Visiting South Korea? Then you have to check out these popular streets in Seoul. I’ve listed out the Korean street names in Seoul including Itaewon, Gangnam, and the Myeongdong shopping street.
Like everyone else on the planet, you must have heard the song Gangnam Style by PSY when it first came out.
But did you ever wonder what on Earth was “Gangnam” in the first place?
Well, let me tell you it was one of the most popular Seoul streets. It’s almost like the Beverly Hills of South Korea.
But Gangnam isn’t the only famous Seoul postcode, there are several streets that are tourist attractions by themselves.
And in this article I’ve listed out a few such awesome Korean street addresses that you must visit during your stay there. Check it out!
|Popular Seoul Streets
|Best Known For
|Distance From Incheon International Airport
|Myeongdong Shopping Street
|Duty-Free Shopping, Theatre
|Gangnam Shopping Street
|Luxury Shopping, Celeb Spotting
|Cafes, Indie Music, Affordable Food
|Malls, Restaurants, Food Stalls
|Namdaemun Historical Street
|Traditional Markets, Historical Sites
|Sinchon University Street
|Bars, Cafes, Bookstores
|Dongdaemun Shopping Street
|Textiles, Wholesale Markets
|Samcheongdong Art Street
|Plant-Life, Boutiques, Art Galleries
|Bukchon Hanok Street
|Traditional Houses, Restaurants, Historical Sites
Most Popular Streets In Seoul In 2023
If you’ve watched the Korean drama Itaewon Class, you probably understand what the hype with Itaewon is all about. This Seoul street is known for its cosmopolitan culture and amazing food.
According to a recent census about 22,000 people live in Itaewon. And due to its modern culture, it’s also the home of many foreign nationals and diplomats.
But perhaps the biggest draw of Itaewon is the Seoul Tower which is one of Korea’s most popular tourist attractions.
Itaewon is also one of Korea’s most progressive neighborhoods and is home to the much-talked about Homo Hill, a place meant for the LGBTQ community of South Korea’s still-conservative society to express themselves freely.
Myeongdong Shopping Street
If you’re wondering where to shop when you’re in Seoul, then Myeongdong street is where you need to go! This area encompasses two of Seoul’s biggest shopping districts Migliore and Lotte.
And the best part about the Myeongdong street is that you can buy a lot of stuff here duty free! Isn’t that awesome?
Also, there are stores with many high end brands (both Korean and western) that you can buy here.
It’s a must-visit street for all the budding fashionistas out there.
But it’s not all about shopping and fashion in Myeongdong street either. You can find many small cafes and restaurants with delicious food here!
I also recommend checking out the food stalls selling the local cuisines in the back alleys of Myeongdong.
The neon lights, signboards, etc. make Myeongdong picture-worthy at night. Don’t miss that!
Of course, who hasn’t heard of Gangnam-gu. All the rich, famous and important people of Seoul have just one address – Gangnam-du.
In fact, this street is also home to many Korean celebrities like BTS, Kim Woo Bin, Lee Jung Jae, and several others.
Gangnam is actually a huge suburb of sorts. So it’s not just one street you can check out here. There’s the business street Teheranno, Cheongdam-dong, an upmarket shopping district, among several others.
Hongdae Street in Seoul is named after the nearby Hongik University. So as expected this street is full of students going about their day.
For this reason you will find several small cafes, affordable restaurants and bookstores in this street.
Also, if you’re a Korean skincare buff, several of the top brands like Tony Moly, Etude House, etc. have flagship stores here.
Apart from shopping and food, you should also visit Hongdae for its Indie music and art scene.
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While Myeongdong and Cheongdam-dam are more sophisticated, high-end shopping districts, it’s Insadong street you need to go to if you want a traditional bazaar-like experience.
In fact, I find Insadong street the best place to hunt for fancy souvenirs to take back home.
If you’re enthralled by rustic Korean culture, you should check out the Ssamziegil building in Insadong, that hosts traditional tea parties and sells antiques.
Antiques are actually a great part of Insadong’s part as historically this area was a place where several Korean aristocrats sold their antiques, jewelry, and artworks during the Japanese occupation.
Namdaemun Historical Street
Well, technically, Namdaemun street isn’t just one street but a whole collection of streets that sell everything under the sun – from electronics, to food and clothes – in one place.
Another interesting fact about Namdaemun is that it’s one of Seouls, no scratch that, one of Korea’s oldest streets.
The Namdaemun gate located in this area is said to date back to the Joseon dynasty.
If you’re visiting this place, be sure to check out the wholesale market at night which runs from 11PM to 4 AM.
Sinchon University Street
This street is located near the Sinchon station and is called the “University” street as it gets its heaviest footfall from students of the nearby Yonsei University and Ehwa Women’s university.
So naturally, you can find everything here that would attract a young college crowd. From cozy little cafes to bookstores and bars, this is one of the favorite haunts of young people in Seoul.
