park, formerly Pagoda Park, is a small public park located at 97 Jongno-gil , Seoul, South Korea. This park was once a site of Wongaksa...

    , a small public park with an area of 19599 m² (23,440 sq yd). Areas around streams serve as public places for relaxation and recreation. Tancheon
    Tancheon
    Tancheon, a tributary of Seoul's Han River, is a stream beginning in the city of Yongin in Gyeonggi-do and flowing through Seongnam and then between the districts of Songpa-gu and Gangnam-gu in Seoul before entering flowing into the Han River...

     stream and the nearby area serve as a large park with paths for both walkers and cyclists.
    Cheonggyecheon
    Cheonggyecheon
    Cheonggyecheon is an 8.4 km long, modern public recreation space in downtown Seoul, South Korea. The massive urban renewal project is on the site of a stream that flowed before the rapid post-war economic development required it to be covered by transportation infrastructure...

    , a stream that runs nearly 6 km through downtown Seoul, is popular among both Seoul residents and tourists.
    The Seoul metropolitan area
    Metropolitan area
    The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

     accommodates six major parks, including the Seoul Forest
    Seoul Forest
    Seoul Forest is a large park in Seongdong-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is open year-round, and admission is free. Seoul Forest opened in June 2005. The city government spent 235.2 billion won in development....

    , which opened in mid-2005. The Seoul National Capital Area
    Seoul National Capital Area
    The Seoul National Capital Area is a region located in the north-west of South Korea. It is generally referred to as Sudogwon in Korean, and contains three different administrative districts; Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi-do....

     also contains a green belt
    Green belt
    A green belt or greenbelt is a policy and land use designation used in land use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wild, or agricultural land surrounding or neighbouring urban areas. Similar concepts are greenways or green wedges which have a linear character and may run through an...

     aimed at preventing the city from sprawling
    Urban sprawl
    Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, high segregation of uses Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a...

     out into neighboring Gyeonggi
    Gyeonggi-do
    Gyeonggi-do is the most populous province in South Korea. The provincial capital is located at Suwon. Seoul—South Korea's largest city and national capital—is located in the heart of the province, but has been separately administered as a provincial-level special city since 1946...

     Province
    Administrative divisions of South Korea
    ||South Korea is divided into 8 provinces , 1 special autonomous province , 6 metropolitan cities , and 1 special city...

    . These areas are frequently sought after by people looking to escape from urban life on weekends and during vacations.

    Seoul is also home to the world's largest indoor amusement park
    Amusement park
    thumb|Cinderella Castle in [[Magic Kingdom]], [[Disney World]]Amusement and theme parks are terms for a group of entertainment attractions and rides and other events in a location for the enjoyment of large numbers of people...

    , Lotte World
    Lotte World
    Lotte World is a major recreation complex in Seoul, South Korea. It consists of the world's largest indoor theme park which is open all year around, an outdoor amusement park called "Magic Island", an artificial island inside a lake linked by monorail, shopping malls, a luxury hotel, a Korean folk...

    . Other recreation centers include the former Olympic and World Cup
    Seoul World Cup Stadium
    The Seoul World Cup Stadium, also known as Sangam Stadium, is located in Seongsan, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It was built for the 2002 FIFA World Cup and opened in 2001. It was designed to represent the image of a traditional Korean kite...

     stadiums and the City Hall public lawn.

    International competition


    Seoul hosted the 1986 Asian Games
    1986 Asian Games
    The 10th Asian Games were held from September 20, 1986 to October 5, 1986 in Seoul, South Korea. The city was supposed to host the 1970 games, but it received security threats from neighboring North Korea, forcing it to give up hosting the games to previous 1966 host Bangkok, Thailand...

     commonly known as Asiad, 1988 Olympic Games
    1988 Summer Olympics
    The 1988 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIV Olympiad, were an all international multi-sport events celebrated from September 17 to October 2, 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. They were the second summer Olympic Games to be held in Asia and the first since the 1964 Summer Olympics...

     and Paralympic Games
    1988 Summer Paralympics
    The 1988 Summer Paralympics were the first Paralympics in 24 years that take place in the same city as the Olympic Games. They took place in Seoul, South Korea. This was the first time the term "Paralympic" came into official use.- Sports :...

