Especially At Night!


Visiting Dongdaemun Design Plaza at night should be on your “bucket list to do” while visiting Seoul, South Korea.  A popular tourist attraction, the city lights, and the ambiance of the Plaza create an excellent view and experience that should be on everyone’s photo selfy.


Did You Know?


  • Dongdaemun Design Plaza has three underground floors, four ground floors with a maximum height of 29 meters?
  • The Plaza’s opening ceremony was on 28 April 2009, and it fully opened on 21 March 2014?
  • The contractor for the DDP was Samsung C & T?


Architectural History of Dongdaemun Design Plaza

The design of Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) was by the winner of the 2004 Pritzker Prize, Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.  The concept of the Design Plaza is that of a “Metonymic Landscape.”  Metonymy links another word to stand in for an object.  Example: Suit for Business Executive.  Using this concept, Zaha Hadid visualized Seoul’s historical, urban, social, cultural, social, and economic aspects to create Dongdaemun Design Plaza’s landscape.


Dongdaemun Design Plaza Night Shots


Dongdaemun Design Plaza is a Design and Fashion Hub in Seoul

Dongdaemun Design Plaza became a significantly established landmark in Seoul after the most prominent Fashion event opened at the Plaza in March 2014.  This event created opportunities and competitiveness for all up and coming Korean fashion designers in Korea and abroad.  To this day, DDP is a significant fashion design world player.

Additionally, Dongdaemun Design Plaza was created to replace the Dongdaemun Stadium, built in the 1920s during the Japanese occupation rule.  The Plaza eventually became one of the country’s global fashion hubs where designers and clothes sewers collaborated in Pyeonghwa Market and Changshindong to create the next viral clothes fashions.  It is the place in Seoul City where designers can Dream, Design, and Play.


Dongdaemun Design Plaza Night Photo 17


One Night at Dongdaemun Design Plaza

That evening I decided to drive my Chevrolet Camaro “Fire Wall” to Dongdaemun Design Plaza.  I drove out of the Glad Live Yeouido Seoul Hotel around 17:00 and got there 17:55 because of traffic.  It was only 7 kilometers away (4.4 miles), but it took me 55 minutes in my car!  Sometimes, traffic in Seoul is very packed.  Just imagine if you were in a taxi, how much would have the fare been?

Bus routes will take you there as well, and taxis are readily available throughout the city.  Just remember to take the cabs that have English translations. Depending on where you stay, cabs prices will vary.  To get to Dongdaemun Design Plaza from Gyeonggi-do province costs around 39,000 Won to 48,000 Won and will take 30 minutes or more.


Dongdaemun Design Plaza Night Photo 23


Or you can take a city taxi, but if you are stuck in Seoul traffic, be prepared to pay for a hefty taxi fee.

There were plenty of people walking around the Design Plaza at night, they had the same idea as me, to see it during the evening.  It’s easy to get there by Seoul’s public metro transportation system.  Take the Seoul Subway Line 2, 4, or 5 and get off at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station.  It’s the cheapest way other than walking.  The subway will cost around 3,300 Won and will take about 1 hour or less.

The streets alongside the Plaza fill with local Korean vendors who set up alongside the roads next to the Design Plaza, selling everything from clothes, electronics, and food. There is a large shopping mall across the street from Dongdaemun Design Plaza, which is very busy at night.  Many Chinese tourists can be seen visiting the Mall, and shopping stores located close to the Design Plaza.


Dongdaemun Design Plaza Night Photo 27


It was getting dark, which is what I wanted because I wanted to take photos during the night and eat at a local street vendor.  Many Korean dramas have made those plastic see-through restaurant wall tents famous, which are owned by local street vendors.

Walking around the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and taking photos of the Plaza is a great idea, mainly outside of the Design Plaza.  Visit the the inside of the Design Plaza at your leisure.


Dongdaemun Design Plaza Night Shots


What is Dongdaemun Design Plaza?

The Plaza is a significant cultural complex that attracts many people daily from all across the world.  The Dongdaemun Design Plaza has five exhibition halls: the Art Hall, Design Museum, Design Lab, Design Gallery, Design Lab, Design Market and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park.  They are all modern and minimalistic looking.  The Plaza also contains public areas in various locations throughout the Plaza, as well as seminar rooms and international conference halls.  The Design Market is open 24 hours a day.  You can grab amenities at Alimteo, Baeumteo, and Salimteo.  There is even a park you can walk around on the rooftop of the building.


Dongdaemun Design Plaza Night Photo 4


The park’s area is around 65,232 square meters.  Many key features of the park and buildings are in the parking area.  You have the fortress wall of Seoul and Igansumun, Yigansumun Exhibition Hall, Dongdaemun History Museum 1396, two outdoor exhibition halls, Gallery MUN, and the Dongdaemun Stadium Memorial.  If your passion is a country’s old cultural heritage, then these places are a must-visit.

The Dongdaemun Culture Park is on the east side of Dongdaemun Design Plaza.  The Dongdaemun Plaza has parking facilities, a feeding room, coatroom, vending dispensaries, cafe, and other facilities owned and operated by the Seoul Design Foundation.


Dongdaemun Design Plaza Night Shots 4


In June 2009, it was decided to exhibit the historical excavated remains of South Korea’s historical heritage.  Dongdaemun History and Culture Park are where it is preserved.
Many parts of downtown Seoul connects by the underground walking network, which vastly improved the pedestrians walking experience.  The building eventually became a leading cultural hub.


Dongdaemun Design Plaza Night Shots 7


The design market is open 24 hours a day and provides a place for visitors and locals in Seoul to shop and meet for cultural events.  It is a place where the city never sleeps.

There is a K-POP attraction for those that K-POP fans near Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Subway Station.  It’s called the “K-POP Residence Dongdaemun.  That’s my next visit when I take time off from work.  Maybe I will see you there.


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DISCLAIMER: The paragraphs above is my attempt at Korean English humor.  I am a Korean-American, so I believe it is ok.  If you don’t like it, then don’t read the paragraphs above. Too late, you already done it.


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