If you think of Korea, what are the first places that come to mind? Hongnik? Dongdaemun Market? Shopping? Cosmetics? There is a lot more to Korea than just this. In recent years a number of lesser known creative and cultural hotspots have sprung up in and around Seoul. Let KKday share a few secrets with you, while you drag yourself away from the tourist filled attractions and get a bit of culture!
#1 Shipping Container Mall at Common Ground
Seoul has a couple of universities, Ewha and Hongnik, famous for their proximity to busy and popular shopping streets. The lesser known Konkuk University also has a cool spot certainly worth visiting. Common Ground is a pop-up mall made from 200 large shipping containers, the shops inside are also home to small/medium sized designers selling fashion wares, stationery, home goods and creative bits and pieces.
There are restaurants and food trucks for when you get hungry, and if you happen to be around on the weekend you’ll see a market with alternating themes and occasional performances too!
#2 A Picnic in Hangang Park
While you’re busy shopping in downtown Seoul, why not take a quick break and head over to Yeouido Island and enjoy the laid back atmosphere of Hangang Park. Maybe take a bike ride or have a picnic. If you’ve not prepared your own picnic, don’t worry, there are places nearby to get yourself something to eat and even a picnic mat. You could even order a takeaway to be delivered for you to enjoy sat, relaxing on the grass with a calming fresh breeze. When you’re full up, you can even take a bike ride and take in the scenery, or in the summer, try the Water Light Square, where you can kick off your shoes, splash around and cool off!
#3 Blast from the Past at Bukchon Hanok Village and Samcheong-dong
Learn about Korean traditions, trace the past and experience a blend of history and modern day at Bukchon Hanok Village and Samcheong-dong.
Bukchon Hanok Village
Located close to Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine, Bukchon Hanok Village is rich in history and home to many traditional houses, called hanok, which date back to the Joseon Dynasty. These days the village is made up of many interesting shops, guesthouses, tea houses and restaurants.
Note: There are still residents in Bukchon Hanok Village so remember to keep noise levels appropriate so as not to disturb them.
Samcheong-dong has a fascinating mix of the old and the new. This place is bursting with culture and art, with murals beautifully decorating the walls and designers selling their crafts. There’s even some delicious surprises hidden inside.
All that walking around soaking up culture is hungry work! Why not try stopping off in Mukshidonna for a hot pot? The contents of this hot pot are up to you but it usually includes noodles, rices cakes, seafood, vegetables and cheese!
#4 Ride a Gangchon Rail Bike
As featured in popular Korean variety show, Running Man. The Gangchon Rail Bike experience is a leisurely pedal on a bike (2 or 4 seats) attached to old train tracks. The ride through the Gangwon-do countryside is a great way to get some fresh air, exercise and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Remember to wrap up warm during winter rides though!
Hopefully these suggestions have given you 1 or 2 ideas to try something a little different and slightly off the beaten path for your next trip to Korea!