|Summer Spots in Seoul|
While heading for famous vacation spots bustling with people is a good idea, why not find unique getaways in the city for a special summer far away from the army of parasols along the coast? Keep reading for some Seoul summer spots where the air is cool and the iced coffee cooler.
Platoon Kunsthalle – A cultural space pushing the boundaries of art
Uniquely built of 28 ISO cargo containers, Platoon Kunsthalle is operated by Platoon, a group dedicated to non-mainstream cultural campaigns. The containers, which are the main construction material, aptly express the philosophy of the group to break stereotype ideas for a more open line of communication. Platoon Kunsthalle is a special cultural space that values exhibition itself rather than space. Depending on the day’s events, the space takes on the functions of a gallery, a bar, café, workshop, party venue, club, performance space, or library.
On the second floor, there is a small sitting room with books on art and four art studios. These studios are given rent-free to young, talented artists from Korea and abroad who have been awarded the opportunity to stay for up to six months creating works of art. At the conclusion of their stay, these works will be exhibited on the first floor.
Hongdae Sangsangmadang – Combining art and Hongdae’s youthful vibe
Located in Hongdae, Sangsangmadang is a multi-cultural space run by KT&G. Hongdae Sangsangmadang is housed in an eleven-floor building with seven floors above ground and four below ground. The building features a theater, performance hall, design shops, galleries, studios, and cafes. This establishment supports the creative activities of artists and offers the public a chance to enjoy various forms of art.
The Design Square on the first floor shines with unusual style and original ideas. All the design products on exhibit are for sale. The space exhibits the works of a new designer every two to three weeks. The gallery on the second and third floors features special exhibitions with a different theme each time, such as media art, illustration, or calligraphy. Most works are of emerging artists. The exhibitions are organized in tandem with performances, seminars, or concerts to further engage the public into the exhibitions.
Times Square – From dining and shopping to entertainment and relaxation
Opened in September 2009, Times Square is a gigantic mall with department stores, a hotel, shopping malls, theaters, and a discount shopping mart all under one roof. The Main Atrium, which is the center of Times Square, stretches up five stories to meet a glass ceiling, filling the spacious interior with natural light. Take your time to explore all that Times Square has to offer. Visit the Ecology Park, square, fountain, or roof-top garden to experience the greener side of this major shopping complex.
● Namu Geuneul – A gallery, bookstore & eco-park all in one place
The book café Namu Geuneul is located inside Times Square’s Ecology Park. The café has paintings by famous artists and books for visitors to enjoy while relaxing in the café. The building in which the café is housed was built in 1936 and was home to Gyeongseong, Korea's first textile manufacturing plant. Part of the café has even been designated a national cultural asset. Every order comes with refillable house coffee and bread/toast.
● ”I like Dalki” Kids' Park – A day of fun for the kids
Located on the second basement floor of Times Square, “I like Dalki” is a children's playground featuring the famous Korean logo-turned-cartoon character, “Dalki”. The children’s playhouses, classrooms, and other play facilities create a unique space for children to have fun and develop their curiosity, creativity, and motor skills.
DDP – A landmark of Korean design
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) officially opened its doors to the public on March 21, 2014. The acronym DDP also stands for 'Dream', 'Design', and 'Play,' and represents the plaza's function as a multi-purpose design center that aims to foster innovation, creativity and talent. Designed by renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, the DDP was built on a 62,957 square-meter site. The plaza, with its four above-ground stories and three underground levels, is characterized by the lack of straight lines, a curved shape, and a three-dimensional atypical architecture that make everything in sight blend seamlessly.
From the curved windows to the coiling staircase, the absence of angles gives the impression that there is no beginning and end. The interior is divided into five themed areas that serve as an international meeting venue, a concert hall, and a learning space supporting children’s creativity and imagination. At the Design Market, visitors can find some restaurants, cafes, and multi-brand shops.
Other Places of Interest
● Lotte World Indoor Ice Skating Rink
Located on the third basement level of Lotte World Theme Park, the indoor ice skating rink is open year-round. The rink is popular both in winter as well as in summer, when the ice provides a refreshing retreat from the heat. Seats are available around the rink and the rink side restaurants serve up delicious international cuisine. A trip to Lotte World Indoor Ice Skating Rink is a great one-day getaway for families and couples.