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  • A Hideaway in Seoul City Hall

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    A true cultural playground with an abundance of treasures for visitors to see and enjoy all throughout the year, Citizens’ Hall showcases permanent exhibitions of all kinds of artworks, including paintings, photographs, and handicrafts. And the fact that admission is free of charge is another reason the Citizens’ Hall is so loved by the citizens of Seoul.

    You can’t help but lose track of time while browsing through the over 200 types of rare fair trade goods at “Earth Village,” a shop where visitors can purchase creative products manufactured by small companies, and “Seoul Bookstore,” where you can find all kinds of books about Seoul.

    Relax at the Citizens’ Hall lounge, where performances are held by different artists every weekday from noon to 1 p.m., and grab a cup of fair trade coffee from Earth Village to renew your passion for life.

    ▶ Citizens’ Hall is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day (closed on Mondays).

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    Visitors will also be interested in taking a look around the first floor lobby of the new city hall building, where prize-winning artworks from citizens’ competitions and notable administrative documents and materials are showcased throughout the year. For the convenience of visitors, there are also numerous amenities, such as an Internet kiosk, cellphone charging station, and water fountains.

    To discover another gallery in the city hall, walk past the lobby, take the elevator, and go to Sky Plaza on the eighth floor. A wide variety of artworks is showcased in this gallery, which is also the best vantage point in the city hall from which to look out over the city and collect your thoughts.

    If your legs start to ache from all the walking, you might like to stop by the “Happiness Plus Café” on the ninth floor. This café offers a full view of City Hall Plaza, spacious seating, and inexpensive drinks and desserts, making it a great place to satiate your hunger and take a rest.

    ▶ Sky Plaza’s Happiness Plus Café is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

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    If you would like a better view of the surrounding area, walk past the entrance to Deoksugung Palace, enter the Seoul City Hall Seosomun Building 1, and go up to the 13th floor, where you will find a huge window next to a small coffee shop. From here, you can look down at Gwanghwamun Gate and Deoksugung Palace and see out over the entire Jeong-dong area and Inwangsan Mountain. What makes this 13th-floor lookout point even better is that it is open to the public free of charge. This place, which offers a fantastic view for visitors to enjoy every day, is the Jeong-dong Observatory.

    ▶ The Jeong-dong Observatory is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.