Seoul has been the capital of South Korea since ancient times. It is home to more than 10 million people, making it one of the largest cities in the world and the political, economic and cultural hub of the country. Seoul has a vibrant history steeped in old traditions and customs. To observe such cultural trademarks, visitors have to visit Insadong, where traditions seamlessly merge with modern urban progression.
Insadong can trace its origin back nearly 500 years to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The area comprises of a main street that branch into several small lanes and alleys that are filled with traditional buildings that house authentic tea houses and restaurants to modern cafes and shops. Many of the historical buildings were former government and royal family residences that have now long been converted for commercial use.
Insadong is renowned as Korea's Mecca for traditional Asian antiques – housing 41 percent of Korea's antique industry; shoppers can find a variety of antique goods on sale. Head to Tongmungwan for a wide variety of ancient documents, Haedonggodoja Research Institute to learn about and purchase high quality ceramic ware or Naraksil to obtain beautifully designed antique furniture.
For art lovers, Insadong has over 70 art galleries showcasing works from prominent and up coming artists. Popular galleries to visit are the Insa Art Centre and the Gyeongin Art Gallery for a comprehensive collection of modern and traditional art.
Visitors looking for a short stay apartment in Seoulneed look no further than the spacious and well-equipped Somerset Palace, Seoul. Located in the central business district of Seoul, within easy reach of attractions such as Insadong and Gyeongbok Palace, Somerset Palace serviced residence provides a wide array of amenities and services such as a comprehensive business centre, trendy restaurants and a panoramic rooftop swimming pool.