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Korean transcription(s)
 • Hangul
 • Hanja
 • Revised Romanization Itaewon
 • McCune–Reischauer It'aewŏn
Itaewon featuring Seoul Central Mosque
Itaewon featuring Seoul Central Mosque
Country South Korea

Itaewon (Korean: 이태원, 梨泰院, [itʰɛwʌn]) refers to an area surrounding Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is served by Seoul Subway Line 6 via Itaewon, Noksapyeong, and Hanganjin stations. About 22,000 people reside in the district and it is a popular area for residents of Seoul, tourists, expats, and U.S. military personnel.

Local attractions[edit]

There are many restaurants in Itaewon serving cuisine that are not widely available in Korea, such as those from India, Pakistan, Turkey, Southeast Asia, Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain and Mexico. Essentially, it's known as "Western Town," reminiscent of many Chinatowns in Western nations.

Itaewon, along with Insadong and Seoul Tower, is one of the most popular places in Seoul for tourists. Major hotels such as the Grand Hyatt and local landmark Hamilton Hotel are here as well as dozens of shops and services aimed at tourists. High-quality leather products are sold at reasonable prices (though haggling is expected) as well as traditional Korean souvenirs.

Counterfeit goods and clothing items are ubiquitous and of varying qualities. Some authentic goods that are only produced in Korea for the international market, as well as some authentic imports are also available. Itaewon is known for its clothesmakers who produce custom-made suits.

Aside from the local businesses, there is a rich community of business owners, including a pie shop owner from the U.S.A. (Tartine), authentic American burgers, a wine bar, an Austrian delicatessen (with an array of cheeses and meats), a veterinarian/pet groomer with an excellent reputation, a chiropractor from Oregon, doctors and nurses, pharmacists and grocery shop owners.

Many foreigners in Korea reside within or near Itaewon, as well as some of the richest Korean businesspeople, including Lee Kun-Hee, the chairman of Samsung group.

Gyeongnidan Street[edit]

Itaewon Gyeongnidan-gil

In Itaewon there is the multinational Gyeongnidan Street. It is in the middle of Itaewon's elementary school district. There are many exotic restaurants alongside the street.


Halloween festival in Itaewon
Halloween festival

In popular culture[edit]

Korean singer-songwriter JYP (Park Jin-Young) and Yoo Se-yoon's hip-hop duo UV released the song "Itaewon Freedom" in April 2011.[1] The title alludes to (and the lyrics celebrate) a common Korean perception of Itaewon's foreignness and open atmosphere, in contrast with conventional Korean culture.[2] The popularity of the song and its music video inspired a parody cover song and video from the girl group Crayon Pop in 2013. Both videos were partially filmed on location in Itaewon.[3]


See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°32′24″N 126°59′31″E / 37.54000°N 126.99194°E / 37.54000; 126.99194