Get to know Korea's culture and history, the old and the new, through Seoul's food and artisan markets. Start off at 63 Square, Korea's tallest building that boasts a Sea World and an IMAX theater, then swing by the traditional Noryangjin Fish Market. At the sprawling Gwangjang Market, discover generations-old noodle shops. See 2,000-year-old utensils used with rice cakes at the Tteok Museum. Capture gorgeous views of the Han River, and along the way, pick up handicrafts, ginseng and amethyst, Korea's national gemstone. This full-day tour includes lunch and transport.
After morning hotel pickup by coach, your guide whisks you to attractions and sites that give you a great taste of Seoul's culture and history. Along the way, listen to informative commentary and enjoy the opportunities to purchase snacks or souvenirs.
Kick off your full-day tour with a visit to 63 Square (Sky Art & Sea World), which at 866 feet (264 meters) high is Korea's tallest building. This example of Korea's modern development overlooks the Han River and offers stunning views of Bugaksan, Namsan and Gwanaksan mountains. Its 63 floors house corporations, a Sea World, an IMAX theater and restaurants frequented by locals.
Next, follow your guide through a subway underpass and on the south side of the Han River, enter the vibrant Noryangjin Fish Market. Opened in 1927, this wholesale and retail market sells more than 830 types of seafood, including blue crab, octopus, sea cucumbers, halibut and clams. Come back later on your own and pick up fresh sashimi or slurp up some maeuntang (spicy fish stew) at an on-site eatery.
At a ginseng center, learn about Korea's cultivation of its six-year-old ginseng root commonly used to promote health. For lunch, travel to the district of Itaewon and settle in at a local restaurant for delicious bulgogi (thin slices of marinated beef grilled on a barbecue) or bibimbap'(rice dish topped with saut'ed vegetables, chili paste, beef and egg).
Afterward, wander through Gwangjang Market, located in the Jongno 5-ga neighborhood. Founded in 1905, this bustling bazaar is home to 5,000 vendors selling traditional fabrics, craft items and traditional dishes. Many stores and alleyways have not changed for years; you'll find noodle eateries that have operated out of the same spot for generations.
Your exploration of Korean foods continues at the Tteok Museum, which takes you through the rich history and tradition of Korea's rice cakes. Pass by 2,000-year-old utensils used to make tteok, and learn how it is not just a sticky dessert but also a symbol of rites of passage and holidays. (Please note that the museum is closed on Mondays.)
Your final stop takes you to an amethyst center. Learn about Korea's national gemstone, and find out how the country's geology helps produce high-quality amethyst. Pick up gifts for friends and family back home, and then enjoy transport back to your hotel.
Please note: A minimum of two people per booking is required.