|A market is crowded in Cheongnyangni in eastern Seoul, before the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving that falls Friday. The country is celebrating the Chuseok holiday from Sept. 12 to 15 this year. / Yonhap|
By Hallie Bradley
Chuseok, the Korean equivalent to Thanksgiving, is one of the biggest holidays in Korea which means Seoulites disperse to their hometowns or travel. Seoul this week will feature quieter and calmer vibes that is seldom seen, with most shops and restaurants shuttered.
Even though the city may feel a bit sleepy during the holiday and plenty of people will likely take the time to sleep in a bit and relax, there are mountains to hike, museums to visit and palaces to explore.
If you're looking for what to do this Chuseok in Seoul, here are some of the spots that will be open and likely hosting special Chuseok events. Make some traditional songpyeon or take in the sights.
Lotte World Seoul Sky: If you haven't visited the tallest building in Korea yet, this weekend is the time. Open 365 days a year, this 123-floor skyscraper offers stunning views out over the sprawling city of Seoul. It's a must-see that is perfect for a holiday adventure. After visiting, go for a walk around Seokchon Lake and enjoy the cooler autumn breeze blowing in.
Gyeongbok Palace: Gyeongbok Palace will not only be open every day this Chuseok but it will also be free. This is the ideal time to try on a hanbok and visit a traditional site in the city. There will be various performances and traditional activities to take part in. If you've been to Gyeongbok Palace already, the other palaces will be open as well so visit one that you haven't.
Trickeye Museum: Want to have some fun with 3D art? Trickeye Museum near Hongik University is also open year round and is sure to make for a laugh. Go with friends or family and take some fun photos to look at later to remember this holiday break. Make sure to get the selfie latte from the cafe in the admission area too because who doesn't want to drink a latte with their own face on it?
Namsangol Hanok Village: Go to this traditional site to make songpyeon, a traditional treat, on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit on Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and see tightrope performances and taekwondo, and join other traditional activities. Go on Saturday between noon and 9 p.m. and find a jeon festival and market.
National Museum of Korea: Featuring a substantial garden and known to be the ninth-largest art museum in the world, the National Museum of Korea is one of the most-visited museums in the world and the most visited in Korea for good reason. See a magnificent number of artifacts and relics and learn about the culture and history of Korea. There is much to see and it can all be seen on Thursday and Friday of this holiday break from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
War Memorial of Korea: This massive museum will be open throughout the holiday period. There is also a children's museum and a great outdoor space with historic planes to see. It's educational and fun and has something for everyone.
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art: Head to the Anguk area and visit this gorgeous art museum on Thursday or Saturday to view the "Kim Soon Ki: Lazy Clouds" exhibition. See the art and walk around the "madang" design of the museum to see how buildings can be successfully integrated into the environment.