1. If you like quiet, small towns, head to Seorae Village. It’s basically the French village of Seoul, where about 40% of the French population of South Korea lives. The main street is lined with trees and dotted with bakeries, cafes, and tiny restaurants. To get there, take the subway to the Express Bus Terminal Station. Head out Exit 5, cross the road and walk into the alley for about 10 minutes to get to the village.
2. Vegetarians, vegans, and those who miss San Francisco cafes, try out Plant in Itaewon. It's a vegan restaurant and bakery, that has a big range of delicious and healthy food. Wifi has been tested and is good enough for class, so you can munch on vegan chocolate peanut butter cake while you study.
3. For those who like rooftops, here are two beautiful spots not too far from Gangnam. First is Seoul Metropolitan Library. Take the subway to City Hall Station, head out to the library, and find the elevator on the left hand side. Take it up to 5, and you'll find a little exhibit on the history of the building, a cafe that's great to work in, and a wonderful rooftop garden on both sides with views of Seoul Plaza and Namsan on one side, and a great view up Sejong-daero looking north towards Gwanghwamun and Bugaksan. Second, Express Bus Terminal. On the tenth floor is a rooftop that not many people know about, with a rooftop garden, two Korean BBQ places, and a lovely view of the city.
4. One of my favourite spots in the city is Cheonggyecheon Stream. It’s a stream that has been restored in the middle of the city and is now surrounding by lights, bridges, and art. Go there at night with a picnic and sit alongside the stream to take in the city lights. Or, if you feel a little more active, you can walk the length of it - it runs fro 11km. Head to City Hall Station, take Exit 4, and follow the signs to the stream and plaza.
5. While the sun is still (relatively) warm, head to Anyang Art Park, located in Gyeonggido just south of Seoul. . It’s a park that runs alongside a river, and is filled with sculptures and architecture, all surrounded by big trees. It’s a peaceful escape from Gangnam, and a lovely place to wander around on a bright afternoon. If you’re feeling brave, you can also swim in the river (would recommend).
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