Things to Do Seoul

Trendy Districts in Seoul: “The mecca of graffiti – Seongsu dong”

There is a hidden place in Seoul where you may think to travel in some suburban area of NYC. Street Art is not very common in Korea but Seongsu dong in Seoul is one the few areas where you can enjoy graffiti and take some amazing and cool shots!

Seongsu dong is quite hidden and I had some difficulties to find it. I hope this guide can be helpful for those, like me, are always looking for trendy areas.

A brief Intro to the Seongsu District and the Industrial Chic

Factories and Craft Shops in Seoul

 Why can we find graffiti in this area? We can find the answer looking at the history of this district. The neighborhood was filled with factories and shops specialized in handmade shoes. If even today some of these tailor shops are still open, factories have been dismissed a long time ago.

Graffiti & Industrial Style

Instead of turning down all factories, old and new owners start to convert them in trendy coffee shops, galleries, or offices of the young generation artists. They also started to cover the old buildings with amazing graffiti.

A lot of buildings in the area follow the Industrial style design. This aesthetic trend in interior design takes clues from old factories and industrial spaces. Components of industrial style include weathered wood, building systems, exposed brick, industrial lighting fixtures and concrete.

This Seongsu-dong district become the mecca of graffiti in Seoul of the most Instagrammable places in Seoul,really popular with young koreans.

How to go get in Seongsu dong

The easiest way to get in Sangsu is with the subway.

Get off Seongsu Station (Line 2) and go out from Exit 4.

The Tour of Best Graffiti in Seongsu dong

The Tiger and The Flowers

The first murales that you can find starting this tour is inspired from korean traditional paintings. The tiger is a symbol really important for korean population. Tigers are main charcther of ancient story tales and myths. This on is particular is probably inspired from the representation of late Joseon, Minhwa (민화), name that indicates  popular folklorist paints.

We can find tigers also as mascotte of the first international event in Korea, The Olympic Games in 1988. Again the white tiger “Soohorang” was the symbol of Winter Olympics in 2018.

Actually, Syberian Tigers lived in South Korea for a long time and Koreans where both afraid and fascinated from this animals. Japanese hunters saw last tigers around 1922 in Gyeongju. The mass killing of the Korean tigers by the Japanese hunters and explorers it said to be the main reason of extinction. This is why Koreans are so affectionate to this beautiful animal.

Representing Flower and Nature was popular in Korea in the first part of the Joseon Dynasty. Is was usually enriched with a poetry wrote in Chinese Characters (한자), itself a piece of art. Being a good calligrapher was the same as being an artist! 

Mocca Bookstore in Seongsu dong

Walking a little further we came across different coffee shops and among this a familiar one for the korean drama lovers.

Cannot not see this yellow graffiti wall that appeared in the drama Goblin. In particular the scene Eun Tak was blowing off the flames on her burnt squid snack and accidentally summoned the goblin. Mocca Bookstore (모카책방) isn’t here anymore but the building and graffiti are still here. Have a coffee at Onguendal 옹근달 and check out the back garden that has a pool and bamboo trees to have a real relaxation in the city!  

The Tribal Graffiti

This was little different graffiti from other, so I think worth a visit. The full wall is covered with a tribal symbol that reminded me of those washable tribal tattoos we used to make in summer as children. 

The Peanuts visit Seoul

Did you watch this cartoon? I was a fan of Snoopy specially because the series wasn’t about his humor and how he always made fun of his owner.

In this graffiti you can see how the peanuts have completely integrated in the korean nightlife style.

Industrial Design Cafe and Shops in Seongsu dong 

After all this walking you will be surely tired so I also put the list in some pubs and when you can have beer and chill. Along with the graffiti in the Seongsu district of Seoul there is much more to do here. Moreover, all those places are really popular so it may be necessary to wait in line a little bit. 

Baisan Korea (바이산 코리아) 

Gallery Cafe in pure industrial chic style, a lot of nice photo spots in this location. Plus the view from the second floor and rooftop is amazing! 

Business Hours: Mon – Sun, 11:00-24:00
Average Price: Draft Beer from 8,500won~ / Coffee from 5,000won~

Daerim Changho (대림 창고)

From an old storage to a beautiful life-style cafe and all day dining. A surprisingly big wood door is waiting for you. The sealing is very high and the inside so spacious that gives you the impression to actually be outside. You can find a garden with real trees in the back. Moreover, pieces of modern art are wisely put all around the place.

Business Hours: Mon – Sun, 11:00-23:00
Average Price: Draft Beer from 8,000won~ / Coffee from 5,000won~ / Only Weekend Entrance fee 10,000won (1beer included)

Amazing Brewing Company (어메이징브루잉컴퍼니)

Lastly but not least the Amazing Brewing Company. This place is specifically for those drafting beer lovers. Amazing Brewing produces around 100 types of beer that you can test in this unique shop. You may also check with the staff for more information about a brewery tour to the farm outside Seoul.

Business Hours: Mon – Sun, 18:00-25:00
Average Price: Draft Beer from 8,000won~

Conclusion

If you are visiting Seoul and want to explore one of the trendy places among locals. Seongsu ‘s graffiti district in Seoul must be in your list!

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🇮🇹 Lucia Grilli

Annyeonghaseyo! Living in Korea for 9 years now. Love to travel and explore the world. All about Korea and his culture, language, food and arts is really interesting for me. Hope to make Korea more close to the native italian speaker this way I started the luciainkorea.com adventure!