The G-20 guide: How to love in Seoul
Take your significant other’s hand and make a pilgrimage to the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain at Banpo Bridge.
There, you can take in Seoul’s cityscape and see firsthand what people refer to when they’re talking about Korea’s “Miracle on the Han.”
But if talk of Korea’s GDP doesn’t get you in the romantic mood, watch the spectacle that is the world’s longest fountain. Measuring 1,140 meters (3,740 feet) in length and 20 meters in height, the fountain is part of Seoul’s Han River Renaissance Project. The fountain is illuminated at night by colorful lights. It should get you in the mood.
Fountain show hours (until Nov. 14): 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays; 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends
Directions: The fountain is about a 5 to 10 minute walk from exit 8 of Express Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3.
* Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
For the sophisticated romantics, exchange hushed banter with your partner as you browse through Seoul’s premier Korean and modern art museum. Built on the lower slopes of Mount Namsan in central Seoul, the museum was established by Korea’s No. 1 jaebeol (Korean for conglomerate), Samsung Group.
The complex was designed by three internationally acclaimed architects: Mario Botta, Jean Nouvel and Rem Koolhaas.
Open: from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed on Mondays)
Directions: Hangangjin Station, line No. 6, exit 1; or bus No. 11 or 0014 to Hangangjin
* Top Cloud
If your lover isn’t much to look at, you can distract yourself by feasting your eyes on stunning views of Seoul at the bar and restaurant Top Cloud.
Located on the 33rd floor of Jongno Tower in the center of Seoul, Top Cloud is run by the Shilla Hotel, one of the city’s most luxurious hotels. Designed by renowned Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly and with an interior by French designer Philippe Starck, Top Cloud has become a go-to place for Seoulites on special occasions, and there’s live music every night.
Address: 33th floor, 1-1 Jongno-2-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Telephone: (02) 2230-3000 (~3002)
It’s hard not to fall in love with - or in - Itaewon, which gained notoriety in the 1970s as the raunchy hangout spot for U.S. servicemen stationed in Korea. Nowadays Itaewon is a seven-nights-a-week nightlife district equally popular with Koreans.
Two streets in Itaewon draw the biggest crowds - the so-called Soho street behind the Hamilton Hotel and the “Comme des Garcons” street near Cheil Communications, the nation’s largest advertisement company. While the Soho street is filled with affordable, ethnically diverse restaurants and cafes, the Comme des Garcons street, named after the flagship branch of the avant-garde Japanese fashion label, attracts young professionals who flock to Japanese-style izakayas and dessert cafes.
Itaewon is also home to two parallel lanes whose names need no further explanation: Hooker Hill and Homo Hill.