Korea: Seoul’s Dongdaemun History and Culture Park

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Destinations, Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 27 comments

Welcome to week 248  (10/01/2015) of Travel Photo Thursday. Can you believe it!? We’re into a new month. The year seems like it is careening on a high speed chase. Sorry I am so late today, but very busy time in the new job, and that takes priority right now. By the way, I am loving my new position! This week I am taking you to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park in downtown Seoul.


Dongdaemun is famous for its shopping. There are a plethora of department stores that will keep anyone who has a yen for shopping busy for hours. However, the real fun beings after midnight, when clothing and other items are sold in open air markets on the street. That later it is, the better the bargain. However, we were not there for the shopping, but for the history and culture park. We were anxious to see the illuminated rose garden and Andy Warhol. We did manage to finally get to the rose garden, but missed Andy on the first visit. These photo are taken over a two week period, so some night shots and some day shots.

Walking into the park is like entering a space ship. I immediately thought Star Trek!


Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, Seoul, Korea

Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, Seoul, Korea

On our first visit the shoe company Vans was having a huge event, complete with a sneaker painting contest.


Sneaker Painting Contest at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, Seoul, Korea

Sneaker Painting Contest at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, Seoul, Korea


Lights and glitz surround the park. (Next time, I will take bring my tripod.)




The illuminated rose garden that we almost did not find. (Again, a tripod moment)



The reason for our second visit. This was the second to last day. Admission was 15,000W. That’s one of the things I love about the art scene in Seoul, admission prices are very affordable.


Andy Warhol, Seoul

Andy Warhol, Seoul

The venue was very well laid out, and I was pleasantly surprised at the magnitude of the exhibit. There were a fair number his still life pieces on view. His photo collages of various celebrities were there front and center (Marilyn Munroe, Mohammed Ali, Lana Turner, and several European Queens, to name but a view).  There was also a time capsule, which included loads of correspondence and invitations to events. Andy was definitely a popular guy.

Koreans were snapping away like crazy. I only managed a couple of shots, and was told ‘no photography’).  How could I resist his infamous soup cans.


Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Cans

Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans

I loved how the exhibit chronicled his life from boyhood until the time he died. I was amazed at all selfies he took over the years. I think we need to credit Andy Warhol with its invention!

There was even an adult zone, portraying the pornographic side of his life, and not really my cup of tea (to each is own!)

And there was Andy on the way out, saying goodbye. Creepy, eh?


Andy Warhol, Seoul

Andy Warhol, Seoul


You can also shop to you drop in the design market. Loads of cute, kitchy stuff on offer.


Design Market, Dongdaemun History and Culture Park


Of course, you can eat. We ended up at The Guarneri Taphouse for gourmet shrimp pizza, which was okay.


Gourmet Shrimp Pizza


The star at the Taphouse was the grasshopper Canadian wheat beer! (and the very friendly staff)


Canadian Grasshopper Wheat Beer


Travelers Tip

Very easy to get to via the subway. Lines 2, 4 or 5 will take you right to the door. Look for exit 1. If you are interested in taking in an art show or other fun events, check out their website for what’s on. 

Please welcome our co-hosts this week: Jan from Budget Travel Talk      Ruth from Tanama Tales       Rachel from Rachel’s Ruminations


You can browse the Travel Photo Thursday archives here.

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  1. Eagerly reading everything about South Korea these days. Now that I’ve visited DPRK, the south is next ?

    • Hi Sophie. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the South. It will be interesting for you to experience the similarities and the differences between the North and South Korea.

  2. Oh so glad to hear you are enjoying the new job and new location! Loved the photos of the art in this post. Thanks again for #TPThursday!

    • Hi Jackie. My pleasure! Andy Warhol is an interesting icon. The exhibit chronicled is like so well, both with his art work, and his personal papers.

  3. I would love to see the Andy Warhol event but probably would also take advantage of the shopping in the area. Open air night markets sound fun! :p

    • Hi! You definitely enjoy the shopping, and the later it gets the more frantic the shopping and the better the bargains!

  4. I wasn’t expecting a “park” like this. Very modern and interesting I have to say. I have never seen an Andy Warhol exhibition. I think that would be cool.

    • Hi Ruth. This was my first time to this so called “park”, and it was interesting. They have some really nice exhibit areas, so I’m going to be watching their spaces to see what’s on. I loved the Warhol exhibit.

  5. This looks fantastic! Am definitely bookmarking this for when I visit my daughter there!

    • Hi Jill. It really is a great place, and so easy to get too. They seem to have a lot of exhibits, and the exhibit halls are first rate. Also, art exhibits here tend to be well priced. I think the government subsidizes many of them.

  6. Hi Nancie, I’m running late too, not because of work but because we are fishing at Lucinda which is 1.5 hours north of Townsville. I love the illuminated rose bushes. Carrying a tripod is annoying! I’ve never heard of sales after mid-night – I’m loving the sound of Seoul!

    • Hi Jan. Well I know where I’d rather be! Drop by Seoul one of these days, and we can site see together!

  7. This looks like my kind of place – shopping along with some art and culture. I would have loved to see the Andy Warhol exhibits. That night market sounds so fun! So glad to hear you’re enjoying your new job.

    • Hi Mary. There is definitely something for everyone here, and I think you would enjoy it. Andy Warhol was interesting, I loved the collage photography that he produced for so many famous people. Apparently, he was very much in demand.

  8. How did I miss Dongdaemun when I was there? It sounds like a great place to spend an evening!

    • Hi Rachel. I’m not sure why it didn’t come up on your radar. Although, until this recent visit, I had never been the history and culture park. It was a great place to spend and evening.

  9. Very kitchy indeed! Love that word and I have to confess that I had to look up its meaning! I guess it kind of translates to ‘funky’. The illuminated rose garden is very pretty.

    • Hi Kathy. Yep, kitchy/funky..same 🙂 The rose garden is pretty, and one of these days I’ll go back with my tripod.

  10. I am loving reading your posts on South Korea. This is a country that has so much going on, and Dongdaemun is amazing

    • Hi Paula. Thank you! There is always something going on in Seoul. Work gets in the way of serious exploration right now, but I’m sure that will change as I get settled into the new position.

  11. Looks like a fun place to visit with plenty of things to see. That building does indeed remind me of Star Trek, and I’m a little freaked out by that too realistic Warhol figure at the end.

    • Hi Michele. I agree, Andy is just a little too life like for his own good!

    • Hi Michele. Yeah, Andy is just a little too life like for his own good!

  12. Loved seeing the Warhols exhibited at Dondaemun History and Culture Park. I had a memorable encounter with Andy Warhol when I walked into the bathroom at Studio 54 in NYC in the late 70’s. Unforgettable (and not safe for work). 😀

  13. Andy Warhol fascinates me. I wish I could see his works somewhere too. I loved the sneaker painting, and of course, his bust! Very good work!

  14. That pizza looks really amazing! Why was it just okay?

  15. That’s amazing that South Korea has its own Andy Warhol exhibit! I visited the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, U.S.A. (his hometown) a few years ago. It is a 7 story building that pretty much shows the same exhibits you saw here. And yes, photography was banned, as well. Love him or hate him, Andy was a savvy Entrepreneur who knew how to combine pop art and commercialism to his benefit.


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