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Let’s say you’ve got a date set up with a Korean, but you’re not sure where to go. The big day is coming soon, and you want to make a good impression. 악!
Or maybe you want to switch things up and have a Korean-style date with your significant other. Time for an adventure and exploring a new culture!
Below are the “Top 6 Korean Date Ideas” that you can do to have a Korean style couple experience. You can do many of these anywhere in the world, no matter what city you’re in.
As a bonus, we’ve also added the “Top 6 Seoul Korean Date Ideas” so you can give them a whirl the next time you’re in the capital city and looking for a fun way to take advantage of dating in Korea. It’s a wonderful place to date considering how much there is to do!
Some of the words below are written in Hangul, which is the Korean alphabet. If you can’t read Korean yet, then you can impress your date by learning to read before you next meet! You can learn the Korean alphabet for free in about 90 minutes here.
- 1 Top 6 Korean Date Ideas
- 2 Top 6 Seoul Korean Date Ideas
Let’s plan this thing!
Top 6 Korean Date Ideas
1. Cinematic Adventure
Koreans love going to the movies. It’s a huge date place, especially in the bitter cold winter months. Korean movie tickets can generally be booked three days in advance, and you can even choose your seat ahead of time. Seoul especially has many great options.
Try going for the couple seats in the back, sometimes called the “Sweetbox”. They’re roomier, and they allow you to sit close to each other and cuddle up during the movie.
Some of the movie theaters in Korea are quite large. The CGV Theater in Gangnam goes up to the 10th floor!
If you want to have a Korean movie experience in your area, try looking for a local theater that plays Korean movies. This type of theater will usually be available in bigger cities with large Korean populations, such as the CGV Theater in Los Angeles. Most of the movies that are played at these theaters will have subtitles, but some won’t, so make sure you check ahead of time so you know what to expect.
If you’re not near one of those cities, try downloading Korean movies and watching them at home. You can also download a movie in English and get the Korean subtitles from a site to get the Korean theater feel. You’ll also get to enjoy the movie in the comfort of your own home — it doesn’t get much cozier than that!
Also known as “노래방” (“singing room”), karaoke is a popular date activity to do anywhere in Korea.
Although it’s similar to karaoke in many countries, the Korean version is slightly different. With “노래방”, you get an entire room to yourself instead of singing in front of a group of strangers. You can order drinks (beer, soju, soda) and snacks (fruit, nuts, dried squid) from the waiter.
Many cities have singing rooms, so you can reserve one for yourself and your date. The best part of these rooms is that you can sing your heart out without worrying about strangers judging you. Now is the time to sing “Gagnam Style” without being self-conscious!
Or if you prefer to stay local, download some songs on the home computer, grab a microphone, and have a karaoke party at your place! You get the same benefit of the private rooms (you don’t have to worry about singing in front of strangers), and you’ll also have the freedom of putting together whatever drinks and snacks your heart desires.
3. “Cha” Course Meal
When Koreans have a night on the town, they visit various establishments together as a group. During the course of the evening, they may visit 2 – 5 different places, which they refer to as “차”s (rounds). An example schedule:
- 1차 (Round 1): Dinner at a BBQ restaurant
- 2차 (Round 2): Drinks at a singing room
- 3차 (Round 3): Drinks and light food at a bar
For your date idea, you design your own “Cha” course meal mixing in any combo of events you like. You could even do food and drink from different countries, but still keep the same Korean date feel!
“Cha” course meals are more dynamic than typical dates at a single restaurant, and they have the added bonus of letting you experience several different places around town during the same evening. An evening spread across different bars and restaurants will also take longer than an evening at a single restaurant, so you’ll get more time to spend with your sweetheart!
4. Authentic Alcohol
Koreans have a very strong drinking culture. Whether your plan is to be out in the city or stay in the comfort of your own home, you can add in a Korean date element by getting some authentic Korean drinks.
For alcohol, try picking up some soju, which is a staple in most Korean homes and restaurants. Some common brands are:
- 참이슬 (Chamisul) – meaning “real dew”
- 처음처럼 (Chum-Churum) – meaning “like the first time”
- 좋은 데이 (JoeunDay) – meaning “good day”
For beer, you can go with brands such as OB, Hite, Cass, or Max for an authentic Korean experience.
5. Leisurely Shopping
The next time you’re struggling to come up with a date idea, consider a shopping excursion! This doesn’t have to be shopping with an actual intent to purchase something.
Instead, you can do what Koreans call “아이쇼핑” (window shopping).
