8 tips to enjoy your student life at Dongguk University 

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Dongdaemun da visitare quando sarai studente della Dongguk University

Dongguk University is located in the large area of Jung-gu district, in Seoul. There are plenty of things to do and visit in this area. In this article we give you some ideas on how to enjoy your student life at Dongguk University!

1. Eat delicious naengmyeon and fragrant bread

To start off your new student life at Dongguk University on the right foot, you cannot miss two places near the campus. The first one is Taegukdang (태국당) and is Seoul’s longest-established bakery (빵집). This bakery opened in 1945 with a huge selection of sweets and baked goods. It is possible to dine in, and you can even see some of the machines from the era on display.

The second place we recommend in this area is called Hamheunge Gyeoulnaengmyeon (함흥에 겨울냉면), where you can eat very tasty naengmyeon and mandu as well. Naengmyeon are cold noodles eaten usually in the summer, while mandu refers to Korean dumplings.

2. Visit Dongdaemun exhibition center

Continuing along the same street, about a 15-20 minute walk can take you to the Dongdaemun cultural exhibition center. Temporary exhibitions are continuously organized inside, while an open-air market is often set up outside. It is also the venue for the once-a-year Fashion Week. The architectural structure of the cultural center itself also does not go unnoticed. The building has been constructed in a neo-futuristic style and is characterized by curved and elongated shapes, while artificial flowers have been placed in some places in the surrounding square that are illuminated by LEDs.

But Dongdaemun does not only mean the modern cultural center. In fact, the building takes its name from the city’s ancient great east gate (which is what the word dongdaemun means) and can be seen a little further along with some remains of the ancient walls.

Myeoung-dong in Jung-gu district

3. Go for shopping in Myeong-dong

Within the Jung-gu district you find the famous Myeong-dong district. Considered heaven for all shopping lovers, the Myeongdong district definitely deserves to be included in your list of attractions to visit at the beginning of your student life at Dongguk University. Known for its wide selection of cosmetics, clothes shops and street food stalls, Myeong-dong attracts 4 million visitors a year.

4. Climb the Namsan Tower

A short walk from Myeong-dong is the cable car to the Namsan Tower, Seoul’s landmark tower. Here, you can climb and enjoy a spectacular view of the city. To get to the top, you can also walk and we recommend this route if you are an experienced hiker. Once you arrive at the top,  you will also be able to see lots of locks left by couples, families or friends, which have now become an integral part of the landscape.

5. Take a tour at Namsangol Hanok Village

Let’s move on a bit and switch from the modern to the traditional by taking a tour of Namsangol Hanok Village (남산골 한옥 마을). Hanok is a traditional village where you can admire the structure of an ancient Korean village and take a dip into the past. Admission is free and highly recommended if you want to fulfill your student life at Dongguk University and you are interested in learning more about Korean culture.

Deoksugung to visit during your student life at Dongguk University

6. Visit Deoksugung

In addition to the life of the commoners, if you also want to see how kings lived, don’t miss the chance to visit Deoksugung, one of Seoul’s top five royal palaces. It is the king’s secondary palace used during the second half of the Joseon period. Also, remember that if you go there at 11am or 2pm, you can watch the Changing of the Guard costume parade.

7. Stroll along Cheonggyecheon

A short walk from the palace, we recommend taking a stroll along Cheongyecheon for some relaxation. This is a stream that had been entirely covered and cemented over during the Korean industrialization period, but it was reopened during a redevelopment in 2005. The area attracts many tourists and during the Christmas period and Buddhist festivities, it is decorated with colorful lanterns, depicting special images.

8. Taste tteokbokki in Sindang-dong 

Has all that walking made you hungry? Then you can try tteokbokki on the street dedicated to this dish and famous throughout Seoul. The so-called “Tteokbokki Town” is located near the Sindang station and here almost every restaurant offers tteokbokki (a kind of Korean rice dumplings) as its specialty. You can get them in a spicy sauce or seasoned differently, for example in jjajang sauce (black bean sauce), with cheese and other flavors.

Elephant statues at Dongguk University campus

Why start your student life at Dongguk University?

The Dongguk campus area is really beautiful. In fact, it is built on a small hill and is therefore a very pleasant area, perfect for going for a walk. Since it is also a university heavily influenced from Buddhism, during the Buddha’s birthday period (usually in May) and other Buddhist festivals, the entire campus is decorated with a myriad of colorful lanterns. We recommend a visit, particularly in the evening when lanterns are lit up.

These are just some of the many things you can do in Seoul’s Jung-gu district. We hope you find these tips useful and that you will try the places we have recommended to live up your student life at Dongguk University.

For more information on Korean life style, keep following the Go! Go! Hanguk blog and don’t hesitate to contact us to live and study in Korea.

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