Adorned with towering Gingko trees, Garosu-gil is Seoul’s answer to SoHo in New York or Ginza in Tokyo. Located between Sinsa-dong and Apgujeong-dong, Garosu-gil, which means “tree-lined street” in Korean, is a magnet for local and international fashionistas and style gurus.
Garosu-gil’s journey to becoming a fashion and lifestyle hotspot began in the 1980s when art galleries moved into the area, turning the location into the epicenter of Seoul’s art scene. The following decade saw many aspiring fashion designers, stylists and artists set up shop along the 700-meter promenade, enhancing its reputation as Seoul’s ultimate trend-setting area. In recent years, the influx of major and boutique brands to the area has given new life to Garosu-gil, transforming the street into a major tourist destination in Seoul.
Here are six reasons why trendsetters love Garosu-gil according to Samsung C&T’s fashion and lifestyle research team.
Seoul’s café scene is second to none and Garosu-gil shows exactly why. No two cafés are the same in the area, with each offering finely-crafted drinks and snacks guaranteed to excite any foodie.
While its exterior might seem unassuming, OUR Bakery café boasts some of the best baked goods in the South Korea capital. The bakery prepares everything in-house, filling its minimalist interior with the fragrance of its unique treats all day long. Butter Pretzels, Dirty Choco and Nutella Banana are among the most popular items on the menu; just be sure to check the bakery schedule ahead of time as they often sell out quickly.
Age of Backstreets
The boom at Garosu-gil has spilled over into neighboring areas, turning quiet backstreets along the main promenade, such as Saerosu-gil and Narosu-gil, into fashion and lifestyle treasure troves.
Stores in Garosu-gil’s backstreets go the extra mile to catch shoppers’ attention with extravagant interiors. Known for decorating their stores with different concepts, sunglasses brand GENTLE MONSTER’s showroom at Saerosu-gil, an alley just off Garosu-gil, is a unique retail experience. Spread over six floors, sunglasses are displayed in a retail space has the looks and feel of an expansive conceptual art installation. With peculiar objects dotted around every corner, it’s easy to lose track of time walking through the meticulously designed space.
Another must-stop spot for interior design enthusiasts is MAGAZZINI, an outlet of the Milan-based luxury brand 10 Corso Como. The greenery and quiet European-style exterior complement the simplistic design of the fashion showroom, which showcases the best of Milanese fashion over three floors.
Rediscover Hidden Stores
No two visits to Garosu-gil are ever the same, thanks to the many hidden stores along the shopping street.
For first-time visitors, skincare brand Huxley’s Garosu-gil branch is easy to miss. Yet it’s worth spending some extra time finding the store, which is tucked away on the second floor at the end of a long gallery, as the brand’s products are in a class of its own.
Offering F&B for Fashionistas
With the rise of online retail, some say traditional brick and mortar stores are a thing of the past. Garosu-gil’s shopping experience is the perfect answer to the skeptics, as many stores retain their value by combining different activities with traditional retailing.
Blending culture, music and fashion together, Café Kitsune provides a modern, minimalist space for shoppers to relax in. For those who enjoy drinking their coffee al fresco, 8SECOND’s terrace café offers a premium view of Garosu-gil’s famous Gingko trees.
Showroom of New Lifestyles
Garosu-gil and its backstreets can satisfy all your interior decoration needs, as the area is home to the world’s trendiest lifestyle brands.
Located in Narosu-gil, Swedish lifestyle brand GRANIT is the latest addition to the long list of lifestyle stores in the area, bringing the brand’s signature Scandinavian concept to Asia for the first time. Aside from offering practical everyday items with a creative twist, GRANIT also promotes sustainable living through its ‘care’ product range, which is produced from recyclable materials.
Upgraded Sports Platform
With its ability to bring people from all walks of life together, Garosu-gil has become a hub for like-minded Seoulites to meet and form various communities.
Equipped with cutting-edge training facilities, including a gait analysis treadmill, sportswear brand Brooks serves as a meeting-point for running enthusiasts in Seoul. Not only does the store provide lockers and changing facilities, Brooks also offers a food and beverage menu tailored to the needs of runners.
Samsung C&T’s Garosu-gil Promotional Event
Committed to promoting Seoul’s urban culture, Samsung C&T Fashion Group launched a promotional event on November 9 to encourage more visitors to explore Garosu-gil. To participate, pick up a booklet from the five stores in the promotional event zone (see map below), where you can also collect stamps when you visit before December 2. You will receive a free coffee from 8SECONDS’ café when you collect three stamps, while five stamps will get you a scratch card, which is guaranteed to win you exclusive prizes, including sweatshirts from Maison Kitsune, Brooks running shoes, GRANIT diffuser, and more.