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8 Best Things to do in Gangnam That You’ll Love

Gangnam, the trendy area in Seoul, is well-known and loved for many different reasons. From the countless exclusive designer stores to the viral “Gangnam Style” dance, stepping into the streets of the district is quite a surreal experience.

If your Seoul itinerary doesn’t base you in Gangnam Korea, then it will most certainly take you through the area.

Once you’ve arrived, there’s enough to keep you busy for hours (and days). But where to start with Gangnam Seoul attractions? Here are some of the best Gangnam things to do, and all the information that you need to make your visits to the best places happen.

Things to Book Before You Leave Home
Few things are more frustrating on vacation than missing out on that amazing hotel or tour because it is sold out. Here are our top things to book before your vacation.

🏯 Book these popular Seoul Tours before you leave home to avoid disappointment. 
1. Half Day Guided DMZ tour from Seoul
2. Introduction to Seoul Tour
3. Korean Cooking Class

🛏️Where to Stay in Gangnam:
1. Gangnam Art Nouveau City – Art Nouveau style and lovely terrace with great views
2. Hotel Newv – funky boutique hotel with good health facilities

Things to do in Gangnam – Where Is Gangnam?

Located in Seoul, Gangnam-gu is positioned south of the tranquil Han River. This popular place is the third-largest of the 25 districts in the city and neighbors the Seocho and Songpa Districts. 

Entrance to Lotte World Seoul Korea

Gangnam has a reputation for being the Beverly Hills of South Korea due to its wealth. The real estate in Gangnam South Korea is three times the price of South Korea’s average, and the residents are some of the wealthiest in the country. 

white lanterns in seoul korea

If you were looking for a time to wear your fanciest travel outfit – it’s on the day that you visit Gangnam Gu Seoul.

Getting To Gangnam Station

The public transport system in Korea is reliable and efficient. Most people will arrive in Gangnam by hopping on board the subway and popping out at Gangnam Station underground. 

All you need for this is a T-money card which can be bought at most kiosks (with cash).

Seoul Cityscape one of the things to do in gangnam

Gangnam Station is located on the Seoul Subway Line 2. Upon arrival, the area to the north of the station is filled with bars, restaurants and other entertainment venues just waiting to be explored. That is if you manage to distract yourself from the many shops located below ground in the subway station.

There are other transport options available as well, including taxi, Uber and the bus.

What To Do In Gangnam

There’s no shortage of things to do in the Gangnam District, Seoul. But here’s a list of my top 8 Gangnam Seoul attractions to get you started.

1.    Best Gangnam Shopping Spots

The Gangnam district of Seoul is packed to the brim with well-known international brand stores, such as Nike, Louis Vuitton and Zara, as well as uniquely Korean stores.

Kaoko Friends Seoul

In particular, the Gangnam neighborhood is home to the KAKAO FRIENDS flagship store. The iconic Korean characters are a must-see, and you’ll definitely find a souvenir (or a few) to remember your trip by.

The main street for shopping is known to be between Gangnam Station and Sinnonhyeon Station. For super luxury brand stores head to Cheongdam Fashion Street or the Cheongdam-dong fashion area and also check out Apgujeong Rodeo Street.

  • Opening hours: Most stores are open from 10:30 to 22:30
  • Best suited: Shopaholics or anyone interested in exploring uniquely Korean brands
  • Things to note: Gangnam is considered the wealthiest (most expensive) district in Seoul, so you may want to bookmark your purchases for some stores that can be found elsewhere

You might enjoy reading some of my other articles on Seoul:
Seoul Itinerary 5 Days
Seoul Day Trips
Things to do in Myeongdong
Things to do in Incheon
Best Seoul Boutique Hotels

2.    Walk The Streets Of Gangnam District

Walking through the streets, you can learn a lot about a culture. The Gangnam area is a fascinating district that beautifully blends modern technology with ancient history. A walking tour through Gangnam will give you insight into the home of K-Pop.

Shop in Gangnam District Seoul Korea 2

Walking through the Gangnam streets gives you an opportunity to visit well-known landmarks, tick off popular attractions, and enjoy the buzz of everyday life.

  • Opening hours: The streets are open 24/7, but your guide will advise on the best time depending on your goal.
  • Best suited: Travellers who want knowledgeable insight on the main landmarks and attractions on their Gangnam visit.
  • Things to note: Just as with any other walking tour, comfortable walking shoes are essential to have an enjoyable experience, so choose your shoes wisely.

➡️ Book Your Gangnam Walking Tour

3.    “Gangnam Style” Dance

Korean Pop has taken the world by storm since Psy’s “Gangnam Style” hit the charts. The song has not only put the music genre and cultural phenomena on the map but the district of Gangnam as well.

Dancing to the movements of the famous song at the designated spot outside the station is a must-do.

Gangnam style statue in seoul korea

If the thought tickles your fancy, then you can go one step further and book a K Pop tour. Gangnam is also home to K-Pop Road (Garosu-Gil) and K-star road where you stand a good chance of bumping into a K-Pop star.

