Hallyu Celebrity Hot Spots in Seoul: Where to Stay to “Accidentally” Bump Into Your Favourite Idols!

Hallyu Celebrity Hot Spots in Seoul: Where to Stay to “Accidentally” Bump Into Your Favourite Idols!

All that is left to do is decide which Korean drama song you want to play in your head when you literally bump into them.

Hallyu fans, ever dreamt about visiting the haunts of your favourite idols? Whether you’re hoping to “accidentally bump into” some of your favourite K-pop idols, or simply hoping to live vicariously through the places they visit – we’ve got you covered.

We’ve put together a list of the best places to stay in Seoul that’s close to all the action! Who knows; you might just bump into one of your favourites while you’re out and about!

You might just be able to say annyeonghaseyo to your favourite idols with Trip.com’s Korea airfare and hotel sale from now till 31 Oct 2018!

With all-in fares from as low as S$670, simply book your flights with your Citibank Card to receive up to S$50 off your Korea hotel booking.*

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Celebrity hotspots in Gangnam, Seoul, Korea

Image credit: smtownland (left), Alyssa Aluma (right)

No K-pop pilgrimage is complete without a visit to your favourite group’s entertainment agency in Gangnam – including SM Entertainment, FNC Entertainment, BigHit Entertainment and Around Us Entertainment. You might be able to catch your idols as they go and in out of the buildings for work.

As for attractions, you can’t miss out on Apgujeong Rodeo’s K-Star Road, where you can take photos with the bears that represent SHINee, VIXX, INFINITE, EXO, BigBang, BTS, CNBlue, AOA and more!

SM stans, head to SM COEX Artium to take a trip down memory lane of your idol’s journey, from trainee to superstar. The space features exhibits of SM artistes, a café (which is sometimes visited by the artistes themselves) and a gift shop to purchase K-pop merchandise.  

Celebrity cafe in Gangnam, Seoul

Image credit: Bebe (left), pepi_06さんの読者になろう (right)

All that K-idol sightseeing and shopping is bound to make you hungry, so what better way to fill your hopes for oppa by dining at one of the many celebrity-owned cafes in Gangnam?

The MIN’s, owned by 2AM’s Changmin, is a popular haunt of BTS and carries both 2AM and BTS merchandise. If you’re into Super Junior, then Sungmin, Kyuhyun and Leeteuk’s cafe Kona Beans is a must visit. Cafe J Holic by Jaejoong of JYJ offers receipts printed with his signature as a keepsake, while BigBang Seungri’s ramen chain, AORI Ramen, offers something different should you want a change from Korean cuisine.

Though not celebrity-owned, these establishments are also allegedly frequented by K-pop stars:

  • Jilhal Bros: a GOT7 haunt that sells delicious New York street food;
  • Laundry Pizza: a pizza joint that has served as a filming site for many idols including Up10tion, GOT7, EXID, SHINee’s Key, BTS, APINK and more; and
  • Myeongjangjok: SHINee Taemin’s favourite jokbal (pig trotter) haunt that he used to frequent with late fellow-member Jonghyun. SHINee fans looking for a space of healing can also visit the mini memorial that the owners have set up for Jonghyun in a corner of the restaurant.

Where to stay around Gangnam

1. Hotel Cappuccino

Hotel Cappuccino Seoul Korea

Image credit: Trip.com

Get some air from the crowd at industrial-style Hotel Cappuccino, adorned with floor-length windows and complete with a lovely rooftop bar with stunning views of the city.

Hotel Cappuccino Seoul Korea

Image credit: hotelcappuccino

But this hotel isn’t just beautiful on the outside. Hotel Cappuccino also works with socially-conscious organisations – such as So Car, OTCAN and KARA – to encourage socially responsible practices. The hotel even has a pet-friendly policy too!

Address: 155 Bongeunsa-Ro Gangnam-Gu Seoul 06122 South Korea

Price: From S$90 a night. Find out more about Hotel Cappuccino’s rates here!

2. The Riverside Hotel Seoul

The Riverside Hotel Seoul Korea

Treat yourself to a stay at Hotel Riverside Seoul and enjoy plush purple interiors, a refreshing view of the outside and luxurious beds after a long day of wandering the streets of Gangnam. You’ll get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling energised for the next day’s activities.

Address: 6 Gangnam-daero 107-gil Seocho-gu Seoul 06524 South Korea

Price: From S$76 a night. Find out more about Hotel Riverside Seoul’s rates here!

3. Artnouveau City Seoul

Artnouveau City Seoul Korea

Image credit: gnanhotel (top, bottom)

If you’re a fan of the Dirty Thirties, Artnouveau City Seoul is right in your element. Take a trip back to the 30’s whilst lounging in its spacious rooms, while still enjoying the Japanese high tech toilets and service from the English-speaking staff.

