5 Must-See Stops in Seoul For K-pop Fans
Whether you are planning a trip to Seoul, or dreaming of one in the future, here are things all K-pop fans ought to experience in South Korea.
Located near the entrance of Starfield Coex Mall is a spectacular six-floor building dedicated to the artists of SM Entertainment. Inside, the building contains a gift shop, museum, café and marketplace (with idol-themed treats), and theatre. Visiting is free, but there are admission fees for the museum and theatre.
From my experience at SMTOWN, a surround viewing of EXO PLANET #3 The EXO’rDIUM in Seoul was worth its ₩19000 admittance price. (Image courtesy of SM Entertainment, SMTOWN).
This urban walking course in Gangnam is a lined with various tourist locations, luxury shopping centers and entertainment company headquarters. You may catch a glimpse of famous celebrities!
The main road is lined with bear-like statues. These statues are adorned with symbolic images of famous K-pop groups.
On the left, the statue dedicated to BTS is signed by the members. On the right, another statue dedicated to SHINee.
(Image Courtesy of Amy VanderZanden)
Located inside Apgujeong Rodeo Station, the space is dedicated to Hallyu-themed celebrities. In the past, featured artists have included 2PM, KARA, Shinhwa, and GOT7. Check it out for plenty of photo opportunities!
Additionally, there are many entertainment company headquarters around K-Star Road. Unfortunately, both JYP and Cube Entertainment moved. However, the SM Global Training Center and FNC Entertainment are still rooted to their original locations.
On the left, the old JYP Entertainment Building. On the right, the SM Global Training Center.
(Images Courtesy of Amy VanderZanden).
Feel like shopping? Myeongdong is a hot spot for K-pop merchandise. The underground shopping mall at Myeongdong Station also caters to a lot of unofficial and official K-pop goods.
Almost every night, big crowds gather to watch street performers or “buskers” dance and sing to K-pop songs in Hongdae. Alongside outdoor shows, there are a variety of K-indie performances in nearby venues, too.
A group called BOY STORY covers “MIC Drop” by BTS in Hongdae.
Whenever your favorite groups have comebacks, chances are you see their performances posted online. Imagine being in the audience for these performances!
Unlike concerts, music shows are free. However, live show-goers are picked randomly through the broadcasting stations or idol-specific fan clubs. Thankfully, some programs have made the process easier for international fans:
Mnet “M Countdown”
In order to attend M Countdown, fans lineup outside the CJ E&M studio and selection is based on a first-come, first serve basis. Be sure to get there early, only the first 200 people will be admitted!
KBS Music Bank
For a chance of attending, you need to sign up on the official SBS website with an alien registration number or passport and submit an application. These winners are selected by lucky draw.
In similar fashion as Music Bank, you will need to download the official SBS application and create an account. These winners are also selected by lucky draw.
References: How to apply for K-pop Music Shows. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/CU/CU_EN_8_7_2_1.jsp