The most popular spots for foreign tourists in Seoul are Jongno-gu District and Namsan Mountain, according to a report released on April 18 by the Seoul Institute, which plans the city’s future by performing research on municipal policy.
Titled “Tourist Hotspot Analysis in Seoul Using Geotagged Photos” and carried by the academic journal Seoul Studies, the report was based on research that came up with the capital’s top 11 tourist spots according to information posted by foreign visitors to the city.
The report analyzed photo data from the image hosting service Flickr, including geographical information and data from users who indicated their home locations from Jan. 1, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2017. A total of 39,175 photographs taken by 1,476 foreign visitors who were presumed to be tourists were studied.
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The hottest tourist spots in Seoul for foreigners per the study were Jongno-gu District and Namsan with 54.5 percent or 21,323 of the photographs. A distant second was the Sinchon-Hongdae (Hongik University) area with 6.7 percent (2,607), followed by the War Memorial of Korea (1,017), the National Museum of Korea (970) and Samseong Station including Bongeunsa Temple and COEX Mall (849).
Jongno-gu District and Namsan Mountain were also the most popular Seoul spots for foreign visitors regardless of regional origin, but other places did see bias depending where such tourists came from.
North Americans preferred visiting areas near the War Memorial of Korea and food alleys near Guro Digital Complex, while Europeans liked Olympic Park and Hangang (River) Park. Asians seemed to favor Garosu-gil, a street with plenty of boutiques and fancy shops, and Gimpo International Airport and vicinity.