It’s located just far away enough from the Gangnam hub to be quiet, but still remains convenient with its airport coach services.

Address: 1330-4 Seocho-Dong Seocho-gu, Gangnam, Seoul 06626 South Korea

Price: From S$114 a night. Find out more about Artnouveau City Seoul’s rates here!


Celebrity Hot spots in Itaewon, Seoul Korea

Image credit: seoulkoreatour (left), nerd_oneearth (right)

An expat area in Korea, Itaewon might not be the first place you’d think to be a celebrity haunt. But you’d be surprised. Itaewon has many cafés, shops and restaurants, where many famous idols – such as KARA’s Nicole, Jay Park, SHINee’s Key – have claimed as their favourite haunts. Even if you’re not a K-pop fan, you can shop at Itaewon’s shopping streets and then re-emerge after dark to experience its vibrant nightlife.

Another place to visit is 2AM Seulong’s Nerd on Earth, a pet-friendly establishment because of the star’s love for dogs. While you’re there, try a Nerd Wrap or their signature Beef Brisket Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup and get ready to mingle; a little stalking on the bar’s Instagram reveals many a selfie with other celebrities!  

Where to stay around Itaewon

1. Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel

Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel Seoul KoreaImage credit: Trip.com

Contemporary art enthusiasts, this one’s for you. The Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel will arrest your attention with its vibrant exterior.

Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel Seoul Korea

Each of the 133 modern boutique bedrooms features a unique pop art mural and clean-cut modern furnishings, with bathrooms equipped with a built-in bidet and a wonderful deep-soak bathtub.

Address:  350-6 Gunja-dong Gwangjin-gu Seoul 05002 South Korea

Price: From S$147 a night. Find out more about Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel’s rates here!

2. Ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Yongsan  

Ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Yongsan  

Image credit: Trip.com

Reminiscent of the good ol’ university days, the Ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Yongsan might remind you of a hostel residence. Top it off with an old-school buffet breakfast at the view-facing counters and you’ll be raring to start your day in Itaewon.

Address: Cheongpa Ro 20 Gil 83 Yongsan-gu Seoul 04372 South Korea

Price: From S$88 a night. Find out more about Ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Yongsan’s rates here!

4. G Guesthouse Itaewon Seoul

G Guesthouse Itaewon Seoul Korea

Image credit: gguest

Looking for something a little friendlier on the pocket? Check yourself into G Guesthouse Itaewon Seoul. Admire the eye-catching urban architecture and enjoy the cosy and clean rooms. End your day at the rooftop bar, where you can hang with lots of other like-minded travellers over a drink.

For the Muslims, G Guesthouse Itaewon Seoul is situated close to several halal eats and also offers a prayer room for your daily prayers.

Address: 14-38 Bowang-ro 60-gil Yongsan-gu Seoul 04406 South Korea

Price: From S$19 a night. Find out more about G Guesthouse Itaewon Seoul’s rates here!

Hongdae (Mapo-gu)

You’ve combed through Gangnam and Itaewon, so it’s now time for your wallet to take a breather along the student-friendly streets of Hongdae. It’s home to many music event venues such as Hongdae NANTA Theatre, Ewha Womans University, Yonsei University, Sejong Center and Blue Square, making a stay here really convenient to get to your dream concert.

Celebrity hotspots in Hongdae Seoul korea

Image credit: Seoul Guide Korea (top left), YouTube (top right), aoriramen (bottom left), SweetMedusa (bottom right)

This trendy café and nightlife area is also home to YG Entertainment (the music label of big names such as BigBang, 2NE1, Akdong Musicians, BLACKPINK and iKon) and Woollim Entertainment (music label of INFINITE and Lovelyz).

Keep your eyes peeled on the streets of Hongdae itself too. In addition to upcoming artistes busking in popular corners of the district, established K-pop groups also occasionally make a surprise appearance to promote their new releases. If you managed to snag tickets to one of the music shows, the recording studios of Mnet M!Countdown (at CJ E&M Center) and The Show (at SBS Prism Tower) are also located in Mapo-gu.

While you’re in the area, pop by BBQ Chicken, a fried chicken restaurant currently run by INFINITE’s Sungyeol. You might even spot the star himself, who sometimes drops by to help out.

BBq chicken Owned by Infinite Sungyeol

Image credit: BnBHero

If you’ve had enough of the bustling streets, you can retreat to the tranquil surroundings of the Han River. Many K-pop idols have mentioned on occasion that the Han River is a frequent place of relaxation for them, where they also find inspiration for new songs. Ride a bike, have a chimaek picnic or perhaps make your own ramyeon, as your eyes idly wander in search of your favourite Hallyu star.

