16 Noksapyeong-daero 46-gil, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Photo courtesy of Korean Tourism Organization NY
ItaewonKnown as Seoul’s “Global Village,” Itaewon is where tourists and expats come to play. A diverse, English-friendly neighborhood, it evolved thanks to the nearby U.S. military base Yongsan Garrison. The area’s main road, Itaewon-ro, is a typical commercial street lined with big-name stores and restaurants, but the real charm of the neighborhood lies in its gils, or side streets. The alley behind the Hamilton Hotel functions as Itaewon’s unofficial pub row, while Noksapyeong-daero is lined with antique stores selling vintage goods left by American and European soldiers. Also worth a stop is the Seoul Central Mosque, atop one of the neighborhood’s highest hills and surrounded by Middle Eastern restaurants and international grocery stores, and Bogwang-ro, an inconspicuous side street bursting with boutiques and cool cafés.