1 Hour Activities


OKITCHEN 5
Gukjegeumyung-ro 2-gil, Yeongdeungpo-gu, floor B1
82-(0)2-797-6420

A SHORT WALK TO SLOW FOOD

  • Savor the flavors of French-inspired Korean cuisine

One of Seoul’s best restaurants is barely a block from the Conrad. Modern bistro OKitchen 5 is the fifth restaurant opened by Yonaguni Susumu and his Korean artist wife Oh Jeong-mi, both beloved fixtures in the local slow food scene. Chef Susumu eschews the term “fusion” but his French-influenced menu makes use of Korean ingredients like doenjang (fermented bean paste) and chili peppers, as well as fresh herbs from their garden. Try the seafood sampler, a platter of local, seasonal seafood bites such as black rockfish with a jangajji (soy sauce-fermented pickle) chutney or smoked mackerel with ginger and dried seaweed. Traditionalists will appreciate the dry-aged hanwoo (Korean beef) served with housemade potato chips.
From the Conrad Seoul, simply go down Gukjegeumyung-ro 2-gil. OKitchen is towards the end of the road, before you reach the iconic leaning pillars of the SK S-Trenue skyscraper.

OKITCHEN 5
Gukjegeumyung-ro 2-gil, Yeongdeungpo-gu, floor B1
82-(0)2-797-6420

JUNG SIK DANG
11, Seolleung-ro, 158-gil, Gangnam-gu
82-(0)2-517-4654
jungsik.kr

DINE LIKE A K-POP STAR

  • Where local flavors meets molecular gastronomy, experience a diner favored by the pop elite

If you’re already familiar with the basics of Korean food, it’s time to explore its cutting edge. Jung Sik Dang is a pioneer of neo-Korean cuisine, pushing the boundaries of local flavors using molecular gastronomy techniques. Chef Lim Jung Sik transforms Korean dishes like bibimbap by making it with seaweed purée, sea urchin, and fried millet. Be on the lookout for Korean music and movie celebs: the restaurant, in the heart of Apgujeong—one of Gangnam’s more well-heeled districts—is steps away from “Kstar Road,” named for its proximity to music label headquarters.
Jung Sik Dang is located in Korea’s famous Gangnam District – internationally known for its Gangnam Style. Look for the mismatched buildings and crowded signs of Seolleung-ro 158-gil, where you’ll find Jung Sik Dang on the corner where the road turns up in an L shape.

JUNG SIK DANG
11, Seolleung-ro, 158-gil, Gangnam-gu
82-(0)2-517-4654
jungsik.kr

TRAFFIC
21,Seolleung-ro 161-gil, Gangnam-gu
82-(0)2-3446-7359

SU NORAEBANG
16, Apgujeong[21] -ro 50-gil, Gangnam-gu
82-(0)2-518-9334
skysu.com

HIT THE TOWN

  • Spin vinyl at a retro LP bar and listen to some classic tunes
  • Make your own music with a night out at the noraebang (Korean karaoke)

An unexpectedly low-key destination in the glitzy Apgujeong neighborhood is Traffic, a mod “LP bar” with sleek white-and-blond wood interiors and glowy lighting. Note the wall filled with thousands of records from the ‘70s to the ‘90s (the owner was a DJ in the ‘70s). You can make requests or just sit back and enjoy the tunes to find out what the locals are nostalgic for. You’ll hear a good mix of Korean and Western favorites because, hey, Koreans loved the Beatles, too. Ready to take it up a notch? A true night out Korean-style involves a late-night stop at a noraebang (Korean for karaoke). While traditional noraebang sell alcohol and light snacks, Su Noraebang offers not only drinks, but also popcorn and ice cream, and is all about the music (you may even notice some aspiring K-pop fans practicing solo). The best way to enjoy your noraebang session to bring along a couple of friends and get everyone up and dancing in your private room. Pro-tip: follow Korean rules by changing the disposable cover before handing off your mic to the next singer.
Located in the north of Gangnam, Traffic is found in Cheongdam-dong, a luxury shopping area that epitomizes the wealthy lifestyle of many young professional Koreans. The main street is even known as ‘Fashion Street’ for all the designer labels and brands. From Apgujeong-ro, turn into Apgujeong-ro 50-gil and you’ll see Traffic amongst the posters and bright storefronts.