Where to stay around Hongdae

1. 9Brick Hotel

9Brick Hotel Seoul Korea

With its prominent neon sign, 9Brick Hotel is hard not to miss, despite sitting in the quieter part of Hongdae. The rustic-chic establishment boasts a wide selection of differently-themed rooms, from noir black with gilded frames, to minimalist designs. 

9Brick Hotel Seoul Korea

Image credit: Trip.com

If you’re feeling peckish, head around the corner to the 2017 Michelin restaurant, Baeknyeon Tojong Samgyetang, famous for its ginseng chicken.

Address: 32 Hongik-ro 5-gil Mapo-gu Seoul 04038 South Korea

Price: From S$100 a night. Find out more about 9Brick Hotel’s rates here!

2. Dream House Seoul

Dream House Seoul Korea

Dream House Seoul exudes quiet elegance with its Hanji-style windows, barley-coloured walls and plain white sheets, enveloping your weary soul in a comforting embrace. We recommend checking out its quaint rooftop garden, complete with soft mood lighting and garden chairs to set the mood.

Dream House Seoul Korea

Image credit: Trip.com

Address: 465-11 Seokyo-dong Mapo-gu Seoul 12-842 South Korea

Price: From S$73 a night. Find out more about Dream House Seoul’s rates here!

3. Inno Hostel & Pub Lounge Hongdae

Inno Hostel & Pub Lounge Hongdae Seoul Korea

Take a moment to admire the sleek lines of Inno Hostel & Pub Lounge Hongdae’s modern glass exterior before entering the family-owned guesthouse. Then step inside for a throwback to your student hostel days with its homely furnishings and a shared kitchen.

Inno Hostel & Pub Lounge Hongdae Seoul korea

Image credit: Trip.com

Be sure to check out their recreational area as well, which has a foosball table and musical instruments for you to jam along with fellow travellers.

Address: 37-7 World Cup-ro 8-gil Mapo-gu Seoul 04029 South Korea

Price: From S$136 a night. Find out more about Inno Hostel & Pub Lounge Hongdae’s here!

4. Benikea The M Hotel Seoul

Benikea The M Hotel Seoul korea

Image credit: Trip.com

As one of the more affordable hotels in the district, the quirky Benikea The M Hotel Seoul offers the perfect stay for the budget traveller. Enjoy a blast to the past as you unlock the rooms with actual brass keys to reveal spacious, minimalist rooms that guarantee you a comfortable night’s sleep.

Address:  52-13 Seongsan-dong Mapo-gu 121-843 Seoul South Korea

Price: From S$60 a night. Find out more about Benikea The M Hotel Seoul’s rates here!

Visit your favourites in Seoul with Asiana Airlines to enjoy super affordable all-in fares, from as low as S$670. For even more amazing savings, book your flights with your Citibank Card on Trip.com, to receive up to S$50 off your Korea hotel accommodation as well!

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Celebrity Hotspots in Yeouido Seoul Korea

Noryangjin Fish Market (left), Gocheok Sky Dome (right) | Image credit: Jirka Matousek (left), 1997au (right)

Yeouido is known as the business district of Seoul but there’s still room for you to explore and check out a few celebrity hotspots and a little more – think the Noryangjin Fish Market and a different part of the Han River for starters.  

If you’ve got tickets to KBS Music Bank, then make sure to head down early to the Digital Media Center Station. Throw away all reservations of feeling like a sasaeng as you wait in the fan-designated areas for your favourites to arrive.

Another famous concert venue to check out is the Gocheok Sky Dome, the largest capacity stadium in Seoul used by BTS, BIGBANG, KBS Music Awards and more.

Where to stay around Yeouido

1. Hotel LOFT

Hotel LOFT Seoul korea

Enter Hotel LOFT, where you can find a collection of trendy Soho lofts not unlike those in downtown NYC. These rooms are stylishly furnished with different textures, expansive beds, and strategically-placed bathtubs.

Hotel Loft Seoul Korea

Image credit: Trip.com

A few nights at Hotel LOFT is also the perfect romp for two, complete with floor-length windows that create a warm atmosphere when daylight seeps in the morning after.

Address: 33-10 Dangsan-Dong 5ga Yeongdeungpo-gu Seoul 07213 South Korea

Price: From S$111 a night. Find out more about Hotel LOFT’s rates here!

2. Hotel the Designers Yeouido Seoul

Hotel the Designers Yeouido Seoul Korea

A chain of hotels across Seoul, Hotel the Designers Yeouido Seoul boasts clean and comfortable rooms that will take anyone’s breath away.

No two of their hotel rooms across all its branches in Seoul are the same so you can return to this hotel over and over again and enjoy their Insta-worthy rooms and excellent service staff.

Hotel the Designers Yeouido Seoul Korea

Image credit: Trip.com

Address: 15-13 Yeouido-dong Yeongdeongpo-gu Seoul 07237 South Korea

Price: From S$76 a night. Find out more about Hotel The Designers Yeouido Seoul’s rates here!

3. Fairfield by Marriott Seoul

Fairfield by Marriott Seoul korea

Image credit: Marriott

Set in a great location with tons of restaurants and an interesting mix of shops just around the corner, Fairfield by Marriott Seoul is the place to be. Its cosy rooms are kept spick and span by the wonderful and knowledgeable staff, and one can expect spectacular views of the busy cities of Seoul to greet you in the morning.

Address: 870 Gyeongin-ro Yeongdeungpo-gu Seoul 07306 South Korea

Price: From S$121 a night. Find out more about Fairfield by Marriott Seoul’s rates here!


K-pop Idol Owned Restaurants in Gangdong

Image credit: vivapolo_restaurant (left, right)

Start off with a visit to JYP Entertainment’s new building to catch a glimpse of TWICE, GOT7, Day6 and more. Sink your taste buds into a few more star-owned eateries, such as EXO Chanyeol’s Italian restaurant, Viva Polo, known for its Kimchi Arabiatta pasta, made with tomato sauce cooked with peppers and kimchi. Park Shin Hye, another famous Hallyu celebrity, also reportedly frequents her family-owned cafe Little Tin Drums.

Gangdong also offers more than just K-pop attractions. There’s the SOMA Museum of Art for the art fanatics, Lotte World Tower and Mall for the diehard shopaholics, a whole alley along Cheonho dedicated to jjukumi (spicy baby octopus) for the foodies and Mount Acha for the nature lovers.

Where to stay around Gangdong

1. Hotel the Designers Premier Kondae

Hotel the Designers Premier Kondae Seoul Korea

Hotel the Designers Premier Kondae Seoul Korea

Image credit: Trip.com

Be awed by another work of art by Hotel the Designers, where its eye-catching exterior with gold lights reminiscent of dragon scales. However, the furnishings of Premier Kondae are anything but dated; there are a good mix of other sleek, modern and industrial rooms as well. Soak away in their modern bathtubs before bed to guarantee yourself a great night’s sleep!

Address: 172 Dongil-ro Gwangjin-gu Seongdong-gu Seoul 05007 South Korea

Price: From S$87 a night. Find out more about Hotel the Designers Premier Kondae’s rates here!

2. Hotel Cullinan Business Seoul

Hotel Cullinan Business Seoul

Image credit: Trip.com

Another great alternative to hotel the Designers is Hotel Cullinan Business Seoul, which also offers a diverse mix of uniquely themed rooms, from sensual (think bathtubs separated from the bedroom by just a divider door) to rustic (wooden sinks and tubs).

Address: 50-6, Gunja-dong Gwangjin-gu Seoul 05002 South Korea

Price: From S$78 a night. Find out more about Hotel Cullinan Business Seoul’s rates here!

3. Hotel Atti Seongsu Seoul

Hotel Atti Seongsu Seoul

Hotel Atti Seongsu Seoul

Image credit: Trip.com

Cultivate some inner peace in the zen outdoor garden at Hotel Atti Seongsu Seoul. Its back-to-nature concept is reminiscent of Japanese ryokans but offers luxury modernities like a rooftop bar, BBQ grill and sumptuous buffets.

Address: 96 Seongsui-ro Seongdong-gu Seongsu station gate 3 Seoul 133-835 South Korea

Price: From S$109 a night. Find out more about Hotel Atti Seongsu Seoul rates here!  

Inspired to jet away to the land of K-pop and kimchi? While you mark your maps with these celebrity hotspots, remember to book a hotel in a prime location that fits your itinerary. You’d appreciate the time convenience and time saved travelling!

Start planning your flights to Korea with super low all-in fares with Asiana Airlines from only S$670! For even more amazing savings use your Citibank Card and receive up to S$50 off your hotel booking.

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Just remember to stay at these celebrity hot spots in Seoul and you might just “accidentally” bump into your favourites!

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* Blackout dates and other Terms & Conditions apply.


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About Author

Alvina Chan
Alvina Chan

Alvina wishes she got a tan from lazing around the beach with a book and mango juice, but instead she’s got it from hours of outdoor sports without sunscreen. Since she's currently low on the dough, she scratches the travel itch by stalking travel vlogs and fantasising about meeting her European online pals in person. Other times, she’s just trying not to accidentally die yet again in Overwatch.



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