Seoul is one of the greatest cities in the world. Here you’ll see how the East meets the West and how the old and new coexist with each other in perfect harmony. You can find unique shops, incredible sights, mouthwatering food, and more in just about any corner! Because Seoul is a city that never sleeps, it can be a bit overwhelming to navigate it at first.
That’s why we’ve compiled just some of the coolest and most unique streets in Seoul that you definitely have to check out for yourself! Each one is like its own subculture, with something new to offer for every visitor. Whether you like shopping, having a food crawl, learning about Korean culture, or simply taking amazing photos for your Instagram, there will definitely be a spot here for you!
Without further ado, we present 14 of the most fascinating and Instagram-worthy streets in all of Seoul!
1. Myeongdong Shopping Street
We’re starting off strong with undoubtedly the most famous shopping district in the country–its reputation as one has even spread throughout the entire world. Located in the center of bustling Seoul, Myeongdong is a huge street stacked with incredible fashion brand stores, cool cafes, street food alleys, and more! It truly comes alive during nighttime when you begin to see the neon signs and massive amounts of vendors trying to grab your attention.
Many flagship stores from major fashion brands can be found right here in Myeongdong. There are also fancy restaurants that are sure to catch your eye. But in the midst of all this luxury, the majority of Myeongdong is designed to be budget-friendly! You can find cool clothing stores set up bazaar-style selling the latest trends, as well as cheap but delectable street food that’s perfect to snack on while walking around.
Myeongdong is a huge street and it can get pretty overwhelming, but if you go here, we advise you to explore the back alleys and don’t just remain confined in the main street of Myeongdong. Who knows, you might even discover a unique shop or two!
Exact Location: Myeongdong Shopping Street
2. Cheonggyecheon Stream
We’re slowing things down with our next pick. Cheonggyecheon Stream is a quieter street that’s designed to become a resting stop during your travels. We all know how exhausting it can get to sightsee and explore, so it’s good to have a place where you can rest up for a while–especially if it’s somewhere as gorgeous as Cheonggyecheon Stream!
The gorgeous stream sparkles during sunset. Paired together with that lovely bridge, it makes for quite a peaceful sight–something you can rarely find in such a busy city. If you visit during autumn, you might even get a chance to catch the beautiful Lantern Festival which is held here every year!
Exact Location: Cheonggyecheon Stream
3. Gwanghwamun Street
Our next street shows the range of what you can do just in Seoul alone. Walking on Gwanghwamun Street is like taking a step through a history book! Back in the Joseon Dynasty, this road used to be the biggest and most important one. One step here and you’ll understand why: it leads all the way to the beautiful Gyeongbokgung Palace!
Until now, it’s used for major festivals and events like celebrating New Year and much more. Also known as Sejong-ro, it also houses a huge statue of King Sejong, one of the most important kings from the Joseon Dynasty. Underneath the statue, you can also visit a whole museum dedicated to the life of the great king.
With gorgeous traditional architecture all over the place, Gwanghwamun is certainly one of the most picturesque places in the city. Aside from the obvious eye candy, you’ll also feel a sense of solemnity and regalness once you set foot on a street that used to house kings and queens!
Exact Location: Gwanghwamun Street
Calling all hipsters and artsy people! Garosu-gil is the haven for everyone with a creative soul. Packed with unique cafes, famous designer brands, antique stores, vintage shops, art stores, and more, Garosu-gil will surely inspire anyone who walks through its streets. There are plenty of galleries and exhibitions always happening here so you’ll definitely not run out of things to do in the so-called “street of artists”!
There are also lovely bookstores that will definitely catch your fancy, as well as some nice resting areas for when you need a break. Garosu-gil is practically brimming with creative energy; it’s no wonder it attracts all kinds of young people from all over the world!
