The intersection at Gangnam Station is a combination of steel, glass, neon lights and small narrow side alleys with traditional restaurants and markets. The long underground passageways between the station's two lines – Line 2 and the Sinbundang Line – host a bustling Underground Shopping Center with numerous cosmetic, clothes, accessories and mobile stores. Each exit of the subway station leads to more above-ground shops, flagship stores, exhibition centers and food streets.
The area around the Nonhyeon-Sinnonhyeon stations is filled with small restaurants, BBQ joints, and Korean-syle bars - pochas. While the main streets maintain their glossy appearance, the side alleys are more true to the authentic Korean spirit: famous Yeongdong Market (영동시장) stretches from Exit 1 of Nonhyeon Station and small residential villas cover the rest of the area. Korean premium interior design and furniture Mecca - Nonhyeon Furniture Street - is also an interesting place to visit and get a glimpse of what the insides of the posh Gangnam residences look like.
Probably the poshest area in all of Korea, Garosu-gil (a shopping street near Sinsa Station) is the epicenter of style, cosmetic surgery, and the well-known "Gangnam Style". With its collection of exclusive designer stores, cafes, and restaurants, Garosu-gil proves that it deserves its widespread fame. Many Korean celebrities own businesses in the area and quieter side streets are home to art galleries, ateliers, and beauty salons. The first official Apple Store in Korea has also opened its doors in Garosugil.
The most expensive area of Seoul, Apgujeong-Chgeongdam is home to countless celebrity villas, premium brand main stores (rivaling ech other with peculiar exterior designs), art galleries, and posh restaurants. However, the Apgujeong Rodeo shopping district has a more "underground" vibe compared to other parts of Gangnam. Home to several of the largest entertainment companies in Korea - SM Entertainment, JYP and FNC, - Apgujeong's narrow alleays hide idol-owned cafes and hidden gems for true K-pop fans. Check out Cafe Dudeart by AOMG and Jay Park, SUM Market and Cafe by SM Entertainment, Grill5Taco by SuJu's Donghae, Kona Beans Apgujeong by Lee Teuk's mother, and The Mins by 2AM's Changmin while you are in the area. If you are lucky, you can even meet some of the idols!
COEX is one of the biggest convention centers in Asia, connecting several hotels, conference halls, food courts, and shopping centers. It has become the center of Korean entertainment and leisure, with all major international forums and events in Korea held on the vast premises of the complex. COEX is a full one-day stop, combining the biggest underground shopping center Starfield, a premium Hyundai Department Store, an Aquarium, SM Town, and a cinema, plus a casino and outdoor festival venue, it is a full-scale entertainment paradise. What makes COEX so interesting, however, is its coexistence with two of the most important historical landmarks in Seoul: Bongeunsa Temple and Seonjeongneung Royal Tombs.
Gangnam Underground Shopping Center
Located in the underground passageways of Gangnam Station, Gangnam Underground Shopping is an ever-busy maze of fashion, accessory, and cosmetic stores that offer casual items at affordable prices. Unlike other Gangnam stores, you can pick up some really trendy pieces for under 50,000 won here. Mind that Gangnam is an extremely busy transportation hub, and the place can get over-crowded in the evenings and during lunch hours. As in most stores of this type, credit cards are widely accepted, but a 3% fee will be charged and you will miss some of the cash-only discounts. No fitting rooms are available.
Address: Underground, 396, Gangnam-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
Garosu-gil is the center of posh designer shopping. This green shady street has all the best international and Korean brands and even the first (and so far only) official Apple store in Korea. The shopping on Garosu-gil is a relaxed and calm experience, very different from the busier areas of Gangnam. The street attracts many artists and, more recently, bloggers, with its charming cafes and beautiful gingko trees.
Address: Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Hyundai Department Store Main Branch Apgujeong
Hyundai Department Store is the most luxurious of department stores in Korea. Its flagship store opened in Apgujeong in 1985 and has been a trendsetter for Korean premium shopping ever since. Hyundai prides itself on excellent customer service and exquisite selection of luxury items. The 6th floor of the store has the beautiful Sky Park (rooftop terrace) where one can drink coffee, enjoy the view, and rest. Hyundai also offers a whole package of beauty services with its H-series Salon, Atelier, and Health Center.