    . It also served as one of the host cities of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Seoul World Cup Stadium
    Seoul World Cup Stadium
    The Seoul World Cup Stadium, also known as Sangam Stadium, is located in Seongsan, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It was built for the 2002 FIFA World Cup and opened in 2001. It was designed to represent the image of a traditional Korean kite...

     hosted the opening ceremony and first game of the tournament.

    Taekwondo
    Taekwondo
    Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

     is Korea's national sport and Seoul is the location of the Kukkiwon
    Kukkiwon
    Kukkiwon , also known as World Taekwondo Headquarters, and home of the World Taekwondo Academy, is the official taekwondo governing organisation established by the South Korean government...

    , the world headquarters of taekwondo, as well as the World Taekwondo Federation
    World Taekwondo Federation
    The World Taekwondo Federation is the International Federation member of the International Olympic Committee for the competition events of the martial art of taekwondo...

     (WTF).

    Football


    • Men's Football
      Tier League Club Home Stadium
      Top K-League
      K-League
      The Korea Professional Football League is South Korea's only fully professional association football league. At the top of the South Korean football league system, it is the country's highest and most prestigious level of football competition currently contested by 16 clubs.-Establishment:The...

      FC Seoul
      FC Seoul
      FC Seoul is a South Korean professional football club based in Seoul, South Korea, that plays in the K-League. It is currently owned by GS Sports, a subsidiary of GS Group....

      Seoul World Cup Stadium
      Seoul World Cup Stadium
      The Seoul World Cup Stadium, also known as Sangam Stadium, is located in Seongsan, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It was built for the 2002 FIFA World Cup and opened in 2001. It was designed to represent the image of a traditional Korean kite...

      2nd National League N/A N/A
      3rd Challengers League Seoul United
      Seoul United FC
      Seoul United is a South Korean amateur football club based in Seoul. It currently competes in the third tier of the South Korean football league system, the Challengers League.- History :...

      Madeul Stadium
      Madeul Stadium
      -External links:* *...

      Seoul FC Martyrs Gangbuk Public Stadium

    • Women's Football
      Tier League Club Home Stadium
      Top WK-League
      WK-League
      The WK-League is the top level women's football league in South Korea. It is run by Korea Women's Football League since the 2009 season....

      Seoul City Women's FC
      Seoul Amazones
      Seoul Metropolitan Government Amazones founded in March 2004, is a South Korean women's football club based in Seoul.-Current squad:The players in bold have senior international caps....

      To be determined

    Baseball


    Seoul has three professional baseball teams under the KBO
    Korean Baseball Organization
    Korea Professional Baseball is the highest level league of baseball in South Korea. The Korean romanization is Hanguk Peuro Yagu , a league title which mirrors Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. Korea Professional Baseball was originally founded with six teams in 1982 and currently has eight...

    : One of oldest clubs, Doosan Bears
    Doosan Bears
    The Doosan Bears are a professional baseball team based in Seoul, South Korea. They are a member of the Korean Baseball Organization....

    , LG Twins
    LG Twins
    LG Twins Baseball Club is a Korea Professional Baseball team based in Seoul, South Korea. The club was known as the MBC Blue Dragons owned by the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation until , when they were taken over by the LG Group...

     and Nexen Heroes.

    Other sports


    Seoul is the world hub for E-Sports, this competitive sport gained mainstream popularity in Korea with the help of superstars such as Lim Yo-Hwan
    Lim Yo-Hwan
    Lim Yo-Hwan , known by the pseudonym SlayerS_`BoxeR` , is one of the most successful players of the real-time strategy computer game StarCraft to date...

    .

    Games like Starcraft
    StarCraft
    StarCraft is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The first game of the StarCraft series was released for Microsoft Windows on 31 March 1998. With more than 11 million copies sold worldwide as of February 2009, it is one of the best-selling...

     are played like a sport and are aired on TV on stations such as GOMTV and MBC.

    Seoul is also home to two basketball clubs in the KBL
    Korean Basketball League
    The Korean Basketball League, often abbreviated to the KBL, is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in South Korea. Its inaugural season was in 1997. The season starts in October and ends in April the following year. The KBL consists of 10 teams. Each team plays 54 games . Each team...