Exact Location: Garosu-gil
5. Gangnam Shopping Street
If you want to feel truly fancy, then you have to head on over to Gangnam Street! Get your “Gangnam Style” on as you shop through incredible stores like Zara, Under Armour, Nike, Etude House, SPAO, and more! Whether you’re looking for chic clothes, comfy basics, athleisure wear, or Korean beauty products, Gangnam Shopping Street has it all for you.
But take note, Gangnam is not just for the rich. Aside from an overground shopping center, it actually also has an underground shopping street filled with smaller fashion and beauty brands–perfect for those who want to try new products! This street also houses the Kakao and Line Friends stores which is probably why so many artists shoot their music videos here. It’s probably one of the most famous streets in Seoul!
Exact Location: Gangnam Shopping Street
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6. Apgujeong Rodeo Street
If Seoul has a fashion capital, then it’s definitely Apgujeong Rodeo Street. This street is the embodiment of youthful fashion culture as it leads all the latest trends in K-fashion you see today. The Galleria Department Store is a must-see for housing world-class brands like Prada, Gucci, Versace, and more! Anything and everything about fashion can be found here in Apgujeong.
There are also eclectic design stores where you can find cool interior pieces for your home, as well as several pilot stores looking to survey the tastes of customers today. If you want a unique piece that nobody back home will have, then you’ll definitely have to check out Apgujeong!
Exact Location: Apgujeong Rodeo Street
7. Itaewon Foreign Food Street
If you’re more of a foodie, then the Itaewon Foreign Food Street is for you! Itaewon has long been established as the “foreigner hub” of Seoul, and to this day it has become a hotpot of different cultures and influences from all over the world! Packed with foreign food restaurants, bars, clubs, and stores, Itaewon is the perfect place for a night out.
From local street food to halal Middle Eastern eats, Itaewon has it all! It’s a true symphony for the taste buds as you sample all the different delectable delights this street has to offer. Itaewon is also known for its incredible nightlife scene; it’s made a reputation for being the “party area” of Seoul!
But aside from the vibrant food and nightlife, you can also go to Itaewon for cozy, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and fun activities like pottery classes, perfume-making, and even browsing through museums like the Leeum Art Museum or the National War Museum.
Exact Location: Itaewon Foreign Food Street
If you’re looking for something a little more chill but definitely still have some unique experiences to offer, then head on over to Sangsu-dong! Near the Han River, Sangsu-dong is a youthful area filled with classy and cool stores. There are relaxing cafes and bars where you can grab a bite to eat, as well as their own wide array of clothing stores. What’s great about Sangsu-dong is aside from having these attractions, there are also spacious areas where you can just sit around and relax without having to worry about a thing.
Sangsu-dong also offers unique cultural experiences that will make you feel like you’ve gone on a trip around the world. There’s hip African music at DunDun, Vietnamese-style coffee at Luon Luon, and of course Korean food available at every corner. If you’re a jazz lover or just a bit of a romantic soul, you might also want to check out Hangang Cafe Street!
Exact Location: Sangsu-dong
Read More: 10 Best Hanok Cafes In Seoul
9. Hongdae Street
Hongdae is also one of the most well-known districts in Seoul! With a reputation for being the center of the party, Hongdae has a vibrant and young party scene that draws in unique characters from all over the world. There are also plenty of incredible busking performances from young musicians, dancers, poets, and more that you can find pretty much every night here in Hongdae.
Aside from being known for its nightlife, Hongdae is also packed with stores like a huge ABC Mart, Skinfood, Tony Moly, Innisfree, and more! Shop for your favorite K-beauty and K-fashion finds right here in Hongdae. While this district truly comes alive at night, you can also spend your afternoons here lounging in relaxing cafes such as 943 King’s Cross, Meerkat Friends, Nature Cafe, and more!
Exact Location: Hongdae Street
10. Samcheongdong-gil Road
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Samcheongdong-gil, a quiet street that’s best for having a nice leisurely stroll. Here you can find the city’s best collection of galleries, museums, and antique shops offering unique insights into Korean culture. Walk around some more and you’ll also see traditional houses called hanok as well as other buildings utilizing ancient architecture.
