south korea skyline of seoul

Seoul Holidays

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Seoul – a neon-lit wonder

Holidays in Seoul place visitors at the heart of one of the world’s most exciting cities – a destination of constant flux and development.

Just as its landscape morphs with technology, Seoul changes with the seasons, delivering pastel pink cherry blossom in spring and rich auburn hues in the autumn. 

For visitors seeking new experiences, Seoul will not disappoint. This is a 24-hour city where shops stay open round the clock and the next attraction is just around the corner. 

Fill your itinerary with visits to temples, theme parks, galleries, markets, spas, and karaoke spots. Refuel after sightseeing with some of the world’s best street food at venues around the city. 

Prepare for the experience of a lifetime as you find your perfect Seoul holiday package with Etihad.

cityscape at night seoul

Things to do in Seoul

With temples and palaces to admire, theme parks to enjoy, shopping experiences to indulge in and outdoor adventures to explore, Seoul holidays have something to suit all tastes. 

bongeunsa temple seoul

Seek out Seoul’s temples and palaces

Nowhere is the beauty and contrast of Seoul more evident than at the Bongeunsa Temple.

Once surrounded by orchards and farmland, it now finds itself at the heart of one of Seoul’s wealthiest districts.

A Buddhist temple dating back to 794, the building is beautiful inside and out and its library is home to thousands of scriptures.

Don’t miss the evening ceremony where monks perform percussion music to awaken beings in the ground, sky and water.

Where to stay in Seoul

cityscape of seoul downtown

Family holidays in Seoul

Seoul’s Lotte Hotel World makes an ideal base for families looking to stay in one of Seoul’s best-loved attractions.

You’ll be sleeping steps away from one of the world’s largest indoor theme parks – cutting down on travel time and making the most of the nearby fun.

Head to the Seoul Sky Observatory at the top of the Lotte World Tower for great views over Seoul.

In the heart of the action

To be close to most of Seoul’s top sights, stay in the Myeong-dong or Jung-gu districts.

Expect a fantastic mix of street food, palaces and old town architecture mingling with the space age design of Seoul’s City Hall.

You’ll find accommodation for all tastes and get a great feel for the city without the need to travel too far.

women on myeongdong street in seoul
dongdaemun gate seoul

Skyrise stays in Dongdaemun

For 24-hour shopping and neon-lit nights, consider a stay in Seoul's bustling Dongdaemun area.

This fast-paced part of the city literally never sleeps, guaranteeing entertainment round the clock for night owls and fashionistas looking to shop at the tens of thousands stores and boutiques.

The 4-star Hotel Skypark Kingstown Dongdaemun is a good option, sitting in the centre of the district.

business man communting on bike in seoul

All you need to know about Seoul

 Local currency

The currency used in Seoul is the Korean won. Credit cards are widely accepted and there are plenty of ATMs.

Getting around

Seoul’s subway is the most convenient way to explore. Bikes can be hired across the city at Seoul Bike. Seoul’s bus system is simple and efficient.

Languages spoken

The official language spoken in Seoul is Korean, though you may also hear the Gyeonggi dialect. Most students learn English, with some also speaking Japanese or Mandarin.

Public holidays

Seoul celebrates the start of the new year on January 1 and the lunar new year in February. Cheseouk (a harvest festival celebration) runs on the second weekend of September. 

More about Seoul

Seoul cuisine

You might already be familiar with Korean barbecue and dishes such as bibimbap - but that’s just the start of local Seoul food.

From unique dining experiences to delicious authentic eats and street food wonders, the city is as much a feast for the taste buds as the eyes.

Look out for banchan during your trip. Think of it as Korean tapas – a selection of small bites so you get the chance to try a whole host of different flavours.

For a meal with a difference, visit an animal cafe to dine while surrounded by cats, dogs or even meerkats.

plates of food seoul
lotus lanterns seoul

Celebrations and festivals

Seoul is a city that loves to celebrate, with festivals honouring everything from the enchanting cherry blossom in spring to the Lotus Lantern Festival in May.

In summer, Koreans take to the streets to cool off with the WATERBOMB festival – a K-Pop (Korean pop) fuelled music festival that sees stars from across the globe come together.

Celebrations of all kinds fill Seoul’s calendar – filling the city with unusual sights and sounds and allowing visitors an insight into South Korean culture.

Don't miss the Goyang International Flower Festival, which sees Ilsan Park bloom with colourful flowers from around the world.

Beyond Seoul’s city walls

If you’re keen to see more of South Korea, you’ll need to venture beyond the old city walls.

Before you do, the walls themselves are worth a visit. Built in 1396 for protection, they still feature some of the original city gates and run for more than 11 miles around the city, passing through mountain ranges.

Beyond the walls, head south to Suwon to explore UNESCO World Heritage listed forts or head north and visit the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), which marks the spot where North and South Korea remain divided. 

city walls seoul
rose garden nighttime seoul

Why we love Seoul

“Seoul never sleeps – whenever you arrive, there’s a place to shop, eat or even dance the night away. The street food is absolutely delicious and a must-try. The scenery surrounding the city is beautiful too – definitely worth a day trip for a hike.”

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