If you love hipster experiences, hipster places, hipster photos, hipster food, hipster fashion, basically everything hipster, Common Ground is the place to go. I wouldn’t count myself as a hipster, but this is a popular tourist destination, so I figured I might as well visit and see for myself exactly how hipster this would be.
Korea’s first pop-up store built with shipping containers, Common Ground is approximately 5300 square meters in scale, made up of 200 large containers and is capable of transforming into different structures or moving into different places.
Mega-sized mainstream brands are hard to spot in the common ground. Instead, new and trendy mid-sized shops by up-and-coming new designers and editorial shops can be found here.
On the central square of the ground market, a weekend market is held with different themes. In addition, various events such as exhibitions and performances continue to entertain the shoppers while playing its role as a cultural space. On its 3rd floor terrace, famous restaurants sprawl along the sides of the alley. If you feel like having a light snack, you can also pop down to the food trucks on the market ground that offers an exotic gastronomic dining experience.
You have to walk a short distance from the nearest subway station, but this is in fact very easy to spot. How could you miss all these stacked blue shipping containers, right?
This is a very popular photo-taking spot among both locals and tourists because, well, hipsters. Those blue containers definitely make for a good photo background though!
You’ll find these food trucks around the area, although not all of them are open for business. I find the food sold here to be rather expensive as well, so we gave them a miss.
This bakery has apparently been featured on Tasty Road before! They are famous for their cube-shaped bread, and you have to wait for them to bake a fresh batch if they’re out of stock. We waited for about 10 minutes and bought some back to the hotel, but I definitely recommend eating them ASAP because best eaten warm!
The coffee here is made from well-roasted beans and smell superbly good. I also love the relaxing environment here, a good break from the bustle of the city outside. Unfortunately, Google shows that it is permanently closed 😦 I guess rental must be very expensive.
There are also some Korean up-and-coming designer shops at Common Ground for you to do some shopping, but it’s out of most people’s budgets (think expensive, hipster fashion and crafts). I’m all for supporting new designers, but you have to be mentally prepared to pay more here than the shops in say, Dongdaemun or Ewha.
Would I visit Common Ground again? Tbh, I didn’t come back on my following trip because it really was a bit overhyped (in my opinion). It’s a nice place to visit, relax, and take some photos while you’re at it, but not exactly a place you would keep going back to visit. Of course, some people might tell you that this is a must-see for your first trip to Seoul, but ultimately it’s your trip, so you decide if you really want to spend your money and time here.
Address: 200, Achasan-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul
Konkuk University Station (Seoul Subway Line 2 or 7), Exit 6.
Walk straight for 250m to arrive at destination.