Being the heart of South Korea’s industry and pop culture scene, it’s no surprise that the city has kept up with the rapidly changing trends of the modern world. Whatever’s on trend, Seoul has you covered.
G A N G N A M 강 남
Where else can we start other than the almost notorious Gangnam? It may have gained recognition all over the world from Psy’s Gangnam Style (who doesn’t recognise the song whenever it plays?), but long before Psy’s parody of fashionable Gangnam life became so well known, Gangnam district was, and still is, the centre of all things popular. For any K-pop fan, it’s a must visit area: it’s home to K-Star Road, a trail that gives fans the chance to follow in the footsteps of Hallyu stars. It is now also dotted with many little bear-like statues, each one representing a group or artist. Co-ex mall is another massive draw for those visiting Gangnam. Located in Samseong-dong 삼 성동, not only is it the largest underground shopping centre in Korea, but it’s also a great place to go celebrity spotting – even if it’s just getting lost in SMTown at Co-ex Artium.
A P G U J E O N G 압 구 정 + G A R O S U G I L 가 로 수 길
If you’re looking for the best places to shop check out Apgujeong-dong (압구정 동) and Garosugil (가로수길) they both offer two very different shopping experiences, but both are seen as trendsetting locations for these different reasons. Walking down Apgujeong Rodeo Street, you’ll see many upmarket fashion stores, boutiques and department stores, whilst Garosugil is known for it’s art design bookshops, galleries, restaurants and cafes. It’s a mix of old and new that is heaven for anyone interested in art, and allowed many smaller businesses and niche designers to thrive, earning a nickname of “Designer Street.” To top it all off, both locations are connected to Cheongnamdong (청담동), where Cheongnam-dong Fashion Street lies, making for a trendy trinity of fashionable areas.
E W H A U N I 이 화
With Hongik University being one of the top fine arts universities in Korea, it’s no surprise that it’s inspired such a diverse and interesting surrounding area. Ewha Womans University is much the same. It’s surrounded by shops, all more suited to a student’s budget, and you might want to stop off for some gyeranbbang (egg bread) as it’s one of the most popular street foods in the area. Of course, the architecture of the university is not one to be missed. It’s famous stairs, a long, gentle slope almost like a valley, make for a perfect place to meet.
H O N G D A E 홍 대
When talking about trendy places to be seen in Seoul, it’s also impossible to miss out on Hongdae (홍대). Another well known location to Koreans and foreigners alike, Hongdae is a haven for creativity and late night partying. Named for Hongik University which resides nearby, the area is highly popular with students and the younger generation. The area, stretching from Mapo to Hapjeong, is famous for it’s indie music and art scene; often, street performers and buskers can be found performing on the main street. The area in itself is a great place to be entertained, and for musicians to gain a little exposure. It also helps having YG Entertainment only a few minutes from Hongdae’s main street, with music fans sure to find a lot to listen to!