Food and Travel

South Korea Diaries: Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) – Architectural Gem in Seoul

dongdaemun design plaza

Welcome back to my blog! In my previous post, I shared about our winter day trip to Gapyeong and Chuncheon. Our last stop was Nami Island. After visiting Nami Island, we headed to Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). This architectural gem in Seoul is a must-visit. The acronym DDP also means Design, Dream and Play. No doubt why it’s named as such since the unconventional and exceptional design makes you dream of UFO’s and space ships; and play – since DDP is an avenue for events such as fashion shows, concerts, forums and conferences.

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Introduction to Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (or DDP) is the “largest assymetric building” in the world with an estimated cost of 500 million dollars. The New York Times tagged DDP as one of the Top 52 Places to Visit in year 2015. They even called DDP as a silvered UFO, and added that Seoul is one of the most underrated cities in the world.

dongdaemun design plaza

The Architect behind Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Hailed as the “queen of the curve”, the late Iraqi-British Architect Zaha Hadid was a legend in her time. This world-renowned architect died of a heart attack last 2016. Some of her designs include the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games, the Galaxy Soho in Beijing, the Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan, and the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati. She may be gone but she left behind her amazing creations which include DDP.

dongdaemun design plaza

Now, DDP is used to hold cultural events such as exhibitions, concerts, fashion shows, product launching, forums and conferences.

Evening Scenes at DDP (LED Rose Garden)

Since the whole DDP is quite huge, there are maps and directions well-posted in a lot of areas so you won’t get lost. The whole DDP has three main parts: art hall, design museum and design lab. Since we arrived late, we weren’t able to visit all these points. During our visit, we went to the Garden of Light which is a LED Rose Garden.

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The LED Rose Garden only began as a temporary exhibition. However, it was made permanent when it became a hit to Seoulites and even, tourists. Several Korean shows are filmed here.

The Giant I-Seoul-U

The giant ‘I SEOUL U’ represents Seoul’s motto of connecting people together. There is no doubt why there are lots of places around Seoul showcasing this giant sign. The iconic sign also became a popular spot to both Seoulites and tourists.


10,000 Roses in Cordova, Cebu got its inspiration from DDP

If you’ve been to Cordova, Cebu, one of the main tourist attractions is the 10, 000 Roses showcasing a garden of 10,000 LED white roses by the sea. The difference is in DDP, it has 25,550. Moreover, this tourist spot in Cordova, Cebu is just beside Lantaw floating restaurant which gives you another reason to visit. Visit this blog post for more information.

Public areas in DDP are open 24/7

The public areas in DDP are open 24/7. So, if you came late like us, you can just walk around especially around the rose garden. However, if you wish to maximize your visit, explore the three main parts of DDP as previously mentioned. Just come prepared, because that means a lot of walking and exploration.

Here came the latecomers (hahaha)

On my next blog post, I’ll be sharing our trip to Bukchon Hanok village where we had one of the craziest things we did in our lives – wearing Hanbok during the winter season under 3 degree Celsius and no thermal layers. Thank you for reading!

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South Korea Diaries: A Winter Day Trip to Nami Island (Chuncheon)
South Korea Diaries: Exploring Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul
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May 30, 2020 12:03 am

What a stunning place. Definitely on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing this guide and story.

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