Now that the weather is warming up and COVID-19 restrictions are easing, Korea is back in full force. Besides going out and enjoying the delicious cuisine, here are some unique experiences that will make your stay in Hankook (Korea) more special. Perhaps for some, this is something to look forward to as they plan their visit to Korea or even something to jot down on their bucket list for future trips.

In today’s episode, pop-up stores.

Whether it’s K-Pop, beauty, fashion, food or specific merchandising, you’ll be able to find pop-up stores happening all the time in Korea. They are fun to check out, aesthetically pleasing, have unique products, and often come with freebies or discounts. Even during COVID-19, there were pop-up stores and places where you could book an appointment at designated times. Some pop-up stores last longer, while others only last 2 or 3 days. Normally, it would be easier to find the events via Twitter or Instagram, in ‘팝업’ ‘팝업스토어’ (pop-up, pop-up shop) or on site + these keywords like 홍대 (Hongdae) ‘홍대팝업’ ‘홍대 팝업 스토어’.

Here are some current and upcoming pop-up stores in Korea if that’s something that interests you. The list is in order of duration of these events!

1. Maison Yves Roche pop-up shop

Pop-up stores to visit in Korea in spring 2023

Photo taken by Lilly

“Yves Roche at Cotscafe” is running until April 2, 2023.

40-11 Seoulsup 2-gilSeongdong-gu, Seoul

Cotscafe is a hip and trendy cafe located in Seoul Forrest. So this opportunity will allow you to check out this trendy cafe AND also this flowery and artsy pop-up. Those who visited this location for this event said that it is a field of flowers. On the 3rd floor, you can see and try Yves Roche products, and the 4th floor is a rooftop with various flower arrangements and treats/giveaways. You can also buy your products at a discount. In addition to multiple photo walls, they also have their own instant camera.

2. BTS x LEGO collaboration pop-up store

Pop-up stores to visit in Korea in spring 2023

Photo taken by Lilly

The “LEGO BTS Dynamite Store” is running until April 9, 2023.

426 Gangnam-daeroGangnam-gu, Seoul

You can make your own lego figures to place in the “concert hall”, check out each member’s lego statue, get a BTSxLEGO souvenir and buy a BTS Lego set. Once you’ve completed the activities, they also give you a coin for a claw machine – where you can earn mini lego bags. It’s not an all-day event, but it’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of BTS or the region.

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3. Choigosim pop-up shop

Pop-up stores to visit in Korea in spring 2023

Photo taken by Lilly

“GOSIM PHARMACY” is running until April 30, 2023.

326-2 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul

You may have to wait a while! They only let in about 5-6 people at a time, and there’s a strong fan base in Korea. This pop-up shop is made up of unique merchandise, mostly stationery, based on these characters. I mean, who says no to cute stationery? Choigosim is a series of popular characters that you can often see on Kakaotalk or other SNS platforms. The name might sound strange, but you’ve probably seen these illustrations before.

4. KANU pop-up shop

Pop-up stores to visit in Korea in spring 2023

official KANU

“Seongsu KANU House” is running until May 21, 2023.

15 Seoulsup 4-gilSeongdong-gu, Seoul

So far, we’ve covered beauty popups, toys, and stationery. This time it’s a food/electronics popup! Also located in Seoul Forrest perhaps that says something about the area and how there are so many opportunities like these for you to take advantage of! It is a building with 5 floors with a roof, each floor being a different concept. You can try a flavor or two from eight of their coffee pod collection and their newly launched coffee machine. Once you’ve worked your way through the floors and corresponding activities, they’ll give you freebies to take home – and believe me, each floor is a perfect backdrop for your next photo shoot. A coffee lover’s dream!

5. Pop-ups from department stores, Hyundai, Shinsegae…

Department stores in Korea have pop-up stores all the time! For example, Hyundai Seoul, a department store in Yeouido, has an entire floor dedicated to pop-up stores called the pop-up zone.

Sometimes it’s fun to check it out by visiting unexpectedly, and sometimes you can plan your visit by looking at department store websites. Another added benefit of these department store pop-ups is that they are not only located in Seoul, but you can find them pretty much anywhere there is a department store in Korea!

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