8 Things To Do At Dongdaemun Design Plaza – The Soul of Seoul

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문 디자인), often referred to as DDP by locals, is one of the great things to see in Seoul that is on many list after list of Architectural must see in the capital of Korea. Seoul was named the World Design Capital in 2010 due to the DDP. The building is iconic and is in fact the largest atypical architectural structure in the world. Often the home of art galleries, such as TeamLab, but also the home of Seoul Fashion Week, there’s always something to see… if the building itself isn’t enough.

But in fact, it is. There are a lot of things to do in Dongdaemun but this is definitely one of the coolest things to see there. In 2015, DDP was the most featured site in South Korea on Instagram. Dongdaemun can be a bit confusing the first time around, so here is a good place to start Visit Shopper’s Paradise This is Dongademun.

What do you know about Dongdaemun Design Plaza:

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How to get there

Tabuk: 281 Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul

directione: Make sure this T-Money card is covered and you can easily access DDP via the subway. Head to Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station and exit Exit 1.

Seoul City Tour Bus: DDP is a stop on the Seoul City Tour Bus and is a great way to see the highlights of Seoul. This is also a great place to start your journey on the bus as there is a tourist booth right in front with all the information. Find out more about Seoul city tour bus in this guide Or get your tickets now here.

On tour: Dongdaemun Design Plaza is a great place to take pictures. Head there to take pictures on this Night photography tour.


Basic information

hours: Tue-Sun: 10:00am-7:00pm (Closed on Mondays) These are build hours, but you can wander outside and get great photos without going in.

admission: Exhibitions may require a free entry fee.

website: www.ddp.or.kr


stay in Dongdaemun

JW Marriott Hotel Dongdaemun Square

JW Marriott Hotel Dongdaemun, Seoul, Korea One of the best places to stay in downtown Seoul, JW Marriott features an indoor pool, a few restaurant options, as well as a great rooftop bar. If you are interested in taking advantage of the city center nightlife, this is a great place to stay and great indoors. Check in to JW Marriott Dongdaemun now.

Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun

Novotel Ambassador Dongdaemun, Seoul, KoreaAnother great hotel in the area with delicious hotel food options and a rooftop bar with great views as well, this is a great hotel to stay in Dongdaemun for families and couples. If it is summer, you will definitely want this hotel to enjoy the rooftop pool as well. No need to worry about winter visitors though. There is an internal one, too. Check in to Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun here.


Architect

Zaha Hadid is a British-Iraqi architect and 2004 Pritzker Prize winner. When she first arrived in Korea, there was a stadium where the cultural complex is now located. The DDP was built to replace the stadium that was built in the 1920s under Japanese rule. The exterior of Dongdaemun Design Plaza features more than 40,000 aluminum panels and none of them are the same. The DDP even called it “the largest 3D atypical structure in the world”. The interior design includes showrooms, event spaces, design shops, rooftop lawns, cafes and restaurants.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul, Korea

There aren’t any windows to let you know what’s going on inside, so unlike other big buildings or malls, you just need to open the doors and see what you can find inside. You don’t have to worry about walking in the wrong doors, though, as the open doors are open to you.


Things to do in Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul, Korea

1 Enjoy architecture

Obviously, the first thing you need to do in Dongdaemun Design Plaza is just walk around and enjoy the facade. Whether you go in during the day or at night…well you should probably go during both, it’s great and you might find people taking pictures and enjoying the views all hours of the day too.

2 attend exhibition

There are art fairs, fashion fairs, and environmental exhibitions held at the Design Arena. There are two art rooms inside the building. We have to see a Teamlab Gallery The latest developments. There is always something. Be sure to Check the DDP website To see which programs are set up and running when you want to go. Lines can be long on opening days for many events, so try to book in advance if you can.

teamLab: Life, Seoul, Korea: Black Waves: Immersive Mass

3 Take your kids to Dicky Dicky

Design Playground, also known as DiKi DiKi, is a sensory playground for children. Kids may not appreciate exterior design quite as much as you, but they will have fun in this creative design experience area and you’ll get out of the play activities that encourage and enhance play.

  • admission: Children: W15,000 for two hours; Guardians: 5000 Watts for two hours
  • hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Notes: Children must be between 2 and 9 years old in this play space.

4 Get some food

Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul, Korea

While most of the larger structures are exhibition spaces, there is an auditorium for food stores. If you arrive at a fair but see there is a wait, or feel hungry as soon as you leave, this is the best thing to do to eat. This room is easy to find when you are on the B1 floor of the building. With the grand structure behind you and the historical monuments in the center, you will see an entrance towards Dongdaemun Main Road. Head to find some food. I had pizza, ham, and coffee there. Good for a quick meal whenever you need it.

5 Take a break from shopping

Dongdaemun is a popular shopping district with stores like Migliore and APm just across the street. DDP is a great place to take a break. Or, if someone in your shopping group isn’t really into shopping. Tell them to cook their heels at DDP. It’s a great place to people watch, there are benches and places to sit, and it’s not crowded unless there’s an event.

6 Re-enact korean drama

A lot of Korean dramas have been filmed at Dongdaemun Design Plaza. If you are a fan, you can reenact the scene. Get ready to watch “You Who Came From The Stars”, “Producer”, “She Was Pretty”, “Record of Youth”, “Love Alarm”, “My First Love”, “Perfume” and “Are You Human?”, were Beautiful”, “Destined to Love You”… well and so much more. Believe me, you will get to know DDP in many dramas once you know what you are looking for.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul, Korea

7 Be Amazed By SeouLight

SeouLight is a large-scale light projection that uses 220m DDP interface as a canvas. The Media Interface Festival is an annual event, so if you’re here for it, definitely watch it! The show can be seen from everywhere, but you’ll want to get up close so you can get the music to surround you while you’re surrounded by lights. It’s really amazing. This year it was shown once in the spring and again in the winter. Maybe next year it will be the same!

8 Look for the Garden of Light

A new light garden was installed at DDP this month (December 2021). The installation, which lights up and even moves when you applaud it, is a beautiful sight. Definitely try to see it at night to see it in all its glory.


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