By now, I’m sure most of you have heard of the famous themed café concept in Korea. When visiting Korea, visiting places like the Style Nanda Pink Pool Café, or the immensely popular Thanks Nature sheep café in Hongdae (홍대), is at the top of many people’s to-do lists. Such places are fun to visit and we definitely recommend going when visiting Korea for the first time. However, these places are extremely popular now and with that comes large crowds. So if you’re looking for some quieter yet no-less-unique spots to do some journalling, we’ve picked out our top five.
LUFT COFFEE (루프트 커피)
Location: (Eng) 308, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul (Kor) 서울시 중구 삼일대로 308
Luft Coffee is a minimalist café in Myeongdong (명동), Seoul. Luft Coffee is designed with the spirit of Hawaii in mind, with its laid back atmosphere and beach-like décor. Amongst other plants, there are palm trees dotted around and a large neon sign saying ‘Hawaii to Seoul’. There is no loud music blasting like a lot of other cafés in Seoul, which makes it an especially great place to journal. The café sells Hawaiian coffee as well as a selection of cakes, including their famous Choco Bun for 4,300 won. The choco bun is a square-shaped dessert with a marshmallow and cream filling which tastes just as good as it looks, so definitely give it a try. Luft coffee is a 3 minute walk from exit 10 of Myeongdong Station (명동역).
C27 Cheesecake & Coffee
Location: (Eng) 161 Yanghwa-ro, Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (Kor) 서울시 마포구 동교동 양화로 161
C27 Cheesecake and Coffee is a café located in Hongdae (홍대), Seoul. As the name suggests the café is famous for selling 27 different types of cheesecake. A truly unique aspect of this café is the mini rollercoaster that runs throughout the entire establishment. It offers an interesting setting to sit and do some journalling, whilst treating yourself to some cheesecake and coffee. The café also sells wine, teas, lemonades and ice creams. The café can easily be reached from exit 1 or 2 of Hongik University Station (홍대입구역).
Gemstone Café (젬스톤 카페)
Location: (Eng) 33 Deagyo-ro 6 Beon-gil, Yeongdo-gu, Busan (Kor) 부산 영도구 대교로6번길 33
Gemstone café is located in Busan (부산) and is one of the most unique locations on our list. This café is an old swimming pool that has been completely transformed into a modern café. Gemstone is very large and not too crowded making it a great place to work. Gemstone offers a selection cakes, coffee, smoothies and lemonades to accompany any journalling session. Gemstone can be reached by bus number 5, or 30 from Nampo station (남포역), or if you would like to walk, it will take about 20 minutes from Nampo station.
Seoul Forest (서울숲)
Location: (Eng) 273, Ttukseom-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (Kor) 서울특별시 성동구 뚝섬로 273
Seoul Forest is a park spread out over 595,000 meters squared, situated in southern Seoul. The park is divided into different gardens with different themes from the riverside park to the eco-garden. The park has many benches and open spaces to sit and journal, so bring a blanket and a picnic and be sure to visit Seoul Forest. The perfect time to visit is in the spring or early summer before the temperatures rise in mid summer. The park is very relaxed and quiet due to its extremely large size, so you won’t be bothered by huge crowds, even at weekends. Seoul Forest can be reached by travelling to Seoul Forest Station (서울숲역) on Seoul’s Bundang Line (분당선).
On Ne Saint Jamais (옹느세자매)
Location: (Eng) 51 Itaewon-ro 54-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (Kor) 서울특별시 용산구 한남동 이태원로54길 51
If you’re after a quieter alternative then On Ne Saint Jamais is what you’re looking for. This old spa-turned-café is completely filled up by an empty swimming pool. The swimming pool is the seating and dining area of the café which makes it really unique. The café offers a large selection of cakes as well as coffee, tea and alcoholic drinks. In the evening, the pool lights are turned on to give the café a really unique vibe. On Ne Saint Jamais is a short walk from Hangangjin station (한강진역) on Seoul’s subway line 6 (6호선).
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