If you’re someone who enjoys a taste of the city’s nightlife you should definitely check out this street. It has some of the best clubs, themed cafes, karaoke bars, and gaming rooms in the country.
Dongdaemun Shopping Street
Fashionistas and shopaholics, this one’s for you! Did you know that Dongdaemun street is home to over 20 malls. Yup, this includes the most famous Dongdaemun Design Plaza created by architect Zara Hadid.
There are also over 30,000 traditional food and clothing stalls in this area so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
This place is very popular with tourists and has actually been designated a “Special Tourism Zone” since 2002.
Dongdaemun or DDM as it’s often called also has a very rich history. It was first established in July 1905 and was called Baeugaejang back then.
However the entire street was destroyed in the Korean war and was slowly rebuilt from the 1980s and 90s onwards.
Samcheongdong Art Street
If your style is more chic and sophisticated, then you’ll definitely love Samcheongdong. It’s often called the “Art Street” of Seoul thanks to its galleries, artisan cafes, and hipster scene.
This place is also home to some of Korea’s most beautiful historical houses. You can even check out the National Folk Museum for more insight into Korean culture and history.
Samcheongdong is also home to several important Korean government offices.
Bukchon Hanok Street
If the hustle and bustle of places like Sinchon and Gangnam is not your thing, you will find peace in Bukchon Hanok Street.
This area is like a relic out of a different time! The tree-lined streets, traditional houses, ancient structures all make you forget you’re in modern day Seoul.
In fact, some tourists rent out a Hanbok (a type of traditional Korean garment) to immerse themselves completely in the culture.
Located in the North of Seoul, the Bukchon village is said to be as old as the Joseon dynasty.
Which Street Do I Go For The Best Seoul Street Food?
In Seoul, South Korea, several streets are renowned for their vibrant and diverse street food offerings. Here are a few popular streets where you can find some of the best Seoul street food experiences:
Myeongdong: This bustling shopping district is famous for its street food stalls offering a wide variety of treats, from tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) to hotteok (sweet pancakes) and odeng (fish cake skewers).
Gwangjang Market: One of the oldest markets in Seoul, Gwangjang Market is a food lover’s paradise. Here, you can enjoy various street foods like bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes), mayak kimbap (mini rice rolls), and more.
Namdaemun Market: This historic market is known for its authentic Korean street food. From dumplings and gimbap to spicy stir-fried rice cakes, you’ll find a wide range of delicious options.
Insadong: This cultural and artistic area is not only famous for its traditional crafts but also for its street food. Try out options like hotteok, kimbap, and various types of fried foods.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP): This futuristic landmark is surrounded by food trucks and stalls offering trendy and creative street food variations.
Hongdae: This youthful and vibrant neighborhood is popular for its lively atmosphere and street food scene. Enjoy everything from Korean-style corn dogs to churros.
Yeouido Hangang Park: Along the Han River, you can find various food trucks offering a mix of street food. It’s a great place to enjoy a picnic with a riverside view.
Tongin Market: This traditional market in Jongno offers a unique street food experience where you can purchase old-fashioned coins to exchange for a range of traditional Korean snacks.
Each of these streets offers a distinct atmosphere and a variety of street food options that showcase the rich culinary culture of Seoul. Keep in mind that street food trends can evolve, so it’s a good idea to check recent reviews or ask locals for the most current recommendations.
FAQs about the Most Popular Streets In Seoul
If you have more questions about the famous Seoul streets, I’ve tried my best to answer them below. Take a look!
What is the best neighborhood in Seoul?
If you’re looking for the most classy and safe districts to stay in Seoul, you should check out Insadong, Gangnam, Itaewon and the area of Hongdae university. However, these can get really expensive. So plan your stay accordingly.
What is the most popular district in Seoul?
In terms of popularity, Gangnam and Itaewon are probably the most well-known of all Seoul streets. You can thank Kpop artist PSY’s global hit Gangnam Style for that. But the Netflix K-drama Itaewon Class has also sparked a new interest in this cosmopolitan food street.
Where is the richest area in Seoul?
The neighborhood of Gangnam-gu is probably the richest area in Seoul. It’s home to various celebrities. In fact, several members of BTS also live in this area, notably Kim Taehyung. The Gangnam area is also the costliest to live in Seoul as an average, mid-sized apartment here can cost you upto 2.3 billion South Korean won.
Final Thoughts On The Popular Seoul Streets
From the home of the rich and famous, Gangnam to the classy and modern Itaewon, you’ll find that the streets of Seoul are no less a tourist attraction than the mountains or snow resorts of Korea.
You can go shopping at the markets of Dongdaemun and Myeongdong streets or check out the fun nightlife at Sinchon University street.
When it comes to Seoul’s streets you will be simply spoilt for choices.
So if you’re planning an itinerary to South Korea, make sure you take a day or two out to explore the winding streets of Seoul in a leisurely manner.
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