Songpa is in the eastern part of Seoul, along the Han River. Quieter and more residential then its hectic neighbor, Gangnam, Songpa nonetheless offers a fair number of attractions - the world's largest indoor theme park, Lotte World, is here, as is the Olympic Park and many of the facilities that were used the 1988 Seoul Olympics. And for fans of baseball and/or Korean Pop Culture, the Jamsil Sports Complex frequently hosts baseball games and K-pop concerts. Check online for tickets, dates, and prices.
- Olympic Park – Built for the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympics. A lake, a large field covered with the grass, and a square with sculptures are very popular among visitors. It is frequently visited by brides and grooms to take their wedding pictures. There are a couple of courses that are ideal for jogging or walking. In addition, the outdoor stage and the six stadiums are often used for concerts and other special events. Also a well known modern art museum named SOMA Museum is located within the park that features modern artworks of both korean and international artists. the entrance fee for the museum is ₩3,000.
- Lotte World, . (Metro Line 2, Jamsil Stn) This complex has a Lotte Department Store, a theater which hosts the show Ballerina Who Loves a B-Boy, a Lotte luxury hotel, a large indoor ice skating rick, and a traditional Korean folk museum. However, what it is most famous for is one of the world's largest indoor theme park. Lots of rides, and reopened in the summer of 2007 after a massive reconstruction. Though it may seem attractive on a rainy day, remember that others will have the same idea. Especially on the weekends and on holidays, if it's raining, watch out for incredible, mind-numbing lines.
- Jamsil Sports Complex, . (Metro Line 2, Sports Complex Stn) This large sports complex was built in 1976 and played host to most of the competitions in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Though its heady Olympic heydays are long past, this sports complex is still very much active and frequently hosts various cultural and sporting events, most frequently concerts and baseball games. Baseball here is very popular - in fact, probably the most popular team sport in the entire country. Booking tickets is tricky for non-Korean speakers; it's probably best to book tickets through an agency or third party instead of directly online.
It ain't no Gangnam, but if the urge to rack up your credit card bill comes a'calling, this district is part of Seoul and there are plenty of places to drop some cash. Here's a quick rundown:
- Lotte Department Store, . (Metro Line 2, Jamsil Stn) Part of the above-mentioned complex that includes Lotte World, the Lotte Department Store here is your standard Korean Department Store - except, of course, all the other attractions attached to it.
- Olympic-ro. (Metro Line 2, Sincheon Stn) The stretch of road from the sports complex to Lotte World has a fair number of stores and cafes here, and they're open quite late because of the nearby Sincheon nightlife area (see below). Nothing special, you'll find the typical clothing and gadget stores you find everywhere else.
- Garak Market. (Metro Line 8, Garak Market Stn) This is a enormous farmer's and fish market, somewhat similar to its cousin Noryangjin in Dongjak. Thousands of stalls selling fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, squid, clams, and other seafood straight from the farm/trawler. Not exactly tourist friendly, this market is definitely targeted towards a local audience, but if you're interested in seeing an off-the-beaten-track destination and really exploring the nitty-gritty of Korean daily life, definitely worth a look.
- Garden5, . (Metro Line 8, Jangji Stn) This is a large, very new mall and shopping complex that is part of the district government's efforts to make Songpa more of a center of culture and commerce. This complex is somewhat of a hybrid, selling both consumer goods and acting as a distribution center for manufacturers and wholesalers.
Songpa is home to Sincheon (신천), a large nightlife district one street back from Olympic-ro. Note that this is not Sinchon (신촌), another nightlife district that is frequently mixed up because of the name - Sinchon is located in Seodaemun/Mapo, which is the opposite side of the city and mainly caters to local university students. Sincheon, on the other hand, is populated more by local businessmen, as in Korea, getting drunk together with co-workers is seen as essential to building working relationships, which is one of the reasons why Korea has such a high rate of drinking. If you are a foreigner working in a Korean office or visiting Korea for a business trip, you may find yourself visiting this neighborhood.
Sincheon has a number of those infamous love motels, there is one particular area where a few dozen are clustered together.