Love it or hate it, Instagram has changed the way many people travel, with some people even going so far as to plan their itineraries around instagrammable spots. Thankfully, Seoul’s Instagram game is STRONG. You’ll have plenty of great photos to post after visiting one (or all) of these unique cafes and concept stores!
If we had to rank all of Seoul’s instagrammable places, Zapangi Café would be in the top spot. The café even appeared in the Australia episodes of “Welcome, First Time in Korea?” Located along Mangnidan-gil in the Mangwon neighborhood, a pink vending machine hides the entrance to this café. The unique door has helped this spot rise to popularity, as evidenced by the many pictures on Instagram. However, not to be upstaged is the interior and sweet treats. Decorated in shades of pink with bright neon signs, the café creates a beautiful backdrop for photos of the fantastic desserts. The signature menus include the mermaid tin cake and unicorn crepe.
For all things pink and lovely, you have to check out Stylenanda Pink Hotel in the shopping district of Myeong-dong. The flagship store of the women’s fashion brand, Stylenanda, is designed like a hotel, with different rooms selling clothing and 3CE beauty products, and a café designed like the hotel swimming pool. The entire shop photographs beautifully, but the most popular spots are the flower-filled bathtub on the second floor and the Pink Pool Café on the fifth floor.
Common Ground opened near Konkuk University as the first container shopping mall in Korea. Despite being a shopping mall, many people come here to take pictures rather than shop. The vibrant blue exterior adds life to what could easily look cold and industrial. The most instagrammable spots are the main entrance, the large Common Ground sign in the inner courtyard, and the third floor terrace.
One café near the North Gate 2 of Olympic Park has remained under the radar so far but it is expected to jump in popularity. Café Maison de Han is set within a modern office building but once you step through the door, you’ll feel as if you entered a hanok (traditional Korean house). The best spot for an insta-worthy photo is at the window seat overlooking Olympic Park. For an even better photo, be sure to order some food and drinks. The signature menus include omija ade (magnolia berry ade) and injeolmi tortilla, a sweet pizza-like dish topped with injeolmi tteok (rice cakes coated with powdered soybeans). If you prefer a bit more of a silly style for your Instagram, the café also has a traditional bridal headpiece and other headwear to try on.
Garosu-gil Road in Sinsa-dong is the epicenter of all things lovely in Seoul, and no place shows that better than the Sinsa branch of Dore Dore. Located within a renovated house, the pastel tones and metallic pink accents attract many people. However, the real reason people visit Dore Dore is for the dreamy cakes. If you’re just going to order one cake, be sure to get the Precious Rainbow Cake. The vibrantly colored cake layers will brighten your day and your Instagram! If you have room in your stomach for more cake, try the 2019 Pig Cake, only available for this year.
Out of all the Instagrammable places we have introduced, Kakao Friends and Line Friend shops are the only places sought out by visitors more than by locals. While there are many of these shops throughout the city, we recommend the easily accessible flagship stores in the Hongdae area. More than just a merchandise shop, the stores have plenty of photo spots to keep you entertained all day. The café on the basement level of the Line Friends store features gigantic character statues and dolls. BTS fans flock here to take pictures with the BT21 characters, personally designed by the group. The Kakao Friends Hongdae Flagship Store offers many items, all decorated with the popular Kakao mascots. While you’re sure to leave with photos, it’s almost impossible to leave without buying an item or two.
* This column was last updated in February 2019, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.