Jung (중, 中, which means central) is in Seoul, constituting the southern half of the historic core of Seoul, along with Jongno. Jung is busier than its tranquil neighbor, with hundreds of offices buildings and endless streets of frantic shopping, but scattered among the hustle and bustle are more historic gems. To begin with, Jung has some of the only remaining European-style buildings left over from the Japanese Colonial period, the City Hall, the Bank of Korea, and the old Seoul Station. Next to the City Hall is the only one of the Five Grand Palaces outside of Jongno, Deoksu-gung. South and southeast of the City Hall are the famed shopping districts Myeongdong (명동) and Namdaemum Market. Further to the east is the largest fashion shopping district in Korea, Dongdaemun, with dozens of huge department store style fashion complexes.. If the shopping ever gets too much for you, retreat to Namsan Mountain, which has a pleasant park, library, hiking trails, and the N. Seoul Tower, which offers panoramic views of the city from the summit.
Jung hosts Seoul Station, which is the hub for all high speed KTX trains in the country, as well as many destinations via regular rail. The AREX train from this station will also take you directly to Seoul's Incheon International Airport.
The southern part of Myeong-dong is served by Myeong-dong Station on Line 4 of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway, while the northern area is closer to Euljiro 1-ga Station on Line 2. Many inner and outer city bus lines pass through the district for easy access.
- Cheonggye Stream, Sejongno Cheonggyecheon, 31 Taepyeonno 1(il)ga, Jung-gu (Near Cheonggye Plaza near Insa-dong). This stream has been restored to a verdant tourist attraction from its previous state as a busy freeway. You can walk many kilometers along its path through the very center of Seoul.
- Deoksugung (덕수궁,德壽宮), 57, Namdaemun-ro 1-gil, Jung-gu, 특별시 중구 남대문로1길 57 (태평로2가) (In downtown Seoul across the street from city hall). 09:00-21:00 (Closed Mondays). Deoksu Palace vividly contrasts to the other nearby palaces like Changdeok Palace. Built during the mid-fifteenth century, the architecture of the buildings inside are heavily influenced with Western designs. Hence, you will see a fusion of both Korean and Western architecture. Adults (19 to 64 years old): ₩1,000 (groups: ₩800), Children (aged 7–18) and soldiers: ₩500 (groups: ₩400), Children 6 and under, seniors 65 and over: free..
- N Seoul Tower (Namsan Tower) (Metro Line 3 or 4, Chungmuro station or line 3 Dongguk University). 10:00-23:00. Once the tallest tower in Asia, it has the best panoramic view in all of Seoul. Many locals and visitors have visited the tower to catch a glimpse of the city’s landscape while enjoying the nature of Namsan Mountain and a host of other attractive facilities. Owing to the tower's unique structure, the observatory section boats spectacular views of the changing foliage throughout all seasons. The tower can be reached on foot, by taxi or, on the south side, by cable car. The cable car is available from 10:00-22:30 and is reached by a 10 minute uphill walk from Myeongdong station, from exit 2 or 3. Centrally located, it can be seen from nearly anywhere in Seoul and is a helpful reference for visitors on foot. There's also a Teddy Bear Museum at the tower which has lively illustrations of Korean culture. The fences around the tower are adorned with many thousands of padlocks, where couples pledge their love to each other and throw away the key. ₩9,000 Adults, ₩5,000 Children (Observatory only).
- Namdaemun Gate (남대문,南大門) (Metro Line 1, City Hall station). The Great South Gate is an iconic symbol of Seoul and has been designated as National Treasure Number 1. Particularly beautiful when floodlit at night, and best combined with a visit to the adjacent Namdaemun Market. Much of the structure was destroyed by arson in 2008, although a faithful reconstruction was completed in 2013. Formally known as 'Sungnyemun' (숭례문,崇禮門). The other city gates can be found in the neighboring Jongno district.
- Myeong-Dong Cathedral (명동성당). Designed by a Coste priest, and build with financial support from the Paris Church Department, this was the house of Bum-Woo Kim and purchased by Marie Jean Gustave Blanc (under the Korean name Gamilro Kim). With a successful trade agreement in 1887, the cathedral was finally built on 1898. This building was the first church built with bricks. The height of the building proper is 23m, but with addition of the spires, the full height is 45m. Bricks used in the building were made in Korea and come in about 20 different shapes, as well as colors ranging from greyish color to a dark wineish color.
- T.um, Jung-gu, Euljiro 2-ga 11 (서울시 중구 을지로 2가 11) (Euljiro 1-ga station exit 4), ☎ . 09:00-18:00. The future of technology can often be seen today in South Korea, and SK Telecom have created a museum dedicated to it! Exhibits change frequently due to the rapid pace of technology being shown. Preschoolers not allowed. Online pre-registration necessary, make sure to reserve early as its gets full weeks in advance. Free.
