As a K-pop fan, one of your dreams is to traverse the homeland to one of the world’s most popular genres. Of course, there are many reasons why one would love to visit the beauty that is South Korea.
However, you will come across a particular group of people attracted to the K-pop phenomenon and visit this country for different reasons. And that’s why we are here to present you with an in-depth K-pop travel guide! If you are interested in what that includes, then keep on scrolling.
Top K-POP Places To Visit In Seoul, Korea:
Take a Stroll around Entertainment Companies
Visiting your favorite idols’ entertainment company should be one of the first things on your K-pop things to do in Seoul list. It’s exceptional to see many new companies getting to establish themselves in the industry quite frequently. It’s undeniable that the immense rise of the genre has contributed to this young talent’s growth throughout the years. Yet, we will look at the companies we know will mostly spark your interest in this guide.
This company is home to world-class artists such as BLACKPINK, iKON, BIGBANG, and TREASURE. YG has been part of the “big three” alongside JYP and SM Entertainment for as long as we can remember. Why so? Well, the answer is quite simple. They created the most iconic 1st generation group Sechs Kies and 2nd generation groups BIGBANG and 2NE1.
However, the debut of 3rd and 4th generation superstars has maintained YG’s in the “big three” until now. When looking at it, fans worldwide have consumed this company’s content for over 20 years now. Thus, how can we not have them first on our list? Even though you can’t enter the company, you can savor a moment in front of it and take a snapshot.
Those who are wanting to visit the YG shop in Korea will be in for a treat. This company does have its store set up in Insa-dong, Seoul. From albums and lightsticks to hoodies and keychains, there’s nothing you won’t find here. Have a look and see what catches your eye first!
SM has been the longest standing company amongst the “big three.” Established in 1995, this company has been making its mark on the world for 26 years now. They are known for having led the “Korean Wave” with the early success of artists like H.O.T. and BoA. Yet, their musical domination doesn’t stop here. Artists like SHINee, EXO, Red Velvet, and NCT are continuing to prove why SM is one of the most outstanding entertainment companies.
If you want to locate the SM building, don’t worry, we got you! Its current headquarters reside in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul. Not only is it open to the public, but inside it’s packed with a museum, stores, and even a cafe. First, we suggest you have a stopover to the museum, where you can have a firm look at the company’s 26 year-long legacies.
Then, we suggest going to the store and get yourself some high-quality merchandise. You may even find custom-made snacks that every artist in the company has! Lastly, end your trip with a fresh cup of coffee and some pastry. Trust us when we say you certainly won’t regret visiting this company.
JYP is the last of the “big three” up on our list. Like the previous two companies, this one isn’t much different in history and global domination. It’s been 24 years since J.Y Park has founded this agency, with its first significant artists being g.o.d and Rain.
However, with TWICE, Stray Kids, and DAY6 in the picture and ex artist GOT7, JYP managed to gain a massive international audience. Hence, who wouldn’t want to pay a visit to this extravagant agency? As of last year, they have moved to a significantly larger building. For those wondering about the new JYP location, it’s currently in Seongnae-dong, Seoul.
If you’re planning on visiting this company, we highly suggest you check out their café located on the ground floor. You can enjoy your drinks while listening to your favorite artists’ music. Who knows, maybe you will be lucky enough to bump into TWICE someday?
How can we not talk about the company that created the globally most popular and dominating Korean artists? That’s right, BigHit entertainment is home to names BTS and TXT. This agency has been around for longer than you might have expected. They initially established themselves in the industry back in 2005, with the first debuting musicians being 8eight and 2 AM.
With the rise of boy group BTS in 2015-2016, BigHit made quite a mark in the Korean industry. And, its success is far from being over. With that said, we can agree that they are one of the big four companies in Korea. Hence, many fans would love to visit the place where these groups practice and record their music. You can find this building located in Daechi-dong, Seoul. Although you won’t be allowed to enter the building, taking a picture in front of it is a worthy souvenir to have.
