Seoul was the capital of various Korean states, including Baekje, Joseon, the Korean Empire, Goryeo, and present South Korea. Strategically located along the Hangang River, Seoul's history stretches back over two thousand years, when it was founded in 18 BC by the people of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. The city was later designated the capital of Korea under the Joseon dynasty. Seoul is surrounded by a mountainous and hilly landscape, with Bukhansan Mountain located on the northern edge of the city. As with its long history, the Seoul Capital Area contains five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine, Namhansanseong and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty.
Today, Seoul Metropolition Area is home to nearly 10 milion people and is a striving and bustling city, as well as a thriving economical powerhouse with several world renowned companies based within its vicinity.
When it comes to tourism, Seoul offers a huge variety of attractions, ranging from many historical sites, beautiful parks, a wide selection of museums and art galleries to many outdoor activities, including hiking in the Bukhansan National Park, which is partly surrounded by the city. Several amusement parks, waterparks and child friendly museums make it also a great and interesting destination for families. Many festivals are held throughout the city from spring to autumn, and nighlife if thriving in neighbourhoods such as Gangnam and Daehangno. It is also easy to join an organized one day tour to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) between the South and North Korean border from Seoul.
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