    : Seoul Samsung Thunders
    Seoul Samsung Thunders
    Seoul Samsung Thunders have been in the KBL since its inception 10 years ago. The Seoul Samsung Thunders received their name from Samsung Electronics. Originally based in Suwon, they are now located in the heart of South Korea's capital, Seoul and play at Jamsil...

     and Seoul SK Knights
    Seoul SK Knights
    The Seoul SK Knights is a professional basketball club in the Korean Basketball League.-Interesting facts:Bang Sung Yoon was a player in the National Basketball Developmental League .Julian Kim/Edward Kim is an American-born Korean....

    .

    Seoul's professional volleyball club, Seoul Woori Capital Dream Six, debuted in the 2009–2010 season.

    Transportation


    Seoul features one of the world's most advanced transportation infrastructures that is constantly under expansion. Its system dates back to the era of the Korean Empire
    Korean Empire
    The Greater Korean Empire was an empire of Korea that succeeded the Joseon Dynasty.In October 1897, Emperor Gojong proclaimed the new entity at Gyeongungung Palace and oversaw the partially successful modernization of the military, economy, land system, education system, and various industries...

    , when the first streetcar lines were laid and a railroad linking Seoul and Incheon was completed. Seoul's most important streetcar line ran along Jongno until it was replaced by Line 1 of the subway system in the early 1970s. Other notable streets in downtown Seoul include Euljiro
    Euljiro
    Euljiro is an avenue in Seoul named after Eulji Mundeok, the general who saved Korea from the invading Sui Dynasty Chinese. During Korea under Japanese rule's period, the street was known as Kogane-Cho .-Transportation links:...

    , Teheranno
    Teheranno
    Teheranno is a street in the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea. It runs from Gangnam Station through Yeoksam-dong and into Samseong-dong...

    , Sejongno
    Sejongno
    Sejongno is a street that cuts through Jongno-gu in downtown Seoul. It is named after King Sejong. The street is only 600 meters in length, but thanks to its central location it is of great symbolic importance. It points north to Gwanaksan and Bukhansan , and the Joseon Dynasty palace,...

    , Chungmuro
    Chungmuro
    Chungmuro refers to an avenue 1.75 km in length and 10∼20m in width and the area nearby the street, located in Jung-gu, central Seoul of South Korea. Since 1960s, Chungmuro has been known as the street of culture, artists, and film industry. Dansungsa, the first movie theaters of Korea is also...

    , Yulgongno, and Toegyero. There are nine major subway lines stretching for more than 250 kilometers, with one additional line planned.

    Bus


    Seoul's bus system is operated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, with four primary bus configurations available servicing most of the city. Seoul has many large intercity/express bus terminals. These buses connect Seoul with cities throughout South Korea. The Seoul Express Bus Terminal, Central City Terminal and Seoul Nambu Terminal are located in the district of Seocho-gu
    Seocho-gu
    Seocho-gu is a gu of Seoul, South Korea. It is a popular residential area for the mid- or upper-class residents in Seoul and home to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Prosecutors' Office. Seocho Samsung Town in Seocho-dong, near Gangnam Station, is the headquarter of the several corporations of the...

    . In addition, East Seoul Bus Terminal in Gwangjin-gu
    Gwangjin-gu
    Gwangjin-gu is one of the 25 wards of Seoul, South Korea. It is located on the north side of the Han River. It was created from neighboring Seongdong-gu in 1995.Gwangjin-gu is home to Konkuk University and Sejong University...

     and Sangbong Terminal in Jungnang-gu
    Jungnang-gu
    Jungnang-gu is one of the 25 gu, or districts, of Seoul, South Korea. It is located on the north side of the Han River.The mayor of this district is Byungkwon MOON since his election in July 2006.-Administrative divisions:...

     operate in the east of the city. To reduce air pollution in the metropolitan area, the municipal government is planning to convert over seven thousand of Seoul's diesel engine buses to natural gas by 2010.

    Subway


    Seoul has a comprehensive subway network that interconnects every district of the city and the surrounding areas. With more than 8 million passengers per day, Seoul has one of the busiest subway systems in the world
    Metro systems by annual passenger rides
    The most-used metro systems in terms of passenger rides per year:# Tokyo Subway 3.161 billion # Moscow Metro 2.348 billion # Seoul Subway 2.048 billion...

    . The Seoul Metropolitan Subway has 12 lines which serve Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi province, western Gangwon province, and northern Chungnam province. In addition, in order to cope with the various modes of transport, Seoul's metropolitan government employs several mathematicians to coordinate the subway, bus, and traffic schedules into one timetable. The various lines are run by Korail
    Korail
    Korea Railroad Corporation , promoted as Korail , is the national railroad operator in South Korea.Korail operates passenger and freight trains throughout South Korea...