Address: 165, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Hours: 10:30 - 20:00
Apgujeong Rodeo Street
The trendy Apgujeong-dong in southern Seoul was the area that started the "Rodeo" craze in South Korea in the 1990s. Borrowing the name of the iconic Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California, the famous shopping district for the rich, Apgujeong Rodeo became the center for the young, affluent Koreans who wanted luxury brands and imports. Nowadays Apgujeong Rodeo has somewhat lost its initial glamour, but acquired a new charm; there are many unique cafes, artistic hangouts and charming restaurants scattered around its streets among the more quirky designer stores.
Address: Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Famous for its luxury brands, Apgujeong Galleria Department Store is a convenient and elegant place to check out the latest trends in high fashion. Connected to the Apgujeong Rodeo station, it offers great services and two buildings stocking the best in international and Korean fashion. The West Hall, designed by a famous Dutch architect Ben Van Berkel, is a popular landmark in this part of Seoul, with its pearl-like facade that uses over 4000 LED lights. The East Hall is a classic building hosting such brands as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, as well as special edition products and high-end luxury brands including Goyard and Stefano Ricci(exclusively presented in South Korea by the Galleria).
Address: 343, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Hours: Monday - Thursday: 10:30 - 20:00 / Friday - Sunday: 10:00 - 20:30
Starfield COEX Mall
The largest underground shopping center in Asia, Starfield COEX is a massive entertainment complex with Korean and international casual brands, theaters, cinemas, and an aquarium. The main feature of the store, though, is the Starfield Library - a Hogwarts-like public library in the main plaza of the building.
Address: 513, Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Hours: 10:30 - 22:00
Gangnam Station Meat Street
These side alleys from Gangnam Station exit 11 to Sinnonhyeon Station and Gangnam Station exit 10 to Kyobo Bookstore are filled with Korean-style bars (pocha), cheap beer places, and Korean BBQ joints. Here you can find restauraunts serving samgyeopsal for as low as 5,000 won per portion and higher qualoty cuts of meat for 15,000 won and over.
Gangnam Youngdong Market is a traditional market in the very middle of Gangnam. Starting from exits 1-2 of Nonhyeon Station, the market offers a variety of cheap fresh fruit, vegetables, dried products, meat, and other produce. It has a regular selection of street foods and a fair deal of BBQ restaurants as well.
Samseong-dong Food Streets
The area behind COEX along the Samseong road is less famous among tourists, but extremely popular among Koreans. The narrow alleys behind the office buildings are littered with small traditional restaurants offering a full range of authentic Korean dishes. It is a great place to try out such Korean delicacies as suyuk (boiled meat), samgyetang (chicken soup), BBQ and gopchang - grilled intestines. Some of the more famous restaurants in the area have been featured on Korean TV shows, and even recommended by the cast of "Running Man".
Probably Gangnam’s most well-known club, Octagon is considered by some to be the best club in Asia and was ranked 5th in the world by the iconic DJ Mag in 2017. The club is expensive and requires strict dress-code. Be prepared to drop some serious cash though, with entrance costing 30,000 won and drinks going on average for 10,000 won. The club open until 6 am, making it a great place to party the whole night away.
Address: 645 Nonhyeon-ro, Nonhyeon 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Arena is one of the hottest clubs in Gangnam known for its outrageous parties and upscale clientele. With a strict dress code and penchant for having professional models and dancers on site, Arena has a reputation for good-looking, well-dressed party goers. Music-wise, Arena prefers new EDM and progressive house sets to maintain its energetic vibe. The club is open Friday to Saturday and is occasionally open on Sundays depending on what events are lined up.
Address: Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Nonhyeon Dong. 18-2 (Lex Hotel B1)
Smaller and more intimate than the usual Gangnam venues, Club Bound is a great place to dance the night away. The dance floor is compact and the club’s interior is filled with raised platforms and tables. Prices here are comparable with better Hongdae and Itaewon clubs.
Address: 2-15 Nonhyeon 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Gangnam Tourist Information Center
On the first floor, the center provides tourism information in English, Chinese, and Japanese. Tourists can get assistance with reservations, purchase travel passes, or use amenities such as coin-lockers and free wi-fi. The second floor of the center hosts a K-wave Experience Zone where visitors can take singing classes and attend promotional K-Pop events and exhibitions.
Address: 161, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea.
Opening hours: 10:00 - 19:00