Grab your date, and head out to the popular shopping area in your area. Spend your time enjoying each other’s company while you stroll from shop to shop seeing what new items are out. Window shopping also gives you an opportunity to stop into stores you would never shop at usually to test out new products that are foreign to you. Mix in an hour or two chatting at a cafe over freshly brewed coffee or a glass of wine, and the Korean date experience will be complete!
6. Korean Barbecue
If you ask a random person on the street what they know about Korean culture, chances are “Korean barbecue is delicious” is one of the most common answers you’ll come across. Korean barbecue is well-known for being an amazing culinary experience, and even people that are relatively unfamiliar with Korean culture are aware of how delicious it is.
The next time you’re trying to plan a date and you’d like to add a little Korean flair to your evening, see if there is a Korean barbecue restaurant in your area that you haven’t checked out. The atmosphere of these restaurants is usually bright and lively, and you’ll be enjoying soju and tender, marinated grilled meat while you people watch.
Your mileage may vary when it comes to how good the Korean barbecue in your area is, so try to find a restaurant with a Korean chef or owner if possible. If somebody intimately familiar with what makes Korean barbecue wonderful is running the restaurant (or the kitchen), you’re more likely to have an authentic Korean experience.
If you’re not having luck finding a solid Korean restaurant in your area, you can always try to make Korean barbecue at home! It’s not for the faint of heart but it also doesn’t require a ton of culinary skill, so if you’re up for the challenge, find a recipe and commit. You and your date are bound to have a good time!
Top 6 Seoul Korean Date Ideas
1. Namsan Tower
Also known as N Seoul Tower, this landmark is one of the major tourist attractions in Korea. This 236 meter (777 ft) tower was built in 1969 and is located in the heart of the city.
Plus there is plenty to do! You can stop by the Namsan Seoul Tower Hanbok Culture Experience Center to get pictures taken in Hanbok (Korean traditional style clothing). Attractions also include riding up in a cable car, getting a great view of the entire city, and passing through the Teddy Bear Museum!
Most importantly, you can visit the “Locks Of Love” area to show your affection in padlock form.
Add your lock to the tens of thousands of couples who have done the same to symbolize their eternal love. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that, and it’s definitely a popular activity for couples that are dating in Korea!
Samcheong-dong is a popular and trendy neighborhood in the center of Seoul. Located next to the well-known tourist area of Insadong, it’s quickly becoming one of the most famous places to visit in Korea.
Lots of small boutique shops, art galleries, and unique cafes are tucked away in the narrow streets in this quaint area of the big city. Grab your date and head to Samcheong-dong during the day to enjoy the unique atmosphere of the area. Evenings and weekends this part of the city tends to get a little bit crazy with crowds, so consider spending some time exploring on a weekday afternoon.
Myeongdong is one of the major shopping spots in Seoul, and for good reason. It’s jam-packed with almost any store you can think of, so you’ll likely be able to get all your shopping done in one visit.
For lunch, make sure you chow down on kalguksu, a tasty soft noodle soup with dumplings. Stop by the famous Kyoja restaurant to get the real deal.
4. Han River
The Han River is a large body of water that separates the northern part of Seoul from the southern part. All along the river are various parks, restaurants, and cafes, which are great places to take a date.
The Han River is especially popular in the evening, where you can take a stroll along the riverside while enjoying the romantic view of the cityscape at night.
5. Cheonggyecheon Stream
Cheonggyecheon is a large stream in the center of the Seoul that has been converted to a modern public recreation area. It’s a fantastic place to take a walk, especially in the evening when the bustle of the city has slowed down. The next time you and your date enjoy dinner out, swing by Cheonggyecheon afterwards and enjoy a slow walk — it’ll give you a chance to talk and enjoy each other’s company instead of having the date end abruptly after dinner.
6. Lotte World
Theme parks are amazing places to bring a date. Not only are they full of fun activities that will keep you occupied for an entire day, but going on roller coasters and thrill rides will also give you a good excuse to hold your date’s hand and squeeze tight!
Lotte World is a theme park in Korea that is basically the theme park to end all theme parks — it’s so much more than just a collection of rides. Lotte World does have roller coasters and other rides, but it also has an ice rink, parades, and plenty of junk food to keep you going. There’s also a Hard Rock Cafe inside the park if you need to eat something a little more substantial! Depending on the time of year that you visit, there may be parades and decorations related to holidays displayed as well (especially in December).
If you’re considering visiting Lotte World, try to keep in mind that while the hours of operation are 9:30AM-10:00PM, the best time to go are when other people can’t go (so, weekdays during the day). The park can fill up with kids on the weekends and during the breaks when school isn’t in session.
What are your favorite Korean date ideas? Share yours with us in the comments below!