From our companions: Find why Korea has turn out to be a worldwide cultural powerhouse.

From clothes to K-Pop, and up to date artwork to cinema, Korea is now a dominant power on the intercontinental tradition scene. In simple fact, Korea’s rise to prominence in the world-wide cultural milieu has been so marked, it’s even been specified its individual title: “the Korean wave”.

Given the richness of the artistic scene, the scale of cultural options can appear challenging for any visitor wanting to prepare their possess artistic journey. Right here, we crack down some of Korea’s extensive array of cultural highlights and ought to-sees. Determining unmissable options and concealed gems so you can check out Korea with the confidence of a seasoned K-pop connoisseur.

Korea band BTS
K-Pop band BTS are arguably the most famous and influential boyband on the world / ©Shutterstock

Pop lifestyle and songs

At the time misplaced on Western audiences, Korean pop songs now tops the audio charts throughout Europe, the US and beyond.

While remaining a style in its very own correct, K-Pop is hard to categorize, with artists having influence from a variety of musical variations, such as rock, rap, reggae and electronica. K-Pop artists are generally possibly all-boy or all-female teams, with their genre-bending seem usually changing from tune to music.

Those searching to dive into the K-Pop scene must not pass up HYBE Perception. HYBE, a file label, expertise company and songs generation property, is the organization powering BTS, arguably the most well-known and influential boyband on the world (in K-Pop or any other genre).

HYBE Perception is an audiovisual working experience exactly where you are guided by means of various exhibition areas by electronic users of BTS. Expect a deep dive into the planet of Korea’s contemporary new music scene, with an working experience that targets all the senses.

Soon after delving into the lively and maximalist environment of K-Pop, why not practical experience some of the Korean seems that variety its foundations. The Nationwide Gugak Middle in Seoul is the household of all issues classic Korean new music, with “Gugak” directly translating to “national music”.

The National Gugak Center boasts a museum made up of countless numbers of objects such as instruments, photos and documents, telling the tale of the country’s rich musical legacy. Choose a lesson and have a go at taking part in the gayageum, a regular stringed instrument (translators are offered for English speakers).

Myeong-dong high street in Korea
Myeong-dong is the spot to be if you’re searching for luxury manufacturers and Korean cosmetics / ©Shutterstock


K-Pop and the globe of trend are so interlinked as to be pretty much interchangeable. In actuality, Kai, a member of K-Pop team EXO, acted as last year’s Seoul Style Week’s worldwide ambassador. In 2021, Seoul Trend 7 days was held practically, staged at cultural heritage sites throughout the place.

Quite a few of the designers took inspiration from historic Korean conventional costume. While you could not physically show up at trend 7 days, it’s all readily available on the web and serves as a fantastic introduction to the Korean vogue scene. In Seoul, fashionistas are spoilt for decision when it comes to searching – Myeong-dong is the position to be if you’re wanting for luxurious brands and Korean cosmetics.

But it’s not all about modern stylings. Hanbok, the common costume of Korea which dates back to the three kingdoms period about 2,000 several years in the past, interprets immediately as “Korean Clothes.” While hanbok is now primarily worn on particular situations, it was viewed as day by day put on as not too long ago as 100 years in the past. It typically is composed of the Jeogori (huge jacket) and the Chima (wraparound skirt) for gals and Baji (trousers) for guys.

Those people searching to try out some on for sizing really should take into account Teterot Salon, a Korean model that sells both of those standard and contemporary layouts that choose inspiration from classic styles.

The Mungyeongsaejae Open Set is made to recreate the Joseon age / ©Shutterstock


Korea is a magnet for movie lovers. Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar get for Parasite in 2019 was not the beginning, but as an alternative the fruits Korea’s developing prominence on the world cinematic scene.

This sort of prominence only obtained new heights with the release of 2021’s Korean Television set phenomenon Squid Activity. The Netflix exhibit smashed all streaming data, racking up an spectacular 1.65 billion several hours of viewing in its first 28 days.

[See also: Immerse Yourself in Korean Culture with a Temple Stay]

There is no far better way to start off a deep dive into Korean cinema than likely to the videos. If you have just landed you may well be suffering from jetlag, fear not: Seoul is the town that by no means sleeps. Why not pass the time with a trip to Megabox Dongdaemun, a cinema open 24 hours a day. Another possibility is Korean cinema chain CGV’s collaboration with mattress brand Tempur — the world’s initial theater with reclining beds.

After rested, get out and investigate the locations where some of Korea’s most renowned scenes had been shot. Iksan Prison is a specific favorite – a reason-developed set that has been applied in many films like Miracle in Mobile No. 7 (2013) and Holiday getaway (2006). If period movies are far more your speed than prison dramas, the Mungyeongsaejae Open up Set is developed to recreate the Joseon age. Its picturesque villages will have you sensation like you have stepped back again hundreds of years in time.

The Countrywide Museum of Contemporary and Modern Art – Seoul / ©Shutterstock

Artwork and layout

Korea is bursting with galleries and museums devoted to equally its thriving contemporary scene and historical and cultural legacy.

The Countrywide Museum of Fashionable and Contemporary Artwork can be discovered south of the capital in Seoul Grand Park. The MMCA, as it is acknowledged, has charted the historical past of Korean art since the museum’s inception in 1969.

A number of other branches have subsequently opened in Deoksugung, Seoul and Cheongju, leaving people spoilt for selection. Although the key web-site at Gwacheon is devoted to different mediums such as sculpture, architecture and style and design, the Seoul campus has a additional international aim bringing world inventive choices to Korea.

The National Museum of Korea in Seoul contains artifacts from the dawn of Korea’s historical historical past. You will uncover hand axes utilised by the to start with settlers of the Korean peninsula. Visitors will battle to miss out on the 10-tale marble pagoda constructed in 1348, which can be located in the heart of the key atrium and is guaranteed to get your breath absent.

Ihwa Mural Village is a hillside village that provides superb views of the Korean money. If you’re ready to pry your eyes absent from the perspective and detect your surroundings you will uncover outstanding street murals. Specified for demolition, in 2006 the “Art in Metropolis Project” stepped in and had murals painted by above 70 various artists, absolutely revitalizing the spot.

For more info on the arts scene in Korea, check out the Korea Tourism Group

Impression: Shutterstock