Seoul, the capital of South Korea, seamlessly blends its rich cultural heritage with a dynamic modern landscape. Visitors can enjoy the city’s captivating duality, exploring the majestic Gyeongbokgung Palace and savoring authentic local cuisine in the tranquil Seochon neighborhood. From witnessing the Changing of the Guard ceremony to discovering the vibrant arts and crafts scene of Insadong, this intimate group tour offers a multifaceted experience that showcases the essence of Seoul’s enduring traditions and innovative spirit. Prepare to be captivated by the city’s enchanting stories and the soulful melodies that echo through its streets.

Key Points

• Explore the grandeur of 14th-century Gyeongbokgung Palace and witness the captivating Changing of the Guard Ceremony showcasing traditional Korean military precision.

• Savor authentic Korean cuisine and immerse in the peaceful ambiance of Seochon’s neighborhood while learning about local traditions from a knowledgeable guide.

• Admire the iconic landmarks of Gwanghwamun Square, including the statues of King Sejong and Admiral Yi Sun-sin, and enjoy a live piano performance of a beloved Korean folk song.

• Visit the Jogye Order’s main temple, Jogyesa, to observe the daily spiritual rituals of resident monks and gain insights into the rich history and cultural influence of Buddhism in South Korea.

• Discover the vibrant arts and crafts scene of Insadong, where you can browse unique handmade items, witness artisan demonstrations, and experience the traditional tea house culture.

Traditional and Modern Seoul

Seoul: Discovery of Old & Modern Seoul, Stories and Music

Traditional and Modern Seoul

Seoul is a captivating city that seamlessly blends its centuries-old traditions with a rapidly evolving modern landscape, offering visitors a unique and multifaceted experience.

On this tour, you’ll explore Gyeongbokgung Palace, a stunning example of traditional Korean architecture that dates back to the 14th century.

Then, you’ll stroll through the charming Seochon neighborhood, where you’ll savor a delicious Korean-style lunch.

Next, you’ll visit Gwanghwamun Square, a vibrant public space that showcases both the city’s historical significance and its contemporary energy, including a live piano performance of a beloved Korean folk song.

Intimate Group Tour Experience

Beyond the city’s grand landmarks and bustling districts, this small group tour offers a more personalized exploration of Seoul. With a maximum of 6 members, the intimate setting allows travelers to engage more closely with the guide and fully enjoy the experience.

Key highlights include:

  • A live piano performance of a beloved Korean folk song by the knowledgeable tour guide
  • Tailored attention and insights from the guide to enrich each stop on the itinerary
  • Opportunities to interact with locals and discover hidden gems off the beaten path
  • A sense of camaraderie and shared discovery among the small group

This unique tour provides an authentic, behind-the-scenes look at the heart and soul of Seoul.

Korean Folk Song Performance

The tour guide’s live piano performance of a famous Korean folk song captivates visitors, providing a glimpse into the rich musical heritage of the country. The soulful melodies and intricate rhythms showcase the depth and beauty of traditional Korean music. As the enchanting notes fill the air, the audience is transported to a time-honored tradition that has been passed down through generations.

Musical Styles Instruments Renowned Composers
Pansori Gayageum Ahn Eak-tai
Sinawi Janggo Yun I-sang
Minyo Haegeum Lee Jang-so
Pungmul Buk Isang Yun
Sori Daegeum Yiruma

This live performance offers a truly immersive cultural experience, allowing visitors to appreciate the enduring artistry and emotional resonance of Korean music.

Exploring Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace, a majestic 14th-century royal residence, offers visitors a captivating glimpse into Korea’s dynastic past. Its expansive grounds and elaborate architectural features invite guests to enjoy the grandeur and traditions of the Joseon era.

During the 2-hour guided tour, you’ll:

  • Marvel at the palace’s ornate buildings and pavilions, each meticulously designed and decorated.
  • Learn about the rich history and cultural significance of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Witness the changing of the guard ceremony, a captivating display of traditional Korean military precision.
  • Explore the palace’s serene gardens and scenic vistas, providing a peaceful respite from the bustling city.

