You could spend a lifetime in Seoul and never run out of things to do - but where should you start if you have just a few days? Here’s your low-down of the trendiest neighborhoods in Seoul. Each of them are an adventure in their own right!
This fashionable neighborhood is all about shopping for one-of-a-kind treasures. If you love the hunt of seeking out an outfit that no one else has, this is the place to be. Wander between high-end boutiques and vintage shops before ducking into one of the neighborhood’s many charming cafes for a caffeine break.
This foodie paradise is home to Mangwon Market, an open-air market where you can stock up on clothes, kitchen tools, and most importantly, phenomenal street food. You’ll find lots of tucked-away artisanal eateries and cafes here, so it’s no surprise that many young creatives make Hapjeong their home.
This neighborhood is known for its colorful blocks, street art, and eclectic energy. Itaewon is home to a large expat community, and here you’ll find cuisine from just about anywhere in the world. You can also explore the Samsung Museum of Art and wander along Antique Furniture Street, which is exactly what it sounds like. (The street has more than 100 furniture shops!)
Hongdae is within a stone’s throw of four universities - and where there are students, there is plenty of energy. In this neighborhood, you’ll find bustling venues, clubs, bars, and shops, all with a vibrant nightlife scene. (And if you want to sing karaoke while you’re in town, this is the place to do it.) Hongdae is also known for its gorgeous street art and its weekly crafts market, so there’s a little something for everyone.
This dreamy historic neighborhood is ideal for fans of all things art. In Songhyeon-dong, you can spend an afternoon at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. You can also wander through dozens of art galleries and check out the work of local creators.
In Samcheong-dong, you can visit the famous Bukchon Hanok Village, a historic village of traditional Korean houses. You’ll also find forty (!) different art galleries, so you can seek out inspiration around every corner. The best part? There are plenty of cafes to sit and relax after you’ve taken in all the art.
Changdong has a very famous claim to fame: all things K-pop. Korean pop music is one of the country’s biggest exports, and this neighborhood is all about celebrating that. One of Changdong’s central attractions is Platform Changdong 61, a creative complex made of colorful converted shipping containers. It includes a music venue, recording studios, galleries, food, and shops. Next in the works is an epic arena to open in 2024 - just in case you’d like to catch a K-pop concert on your next visit.