1. Cat Attic
Feline fanatics, this will be your haven. Cat Attic has a few branches across South Korea, each housing about 20 cats. This place doubles up as a cafe so you go in, order a drink then mingle with the cats for as long as you like! While there are specific rules such as not waking a cat up (and cat’s do love to nap), if you’re lucky enough the occasional cat will hop into your lap and remain there till something else takes it’s fancy. The variety of cats from beautiful Persians to unique Sphynxs to the more common Tom Cats should be enough reason for you to visit this cat café! Observe them climb everything possible (including the coffee machines), hop into boxes or snuggle with each other! It’s definitely recommended that you come here if you’re a fan of the cats but not so much if you’re looking for a good coffee.
2. Bau House Puppy Café
Just like the cat café, this dog café works the same way – just with dogs. You buy a drink then seat yourself down as you mingle with the dogs. There are about twenty resident dogs varying in size, colour and breed all of which are vying for attention. Be prepared for even the biggest of dogs, which will attempt to hop onto your seat (and inadvertently onto your lap) as they sniff out their latest visitor. You will be given a list of the names of the dogs so that you can familiarise yourself with them and for a small fee, you can purchase dog treats which will definitely make you the centre of attraction. For all dog lovers out there who wished you had a dog but can’t accommodate one, this dog café will definitely be the place you should visit to satisfy your pet wants.
3. Hello Kitty Café
Here’s another cat café but for the world renowned Hello Kitty. You’ll be able to spot the café from a mile with its brightly painted walls in its signature pink. And if that doesn’t get your attention, look out for Hello Kitty’s (not so little) pink bow situated on the walls of the café’s exterior. Step inside and you will receive a warm welcome into Hello Kitty’s world. The interior is furnished with pretty much anything and everything white, pink and ‘Hello Kitty’. Even the food and latte art comes in the shape of the iconic cat. It’s definitely an interesting café to visit and will delight any Hello Kitty fan but come here with the expectation of a novelty trip and not looking for good food.
4. I’m Camper Cafe
Outdoor enthusiasts would love this café, especially in the winter. Recreating the environment of camping grounds, this café has tents pitched up in the café itself and customers can barbeque their food using utensils that one would use when camping. The best part is enjoying the full experience without having to be exposed to the elements at a fraction of the cost, since you won’t have to bring your own tent or cooking utensils. Complete with picnic tables and camping chairs, this would be an interesting experience for a family or group of friends! Perhaps even for someone not so enthusiastic about the outdoors, this culinary experience would take to your fancy – after all you aren’t exposed to the elements nor do you have to climb or walk up a mountain just to get your food.
5. Victorian Era Café
Furnished with lush furniture, heavy drapes and laced lamps all in the setting of a warm glow; this café is themed in the Victorian era. Be transported into the world where women were dressed in hooped skirt frames covered with heavy fabrics, corsets and lace and the men in top hats, coats and vests. The Victorian era boasts a sense of posh luxury that is quite evident in this café and perhaps in the prices of its drinks as well. From glassy chandeliers to gold-framed mirrors, one will truly feel like a princess or prince in this café whose name when loosely translated to English means ‘Palace-like Café where a Princess lives’. However, as with all other themed cafés in Seoul, it is best to come here for the experience instead of the food.
6. Velo Bike Café
Park your bikes, grab a coffee and spend a couple of hours chit chatting with some friends. This café serves up coffee and food to cyclists who are looking for a rest stop but doubles up as a bike rental station as well. For cyclists who are facing some issues with their bikes, the bike café provides repair services and while your bike is being fixed, you can pop into the café, grab a bite or coffee while you wait. Definitely a convenient one stop centre for all things bike related and who knows, you just might meet your new bicycling buddies at this café!
7. Café Blue Fairy
Big round eyes, porcelain faces and slender bodies. We aren’t referring to the waitresses at this café (even though there could be one or two who look like that) but instead we’re talking about the ball-jointed dolls that this café is all about. As you step in, you will see groups of girls gathered around a table quietly playing with the dolls that are intricately crafted to a perfection that is appreciated by some. While there are those who may find this behaviour rather creepy (it’s not often you see grown women playing with dolls), it is also unique and intriguing. Order your drink and take a seat. If you don’t choose your doll, the owner will very nicely recommend a doll for you to play with (or to keep you company as it sits against the table and watches you). This café is certainly not for everyone, especially not those who recently watched ‘Chuckie’. It is however still a recommended experience for those interested in these unique dolls, which are a step away from the world of ‘Barbie’.
8. Raintree Café
An escape from being in Korea itself, the Raintree café has a travel theme going on as it is furnished with an eclectic mix of tables, chairs, photographs and colour but ultimately coming together to provide a cosy atmosphere. Maps of the world are on the tables and walls for customers to take a look and perhaps plan a potential world trip. Customers can also look through the owner’s albums, which contain photographs of their worldly endeavours. Even the food is categorized according to the country it originated – a variety of food from ‘lassi’ to pancakes are served and with quality too. The owners hope for the café to be an escape from reality, from everyday life and perhaps you would be inspired to plan your next adventure.
Looking for other interesting and alternative things to do in Seoul? Visit Travelog for places to visit and things to do in Seoul. Click here.
Images (from top to bottom) courtesy of Koreabridge, From KD to Kimchi, Blogspot, Pinimg, Sohzhauwan, Tolic, Tumblr, Tumblr.