No I’m not talking about Paris, that’s so passé.
Today’s city of love has got to be Seoul.
Not convinced? Well, let me elaborate.
Seoul may be a huge, modern metropolis, home to over 10Million and capital of South Korea but it is a city with heart, and romance can be found everywhere. Stepping onto the metro you are likely to spot young couples holding hands or wandering around in matching “couple T-shirts”. Love hearts and eternity locks seem to be attached to anything possible and the area around Namsan Tower is adorned with these declarations of undying love. The dating scene has unrivalled options, from themed cafes where you can dress up as a prince and princess, to cinemas with “couple seats” and romantic walks in the parks or the pathway by the Han River, Seoul has it all.
Unfortunately for a group of single females in our mid and late twenties all this romance made us feel somewhat like we’d been left on the shelf. Not easily disheartened we didn’t reach for our embroidery and spinster’s caps, no instead we embraced Seoul’s amazing nightlife!
Heading out into an unexpected snowfall we made out way to the clubbing area of Itaewon. While somewhat seedy, the lively atmosphere seemed to have the rejuvenating effect we were hoping for, and after living in China for so long it was great to see the mixing of local Koreans and expats, both young and not-so-young, hanging out, drinking and eating together.
The following morning (well… afternoon if I’m honest) we felt considerably less rejuvenated and so, in true Seoulite style, we opted for a hefty dose of coffee! Seoul has an amazing variety of coffee shops, (some more interesting information on that can be found here) and while we in no way had time to visit them all, we made a valiant effort to consume our own body weights in caffeinated beverages. I love the quirkiness of Seoul’s multitude of themed cafes (check out these blog posts for examples). We absolutely adored visiting a dog cafe and had to resist the temptation to just slip one of the little dogs into our bags.
One of my personal favourites had to be the celebrity cafes. Owned, or part owned, by Korean stars (and often designed by them) these places are great if you’re into KPop, or even just curious. While we didn’t spot any celebrities this time, we loved Mouse Rabbit, with it’s awesome interiors and a relaxed atmosphere so lacking in chain brands.
So, my top tip for a romantic weekend get away; forget Paris, head to Seoul!