Where ever you are in Seoul (or the area surrounding it), a bookstore or wonderful book-themed cafe is close by! Check out some of these must-visit places around Seoul for book-lovers.

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Paju Book City


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 This is one of the places on our list that is not located in Seoul but is not too far away — about a 20-30 direct bus ride from Seoul will get you to this book haven in Paju.

Paju Book City is said to have more books than people, and by looking at a few pictures it is likely true. The “city” is actually a giant cultural complex and home to around 250 publishers including most if not all of the countries major publishing companies.

In addition to books, visitors can appreciate sophisticated architecture, endless book cafes, galleries, and restaurants.


Starfield Library
별마당 도서관


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This enormous library has two stories and bookcases that are tower over readers at 42 feet packed that hold 50,000 books. Additionally, the area also has a huge variety of local and international magazine and an expansive up-to-date electronic book selection.

Besides the available reading material, there is free Wi-Fi, plenty of power outlets, natural lighting, and specials events that vary week-to-week.


Baedari Secondhand Bookstore Alley & Cheonggyecheon Secondhand Book Street
배다리 헌책방 골목 & 청계천 중서거리


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Similar to Paju Book City, to explore the Baedari Secondhand Bookstore Alley in Incheon) and Cheonggyecheon Secondhand Book Street located in Seoul you have to wander around a bit. The all of the bookstores are clustered in one area but can be on different streets and down back alleyways.

Further, while the area lacks the glitz and glam of the two previous locations, this place is rich in history. This place first started to grow in the 1960s while South Korea was still experiencing political and economic instability. As such, second-hand books were in high demand by the literati.


Itaewon Foreign Bookstore
이태원 외국서점


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While the above places are beautiful and great experiences for sure, they can lose a bit of magic if you don’t possess the Korean language skills yet to read the books. However, there are other places around the city that you can visit including the Itaewon Foreign Book Store. Located in the diverse Itaewon neighborhood, this shop opened up more than 40 years ago and is still going strong with the original owner.

Here, visitors can find used English titles that cover a range of genres and topics — but you’ll have to work to find them. The literary tombs are piled from floor to ceiling, so make sure you have enough time in your schedule for moving, searching, and stacking.



By O.C