- Seven Luck Casino (In the Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel). The casino is only accessible to foreigners (it is illegal for Korean citizens to gamble), so remember to bring your passport. Various card tables and slots are available to play. There is a bar and cafe that serve food and drinks, although expensive.
- Dongdaemun. An enormous fashion shopping district comprised of not one, not two, not ten, but no less than twenty four large department store-like buildings such as Doota, Migliore, and APM, each with anywhere from two to seventeen stories of trendy shops and stalls grouped together so customers can shop efficiently and save time. This market is of equal historical significance to Namdaemun market, with the obvious difference being Dongdaemun's modernity. Historically, Dongdaemun was a nightmarket, open from 1 am to 1 pm the following day; now it opens midday, but still remains active well into the early morning, with many shops finally closing around 08:00. Some stores are actually open for 24 hours. Come on Friday or Saturday night to see Dongdaemun at its most hectic, with huge crowds of thousands flooding the streets hunting for their next bargain. The energy is almost palpable.
- Myeongdong. Probably the best-known shopping area. It is definitely the most tourist-friendly fashion area. In spring and summer, fashion models/sidewalk promoters can be seen strolling the streets of Myeongdong promoting various cosmetics, stores or other fashion-related products. Many regular people also tend to catwalk their newest outfit on these streets. Rows of stores are available to look for that perfect accessory, and most of Korea's major brands can be found here: mVIO, Caspi Conus, WhoAU California, AHM, So.Basic, Noxon, Basic House, UGIZ, 1492, nipper, hang ten, A6, Bean Pole, Jambangee, Giordano as well as a few international brands such as Lacoste, Land Rover, Adidas, Gap, Zara, Koolhaas, Uniqlo, Anna Sui, and Forever 21. Nearby are the Lotte and Shinsegae department stores.
- Namdaemun market. The largest traditional street market in Korea. This market is in the center of Seoul and is a famous shopping place for tourists. Clothing for children and accessories are the most-commonly sold goods in this market, but there's lots of food as well and many outdoor eating options, especially in the evening. There is also a huge digital camera market in this area.
- Lotte Young Plaza, 81, Namdaemun-ro (Subway Euljiro 1-ga exit 7). Just across the street from Avatar department store, this department store is oriented towards a younger, upscale clientele, and in addition to the usual Korean brands and international brands, the top floor of the space features an assortment of quality eating establishments to replenish your shopping energy. The wine bar is recommended. Sometimes art installations can be found on the top floor. Credit cards accepted.
- Migliore. One of the biggest fashion buildings in Seoul. It has 17 floors above ground and 7 basement floors. Information boards in Migliore are written in Korean as well as English, Japanese, and Chinese for foreign tourists. US credit cards are often accepted, but ask before haggling if you aren't sure. The outside stage features a "talent show" of local dance groups (mostly high school or college student groups) most nights until about 21:00. Typically they are wearing many of the local fashions, and some of the dancers are employed in various department stores.
- Shinsegae, 2-5 Chungmuro 1-Ga, Jung-gu, Seoul (Subway line 4 Hoehyun exit #7, bus 0014, 1016, 7013, 406, 503, 505, 9400, 9402, 9410, 9502, 9710), ☎ . 10:30-20:00. The oldest department store on the Korean peninsula. The original building was refurbished in 2008 and became a high-street boutique. Accepts major credit cards, including Amex and JCB.
- Gogung (고궁), 37, Myeongdong 8ga-gil, Jung-gu (In a basement, take the stairs to the left immediately after crossing the entrance to Ssamziegil.), ☎ 02-736-3211. 10:00-22:00. Specialty restaurant for bibimbab at a moderate price. 11,000₩ to 37,000₩.
- Jeonju Jungang Hoegwan (전주 중앙 회관), Myeong-dong (Myeong-dong Station, exit 5), ☎ . Daily, 08:30-22:30. This Korean restaurant specializes in the Jeonju variety of bibimbap, which features different ingredients and spices than other bibimbap dishes. Delicious and healthy. Meals ₩8,000-12,000.
- HONOGI (호노지), Myeong-dong. Japanese restaurant sells really good beer called Ah-Sa-Hee(아사히)
- Touch of Spice (터치 오브 스파이스). Asian Dining and Bar. Clean & modern interior design and the foods look amazing.
- Samarkand. In the heart of "Central Asian Town", which has Russian, Mongolian, Uzbek, and Central Asian restaurants. Wander around and discover the area a bit - you'll be rewarded with delicious food and an exotic experience.
- Myeongdong Kyoja, 25-2 2-ga, Myeong-dong, ☎ 02-776-5348. 10:30-21:30. Beef gyoza soup, unique dish but tasty. 8000₩.
- RAndy's Bar (RAndy's Pub), 동대문구 (Get off HUFS station line 1 and go out exit 6, walk 100 meters and turn left. RAndy's is on the little alleyway on your right). 17:30-02:00. Foreign-owned bar in front of Hankook University of Foreign Studies known for a varied clientele, great pool table, and affordable prices. Has Red Rock and Hoegaarden on tap.
