Seoul Special City: Bridging citizens around the world
Seoul's new brand "I.SEOUL.U" was launched following a citizen idea contest in 2015.
Seoul Metropolitan Government
Seoul Special City: Bridging citizens around the world
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - September 20, 2019 - 8:28am

SEOUL, South Korea — Considered as South Korea’s center of politics, economy, society and culture, Seoul has recently rebranded itself as an open city, inviting all citizens of the world to experience its rich culture.

In October 2015, Seoul launched its brand “I.SEOUL.U” which was selected by 135,000 citizen and expert votes in an idea contest held the same year.

The new brand, which was selected among 16,147 entries, means “City of Me and You.”

The slogan “I.SEOUL.U” has since been installed in front of several locations in the city, including Seoul Plaza, Yeouido Hangang Park, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul Forest and Yongsan Park.

Getting to know Seoul

 What better way to get a glimpse of Seoul than to look inside its city hall?

The new eco-friendly Seoul City Hall was opened in October 2012. Rather than destroying the old city hall, the building has been reopened as the city’s main public library.

Aside from its unique exterior, the Seoul City Hall is popular for its Green Wall, a vertical garden climbing up from the ground to the seventh floor. It holds the Guinness world record as the largest vertical garden in the world.

On the first and second level basement of the city hall is the Citizens’ Hall, which is open to the public. Seoul citizens can use the space for concerts, wedding ceremonies lectures, discussions, workshops and other gatherings.

The new Seoul City Hall stands beside the old city hall, which is now the Seoul Metropolitan Library. Lourdes Viray
Seoul City Hall's vertical garden climbs up to the building's seventh floor. Lourdes Viray
An old relic is on exhibit at the basement of Seoul City Hall. Lourdes Viray

Another way to get to know Seoul is taking a tour at the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History, which is just a few kilometers away from the city hall.

The museum features the country’s history from the prelude, foundation, development and modernization of South Korea toward the world. The museum’s rooftop also offers a view of the Gwanghwamun Square and the Gyeongbokgung Palace.

The National Museum of Korean Contemporary History is seen from Gwanghwamun Square. Lourdes Viray 
Korean flags through the years are on exhibit at the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History. Lourdes Viray
A view of Gwanghwamun Gate and Gyeongbokjung Palace can be seen on the rooftop of the museum. Lourdes Viray

Going through the city

After knowing its history, take a stroll through one of the city’s popular leisure space — the Cheonggyecheon Stream.

The modern stream starts at Cheonggye Plaza, which is just a few steps from the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History and Gwanghwamun Square. A total of 22 bridges span along the stream, which stretches for 11 kilometers.

The stream is actually a part of the government’s urban renewal project, restoring the original stream which was there during the Joseon Dynasty. It was covered by an elevated highway after the Korean War in the 1950s as part of the country’s economic development at the time.

Cheonggyecheon Stream starts at Cheonggye Plaza, just off Sejong-ro Avenue. Lourdes Viray
Cheonggyecheon Stream has become a popular place for Seoul residents to sit down and relax. Lourdes Viray
Cheonggyecheon Stream as seen from an overpass at Sewoon Plaza. Lourdes Viray

Cheonggyecheon Stream flows into the Hangang or Han River, the fourth longest river in the Korean Peninsula.

One of the best ways to enjoy Han River is to ride a lunch or dinner cruise. E-Land Cruise offers river cruise programs with different themes. They have two ferry terminals located in Yeonuido and Jamsil.

The Han River cruise is a popular filming location for KDramas such as “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim,” “Fated to Love You” and “My Love from the Star.” Korean variety shows “Running Man,” “Infinite Challenge” and “Flower Crew” have also filmed in this location.

E-Land Cruise offers a dinner buffet cruise through Han River. Seoul Metropolitan Government/Digital Chosunilbo
Enjoy the night view of Seoul while aboard the Han River dinner cruise. Lourdes Viray
After enjoying a dinner buffet, passengers of the Han River cruise ship watch a fountain show. Seoul Metropolitan Government/Digital Chosunilbo


Editor's note: The tour to Seoul was hosted by Digital Chosunilbo, in partnership with Seoul Metropolitan Government's City Branding Division. At no stage does the host organization has a say on the stories generated from the coverage, interviews conducted, publication date and story treatment. Content is produced solely by following editorial guidelines.

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