After Stylenanda’s uber-popular Pink Hotel and Pink Pool Café in Myeondong and Hongdae, what comes next? Set your sights on these shops and cafés in one of our favorite cities—they’re pure Instagram bait and the perfect settings for your next profile picture.
Given the K-Pop idol style of clothing that youthful brand Rolarola espouses, we expected nothing less from its flagship store in Hongdae. From the pastel phone booth up front to the subway-tiled toilet area, this boutique alone will fill up at least two rows of your IG feed. Don’t forget to pick up an oversized hoodie or statement tote bag after your mini photo shoot—it’d be kind of rude not to.
Get there: 398-10 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. It’s a seven-minute walk from Exit 3 of Hapjeong Station.
Regardless of the weather conditions outside, flowers are perennially in season at Arriate, a florist-slash-café in swanky Gangnam-gu. It looks like an English garden that’s been left to flourish on its own—you might even forget you’re right in the middle of Seoul’s business district! Don’t forget to point your camera up, where hundreds of dried bouquets hang from the ceiling and give Arriate a romantic, otherworldly vibe.
Get there: 668-3 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. It’s a three-minute walk from Exit 6 of Yeoksam Station.
Tucked in a back alley in hip Yeonnam-dong (otherwise known as Hongdae’s quiet side), Scandi-style Café Skön is where we’d go to escape the craziness of the surrounding neighborhood. If blatant cutesiness isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll appreciate the minimalist interiors, pops of primary colors, and pretty flower arrangements. Most importantly, the café has large windows that allow natural light to stream in—crucial as you orchestrate the perfect flat lay or direct your BF to take yet another “candid” shot.
Get there: 239-4 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. It’s a nine-minute walk from Exit 3 of Hongik University Station.
Village 11 Factory
From the outside, this drab gray building may not look like much, but the inside is a completely different story. A makeup and skincare emporium that carries Mizon, Agatha, as well as its namesake beauty brand, Village 11 Factory takes visual merchandising to a whole new level by showcasing products in themed rooms. There’s an ornate Turkish bath house, a mad scientist’s lab, a pink townhouse set up for a dinner party, and even a retro salon straight out of a Wes Anderson film. Needless to say, you’ll spend hours here shopping and ‘gramming.
Get there: 546-11 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. It’s a 10-minute walk from Exit 8 of Sinsa Station.
Just a few minutes from Village 11 Factory is Tamburins, a beauty brand by the folks behind designer sunglass label Gentle Monster. If you’ve ever visited any of the latter’s showrooms, you’ll have no problem recognizing the aesthetic that permeates through Tamburins—it’s artsy, it’s chic, and it’s highly photogenic. By the way, did we mention the entire two-level boutique is dedicated to just one hand cream and one face moisturizer?
Get there: 520-9 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. It’s a 10-minute walk from Exit 8 of Sinsa Station.
With a fluffy Pomeranian as its mascot, Melting Pom has cuteness down pat. Challenge your friends at the old-school game machine, or entice the café’s pet dog (a Pom, of course) to an afternoon of playtime. If you’re not up for too much action, there are always pink beds to recline on or cozy canopies to retreat to, while you sip your candy-colored drink. If those still don’t earn you numerous likes on IG, the eye-catching rainbow toast certainly will.
Get there: 264-410 Imun-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul. It’s a 10-minute walk from Exit 6 of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Station.
Even if it’s your first time hearing of this Korean streetwear brand, you’ve no doubt seen Ader Error’s clothing on your favorite Korean celebrities. Case in point: Lee Sung Kyung, who wore quite a few of their pieces on Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. Irreverence is at the core of Ader’s collections, a theme that extends to their Hongdae outpost. From coffee cup chandeliers to flower bed urinals, there’s no lack of quirky things to pose against and post about.
Get there: 413-1 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. It’s an 11-minute walk from Exit 3 of Hapjeong Station.
If Professor Trelawney from the Harry Potter series moved to Korea and opened a teahouse, she’d probably be running something very similar to the next spot on our list. Located on the fringes of Seoul’s western university district, BeamBalm Café has elements that wouldn’t look out of place in an eccentric tita’s apartment: mismatched linens thrown haphazardly over wicker chairs, candlesticks in various shapes and sizes, and plants tiptoeing the fine line between life and death. The pièce de résistance? A wall projected with dreamy images, aka everyone’s favorite IG background.
Get there: 333-1 Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. It’s a two-minute walk from Exit 4 of Sangsu Station.
Maison de Aloha
Had our childhood bedrooms been anything like Maison de Aloha, we probably would have never left. This vintage shop has enough Barbies, Care Bears, Trolls, and other cool things we wish we owned as kids, stacked floor to ceiling and vying for your utmost attention. Come curious and with lots of memory in your camera—seriously, you’d want to capture everything.
Get there: 336-12 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. It’s a 10-minute walk from Exit 8 of Hongik University Station.
Dinga Cake Shop
If real life were painted with a Polly Pocket filter, Dinga Cake Shop would have no problem fitting right in. You know you’ve arrived once you spot the bakeshop’s retro pink façade—walk up for a closer look at the delectable pastries on the window display. Once you’ve had your fill of photos outdoors, step inside for the cutest cakes and pastries, and interiors straight out of a dollhouse.
Get there: 93 Jandari-ro, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. It’s a four-minute walk from Exit 2 of Hapjeong Station.
Queen Mama Market
Need a break from all the saccharine sweet pastry shops and Rainbow Brite boutiques? Make like the adult you are at Queen Mama Market, a refined concept store that’s less “pastel and pretty” and more “earthy minimalist.” This is where we can imagine Seoul’s hipsters go to fill up their homes and closets, and where you can act your age by browsing through four levels of home decor, clothing, accessories, and random curios. Need a breather? Hit Manufact at the top floor for coffee and a place to rest your feet.
Get there: 50 Apgujeong-ro 46-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. It’s an eight-minute walk from Exit 5 of Apgujeongrodeo Station.
Let’s be honest: There’s nothing particularly special about Zapangi’s interiors. In fact, you can find tons of other places around Seoul that look like it. Instead, it’s what on the outside that counts, which, in Zapangi’s case, is an entrance masquerading as a hot pink vending machine. That’s not to say you shouldn’t go in altogether—did we mention their colorful desserts come topped with mermaid tails and sugar unicorns?
Get there: 400-2 Mangwon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. It’s a five-minute walk from Exit 2 of Mangwon Station.
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