Yeoksam-dong is a ward of Gangnam-gu, which is one of Seoul’s most talked about and fastest-growing neighborhoods. Admire its shining outdoor art, sleek high-rise towers and bustling malls and streets before you check out the more touristy attractions and K-Pop icons in Gangnam.
Teheran-ro (“Tehran Boulevard”), or Teheranno, runs from the Gangnam Station subway stop through Yeoksam-dong to the Samseong-Dong neighborhood. The bustling boulevard is home to some of the nation’s tallest skyscrapers. Because so many information technology companies have offices here, the area is nicknamed “Teheran Valley,” with a playful nod to California’s famous Silicon Valley. Kukkiwon, the World Taekwondo Headquarters, is also based in Yeoksam-dong.
Nearby Kyobo Gangnam Tower is one of the most striking examples of how not even the sky is the limit in South Korea. This is a 26-story, brick-clad skyscraper in Gangnam that can be seen from the Yeoksam district. The architect, Mario Botta, made sure it had a strong, square look to it, in order to “resist the monotony of contemporary language.” Only the lucky few can visit the building’s panoramic glass bridge near the top, because the tower is in use by the insurance company that gave it its name.
Not strictly in Yeoksam-dong, but very close Yeoksam Station is the LG Arts Center within the 38-story LG Gangnam Tower along Nonhyeon-ro. Check out the theater’s sleek design from the outside or get tickets for one of the live performances.
To see what else is on, find the brightly painted Seocho Tourist Information Center at exit 9 of Gangnam Station, within easy walking distance from Yeoksam. The center is open during the day and a good place to get maps and local, up-to-date tips for events and new attractions. Don’t miss the Korean musical instruments exhibit upstairs, which is really fascinating if you’re into Korean history and culture.
There are lots of hotels in this bustling area just south of the Han River, but it’s just as easy to travel here from central Seoul. To get to the Yeoksam business district of Gangnam, take the Seoul Subway Line 2 to Yeoksam Station.