    , Seoul Metro
    Seoul Metro
    Seoul Metro is a public corporation which runs the Seoul Subway Lines 1 to 4.From 1970 to 2006, it was called Seoul Metropolitan Subway Corporation.-Lines:- See also :* Korail* Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation...

    , Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation
    Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation
    Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation was established in 1994 to operate the Seoul Subway lines 5, 6, 7, 8 in Seoul, South Korea.The corporation operates a total of 201 subway trains at 148 stations on lines 5-8. The operation intervals are from 2.5–6 minutes during rush hours and 5–10...

    , AREX
    AREX
    AREX, spelled A'REX as a brand name, is a South Korean railway line that links Seoul with Gimpo Airport and Incheon International Airport. The section between the two airports opened on March 23, 2007, the extension to Seoul Station opened December 29, 2010...

     and Metro 9

    Train


    Seoul is connected to every major city in Korea by rail. Seoul is also linked to most major Korean cities by the KTX
    Korea Train Express
    Korea Train eXpress is South Korea's high-speed rail system, operated by Korail. Construction began on the first section of the high-speed line from Seoul to Busan in 1992. The project was later split into two phases and combined with conventional line upgrades, adding a second route from Seoul to...

     high-speed train, which has a normal operation speed of more than 300 km/h (186 mph). Major railroad stations include:
    • Seoul Station
      Seoul Station
      Seoul Station is a major railway station in Seoul, South Korea. The station is served by the Gyeongbu Line, its high-speed counterpart and the Gyeongui Line, with frequent high-speed, express, and local services to various points in South Korea.-Services:...

      , Yongsan-gu
      Yongsan-gu
      Yongsan-gu is a district of Seoul, South Korea. Its name means "Dragon Hill", derived from the hanja characters for dragon and hill/mountain . It sits to the North of the Han River under the shadow of Seoul Tower. Geographically, it is located right in the center of Seoul. It is home to roughly...

      : Gyeongbu line (KTX/Saemaul/Mugunghwa-ho
      Mugunghwa-ho
      The Mugunghwa-ho or Mugunghwa is a class of train operated by Korail, the national railroad of South Korea. Mugunghwa trains are the cheapest class of trains to operate cross-country. Prior to the introduction of the KTX in 2004, they were the most common passenger train along most railroad lines...

      ), Gyeongui line (Saemaul/Commuter)
    • Yongsan Station
      Yongsan Station
      Yongsan Station is a major railway station in Seoul, South Korea. It is located in Yongsan Gu, and adjoins the Yongsan Electronics Market. The station is the terminus for high-speed and long-distance trains on a number of railway lines, including most trains on the Honam Line, its high-speed...

      , Yongsan-gu
      Yongsan-gu
      Yongsan-gu is a district of Seoul, South Korea. Its name means "Dragon Hill", derived from the hanja characters for dragon and hill/mountain . It sits to the North of the Han River under the shadow of Seoul Tower. Geographically, it is located right in the center of Seoul. It is home to roughly...

      : Honam line (KTX/Saemaul/Mugunghwa), Jeolla/Janghang lines (Saemaul/Mugunghwa)
    • Yeongdeungpo Station
      Yeongdeungpo Station
      Yeongdeungpo Station is a ground-level railway station in Seoul, South Korea. The station is located in Yeongdeungpo Dong, Yeongdeungpo Gu, and is a stop on the Gyeongbu Line, Honam Line and Seoul Subway Line 1...

      , Yeongdeungpo-gu
      Yeongdeungpo-gu
      Yeongdeungpo-gu is an administrative district in southwest Seoul, South Korea. Although the origin of the name is uncertain, the first two syllables are thought to be from "yeongdeung" or "divine ascent", a shamanic rite. The third syllable is "po", representing water , referring to the...

      : Gyeongbu/Honam/Janghang lines (Saemaul/Mugunghwa)
    • Cheongnyangni Station, Dongdaemun-gu
      Dongdaemun-gu
      Dongdaemun-gu is one of the 25 gu of Seoul, South Korea. It is located to the north of the River Han. Its district office is in Yongdu-dong where is close to the underground station of branch of Line 2....

