With many tourists having to put off their travel plans to South Korea due to coronavirus, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Tourism Foundation teamed up to introduce the scenery and meaning of some of Seoul’s famous shooting spots in dramas and movies.
Until travel is once again safe, why don’t you create your own bucket list of places that you must visit in Seoul?
If you are unsure where to start, here are a few ideas of places to put on your list that have been featured in popular dramas and movies in the capital city.
Jeongneung – The memory of sweet love, from the movie Architecture 101
As you climb a shallow hill path along a narrow alley, Jeongneung appears. When you enter, simple scenery spreads from Hongsalmun to Jeongjagak.
Jeongneung promenade, with a clear valley and lush forest from Bukhansan Mountain, is a good place to walk and enjoy the natural surroundings.
Location: About 10 minutes on foot from Exit 1 of Jeongneung Station on the Ui New Line
Closed: Every Monday
Operating hours: 06: 00 – 18: 00
Admission: 1,000 won for adults, 500 won for children
Around Noksapyeong Station – ‘Hip’ revolt of youth in an absurd world, from the drama Itaewon Class
Itaewon Class, which was produced based on webtoons and gained popularity at home and abroad, is currently contributing to the spread of the Korean Wave, making it one of the most popular dramas in Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam.
That is why, on the overpass of Noksapyeong Station, you can see more foreigners come and take commemorative photos, even on weekdays. The overpass has emerged as a meaningful background in the drama, and has been reborn as a place that reflects the younger generation and the Korean Wave trend.
When you climb the viaduct, you can see the landscape of Noksapyeong-daero, which leads to Namsan across Liberation Village and Itaewon.
Location: 1 minute walk from Exit 1 of Noksapyeong Station on Line 6
Yakhyeon Catholic Church – A cooperative investigation between a multi-blooded Catholic priest and a detective, from the drama The Fiery Priest
Kim Hae-il (Kim Nam-gil), the protagonist of The Fiery Priest, considered as one of the best dramas in the first half of 2019, left Yeosu and went up to Seoul to continue his priesthood in a place called Gudam Catholic Church.
Gudam Cathedral Church was filmed at Yakhyeon Cathedral in Junglim-dong, Korea’s first Western-style cathedral. Catholicism, which entered the Korean Peninsula in the late Joseon Dynasty, has a painful history of producing many martyrs due to persecution.
The name Yakhyeon is derived from the name of the hill outside Seodaemun where medicinal herbs were traded. Though the red brick and pointed spire were built, the cathedral with a high roof and large interior windows is considered a compromise between Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
The interior of the cathedral does not have a splendid decoration on a grand scale, but the bright light coming through the window creates a more sacred atmosphere. On the way down the main entrance from the cathedral, there is a small forest path cozy and light for walking.
Location: 15 minutes walk from Exit 1 of Seoul Station on Line 1 or 6 – 7 minutes on foot from Exit 4 of Chungjeongno Station on Line 2
Deoksung Girls’ High School Stone Wall Road — Mysterious Romantic Tale, from the drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God
The drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great Gods famous stone wall road where the scene of pouring rain made a beautiful visual, was shot at Deokseong Girls’ High School.
This road is called Gamgodang-gil, and passes through Insadong to Bukchon along the stone wall between Deokseong Girls High School and Deokseong Girls Middle School.
It was named Gamgodang-gil because it was the site of Gamgo-dang, the home of Queen Inhyeon, the second queen consort of King Sukjong. Queen Inhyeon lived in Gamgodang for 6 years after becoming a writer.
If you pass through the alleyway between Deokseong Girls’ High School, you will meet Yunboseon-gil where Ji Eun-tak sat in a stone chair and talked to ghosts. Nearby Yunbo-seon also has a small path lined with cute shops.
Location: 5 minutes on foot from Exit 1 of Anguk Station
Ansan Bongsudae – Taste of the taste of others’ lives, from the drama Let’s Eat 2
In Let’s Eat 2, which portrayed the lives of single-person households, there was a scene where Gu Dae-young (as Yoon Doo-jun) and Baek Su-ji (as Seo Hyun-jin) climbed Ansan Bongsudae.
