Built in 2014, Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) is one of the newest iconic landmarks to visit in Seoul. I wasn’t able to visit this on my first trip to Korea as it wasn’t on the tour itinerary, but I made it a point to go to this architectural wonder this summer.
Plus point: This was the filming location forSBS drama “You Who Came from the Stars,” the KBS2 drama “Producer,” and the MBC drama “She Was Pretty”!
DDP has a meaning of Dream, Design, and Play. It holds various exhibitions, fashion shows, forums, conferences, and other domestic and international events. Registration for touring the architecture is available on-site and other event schedules and kid program information are available on the website.
We went there on a weekday afternoon, and it was already relatively crowded. It was probably because there was an ongoing exhibition – “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton”. I suppose Koreans like the brand quite a fair bit, judging by the long queue I once saw outside LV in Apgujeong.
I’m not well-versed in architecture, but I think if you are an enthusiast, you’ll love DDP. It also makes for good photography, which is why you’ll spot a lot of visitors taking photographs here.
The first thing that caught my eye in DDP was… the Kakao Friends store. I’m not sure if it was just me, but I often saw Line Friends stores, but not Kakao Friends.
The store was very crowded, with lots of people waiting to take photos with the mascots. If you’re a fan of the franchise, remember to stop by ~
As mentioned earlier, DDP often hosts various exhibitions. We were hoping to be able to sneak into some free ones, the same with free exhibitions in Singapore equivalents (Suntec, Marina Bay Sands etc.) but had no luck. There was a graphic design exhibition by art students, but the guy at the counter told us that it was paid ticketing. The tickets were slightly pricey, so we decided to just take a free walk around the place instead.
Dining-wise, The venue also houses restaurants, so if you’re hungry you can always grab a bite. And as with most of Korea’s tourist destinations, there are always cosmetics and makeup branches available for you to shop at. The brands I can recall from the top of my head are The Body Shop and Tony Moly. There was also a shop selling K-pop albums and merchandise (smart move), but these were really pricey as compared to my go-to shop in Myeongdong Underground Shopping Center, so I gave the stuff a miss.
I thought DDP was slightly underwhelming for the hype that it’s given – maybe because I had high expectations of the place. I think it’s a nice place to hang out, especially with the open-air concept and atmosphere, but there is not much to do here if you are not keen on paying to see the exhibitions, or not into shopping.
I would recommend allocating about 2-3 hours max for this destination. Anything beyond that, and you’re likely to get bored.
* Every Wednesday, Friday: Extended hours 10:00-21:00
Design Pathway / Oullim Saure / Design Shop, Dongdaemun History & Culture Park, Dongdaemun History Museum 1398, Dongdaemun Stadium Memorial, etc.
Address: 281, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 중구 을지로 281 (을지로7가)
Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, 4 ,5) and Exit 1.
From Incheon International Airport, take AREX (Airport Railroad):
Go to Gimpo International Airport Station → Transfer to Gongdeok Station (Seoul Subway Line 5) → Get off at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station, Exit 1.
From Gimpo International Airport, take AREX (Airport Railroad):
Go to Gimpo International Airport Station → Transfer at Dangsan Station (Seoul Subway Line 2) → Get off at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station, Exit 1.
1. Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station
– Blue bus: N13 , N16 , N30 , N62 , 105 , 144 , 152 , 261 , 301 , 420
– Green bus: 2012 , 2015 , 2233 , 7212
– Red bus: 9403
– City circular bus: 90S Tour
2. Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)
– Green bus: 2012
3. Airport Limousine Bus
From Incheon International Airport:
Board Airport Dongdaemun (Toyoko Inn)-bound Limousine Bus No. 6001 at Incheon International Airport → Toyoko Inn (Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station, Cerestar, Sindang-dong, Gwanghui-dong) → Go across the crosswalk in front of Ramodo Shopping Mall
From Gimpo International Airport:
Board Dongdaemun (Toyoko Inn)-bound Limousine Bus No. 6001 at Gimpo International Airport → Toyoko Inn (Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station, Cerestar, Sindang-dong, Gwanghui-dong) → Go across the crosswalk in front of Ramodo Shopping Mall