Seoul – District By District
Have you ever wondered ‘which area of Seoul should I go to for’…anything? We have the answers! Here is a short guide to Seoul’s main districts – profession and hobby-based.
Insadong and Sam-cheondong are the go to districts if you would rather drink tea and go to exhibitions. From traditional Korean art to contemporary art and performances from throughout the world, there is always something to see here. Insadong is very popular among tourists while Sam-cheondong is more accessible to locals. Its exhibition venues and tea shops are little gems in busy, stainless steel and tinted window Seoul.
Dongdaemun History and Culture Park is also favorite, locals and tourists alike snapping photos of the building itself and attending exhibitions. TIP! Last Wednesday of every month is a culture day, which means that you an get in for free or for a discounted price at some art galleries and museums.
The Other Art
Hongdae and Mullae are home to alternative art. While Hongdae has piercing shops, Mullae has tattoo parlors. You can find vintage clothing boutiques, record stores, old book stores, in the trendy Hongdae area, but also in the up-and-coming Mullae. Both areas have concert venues for alternative music, independent stores and small restaurants.
Hongdae is littered with practice spaces for bands. The price ranges between 10.000 KRW to 20.000 KRW per hour and come fully equipped. You can find a list of all practice spaces in Korea here.
Myeongdong, Namdaemun and Dongdaemun is the Mecca of shopping. Dongdaemun has a 24 hour market and is littered with stores that sell both en-gros and en-detail. However, you can also find plenty of small stores and boutiques. If you want to open a boutique these are the areas you should look into. There’s a constant influx of tourists as well as locals all along the Cheonggyecheon Stream and Cheonggye Plaza, which means you will also find many bars, restaurants and coffee shops.
Myeongdong is perhaps the most famous neighborhood for shopping. Not only is it home to a plethora of stores that sell make up and the coveted Korean cosmetics, but you can also find many Korean brands.
Chungmuro is Seoul’s printing district. South Korean stationery is second only to the Japanese one yet, it will still surpass your expectations. While the ArtBox stores are very popular among locals and tourists alike, Chungmuro is home to little stores that do custom prints and designs and even wedding invitations and business cards. You can choose between a variety of types of papers, fonts and sizes. Moreover, you can buy one-of-a-kind postcards and bookmarks from independent shops.
It’s great walking down the alleys at night and peeking in through the windows, watching printing machines expelling torrents of paper while humming and vibrating.
The Really Good Jobs
If you make a lot of money chances are you probably live and work in Gangnam, Jogno or Yeoido. You will find big corporations and the stock market in these three neighborhoods. If you are looking to work for a Korean company your office will probably based in these neighborhoods. Designer and sports brands stores can be found in Gangnam.
The Yeoido area is also home to news agencies and TV channels. You’ll see busy office workers flooding coffee shops on break. Others will hurriedly smoke cigarettes while downing hangover drinks.
The Home Away From Home
Haebangcheon and Itaewon are ex-pat enclaves in the middle of Seoul. While these neighborhoods are popular among for their diverse cuisine and music/club scene. HBC is close to the US Army base, thus, a great location for American nationals who bring their families over.