Seoul is a city with a sense of humor. But it’s not until you arrive in the capital that you notice all the quirky cafes, strange museums, comical souvenirs, and other unconventional elements that define the metropolis. These five crazy things to do in Seoul will give you a taste of the city’s must-see, wacky, and wonderful side.
Spend a Night Out, Gangnam Style
Seoul’s Gangnam District has quickly become the city’s hippest neighborhood. Part of the area’s popularity came when South Korean rapper Psy turned his pop song Gangnam Style into a worldwide YouTube phenomenon in 2012. Shop in the district’s high-end boutiques, then head out on the town to famous nightspots like Eden or Ellui before retreating to the comfort of a sumptuous IHG hotel in the Gangnam District. No trip to Seoul would be complete without doing it Gangnam Style.
Indulge at a Themed Cafe
South Korea’s capital city is home to some of the quirkiest cafes in the world. Mostly famous for its cat cafes, where customers can pet, play with, feed, and admire dozens of cats, the city has quickly become a destination for exploring peculiar cafes of all kinds. You may find yourself at a puppy cafe one morning, a sheep cafe in the afternoon, and a Hello Kitty cafe the following day. Even more adventurous cafe seekers can head to the poop-themed cafe in Insadong, where paintings of poop can be admired while sipping a latte out of a toilet-themed mug.
Check Out the Trick Eye Museum
A trip to Seoul’s Trick Eye Museum is one you’ll never forget. The museum celebrates the trompe l’oeil (trick of the eye) artist technique, in which a two-dimensional painting or image appears to be three-dimensional. While admiring the art is much of the fun, snapping silly photos is what you’ll find everyone doing inside. Unlike most art museums, visitors are encouraged to touch the paintings, take photos of them, and become characters in the images and optical illusions. The Trick Eye Museum feels more like an amusement park than a stuffy art gallery.
Rent a Singing Room
A night on the town in Seoul never has to end. Travelers can keep the nightlife going long after clubs close at a number of noraebangs, or song rooms. More commonly known as karaoke rooms, these are places where groups of friends can sing their favorite karaoke songs (most noraebangs offer a selection of songs in English) while sipping beer or the popular Korean liquor soju. Meet some new Korean friends on your travels, and you’ll discover that their nights out always end at noraebangs.
Relax With the Help of Dr. Fish
It’s not too crazy to end a long day of shopping in the city with a relaxing foot massage. But it’s a little weirder when that massage is given by fish. Dr. Fish pedicures — massages in which hungry fish feed on your feet’s dead skin cells — can be found at a number of spas and cafes throughout Seoul. Dr. Fish locations change often, so keep 2,000 won (roughly $1.75) in your pocket in case you stumble across one.
When traveling to Seoul, embrace the quirkiness of the city. At the very least, you’ll have a great story to tell once you get home.