Seoul

Discover the inquisitive traits of the Korean city.

South Korea is home to Seoul, a city unlike any other. Touching down in its fascinating streets, the exploration is similar to a mystical voyage we have all dreamed of embarking on. Indeed, this city is a land of duelling traits, with its traditions coexisting well with its futuristic ambitions and desires.

This week, KHAMSA ventures to Seoul and explores its intricacies with the help of a detailed travel guide by Mina Tahir (@minatahir on Instagram), a fashion designer, creative director, and consultant. A Parsons School of Design BFA Fashion Design program graduate, Mina is a stalwart in her line of work, having been the recipient of accolades such as the CFDA FFGS Award and the CFDA+ Award. She has also undertaken creative directorial responsibilities for top publications in the world.

For Mina, Seoul isn’t just another city, but a second home, teeming with history, culture, and boundless inspiration. She aims to offer the world fresh perspectives of the city and showcase its lively spirit. Through her eyes, we touch down in Seoul to marvel at what it has to give to its visitors.

Top must-visit food spots in Seoul?

Cafés/Coffee

Nudake

For some great desserts.

Café Onion

One of the finest cafés in Seoul.

Local Villa Bagel

For some delicious bagels and coffee.

OUR Bakery

Another amazing bakery serving up exquisite treats.

Authentic Cuisine

Doma Insadong

Popular for its wide array of Korean dishes.

Solsot Yeonnam

For all kinds of pot rice.

Dosan Bunsik

A stylish restaurant with a plethora of delicious dishes.

Brunch

Dot Blanket

Super fresh food and an even better atmosphere.

Kato

Such a delightful brunch.

Others

Taco Stand 용산구

Pretty self-explanatory cuisine.

Hula Hula

Hawaiian cuisine at its finest.

Best places for sundowners?

Hangang Park

A great way to get away from the busy lifestyle.

Privilege @ Mondrian Itaewon

Refined destination with a phenomenal ambiance.

Staff Picks @ Jongno-gu

A very relaxing spot.

Park 913 Cheongdam

Great for a relaxed unwind.

VVERTIGO @ Conrad Hotel Seoul

Amazing sunset and night views.

Best places for shopping?

Seongsu-dong District

HPIX

For furniture.

Olive Young

For K-beauty.

Must-visit cultural spots?

Best boutique hotels to stay in?

Underrated Places?

Hapjeong

Source: Creatrip

Much less crowded than Hongdae and filled with so many hidden gems.

Euljiro

Source: Flickr

What should you avoid?

Doing all of your shopping in one spot!

Must-pack items?

Your bank/credit cards! Contrary to popular belief, Apple Pay isn’t available in Korea. Also, extra empty luggage for all the shopping you’ll do.

– Mina Tahir

Any tips and tricks to tackle the city?

If you’re planning on going to anything during the weekend/holiday season, get there as early as possible, or else you might find yourself stuck in a long line. Learn basic phrases, download Kakao Taxi, and familiarize yourself with Naver Maps.

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