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However, it doesn't mean we have to pass up the opportunity to go beyond that and enjoy the rest of the little things in Korea! Check out this list of not-so-popular places that will make your trip even better, I guarantee!
1. COEX Mall and Aquarium
Now COEX Mall may be a bit of the touristy hotspot, but it isn't as thrown in our faces as some may think. The mall offers some usual places like 'Uniqlo' and 'Forever 21' but it also maintains some one-of-a-kind, Korean streetwear-influenced stores that will have you looking like a seoulcialite in no time! Not only that but also it houses a sick aquarium and movie theater. All the things you can do in just one spot is too hard to pass up.
2. Olympic Park
For those sports-buffs out there, this is a must-see for a strong feeling of sports history. The Olympic Park, 'Olpark' for short, was built in 1988 to host the summer olympic games. Another hot spot to visit is the Seoul Olympic Stadium, aka Jamsil Olympic Stadium. It is the centrepiece of the Seoul Sports Complex in the Songpa District, close to the Han river. The structure is said to pay homage to architectural designs during the Joseon era.
3. The Sky Walk
While Busan offers beautiful beach views and seafood dishes, it would be a shame to pass up The Sky Walk! Now this isn't a trip for those with vertigo, but for the brave of heart just slip on your slippers and glide across the crystal clear sky deck that sits over treacherous rocks and waves flowing from the sea of Busan.
4. Sajik Baseball Stadium
More sports, whoo! If you need a little more hype and less tourism a nice game of baseball will do the trick! Get a sense of Korean pride, grab your red devil horns, and start shouting 'Fighting!' at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan! It is the home stadium of the iconic Lotte Giants, after all.
5. Daegu Arboretum
If you are a total flower boy (or looking for one) the Daegu Arboretum will be the next best thing! I recommend visiting in May when all the flowers are in bloom because it will be a wonderland of floral arrangements. Not to mention there is no admission fee! This makes for the perfect garden romance on your first date in Korea.
6. Gyesan Catholic Church
While some don't know much about religion in South Korea, many residents identify as Christian. Yet, you can still find beautiful Catholic churches in Korea that have extensive designs as if it were made for the Pope himself. For those who identify with God, a stop at this church or even the mecca church, Yoido Full Gospel Church, will surely be heaven on earth.
7. The DMC - Digital Media City
For those who don't know, the Digital Media City (known as the DMC and not to be mistaken with the DMZ - Demilitarized Zone) is the place where all media entertainment industries gather such as KBS, SBS, JTBC and more. Not only is it just fun to roam the streets alongside these skyscrapers, possibly hounding for an idol during their broadcasting schedule, but also it is home to many unique works of art and buildings such as the Seoul-lite, making it a fun city to stop by for a visit.
8. K-Star Road
You may be wondering how is this place not popular? It's not that it isn't popular, it is simply outshone by all the other powerhouse SM spots like SM Cafe, individual artist's cafes, as well as the companies and music programs themselves. None can resist this spot due to the fact it is a giant, K-Pop group customized teddy bear statue(s) with signatures of the artists. It is essentially taking a picture with them, just in bear form.
9. Dongdaemun Shopping Complex
Of course shopping is a must when visiting Korea. From all the various street vendors, underground shopping complexes and more, one will get swept away in the countless items. But if you think you don't have time to shop- think again! The 24-hour service of the Dongdaemun Shopping Complex is a go to spot at any time of day. Literally shop to you drop!
10. Jukjeon Cafe Street
We all know cafe culture is BIG in Korea - I mean HUGE! That doesn't stop Koreans from doing the next big thing and devoting an entire street to endless, wonderfully themed cafes. Cat cafes, cozy cafes, retro, modern, you name it and this street will definitely have it. Grab a cup for the next stop on the list.
11. Kyung Hee Astronomical Center
If you already feel like you're among the stars... well K-Pop stars at least, you haven't seen squat until you visited this astronomic beauty. The Kyung Hee Astronomical Observatory is your gateway into the heavens. It was the first observatory in the nation to discover a variable star, which was named the Kyung Hee Star, after the university operating it.
12. Yonin Natural Recreation Forest
Although the life in the big city can be amazing, we also want to be a little bit closer to nature. The Yonin Natural Recreation Forest truly brings you back down to earth as you take in the fresh air, frolic through the forest, and become one with the land of Korea.
13. Mt. Bukhan
Although hiking may be for the ahjussis of Korea (and who wants to work out on a vacation anyway?), this mountain is something you shouldn't pass up. Mt. Bukhan offers many tourist catered hikes and guides but the real deal lies in the sauna that awaits you at the top. Green Tea bath, anyone? Nothing more natural than a hot spring on the mountain peaks. Bye bye, nude jimjjilbang.