Visiting Korea? Here’s a list of the best things to do in Itaewon, Seoul during your stay there!
Itaewon, also known as Seoul’s International District, is especially rich in history as it is home to a lot of foreigners in South Korea.
It is a popular residential area in Seoul, for tourists, expats, and U.S. military personnel.
For a more specific idea, Itaewon is the area surrounding Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
Let us now quickly look at the best places to visit, dishes to try, activities to partake in, places to eat, and the best things to do in Itaewon, Seoul this year!
How To Go To Itaewon From The Rest Of Seoul?
The best way to go to Itaewon from the rest of Seoul is by taking the Gyeongbu Line. From Dobong Station, take Exit 1 and walk straight ahead (you’ll see shopping outlets on your left). Cross over the stream and continue walking until you reach Hongdae Station. Turn right at Hongdae Station and walk for about 10 minutes until you reach Itaewon Station. Alternatively, if coming from Gwangju or Daejeon, take the Honam Line and change trains at Gangnam station.
How To Go To Itaewon From Incheon Airport?
Travelling to Itaewon from Incheon Airport can sound daunting, but it’s actually quite straightforward. Once you get over the hurdle of working out how to get from the airport to your destination, you’ll be set for an amazing trip in this part of Seoul. In this section, we’ll give you all the information you need on getting to Itaewon from Incheon Airport in 2023.
First and foremost, your best bet would be to take the Incheon Airport Railroad Express (AREX). AREX is the main and most direct way from Incheon Airport to Seoul Station, and from there, you can access a variety of transportation options to get you to your final destination. You’ll have a choice between two kinds of trains: the all-stop train, which goes directly to Seoul Station, and the express service, which will take you there within a short time frame.
Once you arrive at Seoul Station, you can hop on the Gyeongui Line to Yongsan Station and then transfer to the Seoul Line Number 6, which stops at Itaewon Station. They are connected to the AREX by underground passageways and hallways, so it should be easy to find.
An alternate airport-to-Itaewon route would be to take a limousine bus, which departs every 20 minutes from the airport, has multiple stops around Seoul, and ends at Itaewon. The bus is spacious, comfortable and leaves very frequently, but it’s a bit more expensive than using AREX, so it largely depends on your budget.
If you’re feeling adventurous and don’t mind the extra time and cost, you can even take a taxi from Incheon Airport to Itaewon. While this may be the most convenient way to get to Itaewon, it also tends to cost a bit of money. On the bright side, you don’t need to worry about transferring from train to bus and will get to your destination in a much quicker manner.
Finally, there are several rental car services available at the airport, which can also be rented to drive to Itaewon. It’s a great way to explore the city and your surroundings, and gives you the flexibility of travelling around with many stops in between. However, it’s important to note that rental cars in Korea generally require a valid international driver license.
What Are The Best Hotels Near Itaewon, Seoul
If you plan on visiting Itaewon, Seoul, you will want to know that there are many fantastic places to stay in the area.
From luxurious lodgings to charming budget-friendly stays, the accommodation in this dynamic neighborhood is something to behold. Here are some of the best hotels near Itaewon, Seoul you can check out when you visit.
- The Grand Hyatt Seoul
The Grand Hyatt Seoul is a luxurious five-star hotel located a few minutes away from Itaewon. This plush palace has exceptionally spacious and well-appointed rooms along with a stunning rooftop terrace and a great range of amenities.
Guests can enjoy a whole range of benefits, including access to the exclusive Club Olympus Spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center and an award-winning restaurant. It’s not hard to see why this is one of the top picks for visitors looking for luxurious comfort in South Korea’s capital.
2) Loft Hotel Itaewon
If you’re on a tight budget and still want to stay near the area, then Loft Hotel Itaewon is worth checking out.
From its great location to its cozy accommodations, the hotel provides guests with a laid-back environment at an affordable price. Plus, each room is equipped with Wi-Fi access, 24-hour reception, free parking and free continental breakfast.
