An Excursion in COEX Mall

If Korea knows how to do one thing right, it’s packing a ton of fun things into one place. The COEX Mall is a perfect example of this. From arcades and movie theaters to bookstores and aquariums, this place has plenty to do. On top of that, above its shopping floor is a huge exhibition floor that hosts many conventions. One of the coolest things I saw happening was a meet up with a kpop group. Unfortunately I couldn’t get any pictures because the crowds were so large, but maybe you’ll come across a Korean celebrity if you decide to take a trip to COEX!

After my article about finding English text in Seoul, I continued my search and came across the YP bookstore. While their selection isn’t nearly as large and varied as What the Book and Itaewon Foreign Bookstore, they do provide plenty of seating for customers to sit down and dig into a good book! They have many novels that are currently popular, and they have a few travel books if you plan on taking a trip outside of Korea after you get your alien registration card.

YPBooks Bandi & Luni

If books aren’t your thing, you could always head over to the movie theater in COEX. They play a lot of movies that are more current throughout the western world, and many of them are subtitled instead of dubbed. This means that you can watch a film without having to worry about a language barrier! They also have cafés, lounges, and other sitting areas that you can relax in if you’re waiting for the next showing of a movie like Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

One of the most incredible things I found in the theater area was a video game arcade! The selection was surprisingly varied, with many of the arcade cabinets being direct imports from Japan. Actually, most of the cabinets are still set in their original Japanese language. This doesn’t detract from them since most of them are games where you point and shoot bad guys. There are also a lot of skill and luck based games where you can win prizes such as stuffed animals and figurines. The day I was there, I saw a lot of couples, so the arcade may be a good place to go with a date! On the topic of nerdy things, I also found a small café where you can borrow comic books and manga to read. The selection seems pretty large, so you may be able to find something that interests you! There are also exhibits of collectibles relating to pop culture, and there are some pretty interesting pieces in it as well!

Megabox Movie Posters Pop Culture Exhibit Theater 1 Arcade 2 Arcade 1

There’s also another cool attraction in COEX: an aquarium. It takes about an hour and a half to get through the entire aquarium, and some of the exhibits are pretty great. There’s even area that allows you touch smaller sea creatures. Each exhibit has a theme, usually pertaining to a certain ecosystem. One of my favorite parts was letting the doctor fish nibble on my fingers. Apparently it’s good for your skin since they eat skin cells that are about to fall off. It’ll set you back about 20,000 Won, but if you’re into aquariums, you’ll definitely enjoy it.

Aquarium 1 Aquarium Aquarium 2

There’s also a Gundam model store located in the mall. This may not interest everyone, but if you’re like me and are a huge fan of Gundam, this might be a place worth checking out! They even have tools and tables set aside if you decide you want to start building your Gunpla as soon as you buy it!

Gundam Store 1 Gundam Store 2

If you’re looking for something to eat at COEX, you’ll have no problem finding something. They have foods ranging from Korean and Asian food to western foods as well. What’s more, they have incredible cafes located all over the mall, so if you’re looking for a place to sit down and relax for a little bit with a cup of coffee, you’ll have no problem finding a place.

COEX Food Teppan Yaki Korean food Cafe

If you’re looking to kill time COEX is the place to do it! It’s got everything you need for a date, or maybe just meeting up with friends. Of course, the COEX Mall is still a place to do shopping. Since its renovation a few years ago, everything is designer branded and very fashion forward. When doing research for my previous article about winter fashion in Seoul, I nearly had a heart attack looking at the price tags!


Article by Eli from the U.S.A.


  1. […] Across from Bonguensa Temple is the convention portion of the COEX Mall (코엑스몰). However, if you keep walking south, you will be able to enter the mall portion of the COEX. For more information on what to do here, you can check out this article by Eli! […]

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