Now that the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with South Korea has been established, we’re sure many of you are very excited to book your air tickets and fly there as soon as you can so that you can enjoy the cool weather and most important of all, spot Korean celebrities!
But before you do just that, you would probably want to do some research on the possible places you can head to for you to spot your favourite Korean celebrities. While you might think that it’s highly unlikely for it to happen because come on, what are the odds? The chances are actually quite high.
Simply places that they frequent such as cafes, music show recording studios or even hair salons, and you might get to ‘accidentally’ bump into them.
Remember, you have to go in with a plan if you want to successfully spot Korean celebrities!
1. Han River
Han River is a place locals love to visit especially when the weather is perfect. You can have a picnic, ride bicycles or just take a stroll along the walking course.
Although Han River is pretty long and it’s hard to specify a place where you can actually bump into celebrities, well-known celebrities such as RM, the leader of BTS, mentioned that he loves to cycle or take a walk by himself along the river.
Furthermore, celebrities have been spotted having dates there because it offers such a romantic ambience. The most high-profile one has to be reports of actor Kim Seonho who used to have afternoon dates with his ex-girlfriend there.
2. 1 Million Dance Studio
Many K-Pop idols receive individual lessons from renowned choreographers and dancers in South Korea but sometimes, they also drop by dance studios to take classes with students from time to time.
You might have heard of the popular 1 Million Dance Studio where idol groups such as Purple Kiss, WJSN The Black, MAMAMOO, and EVERGLOW visit for dance practices.
3. JYP Entertainment Cafe
You might have heard of the ‘Big 3’ entertainment companies in South Korea and JYP Entertainment is one of them. This company represents K-pop groups like GOT7, TWICE, Stray Kids, and ITZY.
Soul Cup Cafe is located at the first floor of the JYP office. It’s not uncommon to see fans gathering there, in hopes of catching a glimpse of their favourite idols when they drop by to practise in the training centre. Sometimes, you can even spot Korean celebrities who are visiting the cafe for a collaboration.
So if you’re looking for a chance to spot your favourite JYP K-Pop idol, you might have a pretty good chance if you visit the Soul Cup Cafe.
You can visit the JYP Soul Cup Cafe at 29 Sincheon-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
4. SM Town SUM Cafe
Just like JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment (SM Town) is known to be one of the ‘Big 3’ entertainment companies. Not only does it have a cafe, it also has a restaurant that caters to their employees and visitors.
K-pop groups EXO, Red Velvet, and NCT are from there and lucky fans get to see their idols when they drop by to use the practice studio at the basement.
Likewise, you may also get to spot Korean celebrities who are there to have a cuppa while waiting for their idol friends to meet them.
Simply head to 20-8 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea to visit the SM TOWN SUM Cafe and spot Korean celebrities!
5. Mnet Building
If you do not wish to spend money but still want to catch a glimpse of K-Pop idols, one of the best ways to do so is to head down to the CJ E&M building on Thursdays for their weekly music show.
Mnet “Mcountdown” airs every Thursday and that is when numerous groups would be there for the live recording.
From time to time, K-Pop idols would step out from their waiting rooms to get some fresh air or just head down to the cafe below to get a drink.
Don’t be surprised to see fans waiting at the benches early in the morning just to get a good “seat” for celebrity-spotting.
The CJ E&M Centre Studio is located at 1606 Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul.
6. Hair salons
Aside from visiting restaurants and cafes, you can also try your luck at hair salons Korean celebrities frequent.
One of the most well-known celebrity hair salons is Oui Oui Atelier. If you are lucky, there is a chance that you might spot Korean celebrities and even bump into K-Pop idol groups like Dreamcatcher, SNSD, and IZ*ONE there.
This salon also has famous YouTuber kiu as one of their hairstylists. He is known to give lots of beauty tips on his YouTube channel, and sometimes even films with celebrities such as singer Jeon Somi when they get their hair done by him.
Oui Oui Atelier is located at 87-1 Cheongdam-dong, 3rd and 4th floor, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
7. YooJung Sikdang
BTS is probably the most sought-after K-Pop boy group right now and it is difficult to even see them if you are in South Korea. Nonetheless, fans will still try their luck at YooJung Sikdang, a restaurant that the group loves to visit when they were still trainees.
Even if you don’t get to see BTS members, you can still enjoy good food at the restaurant. If you’re there, try their signature black pork with stone pot bibimbap.
While BTS members don’t frequent the restaurant anymore, lucky fans say they still get to see them when they drop by once in a blue moon.
The address of Yoojung Sikdang is 28-5, Majang-ro 1-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
8. Loco Quan 401 BBQ Restaurant
Fans of Running Man are familiar with comedian Haha. But did you know he also runs a Korean barbecue restaurant?
His restaurant is located in Mapo-gu and called Loco Quan 401 BBQ Restaurant, and the decor reflects his deep love for Jamaica.
Cardboard cutouts of Haha in various funny poses are also scattered around the restaurant for you to take photos with. If you pay a visit, make sure that you try out his bestsellers, the Jeju Black Pork, pork belly, and doshirak (lunch box).
On days that he doesn’t have to film, Haha would sometimes be spotted in his restaurant serving customers along with his good friend and coworker, Kim Jongkook. He has even expressed his happiness multiple times when he gets to meet foreign fans who travel all the way to visit his restaurant and meet him.
Loco Quan 401 BBQ Restaurant is located at 18-66 Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
If you’re looking to see EXO’s Kai, you might have some luck heading to Kamong, a cafe run by his older sister. The name comes from Kai and Monggu, their family-owned dog, and it was reportedly opened by Kai for his sister.
Fans have reported seeing Kai drop by to visit his sister from time to time, so if you’re lucky enough to catch him on one of his off days, you might just be able to spot the celebrity or even take a photo with him.
Kamong serves desserts like waffles with ice creams, fruits, coffee, and juice.
According to reviews, the food and the service are both great, and Kai’s older sister is mostly the one taking orders and serving customers. If you’re interested to find out more about Kai, you can even speak to his sister. She is very friendly and can speak a bit of English.
Kamong is located at 1552-2 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
Located in the neighbourhood (Apgujeong Rodeo) with various entertainment agencies, Cofioca is a bubble tea store that many K-pop idols visit. In fact, this is reportedly EXO Sehun’s favourite bubble tea shop.
Even before you enter the store, you can see a tremendous number of autographs from celebrities, including EXO, HIGHLIGHT, and Brown Eyed Girls, who have previously visited the store. It is definitely hard to keep count of the idols who given their bubble tea a stamp of approval.
You can find Cofioca at 31 Seolleung-ro 161-gil, Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea.