It’s been a while since we’ve dipped into the international side of The Modern List. Last month, Sandy from Team BUILD had the opportunity to travel to Korea to visit family as well as explore Seoul and the surrounding area. What we’re seeing is a dynamic global metropolis with a rich history and an exciting future. If you’ve got some favorite spots to add to the list, hit the comments button and let us know.

From the usual suspects to thrifty, yet design-minded accommodations, Seoul has more than its share of places to stay while you visit.

W Hotel Seoul-Walkerkhill San21, Gwangjin-gu, 173-708, +82-2-465-2222

[Image source: CNN Go]

IP Boutique Hotel 737-32 Hannam-dong Yongsangu, +82-2-3702-8000

[Image source: Visit Korea]

metro Hotel 199-33, Eulji-ro 2-ga, Jung-gu, 100-845, +82-2-752-1112

[Image source: metro Hotel]

BLU Guesthouse Seogyo-dong 464-63 Mapo-gu, +82-70-7692-9484

[Image source: BLU Guesthouse]

Korea has no shortage of places and things to eat. Street food is ubiquitous, quaint cafes the norm. Below is a mere sampling of some worthwhile spots to sate your mid-day hunger in spaces that will appeal to your design sensibilities as well.

Bloom and Goute 545-24 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, +82-2-545-img

[Image source: Coffee Table People]

The Flying Pan Blue 123-7 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, +82-2-793-5285

[Image source: Richard L Stansfield]

aA Design Cafe 408-11 Seokyo-dong, Mapo-gu, +82-2-3143-7311

[Image source: Gee Hae Jeong]

Papergarden 653-11, sinsa-dong, gangnam-gu, +82-2-3443-8880

[Image source: Seoul Seoul]

Though Korean cuisine is satisfying as a simple meal of fish, rice, and an array of pickled side dishes, it also has the capacity to venture beyond the expected comfort-food zone. Meals are made complete with high-craft dinnerware.

Siwhadam 5-5 Itaewon–dong, Yongsan-gu, +82-2-798-3311

[Image source: Seoul Gourmet]

OKitchen 168-14 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, +82-2-797-6420

[Image source: Seoul Eats]

Baru 71 Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, 02 – 2031 – 2081

[Image source: The Beat of My Own Drum]

Jung Sik Dang, 649-7 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, +82-2-517-4654

[Image source: Jung Sik Dang]

Seoul is saturated with trendy coffee shops (really saturated), but it’s not easy to track down the good, Seattle-caliber stuff. We’ve listed a few worth checking out both for a quality cup and a well designed space.

ChanBros Coffee Yongsan-gu Itaewon-dong 561

[Image source: Frshgrnd]

Coffee Factory

[Image source: Daily Coffee News]

Cafe Miz Moren Mapo-gu, Seogyo-dong 411-12. 02-325-5202

[Image source: Frshgrnd]

O Sulloc Tea House Locations vary

Seoul has been a hotbed of architecture and design activity in recent years, showcasing and sparking a number of attention-grabbing works by local and global firms alike. And, by the looks of the Yongsan Masterplan, and the collection of construction cranes dotting the city these days, there’s no indication of it slowing down any time soon.

Dongdaemun Design Park & Plaza by Zaha Hadid1 Euljiro 7(chil)-ga, Jung-gu (former location of the Dongdaemun Stadium)

[Image source: BUILD LLC]

Incheon Airport by Fentress Architects 272 Gonghangno, Jung-gu, Incheon +82-2-1577-2600

[Image source: Fentress Architects]

Dancing Towers by Studio Daniel Libeskind

[Image source: Studio Daniel Libeskind]

Cross Towers by BIG

[Image source: BIG]

Paju Bookcity (outside Seoul), 524-3 Munbal-ri, Gyoha-eup, Paju, +82-31-955-0050

[Image source: BUILD LLC]

If you happen to make the trek out here for Paju or possibly a dip across the border, stay at the stylishly modern Jijihyang Guesthouse 524-3 Munbal-ri, Gyoha-eup, Paju Bookcity.

Heyri Artvalley, Paju, +82-31-946-8551 ext. 3

[Image source: BUILD LLC]

The city possesses a thriving art culture, with a significant number of venues featuring contemporary work. And it goes without mention that these buildings feature the designs of some of the world’s best architects.

Leeum Samsung Museum of Art 747-18, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, 140-890, +82-2-
Museum 1 by Mario Botta
Museum 2 by Jean Nouvel
Child Education and Culture Center by Rem Koolhaas + OMA

[Image source: BUILD LLC]

Deoksugung Project, 100-120 58, Taepyeongno, Jung-gu, +82-2-771-9955

[Image source: BUILD LLC]

Kukje Gallery by SO-IL 54 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, 110-200, +82-2-735-8449

[Image source: BUILD LLC]

Mimesis Museum by Alvaro Siza, 499-3 Munbal-ri, Gyoha-eup, Paju Bookcity, 413-756, +82-31-955-4000

[Image source: BUILD LLC]

Culture Station Seoul 284 1 Tongil-ro, Jung-gu, 100-162, +82-2-3407-3500

[Image source: Culture Station Seoul 284]

aA Design Museum 408-11 Seo-kyo Dong, Ma-po Gu,  + 82-2-3143-7311

[Image source: chobyungju]

Aside from the ubiquity of good food everywhere, Seoul is a shopper’s paradise. Like any other Asian city, it’s a great place to stock up on office supplies and paper goods, and their love of design means there’s a fine selection of shops appealing to the design-minded.

Oval Stationary 3F 330-3 Seogyodong, Mapo-gu, +82-2-325-1981

[Image source: BUILD LLC]

Portfolio Letterpress 19-1 Ankuk-dong Jongno-gu, 110-240, +82-2-732-8777

[Image source: Portfolio Letterpress]

Second Hotel 647-2 Sinsadong, Gangnam-Gu, +82-2-542-2229

[Image source: Theme Magazine]

Cheers from Team BUILD