This immersive experience allows you to step back in time and gain a deeper appreciation for Korea’s storied past.

Seochon Area Lunch

After exploring the grandeur of Gyeongbokgung Palace, the tour moves on to the charming Seochon area, where participants enjoy a traditional Korean-style lunch in a cozy local restaurant.

This 1-hour break provides a chance to savor authentic cuisine and immerse in the neighborhood’s tranquil atmosphere. The menu features a selection of popular Korean dishes, allowing travelers to sample the country’s rich culinary heritage.

During the lunch, the group can converse with the guide, learning more about the local culture and traditions. This midday respite offers a welcoming respite from the morning’s sightseeing, preparing participants for the next stops on the comprehensive Seoul exploration.

Gwanghwamun Square Highlights

From Seochon, the tour proceeds to the iconic Gwanghwamun Square, offering photo opportunities and a chance to enjoy a live musical performance by the guide.

This scenic public square is known for:

  1. Its impressive views of Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Bukhansan Mountains.
  2. The towering statues of King Sejong the Great and Admiral Yi Sun-sin.
  3. The serene Geumcheon Stream that runs through the center of the square.
  4. The guide’s live piano rendition of a beloved Korean folk song.

Visitors can capture memorable shots and savor the sights and sounds of this historic and culturally significant location.

Jogyesa Temple and Insights

Next, the tour group heads to Jogyesa Temple, one of the most significant Buddhist temples in Seoul.

The guide leads them on a 30-minute tour, providing insights into the temple’s rich history and architecture.

They learn that Jogyesa is the main temple of the Jogye Order, the largest Buddhist sect in South Korea.

The guide points out the beautiful pagodas, intricate carvings, and serene atmosphere of the temple grounds.

Visitors are encouraged to take in the peaceful ambiance and observe the daily rituals of the resident monks.

The tour provides a glimpse into the enduring spiritual traditions that have shaped Korean culture for centuries.

Insadong Arts and Crafts

The tour group then explores the vibrant Insadong neighborhood, known for its abundance of traditional arts, crafts, and culture. They wander through the lively streets, popping into various shops and galleries.

Discovering traditional Korean crafts like ceramics, hanji paper, and intricate woodcarvings.

Browsing the bustling arts and crafts market, with stalls selling unique handmade items.

Visiting a traditional tea house for a soothing break and a taste of Korean tea culture.

Observing artisans at work, showcasing their skills in age-old techniques.

This immersive experience allows the group to connect with Seoul’s rich heritage and appreciate the enduring artistry that thrives in the heart of the city.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Cancellation Policy for This Tour?

This tour has a flexible cancellation policy. Customers can cancel their booking and receive a full refund up to 24 hours before the tour start time. No refunds are available for cancellations within 24 hours of the tour.

Can I Customize the Itinerary to Fit My Preferences?

The tour operator generally allows some customization to fit the traveler’s preferences. They may be able to adjust the itinerary or substitute activities within the tour’s overall structure and duration, though additional fees may apply.

Are There Any Discounts Available for Group Bookings?

Yes, there are group discounts available for this tour. Groups of 4 or more can receive a 10% discount on the per-person price. Larger groups may be eligible for additional savings – it’s best to inquire directly with the tour operator.

How Accessible Is the Tour for Individuals With Mobility Issues?

The tour provides a good level of accessibility for those with mobility issues. The pace is flexible, and the group size is small, allowing the guide to accommodate needs. However, some locations may have limited accessibility.

Can I Purchase Additional Items or Souvenirs During the Tour?

The tour allows time for participants to explore the markets and shops in Insadong, where they can purchase additional items or souvenirs. However, the tour doesn’t include any planned stops for shopping beyond that.


Exploring the captivating blend of traditional and contemporary Seoul offers a unique cultural experience.

From the majestic Gyeongbokgung Palace to the vibrant arts and crafts scene in Insadong, this intimate group tour showcases the city’s rich heritage and enduring artistry.

Whether it’s savoring authentic Korean cuisine or being serenaded by a live piano performance, this tour provides an immersive journey through the stories and music of Seoul.

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