Ansan in Seodaemun-gu was the place where the romance of Seoul was splendidly on display by its beautiful the scenery. When you arrive at the summit of Ansan where Bongsudae is located, you can see the panoramic view of Seoul spreading out in front of you. From the front, the back of Inwangsan appears, and opposite, the area around Gwanghwamun starts from Seodaemun Independence Park.
As you turn your head and pass Namsan Tower, you can see the view of the Han River in the distance, so this is a great view point where you can enjoy the charms of the city that embraces the mountains and rivers.
The tall buildings that cover the blue sky become like dots, and as there is no noise from the city, Ansan is a cozy oasis that you can enjoy in the city center.
Cherry blossoms form a forest in spring at Yeonhui Forest at the foot of Ansan. It is fun to wander through the forest as you walk through the promenade, as the leaves of the cherry blossoms that have finished blooming fall from the trees like a pink snow scene in a fairy tale.
Location: Exit 5 of Independence Station on Line 3, about 1 hour climb
Haklim Cafe – A sweet and youthful romance like a fairy tale, from My Love from the Star
In the drama My Love from the Star, the protagonist Do Min-joon (as Kim Soo-hyun) is an alien who has lived for many years without becoming old. He likes a space where he can enjoy an older atmosphere, and in his old coffee shop, he drinks tea with his assistant lawyer Jang Yeong-mok (Kim Chang-wan).
Located in Daehak-ro, the filming location Haklim Cafe has been selling coffee since 1956. Climb the old squeaky staircase and open the door on the second floor, where you will be taken back in time to a coffee shop from the 70s to 80s.
The old wood interior, faded sofas, and double-layered structures bring back memories of a different era in Korea, and although it has a somewhat unfamiliar name for the younger generation, it has a romantic atmosphere that overflows from each teacup.
Even though it has been years since the drama ended, it was one of the first shows that began the Korean Wave, and it is still possible to meet foreigners who are still visiting the site of one of their favorite dramas.
Location: 3 minutes walk from Exit 3 of Hyehwa Station on Line 4
Operating hours: 10: 00 ~ 23: 00
Main Menu: Vienna Coffee 6,000 won
Suyeonsanbang – A triangle of love that exceeds expectations, from the movie The Maid
Located in Seongbuk-dong, Suyeonsanbang’s cozy rooms have appeared in The Maid, as well as in the Korean history class of the popular show, Infinite Challenge.
Seongbuk-dong is a place where many artists have stayed, from old literary artists to modern artists. While most of the traces of those artists lives have disappeared from the area, there are still a few places to remember, one of which is Suyeonsanbang.
Suyeonsanbang means “house in the mountains where literary people gather”, and is a house where novelist Lee Tae-jun devoted himself to writing for 13 years.
Hidden in the bustling city center, once you step inside the gate surrounded by fences, the old house with a small garden reveals a quiet ambience.
Suyeonsanbang is currently operated as a traditional tea house, and the unique warm and comfortable atmosphere of the hanok goes well with the aroma of tea. When you sit down to enjoy your drink, the warm sunlight coming through the old grate makes your hanok experience more cozy.
Location: Take bus 1111 or bus 2112 from Exit 6 of Hanseong University Station on Line 4 and get off at Samseon Bridge, Seongbuk Cultural Center, and walk for about 3 minutes
Closed: Every Monday
Opening hours: Weekdays 11:30 – 18:00, Weekends 11:30 – 22:00
Menu: Various car types 10,000 won
Naksan Park – A regular attraction frequently found in various movies and dramas
Naksan Park has frequently appeared in various dramas and movies thanks to its long, winding ridges and beautiful night views.
In the Hollywood movie La La Land, the scene where the male and female protagonists dance in the park overlooking the night view of LA become popular, and this is Seoul’s version where you can create a similar romantic atmosphere.
Located at the top of Ewha Village, it was named Naksan because it resembled a camel’s back. While the park is a great place to visit during the day, Naksan Park comes alive at night when the darkness falls and the street lights illuminating the castle turn on.
The lights in the castle illuminate the night sky, and the houses that are close to the bottom of the castle emit light. It’s romantic enough to even feel like you’re in a cliff town on the Mediterranean coast.
Location: 3 minutes from Exit 1 of Dongdaemun Station on Line 1, and in Heunginjimun Park. Walk about 15 minutes on foot.