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Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul

Over 100,000 lanterns illuminate the streets of Jong-ro in central Seoul to celebrate Buddha's birthday. Performances and other festivities take place outside Jogyesa Temple in Insa-dong, and a parade of glowing lanterns and floats takes place one evening.

Date: 03 May 2019 - 12 May 2019
Venue: Jongno, particularly around Jogyesa Temple.


Jongmyo Daeje

This ancestral rite has been performed for over 500 years, earning it an UNESCO World Heritage listing. The spirits of former kings and queens, believed to reside in tablets at Jongmyo Shrine in Seoul, are honoured with elaborate bowing and food-offering rituals from massed ranks in colourful traditional costumes.

Date: 05 May 2019 - 05 May 2019
Venue: Jongmyo Jeongjeon Shrine, Jongno-gu.


Boryeong Mud Festival

Two and a half hours south of Seoul, you can wallow in everything from therapeutic mud massage to mud-sliding at this spectacularly dirty and fun festival held each July on Daecheon Beach – the longest on Korea’s West coast. The mud is rich in minerals and said to be good for the skin. Most participants will want to bring a swimsuit they won't care to ever wear again and plan on being covered in mud from head to toe.

Date: 19 July 2019 - 28 July 2019
Venue: Daecheon Beach, Seocheon-gun, Chungcheongnam-do.


Hi Seoul Festival

Aka Seoul Street Art Festival, this annual cultural celebration showcases Seoul’s unique history, tradition and diversity through performing arts. It takes on a different theme each year.

Date: 01 October 2019 - 06 October 2019
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Yeouido Hangang Park and downtown Seoul.

Free; some entry fees.

Icheon Rice Cultural Festival

This harvest celebration takes place at Icheon, one hour's bus journey from central Seoul. Activities include rice-cake making and there’s traditional cultural entertainment.

Date: 16 October 2019 - 20 October 2019
Venue: Sulbong Park, Incheon.


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Ibis Seoul Ambassador Gangnam

A good value mid-range hotel in Seoul with smart facilities in a central location. Amenities include a restaurant, a rooftop garden and underground parking, plus there's a sauna and fitness room. The COEX convention centre and shopping mall are nearby.

Lotte Hotel Seoul

The refurbished wing of this huge super-deluxe hotel in Seoul is a good bet for those who want to stay in the heart of the city and close to shopping areas – there's even a large duty-free store on site. A good choice of dining includes French and Italian restaurants. A personal trainer and sports lab analysis are available in the fitness centre.

Grand Ambassador Seoul

This good, centrally located deluxe business hotel offers great views over the Seoul cityscape. There's easy access to the main markets and historic palaces, and facilities include six bars and restaurants plus a health centre with hydrotherapy pool.

JW Marriott Dongdeamun Square Seoul

This hotel's relatively small size - 170 rooms on 11 floors - and the elegant, luxe room decor makes for more of a boutique feel than you'd expect from a chain hotel. It's located in Seoul's premier shopping district, close to Dongdeamun Design Plaza, and amenities include an indoor pool lit by chandeliers, a large fitness centre and two restaurants. The rooftop bar has views of Dongdaemun Gate, an iconic landmark in the city.

The Shilla

Celebrities, royalty and heads of state have stayed at The Shilla, which is set in 9 hectares (23 acres) of woodland yet known for its state-of-the-art technology. Modern public areas belie traditionally furnished rooms. The restaurant, La Yeon, has three Michelin stars - the first restaurant to receive such an accolade.

Fraser Place Central Seoul

A luxury home-from-home is offered by these serviced 'residences' in Seoul, from studios to three-bed and penthouse apartments. Relaxation is further aided by the attractive leisure facilities - a large pool, steam and sauna rooms and peaceful atrium garden.