CONTRIBUTED BY CHRISTINE BRUNS
One weekend, my family and I hitched a ride on the subway to Seoul City Hall, intending to spend an hour or so walking along the Cheonggyecheon Stream. I had also heard that there were some musical steps nearby, so we stopped off to get some video of our little guy jumping around. Sure enough, there was a great set of musical steps right next to the new City Hall building. Fun was had by all!
As I was watching him create haphazard melodies with my husband, I gazed up at the gleaming, glass City Hall building, which towers over the old brick and mortar next door (which once was City Hall and is now a library). I was intrigued by what looked like green plants inside. Once I pried the two musical maestros away from the stairs, we went in for a closer look. This is what we saw:
The interior of the lobby has HUGE floor to ceiling vertical gardens! It looks so cool and helps make the building Eco-friendly.
We wandered around looking at the temporary art displays and then a security guard motioned for us to take the spiral staircase downstairs. We were curious as to what else was in store, so down we went.
The bottom floor is an information center with interactive areas, a relics hall, shops, and an event lounge. There are tons of pamphlets available for city events and attractions. You can also sign up for the Tong-Tong Tour of the building with a tour guide.
We had fun at the Memo table and wall area – as evident by our artistic contributions:
There are also displays about the building itself and various aspects of Korean culture.
We passed through a mini-flea market, the event lounge (where a Hi-Seoul performer was showing off his acrobatic skills on a bicycle), and window shopped at the Tok Tok Design shop.
The final area was a great find – the Gungisi Relics Exhibition Hall showcases areas and items found beneath the building while it was under construction. A glass floor, relic displays, and an open excavation pit are just waiting for visitors to gaze upon them.
When we were leaving, we also realized that the musical stairs led down to a direct entry to the space, to the subway, and to a nearby underground shopping mall.
Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330
Address: 110, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 중구 세종대로 110 (태평로1가)
Google Coordinates: 37.5663797, 126.97771539999997
How to get there by Subway:
-Subway Lines 1 and 2, City Hall Station, Exit 5
-Subway Line 2, Euljiro 1 (il)-ga, Exits 1 or 8, as well as Exit 7 via the Myeongdong Underground Shopping Center passage
Website: (online registration for Tong-Tong tour is available)