      : Gyeongchun/Jungang/Yeongdong/Taebaek lines (Mugunghwa)

    Airports


    Two international airports serve Seoul. Gimpo International Airport
    Gimpo International Airport
    Gimpo International Airport , commonly known as Gimpo Airport , is located in the far western end of Seoul and was the main international airport for Seoul and South Korea before it was replaced by Incheon International Airport in 2001...

    , formerly in Gimpo
    Gimpo City
    Gimpo is a city in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. It borders on Incheon, with which it shares the South Korean side of the Han River estuary, as well as Seoul and the lesser cities of Paju and Goyang. It also looks across the Han River at North Korea. The current mayor is Gyeonggu Kang...

     but annexed to Seoul in 1963, was for many years (since its original construction during the Korean War
    Korean War
    The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

    ) the only international airport serving Seoul. Other domestic airports were also built around the time of the war, including Yeouido
    Yeouido
    Yeouido is a large island in the Han River in Seoul, South Korea. It is Seoul's main business and investment banking district. Its 8.4 square kilometers are home to some 30,988 people. The island is located in the Yeongdeungpo-gu district of Seoul, and largely corresponds to the precinct of...

    .

    When it opened in March 2001, Incheon International Airport
    Incheon International Airport
    Incheon International Airport is the largest airport in South Korea, the primary airport serving the Seoul national capital area, and one of the largest and busiest airports in the world...

     on Yeongjong island in Incheon
    Incheon
    The Incheon Metropolitan City is located in northwestern South Korea. The city was home to just 4,700 people when Jemulpo port was built in 1883. Today 2.76 million people live in the city, making it Korea’s third most populous city after Seoul and Busan Metropolitan City...

     changed the role of Gimpo Airport significantly. Incheon is now responsible for almost all international flights and some domestic flights, while Gimpo serves only domestic flights with the exception of flights to Tokyo International Airport
    Tokyo International Airport
    , commonly known as , is one of the two primary airports that serve the Greater Tokyo Area in Japan. It is located in Ōta, Tokyo, south of Tokyo Station....

     (Haneda) in Tokyo, Osaka Kansai International Airport, Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai, and Beijing Capital International Airport
    Beijing Capital International Airport
    Beijing Capital International Airport, is the main international airport serving Beijing, China. It is located northeast of Beijing's city center in an enclave of Chaoyang District that is surrounded by rural Shunyi District. The airport is owned and operated by the Beijing Capital...

     in Beijing. This has led to a significant drop in flights from Gimpo Airport.

    Meanwhile, Incheon International Airport has become, along with Hong Kong
    Hong Kong International Airport
    Hong Kong International Airport is the main airport in Hong Kong. It is colloquially known as Chek Lap Kok Airport , being built on the island of Chek Lap Kok by land reclamation, and also to distinguish it from its predecessor, the closed Kai Tak Airport.The airport opened for commercial...

    , a major transportation center for East Asia.

    Incheon and Gimpo are linked to Seoul by highways, and to each other by the Incheon International Airport Railroad
    Incheon International Airport Railroad
    AREX, spelled A'REX as a brand name, is a South Korean railway line that links Seoul with Gimpo Airport and Incheon International Airport. The section between the two airports opened on March 23, 2007, the extension to Seoul Station opened December 29, 2010...

    , which is also linked to Incheon line #1. Gimpo is also linked by subway (line No. 5 and #9). The Incheon International Airport Railroad, connecting the airport directly to Seoul Station in central Seoul, was recently opened. Shuttle buses also transfer passengers between Incheon and Gimpo airports.

    Universities



    Seoul is home to the majority of South Korea's most prestigious universities, including Seoul National University
    Seoul National University
    Seoul National University , colloquially known in Korean as Seoul-dae , is a national research university in Seoul, Korea, ranked 24th in the world in publications in an analysis of data from the Science Citation Index, 7th in Asia and 42nd in the world by the 2011 QS World University Rankings...

    , Yonsei University
    Yonsei University
    Yonsei University is a Christian private research university, located in Seoul, South Korea. Established in 1885, it is one of the oldest universities in South Korea, the top private comprehensive universities in South Korea, and is widely regarded as one of the top three comprehensive...

    , Korea University
    Korea University
    Korea University is a prestigious nonsectarian, private research university located primarily in Seoul, South Korea, and one of the SKY universities, a historical acronym used in South Korea to refer to Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University. Founded by Lee Yong-ik in...

