Seoul is simply complicated. Shoppers, temple hoppers and everyone else searching for an experience that is completely South Korean, without sacrificing creature comforts and culture along the way, this is the holiday you’ve been waiting for. To make sure you have all the facts before taking off, see our must-read guide to Seoul below.
Australian passport holders can enter and travel within South Korea for up to 90 days without registering for a visa. Check your passport is valid for the full term of your visit. This information is a general guideline. Contact the Republic of Korea Consulate office in Sydney for fresh updates and further advice.
Seoul uses the South Korean Won. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and South Korean Won fluctuates regularly. Spending safely overseas should be a priority; if you’re not comfortable using your own credit or debit card, consider exploring the benefits of a travel money card.
Korean cuisine is pretty tasty; in fact, nobody does fresh, mouth-watering food quite like Seoul. Try wriggling delicacies like sannakji (live baby octopus), or have a grilling good time at gogigui (Korean barbecue). While you are in Seoul, you must sample the unbeatable local staple of bibimbap. Literally meaning ‘mixed rice’, bibimbap is a bowl of white rice topped with meat, vegetables, a fried egg and chilli pepper paste (gochjang) and soy sauce. Visitors should also swallow down the devilish soju – the world’s best selling alcoholic spirit - finishing off with a red bean donut. Cheap, cheerful and on every corner, you won’t want for food in Seoul.
Seoul presents a sophisticated appearance by day, but by night? Although Gangnam is hip, happening and pumping with clubs, the cover charge can be extreme and the K-Pop abundant – save your money. Hongdae is popular with anybody under the age of 30, as Seoul embraces the ‘Uni-town’ culture of the West and party-goers flock to hot properties like M2, Harlem and Cargo to dance, drink and have a good time. Hang around for the last Friday of the month – a set cover charge will grant you instant admission into most clubs. Explore Seoul’s grungy side and delve into the colourful Itaewon suburbs – reggae, hip hop, Irish pubs and gay bars abound.