Strange and Unique Things To Do In Seoul

Known for its odd combinations and unique products, Seoul has no shortage of strange offerings to visitors and residents alike. The largest city in South Korea, Seoul melds Korean influences with foreign ones like no other city. These uniquely Korean takes on marketable ideas often produce puzzling, yet wonderful, results. There are endless possibilities in Seoul for finding odd attractions, but we wanted to share our list of go-to strange and unique things to do in Seoul.

UNIQUE

The lifeblood of a city is its ability to satisfy every proclivity and personality and Seoul has this covered in spades. From great food to awesome night life, Seoul is an amazing city, but in this guide we want to share some of the more obscure but equally wonderful attractions this city has to offer.


UNIQUE CAFES

Animal Cafes

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While cafes might not seem an oddity to most, Seoul famously has some of the strangest ones you’ll probably ever experience. With such a high concentration of confounding coffee shops and cafes, you’d be foolish not to opt for an animal or themed cafe. As we’ve covered before, animal cafes can be found in most cities across the country, but the capital is understandably more adventurous with its forays with animal variations. Most of these cafes you’ll find are going to be cat cafes and almost any sign in Korea with a cat on it has a 80% chance of advertising a nearby cat cafe, but you can also find dog, sheep, and raccoon variants. Hongdae, a young collegiate area of the city, is notorious for its cafes with its younger student customers always demanding the newest, most unique, cafe concepts.

Address:

Tom’s Cat Hongdae
서울 마포구 와우산로21길 26 3층

Theme Cafes

Poop Cafe // Insadong Seoul

Image from Seoul Searching!

Other than animals, there are many other strangely themed cafes to be explored in Seoul. Insa-dong has a toilet/poop themed cafe where your coffee mug is actually a miniature toilet. If drinking the brown stuff out off a toilet (I mean coffee, of course) doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are Hello Kitty, VW campervan/road trip, princess, and dress up cafes to relax in and enjoy your beverage of choice. These shops tend to cost a little bit more than your typical Starbucks or Tom ‘n’ Toms, but have the possibility of being both entertaining and providing ample Instagram opportunities!

Address:

Poop Cafe in Insadong
서울 종로구 인사동길 44


ENTERTAINMENT ROOMS

Singing Rooms (Norebang/노래방)

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During a night on the town in Seoul, there are endless options for people looking to extend the evening toward the sunrise. The most common way for a group of people to add fuel to the fire and keep a night alive is to visit a Noraebang, or song room. Known to most people as karaoke rooms, these rooms allow patrons to sing their hearts out while copious amounts of beer and soju abound. While some chains have more English songs available, even the smaller noraebangs offer an English selection at the back of their song book. One of those “Can’t Miss” activities in South Korea, noraebangs are just shy of mandatory for anyone wanting to see where a normal night out with friends in Korea ends.

Multi Room

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Alternately, for people wanting to play games but unfamiliar with PC gaming, there are the ambiguously named “Multi Bang.” These rent-able rooms combine singing rooms, PC Bangs, board games, and unlimited ice cream into a very entertaining package. You change activities at will to satisfy everyone in your party and there is something for just about anyone. We loved visiting Multi Rooms while living in Seoul for the variety and snacks alone. You can play games on the Nintendo Wii and other consoles (depending on the multi space) as well as many other activities to keep you occupied. These Multi Rooms charge by the hour (usually not too expensive), so be careful of getting into heated competitions that last late into the night.


UNUSUAL MUSEUMS

Trick Eye Museum

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Intentionally quirky, the Trick Eye Museum is an irreverent twist on the traditional museum experience. This interactive museum encourages visitors to touch, photograph, and interact with the installments. Ranging from funny to awkward; confusing to risque, the Trick Eye museum is perfect afternoon escape from the crowded streets of Hongdae. Additionally, the museum ticket is coupled with admittance to an indoor ice slide, an action figure painting station, and an area to dress in stage costumes and pose for photos in front of exciting backdrops.

Address:

Hongdae Trick Eye Museum
서울 마포구 홍익로3길 20 서교프라자 지하2층

Love Museum

Love Museum // Hongdae Seoul

From timeout.com!

