The metropolis city of Seoul, South Korea is vibrant and diverse. Huge skyscrapers tower over small, ramshackle houses, and a traditional vibe is blended with contemporary art and culture. Photographers will enjoy the rich combination of history and modern style, as well as the numerous landmarks that will make a photo shoot in Seoul a meaningful experience.
7 Top Photo Spots in Seoul
Considered one of Seoul’s most high-class and picturesque areas, this small neighborhood is located between two royal landmarks, the Gyeongbokung Palace and the Changdeok Palace. Most of the houses located here are hanok, which is a traditional style of house constructed of wood. Just walking through the village will give you the feeling of stepping into a bygone era, and you’ll have countless photo opportunities with so many houses displaying intricate preserved decorations. This neighborhood will give your photo shoot of Seoul a special charm characteristic of South Korea.
The Cheonggyecheon Stream stretches for 5.8 kilometers and is a great way to escape the busier rushing traffic of the city. It’s also famous for being a romantic getaway for young couples in Seoul, and it’s no wonder with the quiet serene surroundings. There are several small waterfalls throughout the stream, and any one of the numerous overhead bridges make a great place to stage your photographs. It’s possible to walk the stream alone, or to book a spot in part of an organized walking tour of the city if you’re interested in learning more about the stream and its history in the city.
Undoubtably one of the best photo sites in Seoul, the Gyeongbokung Palace was the former palace of residence for royalty in South Korea. It sits at the end of Sejongro, the main road of Seoul, and is impossible to miss when visiting the city. The original Gyeongbokung Palace was constructed later in the 1300s, though none of this structure still remains. Unfortunately, the palace has been destroyed and rebuilt many times, and has become a sort of symbol of perseverance and preservation for South Korea. It’s cultural importance of the site makes it meaningful to include in your photo shoot, especially if you take one of the tours, which is also offered in English, to learn about the architecture and use of the building throughout history. In addition to the magnificent exterior of the palace, there are also numerous artistically created pavilions and the impressive walls surrounding the grounds to include in your photo shoot.
Every traveler coming to Seoul can experience the grand scenery of mountains surrounding the city, and what better way to capture this spectacular natural setting than by visiting one of these majestic peaks? Bugaksan Mountain is a top photo site in Seoul, and one that will give you great images of natural beauty as well as historic landmarks. You’ll go through the city’s 15th century gates to ascend the mountain, and the Seoul Fortress is also located in this area.
For some years the Fortress was closed to the public, though recently guided tours have been available when scheduled in advance to learn about how this site was integral to South Korean history. Because of the somewhat sensitive surroundings, you’ll need to have your passport with you to hike the mountain trail, but the cultural significance the hike will afford your photo shoot can make it worthwhile.
N Seoul Tower
This prominent landmark on the Seoul skyline is an observation and communications tower, and a great way to add some excellent images to your photo shoot of Seoul. When you go up to the observation deck on top of the tower, you’ll be granted some spectacular views of the city and the Namsan Mountain, upon which the tower is located. From a distance, the tower is also an excellent iconic background for your pictures. Originally opened to the public in 1980, the tower has become a significant cultural symbol for the city of Seoul. Particulalry at night, you’ll truly be able to appreciate the neon and LED light technology the tower uses to create brilliant colorful patterns across its surface.
An artistic and vibrant neighborhood of Seoul, Insa-dong is primarily known for the largest art, antique, and craft market in South Korea. Your photo shoot will benefit from the eclectic blend of history and modern development seen in the area, from old preserved buildings to new contemporary shopping centers that bring the neighborhood to life. There are also a number of important temples in the area, including the popular Jogyesa, a Buddhist temple of particular import to South Korea. Other top sights of Insa-dong to include in your photo shoot are old buildings, including the oldest bookstore and oldest tea house in the city of Seoul, and you’ll often find traditional dancers and artists performing in various venues in the neighborhood.
For a glimpse of Seoul’s fast-paced market scene, Namdaemun is the heart of the action. Open practically 24/7, there are vendors here selling everything from fresh produce to locally handcrafted pieces of art. Thousands of sellers come to this one location to display their goods, making it a top tourist attraction and significant photo site in Seoul. In addition to the shops, there are also street vendors, and on top of getting some unique photographs, you’ll also have the chance to look for a special souvenir or sample the local food of Seoul.