Featuring a vibrant, multicultural atmosphere, visitors to Seoul are sure to receive a warm welcome. Getting around Seoul is simple as there are plenty of buses and underground stations located near most major attractions. Visitors will also find plenty of familiar aspects here such as bars, restaurants and theme parks.
Although Seoul is a capital city, the conservative customs that infuse Korean society still apply here. Visitors should dress conservatively, especially when visiting palaces and temples and avoid showing too much skin. Public displays of affection are seen as impolite in Seoul and people avoid touching each other as much as possible.
When eating out, people use chopsticks for almost every dish and avoid stabbing pieces of food with the chopsticks. Diners should finish everything on their plate as a sign of politeness. Tipping is not expected in Seoul as the price of most goods and services includes a 10 percent service tax.
The unit of currency in Seoul is the won (W). However, as the highest note available is only worth US$10, visitors may find carrying a large supply of won around rather cumbersome. There are ATMs located all around the city and those with the Global sign accept foreign cards.
It is possible to pay for items in duty-free shops as well as some hotels and restaurants with US dollars and major credit cards and most banks change foreign currency and traveler's checks. The best banks for foreigners to use are Citibank, Hana Bank, Korea Exchange Bank and Shinhan Bank.
There are four distinct seasons in Seoul and while spring and summer are great times to visit, it can get bitterly cold during the winter months.
Most tourists like to visit Seoul during the summer months of June to August. Although this time of year features plenty of sunshine, it can get rather hot and those who are sensitive to the heat would be better of visiting in April or May when the flowers are in full bloom and the city parks are ablaze with color.
Fall lasts from September through to November and this is also a good time to visit as the days are mild and pleasant and the scenery is beautiful, with the leaves on trees turning to gold, brown and red.
Most visitors to Seoul arrive at Incheon International Airport (ICN), which is located outside of the city center. Visitors can get into the city by train, which takes about an hour, or take a taxi from outside the main entrance, which takes a little longer.
The easiest way to get around Seoul is by taking the subway, as there is an extensive system with links right across the city. While the subway is the fastest and most convenient way to travel around the city, visitors who want to see the sights often choose to travel by bus as this is an easy an affordable way to travel and takes visitors on routes past major attractions.
Spoken languages: Korean
Electrical: 220 Volts, 60 Hertz
Phone/calling code: +82 2
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