In Samcheongdong-gil, the old meets the new and coexists in perfect harmony. You might even recognize some parts of the street from your favorite K-dramas and movies! Because of its unique atmosphere and vibe, it’s often been chosen as the location for many of these productions. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can fill up your appetites. We especially recommend the sujebi restaurant that you can find right here on Samcheongdong-gil!
Exact Location: Samcheongdong-gil
11. Insadong Street
When visiting a foreign country, of course, we want to buy some souvenirs, and Insadong is one of the best places to do just that! Known as the center for traditional shopping in Seoul, Insadong is known for selling traditional items and handicrafts that best represent Korean culture. Aside from filling up your bags with all sorts of different knickknacks, you can also stop by traditional tea houses or traditional Korean restaurants to get the full experience!
Known for being one of the most “Instagrammable” places in all of Seoul, Insadong is a charming little street that will definitely catch your eye. Historically, Insadong used to be the largest market for antiques and artworks in Korea. This was where wealthy aristocrats and merchants used to buy and sell stuff for their personal collections! You can definitely still see traces of this glory in the street today.
Exact Location: Insadong
If Myeongdong is Seoul’s shopping capital, Dongdaemun certainly doesn’t fall behind! Dongdaemun is interesting because it houses both huge shopping malls and incredible historical sites and museums. That’s why it’s designated as Korea’s number one treasure, leading the scene in both historic and fashionable arenas!
Shop until you drop at the Doota, Good Morning City, and Milliore shopping malls. They have every fashion brand and item you can think of! Afterward, stop by the Gyeongdong Market to sample herbal medicine that will rejuvenate you to your core. There’s also the Seoul Folk Flea Market where you can score unique antique finds!
After that, check out the Dongdaemun History and Culture Park. Here you can find the History Museum where you will learn all about the 600-year-long history of the place. Dongdaemun is full of unique experiences that you simply have to see for yourself!
Exact Location: Dongdaemun
13. Jongno Street
If you want something truly picturesque, then we can’t think of a better place than Jongno Street. Set in the center of Seoul, “Jongno” literally translates to “bell” which refers to the giant Bosingak Bell you can find here. Of great historical value, the Bosingak Bell is still being used to announce the New Year every year right here in Seoul.
Near Dongdaemun, Insadong, and the Cheonggyecheon Stream, Jongno Street is a great place to stroll in due to its vibrant history. Beautiful traditional buildings can be found on every corner, providing for a truly picturesque scene. When visiting, we also recommend you venture out into the hidden side alleys where you’ll find unique street scenes where Seoul’s older population usually hangs out!
Exact Location: Jongno Street
14. Seongsudong Cafe Street
We’re ending this list with one of the up-and-coming areas in Seoul! Located next to Seoul Forest, Seongsudong Cafe Street has been drawing in more and more patrons over the last few years. Filled with quaint cafes and charming restaurants, it’s the perfect date spot which is why you’ll see many couples walking around this area!
Seongsudong Cafe Street actually has a pretty interesting history because it used to be more of an industrial area. You can even still see traces of this in the designs of some of the buildings here! The unique industrial designs give this place a different atmosphere that’s perfect for a chill night out.
Seongsudong Cafe Street is perfect for cafe-hopping. We especially recommend visiting Cafe Onion, a hip cafe with a unique design that sells delicious pastries. You can also drop by the Daerim Warehouse which is a special combination of cafe, restaurant, and cultural space!
Exact Location: Seongsudong Cafe Street
We hope you liked our article on the most interesting streets in Seoul! Which one caught your eye the most? Tell us about it in the comments!
Seoul is one of the most beautiful cities you’ll ever see. There’s something new and interesting on every corner, so you’ll never get tired of exploring it no matter how many times you’ve been here. It’s the living, breathing heart of South Korea!