    , Hanyang University
    Hanyang University
    Hanyang University is one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea. In particular, Hanyang's School of Engineering is one of the oldest engineering schools in Korea. The main campus is Hanyang University at Seoul, located in the Seoul, with its branch campus, the ERICA campus , located...

    , Sogang University
    Sogang University
    Sogang University is one of the leading research and liberal arts universities in Seoul, South Korea.The University was established in 1960 by the Society of Jesus to provide education based on the Catholic beliefs and inspired by the Jesuit educational philosophy, such as Georgetown University in...

    , Chung-Ang University
    Chung-Ang University
    The Chung-Ang University is a private comprehensive institution in South Korea, located over two campuses in Seoul and Anseong. It was founded subsequent to liberation from Japanese colonial rule for the benefit of the nation and advancement of civilization, with the educational philosophy of...

    , Sung Kyun Kwan University, Ewha Woman's University and Kyung Hee University.

    Secondary Education


    Education from grades 1–10 are compulsory. Students spend six years in elementary school, three years in middle school, and three years in high school. Secondary schools generally require that the students wear uniforms. There is no exit exam for graduating from high school, but many students proceeding to the university level are required to take the Korean SAT exam that is held every November.

    Seoul is home to various specialized high schools, including three science high schools (Seoul Science High School
    Seoul Science High School
    Seoul Science High School is a public school for gifted students interested in science. The opening year of the school was 1989, and its location is Jongno-gu, Seoul. It was one of nineteen science high schools in the Republic of Korea. In 2009, it became an 'academy for gifted students' selected...

    , Hansung Science High School
    Hansung Science High School
    Hansung Science High School is a high school in Seoul, Korea. It was opened in 1992 and selects its students from the top 3% of middle school graduates. Currently it holds 356 students with 56 teachers. It is located near Dongnimmun station which is served by Seoul Subway Line 3...

    , and Sejong Science High School
    Sejong Science High School
    Sejong Science High School is a science high school located in Seoul, South Korea. It was founded in 2008 to develop and nurture the intellectual potential of Korea's most talented high school students...

    ), and six foreign language high schools (Seoul Foreign Language High School
    Seoul Foreign Language High School
    Seoul Foreign Language High School , located in Seoul, is a high school in South Korea. The private, coeducational, college preparatory school was founded in 1993. Seoul Foreign Language High School is the 6th foreign language high school to be established in South Korea.-External links:*...

    , Daewon Foreign Language High School
    Daewon Foreign Language High School
    Located in Seoul, Daewon Foreign Language High School is one of the most prestigious private preparatory high schools in South Korea...

    , Daeil Foreign Language High School
    Daeil Foreign Language High School
    Daeil Foreign Language High School , located in Seoul, is a well-regarded high school in South Korea. The private, coeducational, college preparatory school was founded in 1983 with the stated goal of nurturing future global leaders. Daeil is the first foreign language high school to be established...

    , Hanyoung Foreign Language High School
    Hanyoung Foreign Language High School
    Hanyoung Foreign Language High School is a selective private high school in southeast Seoul, South Korea. The medium-sized college preparatory school was founded in 1990 with the goal of educating successful leaders of the future, and is one of the six foreign-language high schools in Seoul...

    , Myungdeok Foreign Language High School and Ewha Foreign Language High School). Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education comprises 235 college-preparatory high schools, 80 vocational schools, 377 middle schools, and 33 special education schools as of 2009.

    Cityscape





    See also


    • Geography of South Korea
      Geography of South Korea
      South Korea is located in East Asia, on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula jutting out from the far east of the Asian land mass. The only country with a land border to South Korea is North Korea, lying to the north with of border running along the DMZ. South Korea is mostly surrounded by...

    • Mayor of Seoul
      Mayor of Seoul
      The mayor of Seoul is the head of government for Seoul, the capital and largest city of South Korea. The position is traditionally considered one of the most powerful in the country. Many Seoul mayors have gone on to hold ministerial office...

    • List of Korea-related topics
    • List of twin towns and sister cities in South Korea
    • List of cities in South Korea


    Tourism and living information

    • i Tour Seoul – The Official Seoul Tourism Guide Site
    • VisitSeoul – The Official Seoul Tourism Guide YouTube Channel

    Maps


    Photos