Seoul Travel Guide

Districts

Administratively, Seoul is divided into 25 districts (구 gu), each with an area and population comparable to a small city. The districts are then further subdivided into 522 sub-districts (동 dong). The Han river splits the city into two halves: Gangbuk (강북), the northern, more historical half, and Gangnam (강남), the southern, wealthier and more modern half. The sheer size of the city means that travelers to Seoul will find it difficult to locate a true "center" of Seoul; instead, Seoul is almost more like a collection of cities that happen to be bunched together, each with their own central business and commercial districts. The two largest core ares are Jongno/Jung in the north, and Gangnam in the south. For travelers with more time, there are many more, smaller centers and districts to be explored, such as the island of Yeoui-do and the college district of Hongdae/Sinchon. For the typical traveler, it would be useful to divide the city into the following areas:

Jongno The Joseon-era historical core of the city with the famous Joseon Palace, Gyeongbokgung. Bukchon has beautiful traditional Korean house and Insa-dong has the largest antiques market street in Seoul. Cheongyecheon has a renovated stream and park that runs through the heart of the downtown area.
Jung This district makes up the other half of the historic core as well as the shopping districts of Myeongdong and Namdaemun Market. This area contains Seoul Station and Namsan Mountain, with the Seoul Tower at its summit.
Seodaemun-Mapo These two districts lie immediately west of Jongro and Jung, and contain dozens of universities and colleges. As such, this area is home to some of Seoul's most active nightlife districts: Hongdae and Sinchon .
Yongsan Yongsan is home to the US Army Military Base as well as one of the huge Yongsan Electronics Market. This is also where you'll find Itaewon, perhaps the most culturally diverse area in Korea and home to dozens of restaurants featuring cuisine from the world over, numerous shops selling everything from custom-tailored suits to antiques, and several Western pubs and bars.
Yeongdeungpo-Guro Covering a large island in the Han as well as an area on the south side, this is often referred to as the 'Manhattan of Seoul'. Guro is one of the IT venture company clusters.
Gangnam & Seocho Recently famed for 'Gangnam Style', this affluent area is the glitzy center of modern Seoul, home to hundreds of glass and steel skyscrapers, neon billboards, and some of the most expensive real estate in the country.
Songpa-Gangdong A residential district east of Gangnam where you'll find Lotte World, Olympic Park, Seoul (Jamsil) Sports Complex, and the Sincheon nightlife district.
NorthNorthern area including Gangbuk, Dobong, Eunpyeong and Nowon. Mt. Bukhansan and Mt. Dobongsan area.
SouthArea south of the Han river including Dongjak, Gwanak and Geumcheon. This is where you can enjoy fresh seafood at the huge Noryangjin fish market.
EastDongdaemun, Jungrang, Gwangjin, Seongdong
WestWestern area south of the Han river and including Gangseo and Yangcheon

source: Wikivoyage

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