Seoul is famous far and wide for its incredibly popular shopping districts, but not many tourists know about this one!
Located nearby Seoul’s Konkuk University (in a neighborhood the locals refer to as ‘Kondae’), Common Ground is a 5,300-square meter shopping center made out of 200 massive shipping containers painted a hard-to-miss bright blue. Korean hip-hop fans, you’re not going to want to miss this one.
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Common Ground is separated into two sections – Terrace Market and Street Market. Visiting the Terrance Market section will give you an opportunity to browse popular street and athletic brands such as Starter, VANS, and Parental Advisory, while the Street Market section is a great place to find Korean beauty products, handcrafted accessories, Seoul-based independent labels, and plenty of other items you’d have a hard time finding anywhere else.
Did we mention there’s a DJ booth? Not only does one section of the mall have its own live DJ, but Common Ground hosts a number of great hip-hop and EDM events throughout the year. Want to check out a rap battle? How about a special set by rappers like Kissum or San-E? Common Ground is where it’s at.
If shopping works up your appetite, the center has a whole section reserved for food trucks specializing in western food, Korean fusion, and more. We’re especially fans of Hand In Hand Burgers, massive burgers made from scratch right there at the venue. You can also grab artisan churros in all sorts of experimental flavors at the OUW Churros food truck.
However, the other eateries the mall has to offer are a must as well. Offering anything from Japanese noodles and curry bowls to rainbow layer cake and soft-serve ice cream, each spot has its own very unique and extremely hip vibe, serving up Instagram-ready eats that will have all your social media followers drooling.
Another must-stop is Toy Republic, a small gallery and gift shop specializing in local art and vinyl figurines. If you’re a fan of Kid Robot, Funko, or other vinyl collectibles, you need to stop by and see what they’ve got! There’s also always a featured art exhibit open free to the public.
Finish off your Common Ground trip by taking plenty of pictures around the mall. Thanks to its extremely interesting architecture, there are so many cool angles and spots worth catching on camera, and when you visit, you’ll see plenty of friends and couples posing for photos ops all over the place!
The venue is so popular for cool photography that it’s even been used in a number of K-Pop music videos and photoshoots. Stop by Common Ground and recreate your favorite scenes from TWICE’s “Signal” and SISTAR’s “Shake It!”
(Close to Konkuk University Station, Line 2 or 7)
August 31, 2017
Discover Seoul: Dinga Cake House, K-Pop’s Favorite Bakery
Attention, travelistas with a sweet tooth! If you’re heading to Seoul and looking for the perfect little place to indulge, we recommend Dinga Cake House, a charming bakery that specializes in cakes located right outside Hongdae in Mapo’s Mangwon District.
The owner and main baker at Dinga Cake House is all about the aesthetics and it shows. Not only are the cakes beautiful, but so is the bakery – inside and out.
Hours and Miles
While the bakery itself is quite small, you can’t really miss it. The bright pink storefront and retro styling make it pretty easy to spot on the street. The interior is just as dreamy – with plenty of pastel shades and vintage housewares that will make you feel like you just stepped into a human-sized dollhouse.
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The cakes themselves are just as quirky. Red velvet cake that looks like pizza, tiramisu that looks like hot dogs, and cakes decorated with flowers, faces, and beloved animation characters are among the hit items regularly on display.
Theheyheyhey / Konest
And did we mention they have the downright cutest to-go box?
Not only has this made the bakery’s official Instagram account a hit with aesthetic-loving foodies, but it has even become the Korean fashion world’s go-to spot for unconventional photoshoot locations for magazine editorials and fashion ads. For example, last year Dinga Cake Shop collaborated with Korean indie brand CHANCECHANCE to create a very carb-heavy pictorial for their 2016 S/S collection.
Dinga Cake House has also become a hit among Korean entertaiment companies as of recent months. Over the past year, the cakes and the cake house itself have been featured in a number of popular K-Pop music videos, including Jessica‘s “Summer Storm,” SNSD‘s “Holiday,” Baek AYeon‘s “Bittersweet,” Roy Kim‘s “Egoist,” Zico‘s “She’s A Baby,” SeoHyun‘s “Don’t Say No,” and Gain & Jeff Bernat‘s “Pray.” (And that’s just to name a few!)
We can’t be the only ones who are suddenly super hungry! Make sure to stop by Dinga Cake Shop on your Seoul trip for a slice (or two) of the hippest cake in town.
Dinga Cake House
93 Jandari-ro, Seogyo-dong,
(Closest Stations: Hapjeong & Mangwon)