Including satellite cities, Seoul is one of the largest metropolitan area in the world. It is full of skyscrapers and modern buildings, but also has beautiful and well-kept parks. But if you dream living in Seoul, you have to have the right character Seoul has a lot to offer, from the older neighborhoods to the exclusive and ultra-modern districts. The city is incredibly diverse and interesting, and there is always something to see and do.
The public transportation network in Seoul is excellent. Subways, buses, cabs and trains are relatively inexpensive. Buses are fast and reliable, and the subway is very efficient and often connects directly to shopping malls and underground markets.
Seoul is an international city where most of the foreigners living in Korea reside, so it has a very global feel. Most Koreans in Seoul are used to see or interact with a foreigner.
Seoul is a mecca for shopping: traditional markets, flea markets, large and small stores, and some of the largest shopping malls in the world line up endlessly. The entertainment is incredibly diverse and varied. There are many activities both during the day and at night. There are the classic activities like in any city: cinemas, bars, etc. In addition, there are also other typical activities such as karaoke, soju bars, (which take their name from the distilled alcoholic beverage popular in Korea), and much more. Cafes are everywhere. Many of them are open 24 hours. They are widespread and always popular because of the lack of housing in the city. Since most people live in small apartments, they spend a lot of time here.
Living in Seoul is safe; all of Korea is a very safe country. The only real concern in Seoul is scamming tourists, as in many other countries around the world. On the other hand living in Seoul is very stressful. It is the most stressful developed city in the world or almost. Big cities are always in a hurry, but Seoul leads the way in this regard. From a crazy education culture (students study 15 hours a day) to a crazy work ethic. Life in Seoul is fast. Everything is fast.Things happen in the blink of an eye. Seoul has one of the fastest and best connected internet systems in the world. Not only is the internet speed amazing in Korea, but the accessibility is top notch. There are free and open Wi-Fi hotspots everywhere in the city. The city is always on the move and constantly evolving. What is good today will probably be obsolete tomorrow. If you love a fast and hectic life, Seoul is for you. However, if you prefer a quieter and more relaxed life, it is not suitable.
However, Seoul is also the worst performing city in terms of racial equality and very poor in terms of gender equality. Unfortunately, racial equality in Korea depends heavily on skin color. People from the West and especially native English speakers are welcome, while people from underdeveloped countries are often looked down upon.
In Seoul, summer can be very hot and humid, up to 38 °C. Winter, on the other hand, can drop to -18 °C. Another negative aspect is the pollution. Although certainly not the worst on the list, the noise and air pollution in Seoul should not be underestimated.
Speaking of work, in order to work in Korea, and therefore in Seoul, you will need a work visa. To obtain this visa, you will need to find a sponsor. The most accessible jobs for foreigners who do not know Korean can be found at IT. Another accessible job is that of an English teacher, but most jobs are filled by native speakers. Keep in mind that working in Seoul can be very stressful depending on the company you work for. Working conditions involve incredibly long hours and a lot of stress. This is not true for all jobs and companies, but it certainly is in most cases. Unless you are working for a foreign multinational corporation.
Some people think Seoul is great, others hate it.
If you are a city person, there are few more interesting cities in the world. Seoul has one of the highest population densities in the world, and everything is within reach.
If you do not mind living in a few square meters, if you want to live a fast-paced life, if you seek constant stimulation and social contact, then you will love Seoul. If you are looking for peace, tranquility and silence, you will hate it.
If you want to know more about South Korea, I recommend you to read the article: Living in South Korea – pros and cons