While the Trick Eye Museum may be a staple among oddities in Korea, a new entrant to the arena of strange cultural experiences is the Love Museum. Our friends Scott and Megan of Bobo and Chichi (NSFW!) recently visited this museum and made a hilarious video. This overly sexual museum is for adults only and, like the TEM, encourages interaction with the exhibits. As an added bonus, these interactive museums are in the same building. We recommend saving the Love Museum for last so that you can exit the building awkwardly after you finish for some much needed fresh air.

Address:

Hongdae Love Museum
서울 마포구 홍익로3길 20 서교프라자 지하3층

MoMA

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A more traditional museum that still offers uniquely strange displays is the Museum of Modern Art. From moving mechanical alien bugs to high brow paintings, MoMA in Seoul is a well designed and enjoyable museum that departs from the traditional offerings of many Korean museums with unique and strange installments. We found many works of art that completely befuddled us and excited wild speculations regarding what we actually looking at. This museum located near the Royal Palace, Gyeongbokgung, is a perfect side trip from summer heat in Inclement weather as well as being an all-around good museum.

Address:

Seoul MoMA
서울 종로구 삼청로 30

Seodaemun Prison Museum

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If art isn’t your cup of tea and you’d like to dabble in a bit more of the macabre, then we’ve got the perfect option for you! While not funny in the way our previous entries are, the Seodaemun Prison Museum is a dark look at Korea’s history with this unique museum. Paying tribute to imprisoned political prisoners and oppositional Koreans during the Japanese occupation, this museum is guaranteed to be as heart-wrenching as it is awkward. Children gleefully climbing into torture devices while their parents snap pictures is a common occurrence, as are terribly stereotypical life-sized Japanese guard mannequins resembling Micky Rooney in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Address:

Seodaemun Prison
서울 서대문구 통일로 251


BONUS PLACES

Dr. Fish

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A relaxing spa treatment to unwind after a long day in the city? This might not sound all to strange, but the wonderful fact remains that there are several cafes and spas around Korea that have Dr. Fish. Whether at a spa or coffee shop, these unicorns of Seoul allow you to dip your feet into a small pool of water filled with ravenous fish to eat your dead skin cells. These places are always moving and changing, but you can find our most recent confirmed location HERE.

Camping Restaurants

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Hiking and camping are no longer just for the older generation in Korea as more and more younger people take to the outdoors. And recently, camping themed restaurants have been popping up all over the country. Our favorite one, however is the teepee BBQ restaurant at the foot of the most famous national park in Korea, Bukhansan. The name of the restaurant is Indian Soul and you can sit beneath a teepee or tent and BBQ all kinds of meat and veggies after spending a bit of time in the national park.

Address:

Indian Soul
서울 도봉구 도봉산길 12-15

Yongma Land

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Yongma Land is an abandoned amusement park that has yet to be cleared away for more development. The old rides and video games are all still there for anyone to explore. Many Kpop songs and modeling photo shoots have been set in this location, including the very famous Crayon Pop song, Bar Bar Bar. To gain entrance, you will need to pay the park owner 5,000 won per person, but it is worth it for a fun afternoon exploring the old rides.

Address:

Yongma Land
서울 중랑구 망우로70길 103

SignatureStrange // Unique Things to do in Seoul

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2017-03-06T09:21:04+00:00 By |Korea, Seoul, Things To Do|20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. CityGirlSearching April 26, 2016 at 10:45 am - Reply

    Hey guys! Such a great roundup. I have been to a few of the animal cafe’s but need to still get to the Sheep cafe and I heard about a Parrot Cafe too??

    That photo of Ryan climbing the bamboo is just too much, so funny!

    Dale and I have to get to a camping restaurant before we leave…too awesome to miss!
    A really great roundup filled with useful info (especially the addresses, thank you for sharing that!).

    • Hedgers Abroad May 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      If you guys have time to make one last trip up to Seoul before you leave, you should definitely try out the crazy cafes and camping themed restaurants. Definitely haven’t heard of the parrot cafe, but that sounds pretty awesome, too!

  2. Megan Indoe April 26, 2016 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    I remember first getting to Korea and putting up an instagram post from a “multi bang” and needless to say I had some worried friends back at home with a name like that! We live right by Sodaemun and never even thought that the prison there was a place you could even visit! Perhaps we will have to check it out! Scott and I accidentally came down the wrong side of Bukhansan and saw that TeePee restaurant and wanted to go! We could never remember where exactly it was we saw that place to go back…now we can go! Thanks guys!

