Seoul

South Korea

An Enigmatic Combination of Moderninity and History

Hastily rebuilt after the South and North went their separate ways in 1953, Seoul is a city that has steadily shed the raw and gritty urban images of its past and has rapidly risen to become one of Asia’s most vibrant metropolises. Today expatriates relocating to this South Korean capital will find an energetic Asian megacity of more than 10 million people that radiates infectious energy and life.

Seoul is a place where you can while away the hours meandering through narrow alleyways full of quaint shops selling a whole host of goods, party all night at Karaoke bars as you partake in a glass of soju or two, immerse yourself in the gustatory pleasures of some the most amazing cuisines in the East and come face to face with people whose outlook, beliefs and society will both fascinate and dumbfound you.

Expatriates who are interested in retreating into the labyrinth of the past won’t be disappointed. While Seoul is very much proud of its moderninity, it also honors its past and the vestiges of the ancient times gone by remain a prominent element of everyday life. Scattered with sacred temples, secret gardens, palaces, pagodas and fortresses, the hidden history is just waiting to be discovered. Those who are prepared to challenge themselves will find that there are many cultural, traditional and ritual treasures to be unearthed and for your endeavors you will be rewarded with a newfound sense of appreciation of the values of life.


What’s the draw?

  • A fascinating city that prides itself on offering a modern lifestyle that is balanced with the traditions and customs of its fascinating past.
  • A high quality of life in one of Asia’s most affluent countries.
  • Fascinating people and a culture that is sure to leave an impression.

Live there:

Living in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, you will find yourself living in one of the global top 10 financial and commercial cities in the world. It is a city of contrasts, which offers expatriates an opportunity to live in a modern but culturally and historically rich city. The Expat Info Desk guide to living in Seoulcontains everything you need to know when relocating to this fascinating area of the world and offers in-depth advice and guidance into finding somewhere to live, setting up a home, enjoying the nightlife and entertainment on offer, making friends and navigating the infrastructure.

About Seoul we have

Our guide was written by Janine MacLean and Christie Vanorsdale and last published on Tuesday 2nd August 2011.

Read this guide »

Five top tips

01Learn Hangul. You don’t have to become fluent in Korean, but learning the Korean alphabet will make your life much easier.
02Keep in mind that most Koreans have never traveled outside their own country, which will account for a lot of the misunderstandings expats encounter.
03As an expat, Itaewon will offer foods you wouldn't otherwise find in Seoul, and it truly is the central hub for expats living in Seoul.
04Travel around Korea. It still has plenty to offer - stunning ocean views, excellent hiking, crazy food and fabulous cities.
05Meet lots of expats, but be sure to make Korean friends as well; these are the people who will bring you closer to secrets Seoul has to offer.

Interesting fact

Only about 2% of the population in Seoul consists of foreigners.