As the political, cultural, financial and educational hub of the country, it's hardly surprising that Seoul is the most popular choice for expats moving to South Korea.
A buzzing metropolis situated on the Han River, Seoul combines fast-paced, high-technology living against a rich historical background of palaces, fortress walls, royal shrines and single-storey wooden hanok houses. At the same time, the city is the birthplace of K-Pop and the epicentre of the Korean Wave, exporting the country's culture around the globe.
The lifestyle in Seoul is equally diverse as the city provides a range of activities to appeal to shoppers, nightlife hoppers, sports enthusiasts and art lovers.
The options for public transport in Seoul are vast and efficient, and taxis are numerous and cheap. There are huge shopping malls throughout the city as well as a large selection of both local and international restaurants.
Seoul is South Korea's major business hub and produces about a fifth of the country's gross domestic product. Many expats working in the city find jobs working in information technology, electronics and finance, especially as Seoul is home to major corporations such as Kia, Hyundai, Samsung and LG Electronics. It's also the centre of the English teaching industry, another popular avenue of expat employment.
Although Seoul's big city reputation can be intimidating to some, it has a cultural charm that can endear even those people who are uncomfortable in cosmopolitan urban environments. The contrast between parks, rivers, mountains, teahouses and tall, modern skyscrapers uniquely form to create a city rich in experiences.
"Public transportation, food, activities, and incredible public places are a few things that Seoul offers and does exceptionally well." Read more about Malcolm's expat experiences in Seoul.
"It is so easy to make friends here because there are loads of social groups and plenty of organised outings for foreigners in South Korea." Read more about Maggie's thoughts on life as an expat in Seoul.
Are you an expat living in Seoul?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Seoul. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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