Deciding where you would want to live in Seoul depends on so many things! Where will you be working? Will you be coming with your kids? Retiring? Or are you single/childless and prefer trendy areas to more quiet, residential areas? Most areas in Seoul are connected by subway, but sometimes a ride on the subway can be an hour or more (remember, Seoul is BIG!), so do your homework when choosing an area further away from your workplace/school.
Whatever your preferences, you can find a place in Seoul where you’ll feel comfortable and can make a home for yourself.
If you’re interested in a quiet, residential neighbourhood: Depending on your line of work, you may want to consider moving to neighbourhoods around Seocho, Gangnam, or Yongsan. Yongsan is home to Itaewon, the foreigner neighbourhood, which is neither quiet nor residential, but around the area is where the UN village is located and is where most diplomats are housed. If you’re looking for an alternative to a high rise apartments, Yongsan is the place to look. Gangnam and Seocho, located South of the Han River, are both business and residential areas where you’ll find lots of apartment buildings, parks and amenities. Jamsil is also a good residential area and is worth considering.
If you’re interested in an area with a thriving night life: Jongno, Hongdae, Itaewon, Gangnam, Apgujeong, and Mokdong are all very interesting and exciting places to live in Seoul. While Jongno, Apgujeong, Mokdong and Gangnam are more high end and full of galleries, trendy restaurants, and posh clubs, Hongdae and Itaewon are full of live music venues, hipster nightclubs and cheap eats. The Hongdae area is popular with university students who study at Hongik University and is a great place to people watch as something is always happening in the streets.
If you want to be really out of the way: North Seoul, around the Nowon area is beautiful and peaceful, which is a rarity in action packed Seoul. Recently, is has become recognized as one of the most upscale suburbs with the best schools; as a comparison, it is close to suburban Connecticut next to Manhattan. If you’re a nature enthusiast, this is a perfect area for you. Suraksan Mountain (not to be confused with the famous Seoraksan Mountain in Gangwon province) is a stone’s throw away from most apartments and you can easily spend the day hiking or relaxing around the area. Also worth mentioning are the areas around Bukhansan National Park, also located in North Seoul around the Dobong or Gupabal neighbourhoods.