Once a quiet hermit kingdom known as the Land of Morning Calm, South Korea has made an astonishing rise from war-torn dictatorship to economic titan — and in recent years, it’s only picked up the pace. Two years ago, the nation had its largest-ever protests, leading to the peaceful, democratic removal of the president. It then successfully hosted the largest Winter Olympics of all time. Now, some believe Korea will become the site of a peace deal unprecedented in human history.
But this is more than an economic and political exemplar. Seoul, the capital of the most wired nation on earth, is also a tech mecca that’s home to global brands like Samsung and LG as well as scrappy AI labs, VR startups that are learning to read human emotions and public, collaborative work spaces. It’s the Silicon Valley of Asia.
An architectural delight, Seoul offers works ranging from Zaha Hadid’s hyper-modern Dongdaemun Design Plaza to Gyeongbok Palace, full of old-world elegance. As a culinary powerhouse, the city has 24 Michelin restaurants, a street food culture that can’t be beat, a booming craft beer scene and the world’s best baguettes (yes, really).
Whether it’s brunch in a pop-up bistro, boutique shopping or soaking one’s feet in a thermal spa, Seoul has something for everyone — all serviced by one of the world’s finest airports, Incheon International.