  • Opening hours: The streets are open 24/7
  • Best suited: Lovers of pop culture who have an interest in local Korean music
  • Things to note: Have your camera fully charged – you never know when you’ll bump into a K-Pop star

➡️ Book Your K Pop Tour

4.    Lotte World

Lotte World is a great experience and offers a full day of fun on its own. The large recreation complex includes an aquarium, an adventure world and water park. Visiting Lotte World is also one of the best things to do in Jeju Island if you are heading south. 

Lotte World

Loved as the world’s largest indoor theme park, there is also “Magic Island” outdoors, shopping malls, Korean folk museum, sports facilities… and the list goes on.

  • Opening hours: 9:30 – 23:00 (Friday – Saturday) 9:30 – 22:00 (Monday – Thursday)
  • Best suited: Families looking for a fun day out with the kids
  • Things to note: If you book a theme park and aquarium combo pass, they need to be used on the same day

➡️ Book Your Tickets to Lotte World

5.    Bongeunsa Temple

Bongeunsa Temple is a Buddhist temple that is available to non-practicing visitors. Originally founded in 794, the temple’s history expands over more than 1,000 years and offers a tranquil and surreal experience. It was the largest temple in Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. 

Bongeunsa temple

Since its refurbishment and the development of the city around it, Bongeunsa Temple has come to offer a unique experience where traditional Korea meets modern Seoul. They also offer a regular temple stay program which runs over 2 days and 1 night.

  • Opening hours: 5:00 – 23:55
  • Best suited: Travellers with an interest in ancient Korean culture
  • Things to note: There is a procession ceremony that happens twice a day at 4:10 and 18:40 which is a special experience to witness

6.    Starfield COEX Mall

Whether or not you enjoy shopping at the mall, a trip to COEX is a must. The underground shopping centre is best known for being the largest underground shopping mall and boasting an impressive wall of books sitting alongside the escalators.

SM TOWN at COEX Artium in Gangnam district, Seoul city

The mall also includes a concert hall, a wide choice of options in the food court, a full aquarium and even a kimchi museum. You could spend a good couple of hours browsing the wide variety of stores, or you can pop in, snap your picture at the wall of books and leave.

  • Opening hours: 10:30 – 22:00
  • Best suited: Travellers who enjoy shopping and getting that perfect Instagram shot
  • Things to note: COEX Mall is a stone’s throw from Bongeunsa Temple, so you can kill two birds with one stone

7.    Samneung Park

Samneung Park is a wonderfully peaceful location that is weighted in history. The UNESCO World Heritage site is a popular attraction for visitors interested in ancient Korean culture.

Samneung Park seoul korea

The park is home to the tombs of two ancient Korean kings and much can be learned from a visit. It doesn’t hurt that the surrounding forest offers a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city.

  • Opening hours: 6:00 – 21:00 (Tuesday – Sunday)
  • Best suited: As an escape from the busyness of the city, and to learn about the history of the area
  • Things to note: The map given at the entrance of the park is slightly misleading and the tombs are further apart than initially expected

8.    Korean BBQ And Nightlife

Korean BBQ is undoubtedly one of the best experiences to enjoy in Seoul, and Gangnam has a wide variety of fantastic spots to try. A couple of recommended spots include Yang GOOD and Gombawui.

Once you’ve filled your belly on a variety of tasty dishes and soju (go easy on the soju), then you can explore the rest of Gangnam’s nightlife. The streets come alive at night, particularly in summer when the air is warm.

Korean barbecue

There are several bars and restaurants in the area to enjoy a nightcap. And if you’re feeling particularly festive, you can even visit one of the nightclubs. If you don’t want to venture too far, then you can find a wealth of entertainment on the roads surrounding the station, including a VR Station, multiple stores, and lively street life.

  • Opening hours: Different restaurants will close at varying times, it’s best to check ahead
  • Best suited: Night owls looking for a memorable experience
  • Things to note: Ordering off of a Korean menu without an English translation can be quite an adventure, but practice caution if you’re a vegetarian

➡️ Book a Korean BBQ Experience

You might enjoy reading some of my other articles on Korea:
Korea Itinerary
Jeju Island Itinerary
Busan Itinerary
Things to do in Daegu
Things to do on Jeju Island
Beautiful Places in South Korea
Where to stay in Busan
Cherry Blossoms in Korea

Where to Stay in Gangnam

Gangnam is a great place to stay in Seoul. Lots is going on and there are several boutique hotel options.

1. Hotel Soulhada

hotel soulhada

Hotel Soulhada looks like it should cost considerably more than it does with its stylish neutral tones and luxe threads. And they even have a small rooftop terrace. 

➡️ Check Prices and Availability for Hotel Soulhada

2. Hotel Newv

hotel newv

Hotel Newv is a funky and modern Gangnam boutique hotel. And they have both wellness and fitness centres which run yoga classes.

➡️ Check Prices and Availability at Hotel Newv

3. Gangnam Art Nouveau City 

gangnam art nouveau

Gangnam Art Nouveau City is super close to Gangnam station and is very well, art nouveau. Its rooms are quite large and very plush. Don’t miss the rooftop garden and its great views over Seoul.