3) Garden Guesthouse
For something a bit more intimate, why not book a room at the Garden Guesthouse. It’s a cozy establishment with a homey atmosphere, and with its romantic night garden it’s the perfect place for lovers.
Located in the heart of Itaewon, this is a great option for those who are looking for a more laidback ambiance.
4) Tracy Hotel
If you’re looking for a hotel with a little bit of luxury without skimping on comfort, then consider the Tracy Hotel. This ultra-modern, five-star hotel boasts sleek design with spacious rooms and eye-catching decor. At Tracy, you’ll also have access to a rooftop pool, a fitness center and spa facilities.
5) Natium Boutique Hotel
Finally, if you’re looking for somewhere more unique, then you should check out the Natium Boutique Hotel. It might not be the fanciest hotel in Itaewon but its artsy decor, chic furnishings and amazing location make it an ideal pick for anyone looking to break away from the usual.
Whether you’re searching for a luxurious five-star stay, a charming budget-friendly option, or something completely unique, you can find something special near Itaewon, Seoul.
Interesting Things To Do In Itaewon, Seoul 2023
My concise list of must-visits in the city, with a little background of each place and what they have to offer. Here, check it out!
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
The Samsung Museum of Art, run and maintained by the Samsung Foundation of Culture is a private space for all things art. The experience is split into two parts – the traditional and the contemporary.
The former section houses authentic and local Korean art which includes pottery, calligraphy, paintings, and jewelry. The contemporary art section features a myriad of artists, both Korean and international.
Hence, the museum explores different eras of art and their evolution over the years. The Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art is a stunning place for both adults and youngsters to have a wholesome experience.
The design of the space is such that it is perfect for a nice photo session, once you have explored the artwork.
It is located at 60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu. The museum is typically open from 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM Tuesday through Sunday and is closed on Mondays.
Itaewon Antique Furniture Street
One of the many streets with a rich historical background, the Itaewon Antique Furniture Street dates back to the 60s, during the time right after the second World War.
This period is marked by the American troops hustling back home, and looking to sell their furniture and other possessions before leaving Korea. As a large number of US troops were stationed at the nearby Yongsan Garrison, Itaewon is now a popular spot to find Asian and European antiques, trinkets, and furniture nestled in the little shops on this street.
Each piece you will find here is unique and beautiful. You will even find handbags and hats lined up outside little shops, for women.
Even if you don’t end up purchasing anything, the Itaewon Antique Furniture Street is still worth visiting, as it is nothing but a calming time-traveling experience.
This street is located at Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu.
The Seoul Central Mosque, Itaewon
The Seoul Central Masjid is the first and the largest mosque in South Korea. It was constructed back in the 1970s and is a unique addition to the Seoul skyline.
Distinctly designed to follow an Islam sense of design, architecture, and aesthetics, its minarets are worth gawking at for at least a couple of minutes.
Add to that the fact that the Seoul Central Museum is located on top of a hill overlooking the pretty district of Itaewon.
Winding streets, bakeries and patisseries, sophisticated restaurants and supermarkets, and not to forget the cafés, coffee joints, and Book shops.
All of these dot the view, making it perfect for a quick snap for the Gram.
The Seoul Central Museum is located at 39 Usadan-ro 10-Gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu.
Korean War Museum
Itaewon’s unique landscape and culture can be primarily owed to its rich history.
Dotted with foreign, diasporic shops at every turn, Itaewon is the best place to know about the continued existence of American settlements dating back to the Korean War.
Learn more about the past to gain a better understanding of the present, by visiting the Korean War Museum. The space itself is humbling and beautiful.
Remember to pay respect to the martyrs of the war at the War Memorial constructed in memory of them. You can even take some time out and meditate here
The Korean War Museum also offers a variety of other activities for young children and school students which are as educational as they are engaging and fun!
There are cultural events (like playing military music), guides to educate the kids further, and more.
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Namsan Botanical Garden
Rich in flora as well as fauna, the Namsan Botanical Garden is yet another must-visit. Take a walk through its trails, and be awed by plants and flowers in every shade of color possible!