TRAFFIC
21,Seolleung-ro 161-gil, Gangnam-gu
82-(0)2-3446-7359

SU NORAEBANG
16, Apgujeong[21] -ro 50-gil, Gangnam-gu
82-(0)2-518-9334
skysu.com

THE TOP HAT
Fin Tower 12th floor, 280-2, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu
82-(0)10-9831-2131
facebook.com/thetophat.seoul

GIN AND TONIC WITH A VIEW

  • Sip sunset drinks at a bar with a view

After an afternoon in central Seoul, kick off your evening with sunset drinks at The Top Hat, a cocktail bar with a lot of ground rules: no sandals, no shorts, no photos of the menu, no instagrams of your perfectly-prepared highball. We’re willing to obey these edicts for top-notch service and an extensive drink list (over 100 kinds of whisky and 40 kinds of champagne, for starters). Plus the rooftop offers killer views of Seoul’s latest starchitect creation — Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid. It’s a glowing wonder at night, though those coveted spots are reserved for VIP bottle service only.
Directly opposite Dongdaemon History and Culture Park, you can’t miss the striking origami-like folds of Seoul’s Fin Tower. Head directly up to the 12th floor for impressive views out across the city.

THE TOP HAT
Fin Tower 12th floor, 280-2, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu
82-(0)10-9831-2131
facebook.com/thetophat.seoul

OBJECT
23, Eoulmadang-ro 5-gil, Mapo-gu
82-(0)2-333-1369

OVAL
48-29, Wausan-ro 29-gil, Mapo-gu, 3rd floor
82-(0)2-325-1981

1300K
11, Jandari-ro 2-gil, Mapo-gu
82-(0)2-322-2131
1300k.com

SANGSANG MADANG
65, Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu
82-(0)2-330-6200
sangsangmadang.com

NAMUL-MEOKNEUN GOM
20-12 Jandari-ro, Mapo-gu
82-(0)2-323-9930

SHOP FOR LOCAL DESIGNS

  • Combining the functional and the beautiful, discover well-designed, unique stationary
  • Dig in to Korean comfort food, including the country’s signature dish: bibimbap

With its intense focus on all things academic, Seoul is a stationery-lovers’ mecca, and it’s in the arts university Hongdae neighborhood that you’ll find the best stationery stores and creative lifestyle products from local artisans. Object offers vintage Korean home goods and jewelry and stationery. Sparsely-decorated and lovely Oval has a carefully-curated collection of letter-press cards, Japanese leather portfolios, and vintage pencils. For the teens in your life, browse the robot toys and vintage posters at 1300k. The widest and best-curated selection design goods can be found at SangSang Madang. Some of our favorite finds include Tale Design’s moon glass, a cup that shows you the waning moon as you drink from it, and post-it notes in the shape of gingko leaves and cherry blossoms. Ready for lunch? Stop in at Namul-meokneun Gom, a Korean restaurant in a hanok (traditional curved roof home) with a lovely outdoor courtyard. Though the bibimbap, chaeyuk bokkeum (spicy grilled pork) and naengmyeon (cold noodles) are plated individually (traditional Korean restaurants serve most dishes family style), the recipes come straight from the septugenerian grandmother who still works in the kitchen.
Northwest of the Han River, the Mapo District is known for its urban arts and indie music culture, clubs and entertainment. That includes being the HQ for many K-Pop labels which are fiercely followed in South Korea. From the Conrad Seoul you can take a train to Sangsu or Hapjeong to put you in the middle of Mapo-gu, or head out via cab which will take around 30 minutes.

OBJECT
23, Eoulmadang-ro 5-gil, Mapo-gu
82-(0)2-333-1369

OVAL
48-29, Wausan-ro 29-gil, Mapo-gu, 3rd floor
82-(0)2-325-1981

1300K
11, Jandari-ro 2-gil, Mapo-gu
82-(0)2-322-2131
1300k.com

SANGSANG MADANG
65, Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu
82-(0)2-330-6200
sangsangmadang.com

NAMUL-MEOKNEUN GOM
20-12 Jandari-ro, Mapo-gu
82-(0)2-323-9930

LEEUM SAMSUNG
60-16, Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Yongsan-gu
82-(0)2-2014-6900
leeum.org

PARC
26-5, Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Yongsan-gu, 2nd floor
82-(0)2-792-2022
parcseoul.com

STEEP YOURSELF IN ART

  • Immerse yourself in both Korean and international art at an architectural marvel.
  • Try a modern bistro and sample some artfully traditional family recipes.

