Once more, I’m back with another of my travel stories–still from Seoul since I want to share the many places that I visited while on my two week trip to Korea. This time around, I’ll be sharing one of the hottest Instagram-worthy spots in Seoul–none other than Common Ground!
COMMON GROUND (커먼그라운드) began as Korea’s first pop-up store / shopping mall made out of shipping containers. It was created in 2015 by Kolon Industries FnC to foster and grow the micro, small, and medium businesses in South Korea. The mall-slash-container park consists of clothing and lifestyle retail shops, cafes, and restaurants. Visitors can also attend events and watch performances in the “cultural space” at the center of the park.
Most of the brands found at Common Ground are non-institutional (those unavailable at large department stores) and street brands, with a high percentage of local and upcoming sellers.
The container park has a total of 3 floors, and is made up of a total of 200 containers. Most of the lifestyle and retail brands can be found indoors, while the restaurants and cafes can be found outside near the cultural space and at the 3rd floor / rooftop of the complex.
However, Common Ground is not only known for it’s hard-to-find and unique brands, but also for its beautiful and very instagram and photoshoot-worthy areas. Many foreigners (and Koreans alike) come to Common Ground not only to hang out and chill, but to also to take and upload pictures of each other. Mornings are less crowded at Common Ground, so for the perfect photo, I would recommend that you stop by at around 11 or 12, before the rush of people come in for the afternoon.
Doré Doré Cafe
Since Yuki, Karina and I visited Common Ground on a very hot day (the temperature was above 30ºC, and we arrived at high noon), we decided to take a break and cool off in Doré Doré Cafe after taking each other’s photos.
Doré Doré cafe can be found at the ground / first floor of the Common Ground complex, right across the Vans store. The cafe may look dark, but once you enter you’ll be surprised by a rainbow interior, reminiscent of one of their bestsellers–the rainbow cake.
The cakes are designed in various ways–ranging from cute and aesthetic, to kitschy. Pastries start at around KRW2000 (~PHP120) and cake prices start at around 7000KRW (~PHP350) for a pretty large slice. The three of us shared one slice of rainbow cake together, so we were able to split costs for a really really good cake. The taste was light, moist, and the cream was light enough not to make you get sick of it easily. Other cakes were more rich in flavor as they were made from Red Velvet or Matcha bases, which all seemed delicious, but if I had to recommend only one cake, it would definitely be the rainbow cake.
Common Ground (Location):
서울특별시 광진구 아차산로 200 (200 Achasan-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea)
How to get to there:
- Take subway line #2 all the way to 건국대입구역 (Konkuk University Station)
- Come out of exit #6
- Walk straight down the block and you’ll find Common Ground at your left hand side!