Gangnam Style | Linda Goes East

How To Spend The Perfect Day in Gangnam

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Gangnam is one of the hippest neighborhoods in Seoul and also one of the most expensive ones. The area is home to entertainment companies such as SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, Cube Entertainment and the rich and famous of Seoul. Besides all the glitter and glamour, you can spend a wonderful day there exploring beautiful temples and indulging in some of the best food in Korea.

Here’s how to spend the perfect day in Gangnam:

Eat Lunch At Mad For Garlic

This Italian restaurant serves garlic-specialized dishes such as pizzas, pastas, rice and steak dishes. We had a garlic steak and a nacho pizza and it was super delicious! Even though the meals are a bit pricey, the quality is truly terrific and you won’t be disappointed. The only thing that could make it even better would be free garlic bread before the meals arrive!

Explore COEX Mall

Gangnam Style | Linda Goes East

This mall is famous for being Asia’s largest underground shopping mall. Besides the shopping, there’s also trade fairs, weddings halls and banquets going on in the huge complex. Around the area, you can find an abundance of great restaurants, including the Mad For Garlic from above. One of the major attractions is the “Gangnam Style” statue that was erected in 2016 to honor Psy and the world-famous KPOP song.

Wander Through Bongeunsa Temple

Bongeunsa Temple | Linda Goes East

One of the most beautiful temples in Seoul, Bongeunsa temple is located on the slope of Sudo Mountain, across the street from the COEX Mall. It was built in 794, during the Silla Dynasty. The beautiful buddha statue is the temple’s main interest point. It’s a wonderful temple with gardens and various praying halls. You can also join the “Temple Stay Program” here, in which visitors can live like monks.

Bongeunsa Temple | Linda Goes East

Fan Girl/Boy Hard At SM Town

SM Town | Linda Goes East

If EXO, Super Junior, f(x) and SHINee let your heart race fast, pay a visit to SM Town Entertainment. This is the official headquarters where these and many other artists are signed. Many times, you can spot them around the area and fans are always waiting eagerly in front of the building to catch a glimpse in the right moment. However, this is not just a random building. It has various floors housing a merchandise shop, a museum as well as a studio where you can get your make-up done, have a photo-shoot or even get dance lessons from the idols choreographers. This is truly KPOP heaven.

SM Town | Linda Goes East

Snack at Bora Cafe

Cafe Bora | Linda Goes East

This cafe offers various ice-cream and bingsu variations. Their most famous flavor is sweet potato, thus the name “bora”, meaning purple in Korean. Cafe Bora has various locations throughout Seoul with a small shop in Gangnam. It’s the perfect place for an afternoon snack. If you live in the area, they also deliver!

Walk Along K-Star Road

K-Star Road | Linda Goes East

This road is dedicated to the biggest names in the KPOP scene. Along the way, you will come across various bears designed for various artists. Besides the bears, there is also a tourist info, called Gangnamdol Haus. Here, you can see a detailed map of the area and where the bears with your favorite idols are located. You can also buy bear souvenirs with your favorite idol’s name on it! Isn’t that neat?

Unfortunately, it started raining like crazy when we arrived at the K Star Road so I was not able to see that many bears. Check out this lovely blog post for more details.

K-Star Road | Linda Goes East

Eat Dinner at Mingles

This restaurant is no. 15 of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant 2016” and the only one in Korea on the list. Which means, it’s the best restaurant in South Korea. The restaurant opened in April 2014 and is convincing with its fusion of eastern and western cuisine. I’ve been dying to eat at this place for months and finally wanted to try it! The weekend we booked our Seoul trip, the restaurant was closed because of construction! ARGH!

Anyways, I will try it out once I’m back in Korea and will write a detailed post on it! I cannot wait.

When are you visiting Gangnam?

Gangnam is more than just the song and plastic surgery. It’s a hip neighborhood with lots of cool stuff to see and do and some of the most delicious food in Seoul. I haven’t been to Gangnam until I lived in South Korea for a year and I’ll definitely be visiting again! If you are looking for a complete Seoul itinerary, check out his post. For a guide on the best dessert cafes in Seoul, click here.

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Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.


  1. Kristine Li on August 23, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Wow there’s so many things to do in Gangnam! It’s a pity I didn’t get a chance to visit Gangnam the last time I visited Seoul for just a few days!

    • Linda D. on September 1, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      You can always come back Kristine! 🙂

  2. Ashley H on August 23, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    My husband and I are going to S.Korea in November. You just convinced me to make sure we find time for this district. It didn’t make the cut before but even in the rain it looks colorful and fun!


    • Linda D. on September 1, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      thank you so much Ashley! Let me know if you need any more information on Korea!

  3. Gina Panozzo on August 24, 2016 at 7:26 am

    This is a fantastic itinerary for all those who love Gangnam! I didn’t like K-star road as much, but I did really like SM Town. The next time I go to Gangnam, I’m definitely checking out the Bora Cafe.

    • Linda D. on September 1, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      Bora Cafe was the booooomb! Loved it!

  4. Laura Hall on August 24, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    This is great! I love reading new posts about places i’d never even thought of going before… and that restaurant with the garlic food, that might be the reason i go! I love anything with garlic in!

    • Linda D. on September 1, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      It was absolutely delicious! You should definitely go next time you’re in town!

  5. Soraya @ Hello Raya on August 24, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I have to admit – when I first saw your post type, the song “Gangnam Style” started playing in my mind…but wow! I didn’t even realise how much there is to do there. That Bora Cafe looks fantastic – I’d love to try the sweet potato ice cream. Sounds interesting.

    • Linda D. on September 1, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Haha I think everybody think of that song! Yeah, I loved spending time in Gangnam! Go check it out next time!

  6. Lawrence Robinson on September 28, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    South-Korea is awesome and easily one of my favorite places in Asia, only if it even were for how clean it usually is, the nice people and great foods. I lived in China for 14 months, day and night difference!

  7. Emily-Jane Tossell on May 8, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    I’m planning on travelling to Seoul in September this year but very unsure where’s the best area to stay. Any ideas/tips? Thank you!

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