➡️ Check Prices and Availability at Gangnam Art Nouveau City

4. Park Hyatt Gangnam

park hyatt seoul

If you’re looking for a safe and more western feeling option check out the Park Hyatt Gangnam. They are some stunning views from their floor to ceiling windows and they have a gorgeous infinity pool.

➡️ Check Prices and Availability for the Park Hyatt Gangnam

How to Get to Seoul

Seoul is the capital of Korea and Incheon International Airport has many options for international flights both in and out of the country. Seoul also has a second international airport Gimpo which is smaller than Incheon Airport Korea and mostly offers flights to and from japan, China and Taiwan as well as domestic flights.

⇒ Flights to Seoul

Incheon Airport is 49km from Seoul. Traffic in Seoul can be bad so depending on the time of day a taxi can be an expensive lengthy journey (expect it to take at least one hour).

Shopping in Gangham District seoul south korea

The other options for getting from the airport to Seoul are the Limousine City Bus which takes 70 minutes or the Express Train (45 mins) or All Stop Train (60 mins). Personally I took the Express train from Incheon Airport to Seoul and this was an excellent option. 

Gimpo Airport is only 16kms from Seoul and a taxi will generally take about 25 minutes. The All Stop Train also goes to Gimpo Airport from Seoul Station and only takes 22 minutes. The final option is to take a bus to Gimpo Airport Seoul which takes about 45 minutes. 

Do you need a Visa for your Korea Trip?

It can be a real pain trying to figure out if you need a visa for a country and then all the hassle of figuring out how to apply, how long you can go without your passport, when the embassy is open etc. 

Shop in Gangnam District Seoul Korea

iVisa has completely revolutionised this process and put it all online and make it super simple and paper and hassle-free! Using iVisa is one of my top travel tips!

NB: Citizens of the United States, Great Britain, Australia and Canada do not need a Visa for Korea if they are staying less than 90 days. Do double check that this still holds when you book your airfares.

⇒ Check if you need a Visa for Korea

Getting around Seoul

 Seoul is one of the biggest cities in the world and can be quite intimidating.  The Seoul subway station system is great but it is not the easiest to understand as I have never seen so many stops on an underground! And the Seoul subway stations are huge!

Samneung Park seoul korea 2

It is critical to check which is the best station exit for you to use for where you are going or you could get very confused. And very sore feet! But the subway is one of the best ways to discover Seoul.

There are 2 excellent options for tourists wishing to get around Seoul via subway. The first is to purchase an MPass card. This card is exclusively for tourists and offers 20 rides a day for whichever pass duration you choose (passes cover 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days).

The second option is the Discover Seoul Pass. This card offers transport coverage for 24, 48 or 72 hours. It also includes free admission to many major tourist sites as well as discounts.

Both of these Seoul transport cards can be purchased at subway stations or convenience stores.

Of course, it is possible to take taxis around Seoul. However, if you are planning to do this do make sure you have the name of your destination in Korean and/or an image if possible. Or even better have your hotel or a Korean person who speaks English let your driver know where you would like to go.

korean bbq beef

Do note some taxi drivers in Korea don’t read the Korean language and this can make communication in taxis very tricky. 

When to Visit Seoul

Seoul summers are long, hot and muggy and Seoul in winter is dry and freezing. Annoyingly summers tend to be cloudy and winters clear so it can be frustrating for photographers!

The ideal times to visit Seoul for comfortable weather are late May to early July and from late August to early October.

Where to Go in Gangnam, Seoul

As a city, Seoul has so many wonderful experiences to enjoy. Gangnam is the cherry on the top of an already-decadent cultural encounter. This list of what to see in Gangnam is just the tip of the iceberg but there’s so much more to discover in Korea such as wonderful Daegu and lovely Jeju Island.

Colored Paper Lanterns

If you enjoy what Seoul has to offer, there’s a lot more to discover in the nearby surroundings. Find out more about possible Seoul day trips, and how to make the most of them.

Who Paid for What in this Post

I covered all of the costs associated with writing this post. However, this post does contain affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links in this post and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. It won’t change the price that you pay for the item. 

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Saturday 31st of October 2020

Very nicely written article. Gangnam is a very beautiful place and it offers many things to do as mentioned in the article. Keep enlighten us with your information


Tuesday 30th of June 2020

Lots of details. You can't go wrong with this post. Hopefully once this whole covid thing ends we can travel again. Thanks for the post.


Saturday 27th of June 2020

Since I know that famous song, I would love to visit this place! It actually looks really cool!

Courtney B

Saturday 27th of June 2020

Thanks for this round-up of Gangnam sights! I visited in 2018, and I wish I had this list before going. I completely agree: Bongeunsa Temple really a must-visit. Close by Gangnam we also went to the Samsung D'light exhibit with a few Virtual Reality games and demos of cool new products. That is a lot of fun, too.

Jiayi Wang

Saturday 27th of June 2020

I was there last June and it was cool to see the Gangnam style statue! :) Also loved the COEX mall and the library inside! Need to go back to visit Bongeunsa Temple though :) Thanks for sharing this!

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