The autumn season is an especially happening time for the Botanical Garden as it plays host to a wide range of activities and events that take place under the trees, which are now a comforting yellow, orange, pink and red.
We would recommend that you visit the Namsan Botanical Garden in April.
It is most beautiful during this month with the cherry blossoms in full bloom. In fact, the longest trail here, called the Cherry Blossom Path, is where the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival takes place.
Apart from this, the park has other attractions which include the Namsan Tower and the Namsan Cable Car.
These places are ideal locations to get a breathtaking aerial view of this place.
While this is not a tourist spot in a conventional sense, it is still a significant part of Itaewon as it is Seoul’s Gay village.
Modern and futuristic in thought, Itaewon has a specific neighborhood where people can unhesitantly be themselves, despite the taboo that continues to come with homosexuality.
Take a rest day, sit back and enjoy some of the less-touristy activities which are equally fun and didactic!
All That Jazz
All That Jazz is the oldest bar in Korea and was established during the 1970s. This history of the place gives it its charm and its story, which instantly elevates the entire experience.
This uniqueness of All That Jazz has helped it thrive for so many years, despite the burgeoning number of young and hip bars coming up in the same area.
Not only has it thrived, but it has managed to stay in the news as well.
Live music commenced at around 6:30 in the evening, and the entire ambiance of Jazz music and popular artists is something that you cannot miss out on!
It is distinctly different from any experience you might have had at a regular bar.
The entry fee is 1000 won, and once paid, you can stay for as long as you wish.
Cheolsu’s Pottery Workshop
Nothing makes for a better weekend plan than learning some pottery and getting lost in the beautiful monotony of it all.
Book a pottery class at Cheolsu’s Pottery Workshop that is located right beside the Itaewon mosque.
They offer workshops that are up to two hours long where one is taught to make their own diffuser from scratch.
Make Your Own Perfume at G.N. Perfume Studio
G.N. Studio lets you craft your own at their studio, which is located at 33 Hoenamu-ro 13ga-Gil, Yongsan-gu.
With over 150 bases to pick from, and about 20 scents to create your own perfume, this activity is bound to leave you beaming!
Not only do you get to make your own perfume, but you also get to pick the bottle of your choice and even add a custom label to it!
What to Eat and Where
Korea is a rich culture of food, and there is no better place than Itaewon to get a taste of the different palettes that the country has to offer!
Taste Yummy Vegan Food at Plant
With the recent wave of veganism that has taken over the world, it is worth experiencing interesting, delectable dairy and meat-free food at Plant.
It is also one of its kind in the city of Seoul, and it offers a wide range of dishes, drinks, and meals.
Such is their popularity, that even non-vegetarians love to drop in and enjoy Plant’s rendition of vegan food.
This restaurant has a cute and warm ambiance, verdant in nature, with little cushions scattered here and there.
Try Thai Food at Buddha’s Belly
This particular food spot is known for its Thai food. One of the best in Korea, it serves traditional authentic Thai dishes and is even light on the pocket!
Buddha’s Belly is located at the foothills, on one of Itaewon’s main streets, and rarely disappoints.
Itaewon Global Village Festival
Yes, the Itaewon Global Village Festival is definitely a fun event! The festival features a variety of activities and attractions that are perfect for families.
There’s something for everyone to enjoy, including interactive exhibits, live music performances, culinary demonstrations, and much more.
Plus, there’s always something new happening at the festival so you’ll never get bored. So why not head down to Itaewon this weekend and have some fun?
Maple Tree House
If you want to truly soak in Korean culture, you must try the Korean barbecue at Maple Tree House.
It serves reliable and premium meat dishes, which are equally loved by tourists and locals alike.
With a lavish, sophisticated space, it is well-lit and has the perfect ambiance for a family outing or a lovely dinner date.
So here was a list of some of the best things to do in Itaewon Seoul! With this handy guide, you can plan fun activities during your stay in South Korea.
Whether you’re more of a night owl or a nature lover, there is something in Itaewon to interest you all the same.