Dongdaemun is a historical place in Seoul in which you can see an extraordinary structure and this is the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Let’s find out what can we see and do here.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문 디자인 플라자) or DDP has an impressive structure of modern architecture. Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, in 2014. The design from the outside is stunning and cool while the inside has spectacular designs that continue with elaborate archways and fancy lighting.
They selected DDP as one of the “Top 52 Places to Visit in 2015” by the New York Times. It was also the most Instagram-tagged location in 2015 in Korea. DDP also is a great venue for exhibitions, design-related shows, events, and gatherings. Because of the unique design, it became the newest and most iconic landmark in the Korean design industry and A MUST-see place for every modern architecture and design lover!
More About DDP
Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (동대문역사문화공원) have traditional and modern cultural facilities that come all at once with harmony and this was also the newest park in Seoul. During the Joseon dynasty, it was used as a military training ground and the major historical remains can be found still in the place including the original section of the Seoul City Walls. The park also includes the water gateway built in the Joseon dynasty called Yigansumun.
Before this place was an open space, and they transformed it into a beautiful LED Rose Garden that displays the unique, magnificent, and modern technology of LED lights. There are almost 25,550 LED roses lit up in the dark which serves as the best attraction in Seoul during the night, especially for couples.
Things to do near Dongdaemun Design Plaza
This place is also composed of different halls such as the Art Museum and Design Lab which holds different kinds of art and cultural exhibits. Last 2017, I got the chance to see Pixar’s Exhibit where I saw the life-size figures like Lightyear BUZZ and Woody of Toy Story, and the cute monsters from Monster University. This year they also held the Disney Exhibit of Mickey Mouse.
Visit the Dongdaemun History Museum
The museum was built in 2009 and re-opened in 2020 in order to preserve the relics from the construction of Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Admission is free and open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and the museum is also closed during Mondays and New Year’s Day.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza is surrounded by shopping malls, markets, and boutiques. That’s why it is famous as one of the shopping districts in Seoul. There are seven must shop in Dongdaemun which includes Doota Mall where you can find more modern styles and higher quality items but are expensive. If you are looking for a shopping mall that has an entire selection of premium top brands you can visit the Lotte Fittin across the DDP. If you are looking for stylish and cheaper ones, you can find those at hello apM and Migliore. Wholesale shoppers mostly visit apM Place and U:US shopping malls where you can see a lot of shopping bags in every stall.
Aside from the shopping malls, SM Town Store and Kakao Friends are the most visited shop with Kpop and cute merchandise in DDP.
Experience the Seoul City Tour Bus
Another way to experience Seoul through Dongdaemun is the Seoul City Tour Bus. The city tour bus provides a shuttle tour where you can see the most popular attractions in the city.
There are different tour courses which you can choose includes the Traditional Culture Course. A 22-stop course that will take you to the historic palaces of Seoul. The course also includes top destinations like Namsan Tower, Myeongdong, Namdaemun, Itaewon, and the National Museum of Korea. Other courses are Hangang/Jamsil Course and the Night view course costs 15,000 to 18,000 won for adults and 9,000 to 12,000 for children.
Whenever I visit DDP, I always saw a lot of fashion models and tourist who loves photo shooting here. This year, DDP also launched a photo service called Panorama Seoul.
Korean Drama Filming Location
Some of the famous Korean Dramas such as My Love from the Stars and Love Alarm were filmed here. In addition to that is Song Joongki and Jeon Yeo Been’s Korean drama, Vincenzo.
Play the Piano
This is a bonus when you know how to play the piano because there’s one available at DDP that you can use whenever you want. It’s free and honestly, a lot of locals who play it. I also unleashed my hidden talent and play my piece for 29 seconds (hahaha). I am not a pianist so bear with me.
* Every Wednesday, Friday: Extended hours 10:00-21:00
281, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 중구 을지로 281 (을지로7가)
How to get here?
Seoul Subway Line 4, Dongdaemun Design Plaza History and Culture Park Station, exit 1
Seoul Subway Line 1, Dongdaemun Station, exit 8
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