If you’ve ever been to Seoul, you’ll probably have taken the bright green metro line (line 2) at least once. This line is unique due to its circular shape and because there are many points of interests and attractions that you can visit by taking just this line in Seoul. I will be breaking the activities that you can do by taking Metro Line 2 into several categories: Shopping, Eating and Sight-seeing.
Hongik University (홍대입구역) & Ehwa University (이대역) Stations
These are the top 2 stations to alight at in line 2 if you want to shop for the latest fashion items. As the name suggests, these 2 stations are located in universities area. This means that fashion items in these areas are usually rather cheap as they are intended for the university students. The items are also frequently updated with the latest trends for the youngsters.
To get to the shopping area, exit at exit 2 or 3 in Ehwa Station or Exit 8 in Hongik University.
Tip: If you go to Hongik University area at night, you may be able to see youngsters performing various items on the streets!
Euljiro-1(il)-ga Station (을지로입구역, Part 1)
Get off at Euljiro-1(il)-ga station and head to exit 7. After a minute or so of walking, you will see a large Lotte Departmental Store that is home to a duty free store. The duty free store allows you to purchase items tax free but must be paid in US Dollars. Sometimes, the duty free store sells branded goods on promotion so it is a place worth looking at if you are intending to purchase branded items.
Tip: Head down to B1 of the Department Store and find yourself in food heaven. You’ll find all sorts of food including the famous BAKE cheese tart from Japan there! Also, please come early as Lotte closes at 8PM!
If you cross the road from Lotte Departmental Store, you will find yourself in Myeongdong area which is cosmetics heaven! You will most likely be able to find any cosmetics brand you are looking for in this area. Some brands like Etude even have several stores on the same street – crazy! Some stores do also sell clothes but the highlight of shopping in Myeongdong is definitely the cosmetic items.
Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (동대문역사문화공원역, Part 1)
Dongdaemun is not an unfamiliar place in Seoul amongst tourist. It’s one of the number one destinations to go to for shopping if you are in this city. The area is similar to Orchard Road in Singapore in a sense that many shopping malls are located side by side. The difference is that these shopping centers are more like Platinum Mall in Bangkok, selling affordable and mostly Korean-made products, not branded goods. Besides having the shopping centers, there are lots of markets too outside in Dongdaemun selling more items at a lower price!
The best part of shopping in Dongdaemun is that some shopping centers are open until 4.30 or 5.00AM! Yes you read it right, 5 o’clock in the MORNING. You can literally shop the whole night in Dongdaemun.
To get to the shopping area, exit at exit 14 of Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station.
Gangnam Station (강남역)
The last stop in line 2 for shopping that I want to highlight is located at Gangnam Station. This is especially a good place to go to when it is raining outside because it is an underground shopping center. The moment you tap out of the subway area, you’ll be greeted by all the stores already, it’s so convenient!
Euljiro-1(il)-ga Station (을지로입구, Part 2)
Continuing from the first part I wrote about this station in the “Shopping” segment, other than shopping for cosmetics from Myeongdong, there are loads to eat in the area too. Exit at exit 7 and The streets are filled with street food and although they are relatively more expensive than other places, it is worth trying if you are only in Seoul for a few days. You’ll be able to find many kinds of food there.
There are also some famous restaurants in Myeongdong area and one of them that I want to highlight is Kyoja (명동교자)! Kyoja is a store selling only 4 – 5 options for diners. Their signature dish is the kalguksu (knife-chopped noodle soup) and mandu (dumplings). The noodle is very very soft and the dumplings are packed with fillings! One bowl costs around 8,000 KRW so it’s very reasonable. The best part is that the noodle and soup is free flow! I would recommend that you go with a friend and order one noodle bowl and one mandu to share – ask for more noodle and soup if you need.
Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (동대문역사문화공원역, Part 2)
If you exit at exit 1 instead of exit 14 in this station, you’ll be able to explore the (relatively) newly built Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). DDP is well known for its unique building structure that looks like an alien space ship. This place is called a Design Plaza because it houses many art exhibitions and cute designer stores. I think it’s more of a sightseeing visit if you go to DDP since there aren’t many shops to shop at here.
If you visit at night, you will be able to see 25,550 LED roses beautifully lit up on DDP’s rooftop – a popular must-take photo when you visit. The display was supposed to be a temporary one but visitors loved it so much they decided to make it a permanent one. Try not to visit if it’s raining or snowing as the lights might be closed off for safety reasons.
City Hall Station (시청역)
Deoksugung Palace is one of the Korean palaces located in Seoul. It’s located near exit 2 of City Hall station. This palace is pretty large, comparable or maybe even larger than Gyeongbukgung Palace (the main palace), so plan your time well if you want to cover the whole palace.
If you are interested in Art, the Seoul Museum of Art is also located in the palace grounds.
Hapjeong Station (합정역)
I wasn’t really sure if I should put this in but.. I enjoyed visiting this place so much, I just had to. Dog lovers, this one’s for you! Go to exit 3 or 4 of Hapjeong Station, find the road in between these 2 exits and look out for BAU House Dog cafe.
The cafe only requires each person to purchase one drink and you can stay there for as long as you want. The cafe is regularly cleaned so it does not stink and there are many kinds of dogs to play with! I ended up spending 2 hours there and I did not want to leave LOL. This will be a good place to go to if you have lots of free time and want to play with dogs 🙂