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15 Things You Won't Regret Doing In Itaewon, South Korea

Discover what makes this area one of the most popular ones in Seoul.
PHOTO: (left) instagram/yowoon, (right) instagram/feelyeon4

South Korea’s capital offers a multitude of places for every type of tourist. From nature-loving adventurers to urban dwellers, Seoul doesn’t skimp on giving a long list of must-visit destinations. One of which is a colorful district known for its culturally diverse appeal, a melting pot where surprising elements are found here and there.
Itaewon sits in Yongsan-gu and is known for many things, but primarily as a global village and a hip and happening location. The lively streets are lined up with restaurants, cafés, bars, and shops owned either by English-speaking locals or foreigners and is popular for its dining scene and vibrant nightlife. If you’re planning your next trip to Seoul, here’s a list of things to do—from where to stay, what to experience and where to eat—to help you.

  1. Be on top of luxury at Grand Hyatt Seoul.

    Address: 322, Sowol-ro, Yongsan-gu, Itaewon, Yongsan, Seoul, South Korea
    Up in the hill is an iconic hotel where suite dreams are made of. Offering a sweeping view of the Namsan Mountain, Han River, and the city skyline, Grand Hyatt Seoul stands as one of the best hotel accommodations with its strategic location and elegant way of delivering comfort. It also has an ice rink (available depending on weather conditions), which can make your stay even more notable. Book a room and think of this as a great way to treat yourself after all the hustle.

  2. Check-in and gather at G Guesthouse Itaewon.

    Address: 14-38, Bogwang-ro 60-gil, Yongsan-gu, Yongsan-Gu, 04406 Seoul, South Korea
    Close to attractions in the city, G Guesthouse gives convenience a new meaning and is a favorite among tourists. It’s a budget-friendly hostel that covers all the essentials—from WiFi, coin laundry, kitchen usage, and floor heating, to a complimentary breakfast buffet for that best value. Mingle with fellow travelers and share stories when you catch one of its seasonal rooftop BBQ parties.

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  3. Take a trip down memory lane at the National Museum of Korea.

    Address: 137, Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    The largest museum in South Korea doesn’t only exhibit a vast collection of historical pieces from centuries ago but also conducts cultural activities every now and then. Situated near the Yongsan Family Park, the National Museum of Korea is where you can also appreciate the beauty of nature. Download the museum’s app to guide you around the place by enabling your smartphone’s Bluetooth function. It’s your own tour guide but in an audio version. While you’re here, you can also visit the nearby National Hangeul Museum to get a glimpse of the history of the Korean language.

  4. Be amazed by artworks at the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art.

    Address: 60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu 
    Operated by the Samsung Foundation of Culture, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art is a portmanteau of the name of the tech brand’s founder, Lee Byung Chul and the um from the word museum. Bringing both traditional and contemporary art in one roof, you will be in awe in this modern building with works from local and international artists. Enjoy free admission to this premier gallery when you get a Discover Seoul Pass during your trip.

  5. Score unique finds at the Itaewon Antique Furniture Street.

    Address: Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    Far from your typical flea market, the Itaewon Antique Furniture Street is spacious enough for you to do some serious antique shopping. The establishments here sell a variety of vintage items, where you can unearth porcelain dolls, vintage clocks, and other classic home decors. Get your hands on one-of-a-kind pieces and come back home with an entire haul and a happy heart.

  6. Relax at a sauna in Itaewon Land.

    Address: 34 Usadan-ro 14-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    Put your idea of respite to a whole new level at Itaewon Land, known for its jjimjilbang—a huge traditional Korean spa that’s perfect after a long day of shopping. Room options include red clay, salt, and flat stone among others, all of which are suitable to wash your worries away in a high-temperature setting.

  7. Create personalized items at Dano Ceramics Studio.

    Address: 293-8 Itaewondong Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    Want to craft a coffee cup or cheese plate from scratch? Head over to Dano Ceramic Studio and make your wish come true. Learn the art of pottery making in a two-hour course that’s enough for you to feel proud of what you’ve accomplished.

  8. Hike your way to N Seoul Tower.

    Address: Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    A great starting point to reach Seoul’s famed tourist site, walk from Itaewon towards the Namsan Mountain—a good way to get some exercise and release happy hormones. Aside from the health benefits, you’ll also thank this activity later on as you’ll see a botanical garden while trekking, which makes all your sweat-inducing effort worth it.

  9. Taste international cuisine at the World Food Street.

    Address: Itaewon-dong Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    Offering mouth-watering fares from across the world, foodies will rejoice in this well-recognized area just behind the Hamilton Hotel. From European, American to Asian, you can dig in the many food options here at the World Food Street: Fall for Vietnamese food at Pho For You, get your Thai curry fix at Buddha’s Belly, and enjoy other flavors that will fit your palate and fill your appetite.

  10. Savor K-barbecue goodness at Maple Tree House.

    Address: 26 Itaewon-ro 27ga-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    Looking for authentic Korean food and K-barbecue? Sear your meat perfection at Maple Tree House. A go-to place for both locals and tourists, this restaurant offers only premium and high-quality meat that ups its standard, like Hanu (Korean beef), Jeju Black Pork and USDA Prime Rib Eye to name a few.

  11. Grab luscious desserts at Passion 5.

    Address: 272 Itaewon-ro, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    Dubbed as one of the best patisseries in Seoul, Passion 5 is an upscale desert café under the same group that manages Paris Baguette, a famous bakery chain in South Korea. A trip here is an entire journey for the senses: you’ll get a whiff of the aromatic baked goodies the moment you step in, be immersed in the aesthetic cake display that’s a feast for the eyes, and get a taste of what heaven is like with their wide selection, from eclairs to panna cotta. 

  12. Try delicious vegan food at Plant Café & Kitchen.

    Address: Itaewon-dong 130-43 2F Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    From the name itself, Plant Café & Kitchen offers a 100% plant-based vegan menu that will surely entice you with its presentation and taste. The establishment gets rave reviews for its hearty meals that even meat lovers have learned to love. Energize with a smoothie or devour their signature burgers, which are all yummy and guilt-free.

  13. Get your coffee fix at Maxim PLANT.

    Address: 250 Itaewon-ro, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    The famous Korean coffee brand gave birth to a building dedicated to their love for coffee and is of two paradoxes: a plant that produces coffee, and a forest situated in the middle of an urban space that is Itaewon. Witness how each cup is made from roasting to blending, and bask in the cozy vibes this place naturally gives.

  14. Party like there’s no tomorrow at Cakeshop.

    Address: 34-16 Itaewon-dong, Yongsang-Gu, Seoul, Korea 
    A mainstay in the Korean nightlife scene, Cakeshop is an underground club that might be small in size compared to others but houses the biggest acts in town. Dance the night away and celebrate with hip-hop, disco and electronic pop music played by sought-after Korean and international DJs.

  15. Cap off your trip at All That Jazz.

    Address: 12 Itaewon-ro 27ga-gil, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    The oldest jazz bar in South Korea is stitched with a lot of musical stories that went beyond generations. It’s a great place to chill and enjoy performances over good food in an equally good ambiance. The quality of the drinks won’t disappoint you, just like how each skillful act is applauded for.