Whether you live in Korea or you finally planned a backpacking tour through Asia, Seoul is a must-see city for travelers interested in a unique culture, great food, and of course, K-pop. With so much to offer, many nerdy attractions are better known to locals and not often represented on popular tourist sites. Here is a list of 10 experiences Seoul has to offer for nerds, gamers, or anyone exploring the city.
Thousands of games to buy! Source: Kiss My Kimchi
Although this sounds pretty self-explanatory, the alley is actually a basement in Yongsan filled to the brim with all types of video games imaginable. Not only can you find new games and old classics, they also have a lot of unique games only sold in Asia. This place is a must visit for any games enthusiast who wants to expand their collection.
Tetris themed bar. Source: Retro Game Bar
Want to enjoy games and drinks? This is the place for you. Come alone, with friends, or coworkers to watch livestream eSports games on TVs throughout the joint or challenge each other in video and tabletop games. RGB also hosts a variety of different events like DnD Sunday and FIFA Tournaments throughout the week. Even casual gamers will have fun drinking and enjoying other typical bar games like beer pong and darts.
Cute cats hanging out. Source: Facebook
Cats, tea, and games, what’s not to like? In addition to adorable furry companions, LilyCat also has board games, making it one of the few board game cafés in Seoul. While sipping your drink and watching the cats jump and play, you can also rent out a variety of different board games to pass the time.
The entrance to one of Seoul's many PC Bang. Source: Flickr
Bang, which means “rooms” in Korean, are exactly what they sound like: rooms. These rooms have a variety of activities depending on the type of bang you visit. Most popular are PC Bang, which have speedy internet, lots of comfy chairs, and big screen TVs to game the day or night away. A few other variations include Cartoon Bang and PlayStation Bang, where you can read comic books or play FIFA with friends.
Location: Spread out throughout Seoul
Family enjoying the fun "ride." Source: VR Park
Movie Company CGV and VR developers Barunson came together to bring you an amazing VR game experience in Yeongdeungpo Times Square. There you can spend hours on rollercoasters, playing the drums, and shooting a bow and arrow without actually going anywhere. What looks to be a theatre theater lined with seats and controllers, becomes an immersive experience for all ages.
Cinema World Restaurant
The outside of the restaurant and museum. Source: Facebook
If you need your nerdy food fix, you may have to travel a couple hours south of Seoul over to Daegu. Here, you can find great food and an enormous collection of memorabilia from Marvel to Star Wars. The youthful collection was amassed by designer Woong Cho, who created the museum and filled it with small figurines, life-sized statues and everything in between. Go to the third floor to see the collection and then enjoy delicious food in the café or on the rooftop terrace.
The Center hosting an animation festival. Source: Wikipedia
Cartoon characters are scattered across the path on the way to the entrance of this museum. The center includes a cartoon museum that showcases a themed exhibition hall and a room to build your own cartoon character. The library inside also has an expansive collection of animated films and books for visitors to watch, read and enjoy. The rest of the center shows animators at work and even lets you create your own Claymation video. All around, a great place for anime lovers.
Conventions and Festivals
Seoul Comic Con 2017. Source: Seoul Comic Con
The ever popular “Cons” often come to Seoul to showcase what’s new in tech, games, and the industry as a whole. While they only come once a year, there is a high chance to catch one while in Korea. Boardgame Con hosts contests and other events centering on the best international board games while Pokémon World Festival celebrates everything Pokémon-related, especially Pikachu. Checking for events monthly can help you plan, which experiences you want to attend.
A cool poster for one of the escape room themes. Source: Seoul Escape
While this isn’t exactly playable on your PS4, the escape room experience is a fun way to think through strategy and teamwork that you would have used playing League. Escape rooms have grown in popularity throughout the world and Seoul is not exempt. The premise is different depending on the escape room theme chosen, but you and a group of friends or strangers are put into a room and must solve riddles and follow clues within the time limit in order to escape. A fun blend of mystery, drama and stress will have you wanting to try all 17 rooms. Because many of the rooms must remain secret, you’ll just have to go Seoul and try one for yourself.
An inside look into the famous Lotte World. Source: Wikipedia
No top ten list in Seoul would be complete without mentioning Lotte World. The world’s largest indoor theme park is also home to an enormous arcade. Although there is nothing specifically unusual about this arcade, there are tons of games to play and its location inside Lotte World makes it worth visiting. You can explore rides and do some shopping as well. Another floor of Lotte also has the SBS Theme Studio where you can watch KIGL (Korean Internet Game League) and other internet gaming competitions. Well worth a visit!