If you’re looking for high-end shopping while visiting Seoul, you need to check out some of the best things to do in Gangnam. The flashy area, meaning south of the River in Korean, is an affluent neighbourhood, known for fashion and shopping—and, of course, that now-famous Gangnam style that Psy so sardonically introduced to the world!
As you search among the best places to visit in Gangnam, you’ll find a district booming with impressive luxurious high-rises and expansive greenery. There’s also a wide variety of cultural tourist attractions in Gangnam including royal tombs and several performance-arts centres.
Between browsing stores, temples, museums, and park and exploring Korean cuisine, there’s no end to discovering what to do in Gangnam.
Not sure where to go in Gangnam? Find ideas with this guide to the best Gangnam attractions…
What to see & do in Gangnam
Browse high-end shops on Cheongdam Fashion Street
When travellers picture Gangnam, they typically picture Cheongdam Fashion Street. The glitzy street is full of designer stores carrying luxurious brands. You can shop for Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and many other recognizable names.
Cheongdam Fashion Street is one of the top points of interest in Gangnam. Visitors flock to this street throughout the day, even if they don’t plan on buying anything.
Along with designer shops, the street has a few retail complexes with a variety of boutiques and restaurants. It is a great place to window shop and get a feel for the ritzy Gangnam atmosphere.
The expensive area is also home to the headquarters of several K-pop entertainment companies. You’ll often find large groups of fans standing outside these buildings waiting to catch a glimpse of their favourite idols.
Get lost on Apgujeong Rodeo Street
If you want to fill your Gangnam sightseeing tour with shopping excursions, visit Apgujeong Rodeo Street. This is another high-end shopping street packed with name-brand stores.
While many of the buildings contain small designer shops, the street also has a few mega shopping malls.
The malls provide endless hallways of showrooms, studios, clothing stores, and electronics shacks. The prices are surprisingly reasonable, with many stores offering discounts on luxury items.
You’ll also find a wide range of restaurants, serving everything from KFC to local cuisine.
Rodeo Street is known for having many skincare boutiques and plastic surgery clinics. If you’re looking for some of the most coveted skin care products and cosmetics, this is the place to visit.
Shop more affordable items at the Gangnam Station Underground Shopping Center
If you can’t afford the threads found on Cheongdam Fashion Street, try the Underground Shopping Center located underneath Gangnam Station. It’s one of the best places to visit in Gangnam for affordable goods.
Browse thousands of low-priced to mid-priced items. The underground mall has over 210 shops.
Luckily, the layout of the shopping centre makes it easy to explore without getting lost. The hallways surround a central food court with a variety of restaurants and eateries.
Try to avoid visiting during rush hours. The place becomes packed around 5 pm and just before closing hours at 10 pm.
As the shopping centre is under Gangnam Station, you can easily visit the stores and restaurants as soon as you arrive in the district.
Break from the crowds at Bongeunsa Temple
Seoul has many temples, but the Bongeunsa Temple stands out for its peaceful setting. This is where to go in Gangnam to get a break from the crowded streets. While the temple receives many visitors, it’s typically a relaxing place to explore, even in the middle of the day.
The temple was originally built over 1200 years ago and reconstructed several times. It’s now a popular tourist attraction thanks to its view of the city’s skyline and a large courtyard.
The area outside of the temple also has a large selection of upscale restaurants. Try to plan a trip to the temple around lunch or dinner to try classic Korean cuisine with a modern twist.
You could also take part in the Temple Stay Program. The unique experience allows you to lead the life of a monk for a few hours.
Discover the latest technologies and devices at Samsung d’light
The top tourist attractions in Gangnam should include the headquarters of one of the top electronics companies. Samsung is based out of Seoul and has its own exhibition centre.
Located on several floors of the Samsung headquarters building, Samsung d’light showcases the latest technologies and provides a spot to shop for the newest devices.
The top floor of the centre includes exhibits that showcase the future of Samsung technologies. The interactive displays include examples of features you may see in the coming years.
The first-floor highlights current devices and technologies while the sub-basement is a Samsung shop with the latest phones and tablets.
View the Skyline of Seoul with a Trip to Lotte World Theme Park
Lotte World stands out compared to other Gangnam points of interest for the variety of attractions packed into one space.
The massive theme park boasts multiple exhibits, including a mall, an observatory, and an aquarium.
A trip to the top of the observatory is one of the top things to do in Seoul. You get a breathtaking view of the city’s skyline, making it the perfect destination for the end of your trip.
At night, the view is full of bright lights from the buildings below.
If you visit earlier in the day, stop at the aquarium. It houses over 55,000 marine animals from over 650 different species.
Watch the fountain display next to Banpo Hangang Park
Banpo Hangang Park is one of the largest parks in the Gangnam area. Located on the south side of the Han River, the park includes multiple lanes for cycling, walking, and jogging.
Take a trip on one of the paths to reach two of the top things to see in Gangnam.
Both of these attractions are best viewed at night. The first stop is the Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market. It opens every Friday and Saturday, offering a wide selection of food and handmade goods.
If you’re wondering what to do in Gangnam to close out your trip, visit the Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain.
The bridge is just above the park and includes a colourful nighttime fountain display every 30 minutes between 7:30 pm and 9 pm.
Best hotels in Gangnam for sightseeing
The easiest way to experience Seoul’s glitziest district to its max is to crash at one of the best hotels in Gangnam. As you might expect, accommodations in Gangnam are geared towards mid-range & luxury travellers rather than budget backpackers. Here are a few of the best places to stay in Gangnam to start your search…
- Dormy Inn Seoul Gangnam: A superb 4-star hotel that’s within walking distance of some of the top points of interest in Gangnam. Besides the cozy and relaxing guestrooms, the hotel offers a host of amenities including an on-site restaurants serving a wide selection of Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Western dishes.
- Park Hyatt Seoul: A stylish luxury hotel that’s not just one of the best in Gangnam, but in Seoul. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer spectacular city views.
- Andaz Seoul Gangnam: Located close to Apgujeong Rodeo Street, this glamorous 5-star hotel offers über-modern style along with a range of luxurious amenities including an indoor pool, hot tub, and garden.