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Detours with locals. Travel tips you can trust.

A guide to local favorites in Euljiro

  • By Haeryun Kang
  • Photos by Jean Chung
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Euljiro is a quirky blend of old Seoul’s industrial feel with young Seoul’s urban chic. Old manufacturers toil inside the ecosystem of 10,000 hardware stores, furniture shops and more — while young entrepreneurs decorate their stores with multicolored lights and plants. For visitors, the biggest draw is walking into a dilapidated building to discover an upscale bar, artists’ spaces and restaurants. Euljiro symbolizes Seoul’s dilemma with history, and whether to preserve or replace spaces: much of it is controversially scheduled for demolition within the next few years.

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Haeryun has lived in Seoul since 2014. She loves its mountains, although more the idea of them than the actual hiking.

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Cheonggyecheon is a nearly 7-mile-long artificial stream in downtown Seoul, completed in 2005. It’s an homage to the original stream, which was covered by concrete in the latter half of the 20th century. Today it’s home to fish, herons, ducks and other Seoulites.
Cheonggye Square, 14-1 Seorin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Makercity Sewoon
Founded in 1968 as South Korea’s first electronics market, Sewoon was transformed in 2017 to include hip cafes, restaurants, start-ups and observation decks with beautiful views of Cheonggyecheon.
Makercity Sewoon, 159 Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Hooked Poke
This spot serves up hearty, fresh and vegetarian-friendly poke bowls. They’re great as a lunch or light dinner.
Hooked Poke, 18 Samil-daero 12-gil, Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Nogari Alley
Sit inside a pojangmacha, or tented “street carriages,” while drinking soju and beer with a side of nogari, dried pollack grilled on charcoal briquettes.
Behind exit 4 of Euljiro 3-ga subway station, Jung-gu, Seoul
Stop by one of Euljiro’s many colorful bars hidden inside graying, inconspicuous buildings. Drink, eat and dance along to old K-pop music from the 1990s and 2000s.
302-15 Euljiro 3(sam)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
This upscale bar specializes in fascinating varieties of Korean alcohol, including sojus crafted by legendary artisans and distilled with pine leaves, pears and more.
suldabang, 33 Eulji-ro 11-gil, Supyo-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Haeryun Kang
Haeryun has lived in Seoul since 2014. She loves its mountains, although more the idea of them than the actual hiking.
Jean Chung
Jean is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post based in Seoul. Born and raised there, she appreciates the energy of the city and makes sure to take friends visiting from overseas to Gwangjang Market downtown.