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Jongno Hotels

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Where to stay in Jongno

Jongno Hotels

From concrete jungle to delicate, oriental gardens, Jongno is a melting-pot of Korean culture, in the heart of Seoul. Towers fashioned from metal and glass rise ever-higher, but some of the most imposing monuments remain the austere-looking bronze statues of great emperors of dynasties past. At dusk, workers flood from their offices to cavernous markets, where sizzling food stalls do a roaring trade, and the coloured lanterns in the Buddhist enclave add a magical feel to the balmy Seoul evening.

Things to see

Seoul isn’t short on glorious, ancient palaces, but Jongno’s Gyeongbokung Palace must be the fairest of them all. It’s the largest of the Five Grand Palaces, and it wows with great squares, where you can imagine the thudding of horse-hooves, and tiered pagoda temples. On festival days, the palace is a riot of colour, with performers parading in traditional dress. History buffs will be in their element at the National Palace Museum by the south gate, while nature-lovers will enjoy the peaceful, ornamental gardens which tinkle with streams and birdsong. To understand modern Jongno, take a cruise down the canal, which wends its way past corporate towers, or join locals soaking up the sun on its concrete banks. When you’ve worked up an appetite, hit Gwangjang Market, where you can feast on signature snacks like bindaetteok pancakes and mayak gimap – seaweed rolls which are as cheap as they are addictive.

Hotels in Jongno

From 5 star luxury to rustic guesthouses, there’s something for everyone among the hotels in Jongno. The top-end hotels are located in sleek towers, with many rooms offering panoramic views of the city. These luxury Jongno hotels also provide service to cater to your every whim, from spa treatments to fine dining. If you’d like a taste of tradition, stay at one of the guesthouses, which offer Korean minimalism, with futon beds. The budget guesthouses have little more than this, with shared bathroom facilities, but the more upmarket guesthouses offer private bathrooms, WiFi, and low tables and cushions for enjoying breakfast.

Where to stay

North Jongno is the traditional, Grand Palace district, awash with beautiful parks and ancient temples, so it’s the perfect spot for history-lovers. A wealth of cheap Jongno hotels are located here, including boutique guesthouses and modern, budget hostels, with a few mid-range hotels thrown into the mix. For luxury hotels, the southern area of Jongno, where it meets Jung, has the best of the bunch. Here, you really are in the centre of Seoul, which wows with glittering skyscrapers and world-class restaurants – no expense need be spared here. It’s also the city’s transport hub, so you can get around easily.

How to get to Jongno

Most international flights land at Incheon International Airport, which is phenomenally well-run, meaning that you should be off the plane and out of arrivals before you know what’s hit you. The quickest and easiest way of getting to Jongno is to take one of the express trains to Seoul Station, about a 40-minute journey. From there, the southern part of Jongno is within walking distance, or you can hop on the metro to the northern district. Metro line 1 from the station reaches central Jongno in a couple of stops, and from there you can reach Gyeongbokung on line 5.

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