For the serious sightseers who intend to explore beneath the surface of the modern city, a visit to Seoul is a must. The capital of South Korea and the seventh largest city in the world, Seoul has everything for every kind of traveler. A cutting-edge cityscape of glass, steel and concrete skyscrapers tower over traditional wooden houses with tiled roofs and a maze of cobbled alleys in distinct, village-like districts, to give it a complete mix of ancient and modern. Founded 600 years ago, this city is truly Asian, which can be sensed in its distinctive and aromatic food, much of it being vegetarian. The traditional tea houses, museums, the five elegant palaces which host cultural performances and the contemporary Korean cinema, keep the city's ancient past alive.