The Leeum Samsung museum is notable not only for the breadth of its collection but also its architecture. Mario Botta designed the space that houses traditional Korean works from the past 1,500 years and Jean Nouvel designed the second structure, which contains modern works from Korea and abroad from the last century. Here, you’ll find both exquisite Silla Dynasty golden crowns and Nam June Paik’s groundbreaking video installation art. Keep in mind that tickets for the two galleries are sold separately, so if you have limited time, you may have to choose one over the other—in which case, we’d suggest opting for the traditional galleries, whose treasures rarely travel outside the country. Afterwards, stop by modern Korean bistro Parc, just down the hill, where the recipes are straight from the owner’s mother. Order the hearty bulgogi and pair it with a bottle of Hwayo, an smooth soju made using Korean rice and artisanal brewing methods—a burgeoning trend.
Found in the center of Hannam-Dong – a trendy area of boutique cafes, restaurants and bars – the Leeum Samsung museum is just 35 minutes from the Conrad Seoul via the 5 and 6 lines. From Hangangjin station, walk down Itaewon-ro 55-gil until you find yourself facing the bold postmodern lines and entirely glass facade of the museum.

LEEUM SAMSUNG
60-16, Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Yongsan-gu
82-(0)2-2014-6900
leeum.org

PARC
26-5, Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Yongsan-gu, 2nd floor
82-(0)2-792-2022
parcseoul.com

COEX AQUARIUM
513, Yeondongdae-ro, Gangnam-gu
82-(0)2-6002-6200
coexaqua.com

DID SOMEONE SAY SHARK?

  • From sharks to frogs, and rainforests to oceans, discover a world of creatures at an incredible aquarium

If inclement weather calls for an indoor activity, you don’t even have to leave the subway: you can reach the COEX Aquarium straight from Samseong Station (Line 2). The aquarium showcases over 40,000 sea creatures, spread across diverse ecosystems including rainforests, swamps, and the deep ocean. At the kid’s area, little ones can interact with frogs and sea anemones. Not to be missed: the shark tunnel, a glass-encased tunnel where you can get up close and personal with the predators. And if one parent needs downtime, there is plenty of shopping opportunities at the COEX complex. A word to the wise: avoid Samseong Station (and the entire southern side of Line 2) during rush hours at all costs. (There’s a nickname for the subway at this hour, and it’s a play on the Korean word for “hell.”)
Home of Asia’s best nightclubs, the province of Samseong-dong is also known for its renowned restaurants and malls. This includes the COEX Mall, which is actually the world’s largest underground shopping center. From Samseong, follow the directions to the aquarium and you’ll soon be in a watery wonderland.

COEX AQUARIUM
513, Yeondongdae-ro, Gangnam-gu
82-(0)2-6002-6200
coexaqua.com

HAN RIVER FERRY CRUISE
Yeouinaru Dock, 5 min from Yeouinaru Station, exit 3
82-(0)2-3271-6900
elandcruise.com

GET ON THE WATER

  • View Seoul’s spectacular skyline by day or by night on a river cruise

The easiest way to take in all of Seoul’s skyline without climbing a mountain is to hop on a Han River Ferry Cruise right at Yeouinaru Port. Skip the themed dinner cruises and opt instead for the sweet and simple river tour (30 minute and 70 minute options). Don’t be alarmed by the red Christmas lights forming a heart-shaped tunnel up the gangplank. Once onboard, you’ll find young families, travelers and grandparents in addition to youthful lovebirds. Get a seat on the top deck for a breath of fresh air. Daytime cruises give you the chance to see birds on the river’s islands, though nighttime offers the most dramatic views. We recommend the 30-minute cruise that sets off at 7:30pm.
For Yeouinaru Station you only need to head around the corner; it’s literally on your doorstep. From Gukjegeumyung-ro, take a left into Yeoeuido-dong and walk out to the water. The port nestles on the river, near the Mapo bridge.

HAN RIVER FERRY CRUISE
Yeouinaru Dock, 5 min from Yeouinaru Station, exit 3
82-(0)2-3271-6900
elandcruise.com