Visit Places Owned by K-Idols and Their Families
A trend among Korean celebrities that you might have noticed in the past few years is owning cafes and restaurants. You will see them owned either by the idols themselves or, like in most cases, by their parents.
Viva Pollo (EXO’s Chanyeol)
If you’re an enthusiast of Italian cuisine, then you must pay a visit to the restaurant owned by Chanyeol’s mother. You can enjoy a variety of pasta, risotto, pizza, and salad with a mix of Korean flavors as well. This Myeongil-dong destination is the perfect place for fans looking for EXO related places in Korea to visit. Once you step into the restaurant, you will notice how the walls are full of photos of Chanyeol and EXO related stuff. The menu, however, has a particular recommendation, which is hand-written by the idol himself. We know you will relish the exquisite taste Viva Pollo provides!
Gongbech (BTS’s Suga)
Are you up for a different kind of vibe? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. BTS fans can enjoy a different atmosphere at Suga’s brother’s bakery café located in Jeju-do Island. The complex’s interior is decorated beautifully with all sorts of plants, rocks, and concrete floors. You can take your drinks and pastry to the basement, where you can freely admire the stunning ocean and scenery. It’s truly a sight one must behold.
Music Broadcast Stations
Music shows in South Korea represent weekly broadcasts, where celebrities appear to promote their music. All of the biggest broadcasting companies have their program, which gets broadcasted on their respective channels.
Some of them include SBS’s Inkigayo, KBS’s Music Bank, MBC’s Show! Music Core, and Mnet’s M Countdown.
These shows air once a week, and they accept a few hundred fans to cheer on their beloved groups. Thus, going to a music show broadcast should be on your bucket list as one of the places to go in Seoul for K-pop fans. There is nothing better than seeing your idols up-close performing your favorite songs. You may even notice more celebrities than you would’ve thought that day as they also host these shows.
Myeong-dong and Hongdae
Although Seoul has its number of areas, we can’t deny that Myeong-dong and Hongdae have always been significant tourist attractions.
Myeong-dong is best known for its two historical sites, the Myeong-dong Cathedral and the Myeong-dong Nanta Theatre. It is also famous for its superb street food, shops, and entertainment. It is the place where K-pop fans can buy Korean albums for half of their original price. Besides albums, you will find a fair share of various merchandise as well.
On the other hand, Hongdae is renowned for its indie music culture, urban arts, clubs, and local shops. Fans can also come across street dancers or even organized random play dances, attracting many tourists. These areas are a haven, especially for K-pop fans!
All in all, we hope you enjoyed exploring the different sides of this magnificent city with us. If you’re planning a K-pop itinerary, we know these destinations will be the perfect choice for you. From entertainment companies to cafés and versatile areas, fans will get to live their dream here in Seoul. Thus, we hope your journey is as enchanting as the places listed above!
KPOP Fan Travel Guide FAQs
How can I meet KPOP Idol in Seoul?
Meeting your favorite idol in Seoul won't be a challenging task. You can either apply for fan signs where you can personally talk to the celebrities one on one. Or, if you want a more luxurious experience, concerts are always a great choice. Let's also not forget to mention how you can see your idol up-close at music show broadcasts as well. If you're lucky enough, you can meet them on the street and even get a photo or an autograph!
How can I go to a Kpop concert in Korea?
Firstly, you would need to be familiar with the ticketing system and the venue where the concert will get held. Make sure also to prepare your savings for merchandise and learn your fan chants. Once you have all that done, you will be good to go!
How can I meet BTS in Seoul?
With this boy group's tremendous growth worldwide, it has become harder to get to meet them. As they don't hold fan signs anymore, the only plausible way would be to attend their concert. However, again if your luck does favor you that day, you may run into them on the street and maybe get their autograph.
Is Kpop merch cheaper in Korea?
Yes, K-pop merchandise is much cheaper in Korea, especially in the Myeong-dong area. For instance, you will find albums ranging from $5 to $10, whereas the average pricing would be $15 and above.