Whenever I visit South Korea, it’s always part of my itinerary to visit the filming locations of the dramas I’ve watched and loved – Full House, Personal Taste, Heirs, Faith, Goblin, to name a few. My trip this past September was my fifth time in the country, and certainly no different!
I must say the timing for my trip was so right because I’d gotten really hooked on My ID is Gangnam Beauty (MIDIGB), which ended its run on September 15. With the scenes and emotions still fresh in my memory, I decided to look up some locations of key scenes in the show, and make that part of my travel plans.
Here’s my experience visiting some filming locations in MIDIGB! 🙂
First on my list was Café Teruwa, where the heartbreaking scene between Do Kyung-seok (ASTRO’s Cha Eun-woo) and Kang Mi-rae (Im Soo-hyang) happened in episode 12 (one of my favorites). Kyung-seok confessed his feelings to Mi-rae, but she rejected him out of worry and fear about what people would say or think about her dating the most popular guy on the campus.
If you followed the show, you might recall that the pedestrian lane in front of the café was also where Mi-rae and Kyung-seok walked in episode 5, on the night she got drunk – the second time they got so close.
On foot: Bokjeong Station [복정역], Seoul Subway Line 8/Bundang Line, Exit 2
(21 min. walk)
By bus: Bokjeong Station [복정역], Seoul Subway Line 8/Bundang Line, Exit 3
> Take Bus No. 452 from Jangjidong Bus Stop (No. 24340) for 2 stops
> Get off: Bus Stop ‘Dong Seoul Univ. [동서울대학교] (No. 48066)
After arriving at Bokjeong Station via subway, I decided to take the bus going to Dong Seoul Univ [동서울대학교]. After just two stops, you’ll be able to see the bright yellow café across the road on your right, from the bus stop.
Note: According to the Naver Map app, the instructions say to take Bus 462, however there’s no such bus that passes by the Jangjidong Bus Stop. So, be sure to take bus 452 instead. There are also other alternative buses that you can take from that stop that will alight you at Dong Seoul Univ. bus stop. Check the bus stop or your preferred navigation app.
From Café Teruwa, it will take you only about 2 minutes to reach the next filming location: the entrance of ‘Berlin Bar’ (which is actually Rock-Q Karaoke — Bokjeong Branch). My favorite scene here is the rain scene from episode 12, but you can find out more about the other scenes filmed here on its respective listing (click above!).
Refer to directions for ‘Teruwa Café’ above.
On foot: 2 min from Teruwa Café — walk straight down Bokjeong-ro (with the café on your right). The entrance of Rock-Q Karaoke will also be on your right.
In episode 15, Kyung-seok and Mi-rae passed by the front of this restaurant when they went to eat lunch outside Kelun, because Mirae didn’t want Soo-a to feel uncomfortable since they’d told everyone that they’re dating. For me, I love how this restaurant’s pink floral design complemented Kyung-seok and Mi-rae’s outfits.
On foot: Hyehwa Station [혜화역], Seoul Subway Line 4, Exit 1
(7 min. walk)
Note that getting here may be a bit of an uphill climb (though it didn’t seem like it in the drama).
I must say that this was the highlight of my MIDIGB trip: the ‘staircase’ going up to Mi-rae and Hyun-jung’s dorm! Just as what Marion KDL said to me when I sent photos, I too think the staircase looks better in real life. Although I didn’t realize how high the staircase was going to be – that definitely took me by surprise!
It’s really fun for an MIDIGB fan like me to visit this location, considering a lot of scenes from the drama were filmed here (including the garbage segregating scene in episode 9, which took place at the top of the staircase).
Aside from being a filming location in my favorite Kdrama, I also appreciated the amazing view from the top of the staircase. It was as if I was standing from the rooftop of a tall building overlooking the city! The weather was also nice when I was there. At one point, I realized that I’d been there for more than an hour – just enjoying the view, reminiscing the scenes from the drama, and taking lots of pictures. If I had more time and were more familiar with the place, I would have stayed longer, just sitting at the top with a drink in hand, doing some soul searching. The view would have probably also been nice at night.
On foot: Hansung University Station [한성대입구역], Seoul Subway Line 2, Exit 3
By bus: Hansung University Station [한성대입구역], Seoul Subway Line 2, Exit 3
> Bus Seokbung01 from Bus Stop ‘Samseongyo 1st Market’ (No. 08721) for 3 stops
> Get off: Bus Stop ‘Bongyohoe Ap [본교회]’ (No. 08773)
Since this location is in a residential area, it might be a challenge to find it since there aren’t enough landmarks. But you can search for “Cheonggiwa Town [청기와타운6” in your navigation app and you will get the exact location. The rightmost part of the building (where the actual map pin is on Naver Maps) is where the staircase is located.
The bus stop (‘Bongyohoe Ap [본교회]’ (No. 08773)) is right outside “Book & Cafe” [북앤카페]. From the bus stop, walk towards the location as directed by the maps.
When I left the location, I opted to walk back to the subway station. It didn’t seem like a very far walk for me — in fact, I wondered why I even took a bus in the first place! If you like walking, that could be an option for you (especially in nice weather).
Additional travel tips
Get a navigation/map app
— Having a navigation/map app is very useful, especially if it’s your first time to Korea! Google Maps is one option, and so is Naver Maps, which worked best for me. You can type in the English or Korean address or name of the place (even bus numbers, bus stops or subway stations!) and the app will provide you real-time options on how to get to your location. It’s definitely helpful for tourists, since it shows details in English. I’m also amazed by the 360° photos, which helped me confirm that I was on the right track.
Note: As this is an online app, and it requires mobile data to function. Also, the information may not be 100% accurate at all times; for me, it provided me with the necessary information around 95% of the time.
Combine it with a Subway Korea App
— If you’re planning to mostly use the subway to get around, it would be best to complement using your navigation/map app with a subway specific map. For example, I checked both Naver Map and the Subway Korea app during my trip, simply because the Subway Korea app gave me a better idea of the train lines and routes.
before & During the visit
— Search for locations before your actual visit and save them in your ‘Favorites’, so that it saves you from re-typing it every time. You can also save the route options (e.g. from your accommodation to the target location) to have an estimate of the travel time for each location and you can adjust when to leave.
— I strongly recommend leaving early if you are not familiar with the places, especially if the locations are far from Seoul. It’s harder to navigate these locations at night, and you won’t have to worry about missing the last train or bus. Taxis/cabs may not always be available at the location either.
— Be mindful and considerate of residential areas, especially when it comes to noise and getting in the way of others. I believe it wouldn’t be too much to be respectful to the residents, and also those passing through the area. Be sure to give way when needed!
All in all, I had such a great experience visiting these MIDIGB locations, and I’m already looking forward to my next visit back (even to the places I’ve already been to)! I’m particularly hoping to visit Kyonggi University in Suwon and Konkuk University in Seoul, as a lot of important scenes happened at those places too.
If you’re a fellow MIDIGB fan like me and you’re planning to visit the same places, I hope the few tips I’ve included will help in one way or another. Much credits and thanks also goes to KDL and to the contributors of this page – more power and looking forward to more filming location listings! Kdrama fans like me would always love to visit these places to reminisce our favorite scenes. ❤❤❤
Mich KDL: Thanks to Iris27 for kindly sharing her experiences, photos and tips with us! If you’d like to contribute a piece about your own visit to your favourite Kdrama filming locations, or share your Top 5 Locations with us, be sure to reach out. We’d love to hear from you 🙂