Summer is one of the best times to visit South Korea – especially the capital city. “Seoul is full of life and excitement, with local performances and cultural events. Prepare to be surrounded by so much beauty and entertainment, it will make you fall in love with the city,” says Sojung Park, Chef Concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul.
One of Park’s top picks is “the country’s premier light show extravaganza” at Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain, a 20-minute display that takes place along the Han River several times day and night in season. “It’s an aesthetic feast for the eyes,” she says. Just a quick stroll from the bridge is Banpo Hangang Park, an excellent starting point for a scenic bike ride along the river, or for having a picnic with some chimaek – fried chicken and beer – and enjoying the view.
Park also recommends heading to Hongdae, near Hongik University. It has a youthful college-town vibe, with cafés, galleries, boutiques, art markets and restaurants. “It’s a fascinating place to walk around, especially during the summer, when there are a lot of street performances and busking,” she says.
And from the end of April through June 4 and again in mid-September through October, you can visit the Hangang Moonlight Market, which Park says is one of the trendiest in town and popular among Seoulites. “The night market is always full of surprises,” she says. Head to one of its multiple outdoor locations to sample both local and international street food and dishes from food trucks, shop for handmade crafts, and watch various performances. (Park advises guests to check with the Concierge for the most up-to-date night market details.)
Finally, for a VIP experience worth seeking out any time of year, the Hotel can arrange a private visit to the exclusive Korea Furniture Museum, which is open only by special reservation. “Guests are invited to spend time in this unique space, designed to give you a sense of how Koreans lived in the Kingdom of Joseon, which lasted from 1392 to 1910,” Park says.