- Ban-Ji-Reum (반지름).
- MEZZ BAR. Bar known for cocktails
- Levenbroee (레벤브로이). Known for beer but also due to the view from the bar which is amazing
Love hotels, are also a great option. They are usually in pretty good condition and they sometimes have a PC in the room. Love hotels are mainly visited by couples who want some private places during day or night, most of the love hotels (especially those in Gangnam district) are exceptionally clean and usually have widescreen TVs, PCs and so forth. Don't let the name fool you...some of these are the best bets for budget travelers! Be aware that some love hotels discourage stays of more than one night. Main love hotel districts in Seoul include Teheran Street near Yeoksam station in the Gangnam district, Nambu Terminal in Seocho-dong, Bangi station in Jamsil and the area near the Nakwon market in Jongno. ₩25,000-80,000 a night, more on Saturday nights and holidays.
Alternatively, try a jjimjilbang. You don't get a room of your own, but you can store your luggage into one of the small lockers and you can live quite cheaply for a long time, sleeping in the public sleeping rooms and enjoying the hot-tub and steam room facilities (sometimes a gym is available, also movies and TV shows often play until 23:00 or so). To find a jjimjilbang keep an eye out for the words jjimjilbang (찜질방) or 24 hr sauna (24시 사우나) in Korean. Not all saunas have jjimjilbang stay-over facilities, so watch out for that. ₩4,000-12,000/night.
- IMI Hotel, Yeoksam 2-dong 718-18, Gangnam-gu, ☎ . At the higher end of the love hotel spectrum, some rooms feature Japanese spas and oxygen generators. ₩60,000+.
- Namsan Guesthouse, 50-1 Namsandong 2-ga, Jung-gu (Metro Line 3, Myeong-dong stn, use exit 3 and walk 100 m up to the right of the Pacific Hotel), ☎ . In the shadow of Seoul Tower in Namsan Park. Free Internet access, free breakfast, kitchen. ₩45,000 and up.
- Silloam Sauna, 128-104 Jungnim-dong (10 min walk from Seoul Station), ☎ . This is a very large jjimjilbang with great facilities, but the family atmosphere of other jjimjilbangs is sometimes lacking. The locker-room staff will stow oversized luggage if you ask, and a morning wake-up call can be arranged. Sleeping facilities are excellent, clean, comfortable and usually fairly quiet. There are two large dormitories for men and women, plus a snorers' room which sounds like a dragon's lair. The dormitories are arranged unconventionally into lines of bunk beds, more like an open capsule hotel than a standard sleeping floor. In the communal area there are various hot rooms, an ice room, a large gym, a PC room, singing and games rooms and a restaurant. The sauna area has 6 main pools with supposedly healthy minerals and showers. Includes access to public baths, exercise facilities, and various entertainment rooms. ₩15,000.
- Tomgi Hotel (Next to Metro Line 4, Jongno 3-ga stn, exit 4). A fine example of the genre, with a variety of unique rooms to choose from.
- Zaza Backpackers, 32-3 Namsandong-2ga, Jung-Gu (Metro Line 4, Myeongdong stn Exit 2), ☎ . Brand new facilities, helpful English speaking staff help you to feel right at home. Free Wi-Fi, 24 hr access, Private bathroom in each rooms. 24 hr security, towels and hairdryer for hire, parking. Tour info and booking service. Free international phone.
- Ibis Hotel Myeongdong, 59-5 Myeong-dong 1Ga, Jung-gu (Across Lotte Young Plaza. 1 min walking from Euljiro-1 station exit 7.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Very central, free internet access.
- Lotte Hotel, 30, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, ☎ . Grand old lady of downtown Seoul's hotels with 1,300 rooms, all kept in tip-top shape. The obvious choice for ornate Korean luxury.
- Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel, 395, 5-ga, Namdaemun-ro, ☎ , fax: +82 2 754-2510, e-mail: email@example.com. Luxury hotel near the Central Railway Station and Namdaemun market. Shuttle buses from and to Incheon international airport. Stylish rooms, eight restaurants, various shops and services and an indoor tropical garden. rates start from ₩250,000..
- Plaza Hotel, 119 Sogongro Junggu Seoul (Near Seoul Cityhall), ☎ 82 2 771 2200. Completely redesigned as Korea’s luxury boutique hotel in 2010, The Plaza is now an exceptionally beautiful, independent luxury hotel in the heart of the business, shopping, and entertainment districts of Seoul.
- Shilla Seoul, 202 Jangchung-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu. One of the city's premier hotels.
- Pacific Hotel (퍼시픽호텔). Starting ₩180,000.
- Se-Jong (세종호텔). This hotel has the beautiful view including the Namsan Tower Starting ₩220,000.
- Western Chosun (웨스틴조선호텔). Starting ₩380,000.