Are you in love with Korean music or Korean series? And have you ever wanted to go to Korea to go on a K-Pop pilgrimage? This article lists ten of the must-visit places for KPop fans.
1. Your favorite K-Pop group’s talent agency
Talent agency buildings are where your favorite K-Pop idols practice and record their songs. If you’re lucky, you might bump into your favorite K-Pop idol!
Talent agencies in Korea:
YG Entertainment (Lee Jong Suk, BIGBANG, BLACKPINK) Venue: Mapo-gu, Seoul Nearest subway station: Hapjeong Station
SM Entertainment (Super Junior, Red Velvet, and EXO) Venue: Gangnam-gu, Seoul Nearest subway station: Apgujeong Rodeo Station
Big Hit Entertainment (BTS, HOMME) Venue: Gangnam-gu, Seoul Nearest subway station: Sinsa Station
JYP Entertainment (GOT&, DAY6, and TWICE) Venue: Gangdong-gu, Seoul Nearest subway station: Apgujeong Rodeo Station
Cube Entertainment (Pentagon, Hyuna, and BTOB) Venue: Seongdong-gu, Seoul Nearest subway station: Apgujeong Rodeo Station
2. Places that host free music shows
Media centers in Seoul host concerts where they record for their music shows. Most of these venues allow fans in for free and only require them to register on their website.
Media centers that host free shows weekly:
SBS’s Inkigayo (“The Music Trend”) Venue: SBS Open Hall in Deungchon-dong, Gangseo-gu, Seoul Nearest subway station: Gayang Station Website: https://programs.sbs.co.kr/enter/gayo
KBS’s Music Bank Venue: KBS New Wing Open Hall in Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul Nearest subway station: Gayang Station Website: http://program.kbs.co.kr/2tv/enter/musicbank/pc/
MNET’s Show! Music Core Venue: MBC Dream Center in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do Nearest subway station: Jeongbalsang Station Website: http://www.imbc.com/broad/tv/ent/musiccore/index.html
3. SMTOWN Coex Artium
Nearest subway station: Samseong Station
The SMTOWN Coex Artium is a huge entertainment complex in Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul that features various SMTOWN artists. It has six floors worth of merchandise, food, and IG-worthy photo-ops.
The first two floors are for the merchandise. Browse them to find posters, photo cards, artist pillows, and more. The third floor is a mini-studio for people who want to experience being a K-Pop idol. The fourth floor is for the cafe. And the fifth and six floors is for the theater, where visitors can watch hologram shows or live performances.
4. Play K-Pop
Play K-Pop is a museum on Jeju Island. It displays information about Korean pop culture and its artist. It also provides an interactive experience with cutting-edge technology. It has so many exhibits, including ones that made use of holograms, augmented reality programs, and highly realistic photo opportunities.
5. Lotte World Tower
Nearest subway station: Jamsil Station
At the Lotte FitIn Dongdaemun Store in Lotte World, you can go to KLive to experience a hologram K-Pop concert. If you’re a fan of BIGBANG, 2NE1, or Psy, you can catch a show at the dynamic hologram concert hall. It has a 270-degree display and fantastic sound technology. You’ll feel like the holograms performing in front of you are the real deal!
6. K-Star Road
Nearest subway station: Apgujeong Station
Located in Gangnam, this famous street is filled with attractions for K-Pop fans. You can find dozens of GangnamDols (a compound word for Gangdam, idol, and doll). These are human-size sculptures in the shape of bears with the logos of famous K-Pop groups printed on them.
Leading entertainment companies also have their headquarters on this street, like the SM Global Training Center and JYP Entertainment.
7. Cube Studio Cafe
Nearest subway station: Apgujeong Station
Also located on the K-Star Road, the Cube Studio Cafe serves great bingsoo and honey bread. It also sells official merchandise. Lucky fans might even catch a glimpse of their favorite artists from Cube.
8. Myeongdong Underground Shopping area
Nearest subway station: Myeongdong Station
For one of the largest collections of K-Pop merchandise in the country, go to the underground shopping mall in Myeongdong. There, you can find nail decals, key chains, character socks, notepads, refrigerator magnets, umbrellas, fans, calendars, and much more.
9. Kyobo Bookstore
Nearest subway station: Gwanghwamun Station
This is the largest bookstore chain in the country. One of its branches can be found in Jongno-gu, Seoul. Apart from a wide selection of books, they also sell CDs, DVDs, and photobooks of various K-Pop stars. The shelves are usually arranged by artists, so that makes your hunt much easier.
10. Cafes and restaurants owned by K-Pop stars
A lot of K-Pop stars and their families own cafes and restaurants in the country. Here are some of them:
Chocolat BonBon (Super Junior’s EunHyuk) Venue: Guro-gu, Seoul
De ete Espresso (Super Junior’s KyuHyun) Venue: Jung-gu, Seoul
WIKI CAFE (Super Junior’s SungMin) Venue: Jongno-gu, Seoul
AND.here Cafe (BIGBANG’s Seungri) Venue: Jongno-gu, Seoul
J Holic (JYJ’s JaeJoong) Venue: Gangnam-gu, Seoul
KAMONG Cafe (EXO’s Kai) Venue: Seocho-gu, Seoul
Inchang Jjuggumi (Infinite’s DongWoo) Venue: Gyeonggi-do
Meok & Sam (Infinite’s WooHyun) Venue: Seongbuk-gu, Seoul
Hwang’s Eel Restaurant (CNBLUE’s MinKyuk) Venue: Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Viva Polo (EXO’s Chanyeon) Venue: Gangdong-gu, Seoul
Grill5Taco (Super Junior’s DongHae) Venue: Mapo-gu, Seoul
Misarang Imshil Cheese Pizza (JYJ’s Junsu) Venue: Gyeonggi-do
And those are the top ten must-visit places for K-pop fans! Make sure to stock up on cash, because lots of these places are pretty pricey.
Do you have friends who are also K-Pop enthusiasts back at home? Check out this article: Where to Buy Cheap K-Pop Merchandise for Pasalubong.