5 Must-Visit Stores in Seoul - IMBOLDN
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So you’re going to Seoul. The sprawling city of 18 million is one of our top travel destinations for 2017 for its incredible food and coffee culture, the juxtaposition of modern and traditional architecture, fascinating history and, as you’ll see below, great shopping. Seoul is known for its streetwear aesthetic and Seoulites take their style very seriously. But don’t just stick to fashion while you’re there. The city boasts plenty of shops featuring housewares, art, and music that you’ll definitely want to check out.

Gentle Monster

Those in the know are probably already familiar with Gentle Monster, the premium eyewear brand from South Korea that has quickly become a favorite among Hollywood’s A-listers. Driven by a philosophy of “high end experimentation,” the brand embraces this ideology with uniquely designed stores that transport visitors and provide more than just a retail experience. Each store is designed and curated with a surreal aesthetic in mind, and each undergoes a complete overhaul on a regular basis to continuously provide customers with a new and exciting experience. The flagship store at Hongdae has seen interactive displays with ping pong balls and giant paddles, and sculptural displays that wouldn’t seem out of place in a modern art museum. Once you’ve acclimated to the experiential part of the visit, you’ll be able to examine their high end eyewear which is designed to push the boundaries while remaining wearable.

Multiple Locations


With locations scattered across Seoul, Beaker is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Named for the laboratory instrument used to blend chemical elements to create a new compound, the brand successfully mixes fashion with culture and lifestyle, offering modern streetwear-inspired clothing and accessories. The unique design of the stores, which includes lots of natural wooden displays and an open, uncluttered floorplan aligns with Beaker’s eco-friendly ethos.

Multiple locations

Dealim Chango

If you’re not careful, you’ll walk right past this coffee shop-slash-art gallery located in Seoul’s Seongsu-dong neighborhood (aka Korean Brooklyn). Housed in an industrial brick building, the unassuming entrance belies that massive space that you’ll find when you step through the doors. Inspect the large-scale installations that look straight out of a Tim Burton movie, grab a coffee and something to eat, and relax. This is a great spot for people watching, with fashionable locals working away on laptops or meeting for lunch. And if you’re looking to add to your art collection while you’re in Seoul, you definitely want to peruse the pieces on display. Make sure to venture upstairs, where you’ll find additional seating and a roof deck.

78, Seongsui-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul

Queenmama Market

This multi-level concept store is one of the most interesting spots in Seoul. Located in the swanky Cheongdam neighborhood, the store, opened in 2015 by Jinyoung Kang and Hanni Yoon, offers an eclectic mix of highly curated wares. Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by lush greenery in the gardening section. As you head to the upper floors, you’ll find clothing, books, household items, and much more. The concept is constantly changing to ensure that customers are continuously surprised, so each trip will be completely different. The one constant? Coffee. On the top floor, grab your brew of choice at Manufact Coffee and head out to the terrace overlooking the neighborhood.

50 Apgujeong-ro 46-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Vinyl & Plastic

Located in the vibrant neighborhood of Itaewon, Vinyl & Plastic is, interestingly, the brainchild of Hyundai Card, the country’s leading credit card issuer. (As you’ll see when you visit Seoul, Hyundai owns a lot of stuff. And we mean a lot.) Since it opened in late 2016 Vinyl & Plastic has quickly become one of the best spots in the city to listen to music, enjoy a coffee, and relax. With over 4,000 vinyl LPs and 8,000 CDs, plus state-of-the-art headphones to listen to it all, this spot is a music lover’s dream and a must-visit while in the city. Design lovers will want to make a stop here as well to check out the building designed by local practice Samuso Hyojadong. Working with the site’s pre-existing structure, the firm added an 8m-high metal and glass-frame to the building, creating a striking new facade and increasing the light flow into its interior spaces.

683-131 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea