Do you want to come and check out the centre of Seoul? If so, you should come to Gwangwhamun area. Gwanghwamun means three things as follows.

  1. Gwanghwamun gate, the southern and front gate of Gyeongbok Palace
  2. Gwanghwamun Station, the purple line or line no.5
  3. Gwanghwamun Plaza


gwanghwamun plaza
Gwanghwamun Plaza

For most Koreans Gwanghwamun means no.2. If anyone says ‘Hey, let’s meet at Gwanghwamun.’, it means they want to meet at Gwanghwamun station and have meals or drink coffee. They also come to Gwanghwamun to visit Kyobo Bookstore, one of the largest bookstores in Seoul. Personally, I do not recommend it for 3 reasons. They are snobby, expensive and too crowded. What is the alternative suggestion for bookstore and stationery store?

When you get out of exit no.9 you will be able to see Gwanghwamun further away.


My recommendation is Youngpung Bookstore and Bandi and Lunis at Jonggak Station, the navy blue line or line no.1. Youngpung is located between exit no.5 and 6, all connected with subway line no.1. If you want to walk from Gwanghwamun Station, walk 5 minutes to the west from exit no.5 of Gwanghwamun Station. From exit no.2 of Euljiroipgu(Euljiro1ga) Station, it is only a 6-minute walking distance to the north. You won’t miss it. Bandi and Lunis is in the station, it is super easy to find it.


For a tour, there are many things you can do in the area. You can take a good photo towards north or south. It is a plaza, a good photo zone with some landmarks. To the north, you see the statue of King Sejong who created Korean Alphabet, Hangeul and Gwanghwamun of Gyeongbok Palace. To the south, you see Seoul City Hall plaza. On the sides, there are high-rises, hotels, and press companies. Cool off heat at Cheonggye Stream with beer or coffee on the bank.

Adimral Lee at Gwanghwamun Plaza
Adimral Lee, famous for Turtle ship at Gwanghwamun Plaza


You can walk to Gyeongbok Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village (North Korean traditional house village), Insadong, Samcheongdong and Jonggak to the north and east. To the south, you can walk to Seoul City Hall, Deoksu Palace across from the city hall all the way to Namdaemun Market and Myeongdong in the South Part of Seoul.

Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village


This way you can see the hall package in the northwest part of old Seoul, the real and original Seoul!

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Born and raised in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do, I'm a Seoul lover, friendly guide, and your friend. An authentic culture enthusiast, basketball player, and hipster at heart.
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