Where To Go And Why
Seoul is a constantly expanding and changing city, and this list will only scratch the surface. Below we introduce some of the more popular neighbourhoods to help you with your trip, but with a city so vibrant and eclectic as Seoul it isn’t easy!
Each little neighbourhood in Seoul is unique and constantly evolving, but here’s a peek at what you can find there!
Word on the Street: Traditional culture galore!
411: Bukchon and its neighbour Samcheongdong are the best places to find traditional Korean architecture (hanok) along with tea houses, hanbok rentals (traditional Korean clothing), and traditional craft shops. Escape modern Seoul and time travel to Bukchon!
Word on the Street: The theatre district
411: This neighbourhood is filled with small theatres where many famous actors and actresses got their start in Korea. If you are a fan of musicals, there's always a show playing at any time of day. As a bonus, there's also plenty of cheap shopping and food in the area too!
Word on the Street: Shopper’s delight!
411: Dongdaemun should come with a warning: Serious shoppers only. With multiple buildings to wander filled with shops for clothes, fabric, jewelry supplies, and more! Intimidating at first, be sure to check out multiple stalls before committing to buying something and remember you’re expected to bargain - never take the first price ;)
Word on the Street: Shopping district for young women
411: Located next to Ewha Women’s University, this area is filled with shopping and cafes designed specially to attract the young women heading to and from class. Perfect for a day of eating delicious desserts and haggling for shoes, this neighbourhood is a must-see for serious bargain shopping fashionistas.
Gangnam & Cheongdam
Word on the Street: The Glamor and Kpop center of Seoul
411: This notoriously wealthy area of Seoul is perfect for serious shoppers. From high end brand names to subway marketplaces, there is something for everyone here. For Kpop fans, these neighbourhoods are where nearly all of the Kpop company buildings are located! Celebrity spotting is common here :)
Word on the Street: Picturesque cafe street!
411: Garosugil, literally “tree lined street,” is a picture-perfect neighbourhood filled with trendy cafes, eateries, and shops. It's a popular place for couples and friends to meet up and go cafe hopping!
Word on the Street: Seoul’s historical center!
411: Along with Namsan Tower, Gwanghwamun is one of the most famous landmarks in Seoul. Gwanghwamun Plaza is a popular place for public gatherings and is the main entrance to the famous Gyeongbok Palace.
Word on the Street: Where the young crowd goes to party!
411: Located around the art college, Hongkik University, this area was originally a home for artists, musicians, and all kinds of young creators. Now it’s become the hot (and crowded) place for shopping, street performances, and tons of food, all with a youthful energy still in the air.
Word on the Street: The best place to buy traditional souvenirs!
411: Located close to Bukchon’s Hanok Village is Insadong, the mecca for traditional crafts, arts, and food. The five-story shopping center, Samzzigil, is a mix of traditional and modern handmade crafts, where you can find something for everyone, and the shopping continues all the way down the street!
Word on the Street: The foreign sector
411: Located next to the US Army base, this area has notoriously been the most foreign-friendly area in Seoul. It’s common to communicate only in English here, and this is the best place to find the city's best international food.
Word on the Street: A playground for all ages!
411: Jamsil is best known for Lotte World and its most recent addition, the Lotte World Sky Tower. This is a great place for shopping at the massive Lotte Mall and enjoying the nearby park, Seokchon Lake, that has various art installments for you to enjoy.
Word on the Street: The center of it all!
411: Located in the center of Seoul, this area is unavoidable. Sandwiched between Myeongdong and Gwanghwamun, this neighbourhood is one of the main business, government, and cultural centers of the city.
Word on the Street: Attention, shoppers!
411: Packed full of shops, street performers, and street food, Myeongdong excites all of the senses. Bring an empty stomach and be prepared for crowds, because no trip to Seoul is complete without the experience of visiting Myeongdong. Be sure to visit Namdaemun market right across the street!
Word on the Street: A university student’s dream!
411: Located near four large universities, this neighbourhood is where many students come to eat, drink, and be merry. The streets are often filled with street performers or flea markets and there will be a crowded bar or restaurant everywhere you turn. Don’t worry, there are quiet cafes to study in too ;)
Word on the Street: Picnic paradise
411: Famous for its riverside park, Yeouido is all business on weekdays and all fun on weekends. In good weather, this area is a picnic paradise sprinkled with cafes and restaurants ready to deliver you food right to your blanket in the park.
Slightly outside Seoul - Everland
Word on the Street: The best destination for couples!
411: Located slightly outside of Seoul, but accessible by the subway system, this theme park is fun for visitors of all ages. Everland is one of the hottest date spots for Korean couples, but its also great for friends and family with rollercoasters, performances, food, and even a small zoo!