Seoul is a wonderful place that has a mixture of traditional streets from the Joseon dynasty era and modern streets teeming with young people. Jongno, Myeong-dong, and Namdaemun-ro where commercial districts are established based on good accessibility since olden days have developed into streets of economic and political culture. On these streets, you can enjoy a variety of antique sights and traditional foods. Many festivals and events to immerse yourself in the local culture and tradition are also being held.

    The streets around Hongik University and in Sangsu-dong are continuously evolving into sites of Hallyu, the Korean Wave, and indie music culture with enthusiastic and progressive musicians gathering in the areas. These streets are also crowded with foreigners to experience Hallyu culture. Apgujeong-dong and Garosu-gil street make up the centre of shopping culture that satisfies the desires of those that are after and enjoy sophisticated culture. Stroll around Seoul and experience the special charms of streets this city offers.



    Centre of Seoul where long history and modern chic coexist

    Jongno starts from Sejong-ro and stretches all the way to Dongdaemun. The area is one of the more notable commercial centres of Seoul in which tradition and modernity coexist. The name originated from 'jong,' meaning bell, that was used to announce the opening and closing of the gates to Hanyang during the Joseon Dynasty. Modern shops and restaurants are crowded on both sides of the roads that are divided into six, from 1-ga to 6-ga, making the area a popular spot visited by many tourists and couples who look to enjoy shopping and food.

    1-ga and 2-ga consist of many office buildings and widely known restaurants, which is why the streets are always filled with people. In 2021, Jongno 3-ga was ranked 3rd on the list of “World's 49 Coolest Neighbourhoods” selected by the British travel magazine Time Out. The magazine calls the area historic, eccentric and simple, and also introduces Jongmyo and Tapgol Park. If you have time, visit Gwangjang Market located on Jongno 4-ga and 5-ga to shop for inexpensive clothes and hanbok. Or stop by for some dak kalguksu (chicken noodle soup) and bindaetteok (mung-bean pancake).

    Location: Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea



    Centre of fashion and shopping where history still breathes

    Dongdaemun, designated as Korea’s Treasure No. 1, is a historic and fashion-leading area that is home to the History & Culture Park, Dongdaemun Market and Dongdaemun Design Plaza. At the History Museum inside the Dongdaemun History & Culture Park, you can check out its 600-year history. Dongdaemun Market is a traditional market that leads the clothing and fashion world of not only Korea but also all of Asia. It is so extremely popular that over 500,000 people visit its 30,000 stores every day. The night market typically hits its peak around 2 am so the area doesn’t sleep.

    When you’re here, check out the large shopping malls such as Doota, Milliore and Good Morning City. Designed by Iraqi female architect Zaha Hadid, the Design Plaza has integrated historical, cultural and urban elements, widely considered to have recreated the venue into a space-like landscape. The plaza hosts a variety of events from fashion shows and new product launch ceremonies to exhibitions and concerts. Last but not least, don’t forget to check out Gyeongdong Market for its valuable oriental herbs as well as the Seoul Folk Flea Market where you can find countless antiques and other used goods.

    Location: Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea



    Shopping attraction where you can enjoy festivals and performances together

    Myeongdong is the mecca of tourism, shopping and trends. The area is crowded with the flagship stores of famous brands, department stores and bonded goods shops so you will be able to purchase clothes, shoes and accessories of higher quality than those in Namdaemun or Dongdaemun at inexpensive prices. You can also enjoy shopping for various styles and forms at Lotte Department Store, Shinsegae Department Store, Noon Square, Milliore and M Plaza. The annually held Myeongdong Festival and beautiful Lantern Festival taking place in late fall on Cheonggyecheon Stream are widely loved by many. Countless foreigners come to see the sculptures of the Lantern of Hope Festival in harmony with the night view.

    Meanwhile, don’t miss Nanta, an original performance put on stage at the Nanta Theatre. Although the vast selection of street food available in the area will blow your mind, we hope that you have time and an empty stomach to try Myeongdong Kalguksu and pork cutlet. You can also try some beef tartare bibimbap and chicken breast bibimbap at the Michelin Guide-listed Mokmyeoksanbang, and then stop by Myeongdong Cathedral.

    Location: Jung-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


    Hongdae Shopping Street

    A street filled with trendy sense

    Hongdae Shopping Street is crowded with stores that sell the “it” items for young people, fashionable clothing, beauty products, accessories and stationery as well as designer brand shops, cafes and restaurants. The area always emanates energetic vibes attracting many foreigners as well. The clothing stores mostly sell female clothes, vintage items and accessories, and there are outfits that particularly stand out because you wouldn’t know if they are simply for decoration or for someone to actually wear them. Like a scavenger hunt, it is fun to search for unique items in stores decorated in their own original style. On the street from Hongdae to Yeonhui-dong, shops with stylish and exotic flair are becoming the newest attractions.

    Meanwhile, Hongdae Children’s Park holds Hope Market that exhibits and sells handicrafts made by young creators and planners. It is a special place where artists who love to create, residents who love their neighbourhood and visitors who like to enjoy unique and novel culture all hang out together, so make sure to check it out.

