From old factories to abandoned mining caves, check out some of South Korea’s most Instagram-worthy hotspots given a new breath of life!
South Korea is known for their super Instagram-worthy hotspots and cafes, so you can definitely count on them to give a new lease of life to even the most run-down places. Over the years, many abandoned places in South Korea have transformed into popular cafes and filming locations. Here’s a list of the most popular repurposed hotspots in South Korea for you to explore:
1. Baesan Archive, Seoul
Radiating lo-fi vibes, Baesan Archive is a cafe loved by many for their high ceilings, relaxing dim lighting, and hip art installations. Not only does the cafe serve up delicious bites like truffle fries, pizzas, and pints of refreshing draft beer, it also doubles up as an event space!
With prominent clients like Samsung hosting the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Launch Party, it’s incredible how an abandoned warehouse from the 1990s has transformed into one of the most sought-after venues today.
How to get there: Take Seoul Subway Line 2 to Seongsu Station and walk 4 minutes to Baesan Archive.
Address: 78 Seongsui-ro, Seongdong-Gu, Seoul, South Korea
2. Oil Tank Culture Park, Seoul
Formerly an oil depot for over 40 years, the Oil Tank Culture Park has since been revamped into a cultural park hosting cultural and community events regularly on their wide courtyard (it used to be a parking lot!). The oil tanks have also been given a new lease of life—housing various performances and exhibitions regularly.
How to get there: Take Seoul Subway Line 6 to World Cup Stadium Station and walk 5 minutes to Oil Tank Culture Park.
Address: 87 Jeungsan-ro, Seongsan-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
3. F1963, Busan
Built in 1963, F1963 was once a wire factory. In 2016, it was repurposed into an eco-friendly, multi-cultural complex and now it houses cafes, bars, green spaces, and even a library. One of the more popular hunts here is Terarosa Coffee, a popular Instagram hotspot and industrial-styled cafe that’s perfect for gatherings.
How to get there: Take Busan Metro Line 3 to Mangmi station and transfer to Bus 54 at Geumho Gas Station bus stop (outside Mangmi station). Alight at Kiswire bus stop (outside Costco) and walk 3 minutes to F1963.
Address: 20 Gurak-ro 123(baegisipsam)beon-, Mangmi 2(i)-dong, Suyeong-gu, Busan, South Korea
4. Choryang 845, Busan
Repurposed from an old factory in Busan, Choryang 845 is a popular cafe serving delectable Korean dishes prepared with fresh local produce. Perched atop a hill overlooking a quaint residential neighbourhood, Choryang 845 is easily one of the most Instagram-worthy hotspots in South Korea with its spectacular view and minimalistic interior.
For more food recommendations, check out the ultimate Seoul Food Guide: 8 Best Must-Eat Restaurants in Seoul.
How to get there: Take Busan Metro Line 1 to Choryang Station and walk 3 minutes to Inchang Hospital bus stop to transfer to Bus 52. Alight at Geumsusa Temple bus stop and walk 1 minute to Choryang 845.
Address: 533-5 Mangyang-ro, Choryang 6(yuk)-dong, Dong-gu, Busan, South Korea
5. Munhwa Gonggam Sujeong, Busan
Munhwa Gonggam Sujeong (Cultural Space Sujeong) was built in 1943 as the residential estate of Japanese railroad administrators. Preserving its traditional Japanese architecture, Munhwa Gonggam Sujeong is also now one of the most popular attraction in Busan offering traditional tea and peaceful strolls along its Japanese-style gardens!
How to get there: Take Busan Metro Line 1 to Choryang Station and walk 3 minutes to Inchang Hospital bus stop to transfer to Bus 87. Alight at YMCA bus stop and walk 3 minutes to Munhwa Gonggam Sujeong.
Address: 1010, Sujeong-dong, Dong-gu, Busan, South Korea
6. Gemstone Cafe, Busan
Another highly-raved cafe in Busan, Gemstone Cafe, is a pool-themed cafe decorated with vibrant colours screaming summer fun. Formerly a swimming complex, Gemstone Cafe now also doubles up as a popular venue for fan meetings, public talks, and even fashion shows!
How to get there: Take Busan Metro Line 1 to Jungang Station and walk 1 minute to Busan Customs bus stop to transfer to Bus 88-1. Alight at Yeongdo Bongnae Traditional Market bus stop and walk less than a minute to Gemstone Cafe.
Address: Bongnae 1(il)-dong, Busan, South Korea
7. Gwangmyeong Cave, Gyeonggi-do
Gwangmyeong Cave has come a long way. It was first mined for minerals like gold and silver, before becoming a war shelter during the Korean War, and then a storage for salted shrimp after the war.
After being transformed into a tourist attraction in 2011, the once abandoned cave is now a must-visit in South Korea. Hosting various fashion shows, movie screenings and exhibitions, the Gwangmyeong Cave also offers wine-tasting sessions and even has a western restaurant!
How to get there: Take Seoul Subway Line 7 to Cheolsan Station and transfer to Bus 17. Alight at Gwangmyeongdonggul Cave bus stop.
Address: 142 Gahak-ro 85(palsibo)beon-gil, Hagon-dong, Gwangmyeong-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
8. Cafe Valor, Incheon
Originally a steel factory, Cafe Valor is now decorated with an exquisite collection of rare vintage furniture from all over the world. It’s so popular that multiple music videos and fashion shoots have also found their way to this unique cafe. No wonder Cafe Valor is an Instagram-worthy hotspot in South Korea too!
How to get there: Take Seoul Subway Line 1 to Dongam station and transfer to Bus 103. Alight at Seollin Methodist Church bus stop and walk less than a minute to Cafe Valor.
Address: 246-1 Sipjeong 1(il)-dong, Bupyeong-gu, Incheon, South Korea
If you’re wondering where to stay in Seoul, check out our ultimate Guide to 5 Best Neighbourhoods in Seoul. Plus, don’t forget to book your accommodation with your YouTrip card to enjoy up to 63% + 6% discount for hotels in Seoul!
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