SM Entertainment’s HQ in Apgujeong may not be open to visitors, but clearly, they have found another way to
cash in satisfy SM stans. Described as the first and a one-of-a-kind entertainment space, and the ‘great experience you will ever have’, this already sounds extremely promising.
Located right next to COEX, it’s not hard to spot this location at all.
Below is a detailed floor plan I got from the SMTOWN website:
SM describes this place as ‘SMTOWN Theme Park in the City’. They are not wrong, for how close they are to creating an ideal theme park for SM stans.
The first floor had displays of SM artists’ costumes from various eras, and that already got me and a few other visitors rather excited. I wonder if they change their displays very often?
SUM (Celebrity Shop) was the first cash black hole for fans. Idol merchandise for all SM artists are sold here, and the shop was super crowded with teenage fans (it made me feel a bit old haha). The prices of the merchandise also made me pretty uncomfortable, especially when I saw how fast the fans were grabbing merchandise off the shelves.
The highlight, though, was the merchandise that you can’t buy! These have signatures of SM artists on them and are definitely not for sale, but still worth looking at.
Moving on, we reach the second cash black hole – SUM Cafe | Market. This time, it’s food and beverages with SM artists tagged to them.
The food and drinks actually do look very nice, but they are really quite pricey so I didn’t try them.
I also found out that some of the furniture here have surprises on them! Keep your eyes peeled for more signatures ~
I really wanted to have a go at this but they ran out of EXO pin buttons (as expected, duh).
At the SMTOWN Theatre floor, more potential black holes appear. I truly, honestly believe SM is very good at this money-making business.
Here, you get to pick the photographs you want to be printed out as posters. Prices, of course, are nowhere near cheap. If I don’t recall wrongly, the largest size was about 120,000 won.
These 3D-printed models of EXO were super realistic, slightly creepy, and extremely expensive. Recommended if you want to bring a piece of EXO back home, I guess.
Shows for the day! I didn’t manage to catch any because I was in a rush, but if you are free you should catch one of this! (My friend strongly recommends the hologram)
If you feel a bit miffed about not having seen any of your idols in Korea yet, SM has the salve for it – taking a neoprint with your idols!
This cost 5000 won, but it’s really worth the price because the photo was printed on A5 (?) glossy photo paper, and makes for a very nice souvenir to bring back. It’s definitely cheaper than the merchandise in the celebrity shop, although you might have to bear with strange looks from the staff helping you to print the photo.
I had a great time here as a big fan of SM’s artists, and I’m sure that most SM fans will feel the same as well in such a relatable place, together with other like-minded fans.
My only wish is that everything sold here isn’t so expensive – many of the fans I saw were young teenage girls, and I have no idea how they can buy a 10,000++ won drink in the cafe without batting an eyelid.
Other than that, I’m glad this ‘SMTOWN Theme Park in the City’ is free and open to all, and I would highly recommend this as a must-see for K-pop fans, especially if you are a SM stan.
Address: 06164 513, Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea SMTOWN@coexartrium
Samsung Station exits 5 and 6, line 2.
For more information, visit SMTOWN’s website here.