    • Hedgers Abroad May 2, 2016 at 12:45 pm - Reply

      The multi room we were in our first time literally had a wall decal that said “You can do everything in here!” hahaha. You guys should check out Seodaemun since you live so close by. Definitely a creepy place. You can brush up on a bit of history while posing in a torture device! Win win!

  3. alla0909 April 30, 2016 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    Poop cafe? and people go there? oh my god! nice find and great article. I’m in Daejeon, but might just make a trip out of visiting the Poop Cafe, haha.

    • Hedgers Abroad May 2, 2016 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      Oh yeah! Korea has some sort of weird obsession with “cute poo.” Strange to say the least haha

  4. ehevesy2014 April 30, 2016 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Awesome blog post here! I knew about several of these places but I’m really interested in checking out the MoMA, the Indian Soul restaurant (now that is a great idea) and the Yongma Land! I think that’s a great idea to charge money to visit an abandoned place! Jeju has Paradise Resort in Seogwipo, they pay security to make sure no one goes inside – I may or may not have been – but it’s an incredible place and think it would be a really niche place to visit if they charged people to enter! The photo ops would be amazing. Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing!

    • Hedgers Abroad May 2, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      There are a lot of those abandoned amusement parks around Korea, but Yongma Land is the only one I know of that you can explore without worry of getting in trouble. Such a missed opportunity by some of the people who own the land to make a bit of cash (not to mention renting it out to Kpop music videos!)

  5. woshilinda May 1, 2016 at 11:34 am - Reply

    A camping cafe? Dang I gotta check that out! Thanks for sharing this awesome list and I pinned it on my Korea wall! <3

    • Hedgers Abroad May 2, 2016 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      Hey, thanks for pinning us! Those camping restaurants really are cool, huh?!

  6. Gina Bear May 2, 2016 at 10:11 am - Reply

    I legitimately love your photography and writing style. I always feel like I’m talking to old friends. The camping cafe looks incredible and I can’t wait to check it out when I’m in Seoul next! It looks like fun! 😀 I also can’t wait to go to the poop cafe. I have a crappy sense of humor. See what I did there? 😉 Okay, I’m done with my shitty jokes. XD

    • Hedgers Abroad May 2, 2016 at 12:33 pm - Reply

      Aw man, thanks! That is such a nice comment. Hope you get a chance to get out and experience some of these places in Seoul (even the shitty ones haha ;))! We definitely miss living in the big city sometimes because there is always something to do!

  7. Laura Nalin May 2, 2016 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    I loved this post. I’d done a lot of these while I was in Korea, but I have to say my favorite of this bunch was either the camping-style BBQ and Seodaemun Prison. I cried when I visited the prison, but I liked the story it told and I think these types of bits of history are so important to know. There’s a camping-style BBQ place in Sinsa-dong that serves the soju and beer in canteens used back in the day. I loved the concept and found it to be super unique. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Wendy Flor May 3, 2016 at 5:04 am - Reply

    Now, this post makes me remember the promise I made to my sons. We’ll do the multi-room soon. They will think i’m the coolest mom hahaha!. And the MoMA! It’s easy access being in the city but I always end up going somewhere else instead of that as originally planned.

  9. thepetiteexplorer August 6, 2016 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    This is a great post! That bbq camping restaurant looks incredible! Thanks!

    • Hedgers Abroad August 23, 2016 at 3:46 pm - Reply

      Thank you! That camping restaurant looks amazing, huh? We haven’t been back to Bukhansan in a while, but we look forward to eating here again!

  10. Klercius August 27, 2016 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    The camping restaurant is too expensive!

    • Hedgers Abroad August 28, 2016 at 1:24 pm - Reply

      Definitely expensive, but you are paying to eat in a teepee haha! I think most specialty restaurants like that tend to be on the pricer side though.

  11. alicevstheworld September 20, 2016 at 1:21 am - Reply

    This all look amazing, I really want to travel to Seoul one day!

  12. […] we’ve experienced dog cafes, cat cafes, cafes where fish eat the dead skin off of your feet, sheep cafes, and even last year’s latest: Raccoon Cafes. Check out our friend’s over at Bobo and […]

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