    Location: 365-8, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


    photo by ╬ಠ益ಠ) (CC0 1.0) modified



    The centre of finance and transportation filled with things to see

    Namdaemun-ro is one of the most notable commercial districts of the city along with Jongno, Eulji-ro and Cheonggyecheon-ro. Two large department stores – Lotte and Shinsegae – are located on this road, and the largest traditional market, Namdaemun Market, is also nearby. The area is also a famous office district, home of headquarters of large banks and high-rise buildings. Namdaemun-ro, which passes Sungnyemun 5-way Intersection, Bank of Korea 4-way Intersection, entrance of Eulji-ro, Gwanggyo 4-way Intersection and Jonggak 4-way Intersection, is a major road that forms an urban axis in the Gangbuk region together with Sejongdaero and Jongno. It neighbours Sungnyemun, Namdaemun Market and Myeongdong so the area is always crowded with people and cars but, thanks to the public transportation such as the subway, you will be able to travel conveniently.

    The underground shopping centre also sees an enormous number of people at all times but don’t forget to stop by since there are many different things to see and buy at reasonable prices. At the red-brick hanok café, spend a relaxing time while enjoying photos from the past.

    Location: Jung-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


    Samcheongdong-gil Road

    A nice street to walk on where tradition meets modernity

    Samcheongdong-gil is a quiet trail on which galleries, museums and antique shops emanate rich scents of culture. In addition to the street in front of Cheongwadae where you can feel tranquillity in the centre of the city, Samcheongdong-gil offers the joy of walking with many things to see and munch on. The name, Samcheong, comes from how the area had great mountains, water and generosity. Here, the tradition of hanok buildings and the modernity of galleries and cafes form a harmonious atmosphere unique to Samcheongdong-gil. The scenery of the street is so stylish and beautiful that it has frequently appeared in dramas and films. On Culture Street located to the east of Gyeongbokgung Palace, vintage vibes and contemporary transformations coexist.

    Samcheongdong-gil is not only a highly recommended section of a downtown walking tour along with Bukchon’s Gamgodang-gil and Byeolgung-gil but also a dating route for foreign tourists and young people, so make sure to take a stroll with your loved ones. Also, stop by the sujebi restaurant with 30 years of history to taste the great depth and richness of the broth.

    Location: Samcheong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea



    A street of youth where you love to relax

    Sangsu-dong, whose name means that it is the uppermost village among all neighbourhoods near the Hangang River, is today a youthful area featuring cool and classy shops. From Hapjeong Station, cafes and bars where people can eat, drink and relax as well as many clothing stores are lined up one after another. The neighbourhood is also famous as a street with hip clubs. On Cafe Street where empty, vacated spots are found here and there, cheerfulness and tranquillity form a strange harmony. Check out any of the exotic cafes that will make you feel as if you’re overseas somewhere.

    Enjoy African music at DunDun, try Vietnamese-style drip coffee at Luon Luon, or stay until evening at Off Licence, a cafe that turns into a beautiful bar after sunset. Also, Hangang Cafe Street is one of the popular spots for lovers who like to listen to romantic jazz while looking at the splendid nightscape of the river.

    Location: Mapo-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


    photo by LERK (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Apgujeong Rodeo Street

    Luxury fashion street taking a leap forward with differentiation strategies

    Apgujeong Rodeo Street is arguably the centre of fashion and trends of Korea. Unlike the olden days when rich youngsters flaunted their foreign cars and luxury brand clothing, the street has transformed into the epicentre representing various youthful fashion culture. In addition to the Galleria Department Store that is home to globally famous luxury brands including Prada, Georgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci and Versace, the street also features many pilot stores set up to survey the tastes and needs of customers. From head to toe, everything you need related to fashion can be found here and different brand shops decorated with their own unique interior designs attract the attention of customers.

    Stores attempting to pursue youngsters looking for something different from the crowd and those that looking to build their brand power are all waiting for customers. Though the area fell into a slump due to gentrification, the street is rising again with a differentiation strategy that advertises “luxury goods that others can’t have.” So make some time to check out the street.

    Location: Eonju-ro 172-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


    photo by hyolee2 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified



    A street of romantic culture

    Garosu-gil in Sinsa-dong, also known as the street of artists, is a fashion road that features many cute, exotic cafes and restaurants, and clothing stores of famous designers and brands. Every fall, the street fills with maple leaves, which attracts many people with cameras in hand. It is also a popular filming location for movies. One of the hottest streets of fashion and trends, the area is crowded with designer fashion shops and galleries of various sizes. Also, old paint stores and vintage shops exude a romantic vibe.

    You can look around the street lined with antique furniture stores and bookstores selling foreign books, and then go on a leisurely walk through the residential area, making this a perfect place for taking a stroll. When you see something you like on your walk, stop by the store to browse or stop by a gallery to enjoy the exhibited works.

    Location: Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


    photo by Alejandro (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Cheonggyecheon Stream

    A place of healing with a fountain and a waterfall

    Cheonggyecheon Stream is an awesome pathway that has turned a plaza and a 5.8km-long stream into a resting place for citizens. Here, you will find many lovers and families walking along the stream around sunset while watching the water sparkle by the bright lights. Miniatures installed in the square provide a view of the entire stream at a glance. 

    Moreover, the Proposal Wall and the Coin of Luck Wishing Stone located on Dumuldari Bridge are popular attractions in the stream. The Lantern Festival, which is held every fall, exhibits various lights made of colourful sculptures. The roads next to the stream turn into car-free streets on Sundays and public holidays. 

    Location: 1, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


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