Gangnam’s Luxury Street

Maintaining the lifestyle of the rich and famous may be expensive, but give it a try, even if only for a day. Clicking high heels create a rhythmic soundtrack, which embodies the glamour of Cheongdam-dong Luxury Street. This high-end street aptly captures the true essence of Gangnam. It epitomises affluence and extravagance through its elegant boutiques, myriad of galleries and inviting cafés. Rich and famous Seoulites parade along this kilometre-long, tree-lined street, which has a Ginzaesque feel to it.

Gangnam

Gangnam: Shopping Wonderland

Along this street you will find an eclectic mixture of architectural styles, from tiled sandstone exteriors to glass walls, as one international brand house attempts to outdo the next. Between the Prada, Cartier, DKNY, Dolce and Gabbana and Hugo Boss, you’ll also find a Rolls-Royce dealership. You might see a Porsche or two impatiently weaving their way through traffic – if your head is not turned skywards towards Gangnam’s skyscrapers and billboards, that is.

At the end of Cheongdam Luxury Street, in the direction of Apgujeong – another Gangnam neighborhood – you will find the East and West Galleria Fashion Department stores. They house many world renowned brands on their numerous floors. The West Galleria building boasts the only MM6–Martin Margiela 6–store in the world. Among the Mont Blanc, Burberry, Marc Jacobs and Jimmy Choo luxury boutiques, you’ll also see a large selection of up-and-coming Korean designers. Beauty salons and cosmetics retailers vie for your attention as you pass. The West Hall also houses a multi-shop on the second floor. It offers discounts and is convenient for patrons who have limited time. The interiors of these flagship stores are exquisite and spacious. They illustrate the immense attention devoted to décor and visual merchandising. If you’d like to have a new wardrobe at the start of each season it’s possible: you can buy or sell second-hand designer labels from the second-hand luxury shops located directly opposite the Galleria stores.

Cultural Gangnam

If you want cool respite from the sun, then you can step into any one of the numerous museums, art and photography galleries that branch off from the main street. Museum.people is a modern art gallery, which is creating a reputation for itself among current, international installation artists and industrial designers. Although it has no visible name at its entrance, you’ll recognise it as it is located directly opposite the police station. You may also rest your feet at the Woorim Chungdam Theatre.

Gangnam: Dinner that Rivals the Shopping

At the end of the day you may want to invest in a gourmet meal at the Palais de Gaumont. The main dining hall resembles a harmonious union between a sunroom and a nursery. The glass walls allow the plants and flowers inside to flourish, infusing the air with their scent. The second dining hall with its high-rise ceiling and mirrors could resemble a miniature version of the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. The wooden chests, stacked bookshelves and paintings provide an atmosphere of antiquity. Although there are only two set menus to choose from, they do not lack variety – the lobster, scallops and caviar appetizers. The extensive wine list and cheese platter will surely attest to that. Be sure to make a reservation on (02)-546-8877, as the venue is popular among celebrities and fills up quickly. You can locate it behind the Omega store.

If you’re concerned about how much you’ve already spent, then perhaps Tutto Bene will be a suitable alternative. As the names suggests, this restaurant specialises in Italian cuisine and seafood. It also boasts commendable service. Because you don’t need to feel guilty about indulging in window shopping, you can spoil yourself with a delectable dessert from Wien Cake House, which is less than a minute walk from Cheongdam Station, Exit 8.

Getting to Gangnam

Taxi drivers are very familiar with this Cheongdam dong Luxury Street in Gangnam and will drop you off right at its doorstep. Cheongdam-dong Luxury Street is easy to reach as numerous city and intercity buses have stops at various points along the street. Call the tourist helpline on (02)-1330 to ask about buses coming from your area. It can also be reached by a five-minute walk along Samsung Road from Cheongdam Station, Line 7, Exit 8 and 9.

Iga Motylska

Iga Motylska is a Johannesburg-based freelance writer, photojournalist, sub-editor and blogger. She is published in numerous local and international publications, including: Forbes Africa, Forbes Woman Africa, Forbes Life Africa, CNBC Africa, Ventures Africa, Marie Claire, Sawubona, AA Traveller, Fastjet inflight magazine and Seoul Magazine among numerous others. Her editorial interests range from documenting the entrepreneurial spirit to women’s and human rights issues, environmental affairs and of course travel writing.

6 Comments:

  1. I loved your story…. It is quiet a bit enchanting…. Keep up the good work…

  2. Dear Iga Motylska,

    My name is Benjamin Balutis and I am studying in Korea begining the end of February. I would love to chit-chat to you via email about different things and what to see.

So what do YOU think? ;)