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Have you ever been 4 episodes deep into a TV show and wondered how they set the scene so perfectly? Well, it’s all thanks to the amazing location scouts who find destinations matching the story descriptions in Korea and around the world. What’s great is that even after production ends, many of the KDrama filming locations are waiting for you to visit.
Although in some instances the shows created entire sets just long enough for production before tearing them down (Squid Game is a prime example) there are many others that were filmed in regular destinations in South Korea.
This means it is very easy to head on down to these places and recreate popular scenes for yourself! Whether you wander the grounds of the ancient palaces, stroll along the romantic beaches, or make your way through a webtoon world, you’ll get to visit many iconic locations from Korea’s favourite KDramas.
Since Korean pop culture has gained traction around the world, more and more tourists are visiting Korea specifically to set their sights on KDrama filming locations as well as KPop attractions (including BTS) countrywide.
|Country:||South Korea (Republic of Korea)|
|Currency:||South Korean Won / KRW|
|Do you need a visa to visit as tourists?||Check here|
Getting around Korea
Before we start our list of famous KDrama filming locations, I want to tell you how you can get around the country. Unfortunately, Google Maps doesn’t work too well here with regard to showing you the way, so here is a post I made about navigating using other phone apps:
To travel between cities you can either rent a car or take public transportation. One of the fastest ways to travel from Seoul to Busan (or other major cities) is on the KTX bullet trains. If these trains are too expensive for your travel budget, you can opt to travel by regular train (Mugunghwa Train) or bus.
Check out this pass that allows you a discount on the KTX with unlimited travel!
Once you’re in a city you’d like to explore, make sure to take your T Money Card with you to tap on and off buses and subways.
“Jirisan” – Jirisan National Park
Location: 345 Sicheon-myeon Sancheong-gun Gyeongsangnam-do ( 경남 산청군 시천면 지리산대로 345 )
The KDrama Jirisan (지리산) is filmed in multiple parts of the National Park of the same name. This fantastic drama follows the life of park ranger Seo Yi-Kang and a new recruit named Kang Hyun-jo who notice weird things happen in the eerie Park.
With mysterious visions and deaths expected throughout the forest of Mt Jiri, the pair work together to try and solve the many mysteries surrounding them. The show started in 2021 and has only one season to date, but it is hugely popular with great reviews across IMDB and MyDramaList.
What’s great about this addition to our list of famous KDrama filming locations is the entire forest was used throughout the short series so there is no single place signposted. Heading to the peak of Mt Jiri will give you stunning views of the park below like you get a small glimpse of in the show but be warned, the hike can take 6-8 hours!
Check out this post about reaching the peak (it’s the tallest peak on the mainland)!
Multiple KDramas – MBC Dae Jang Geum Park
Location: 778-1 Yongcheon-ri, Baegam-myeon, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea ( 대한민국 경기도 용인시 처인구 배감면 용천리 778-1 )
This addition to our list is actually one of the top filming locations for not just one KDrama, but many. This is a popular TV set and production shooting area specifically for a range of MBC shows. Not only are there extravagant palaces found on set, but also small villages and the illusion of an entire neighbourhood of residential homes all ready for you to explore.
A prime example of a recognisable destination you’d find here is the Kingdom of Joseon from the show “Kingdom” (more on that below) and many other period and costume titles. This is a great place to spend a few hours enjoying the sets of all of your favourite shows. You have the opportunity to pretend you’re the main character in any one of them!
Some well-known KDramas filmed here include: “Wind in the Palace”, “Isan”, “Dong Yi”, “The Duo” and many more.
You can join this guided tour to visit the MBC filming location.
“Winter Sonata” – Nami Island
Location: Namiseom Island Fir Treegill Trail ( 강원 춘천시 남이섬길 1 )
Winter Sonata (겨울연가) is a romantic melodrama TV show that was released in 2002. The show only had one season but there are some famous scene filming locations that the Kdrama fans still remember, even now.
The show, starring Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo, is about a woman whose partner dies in an accident, so to seek comfort she marries her long-term best friend. Not long after, she meets someone who looks and reminds her of her late love which makes her question her romantic decisions.
Some of the most memorable scenes from the show were shot in the middle of a tunnel of metasequoia trees which grow to be exceptionally tall. As you can see, I am standing in the middle of the tree tunnel pictured above. Any fans of the show will recognise the many scenes from the show across Nami Island so you should certainly head over there during your trip!
If you’d like to visit Nami Island you can easily join a popular guided tour below:
- Tour #1 – Nami Island, Petite France, & Optional Railbike Tour
- Tour #2 – Namiseom, Petite France, & Garden of Morning Calm
“When The Camellia Blooms” – Guryongpo, Pohang
Location: 222-1 Guryongpo-eup Nam-gu, Pohang-si Gyeongsang buk-do ( 경북 포항시 남구 구룡포읍 호미로 222-1 )
When the Camellia Blooms (동백꽃 필 무렵) was filmed in the made-up town of Ongsan which is located in the real-life Guryongpo, Pohang. This small fishing village on the east coast is one of the famous Kdrama filming locations and plays the perfect backdrop to this interesting drama.
The story follows Oh Dong-baek (portrayed by Gong Hyo-jin) on her journey as a single mother trying to start a new life in this small seaside town. While trying to settle into a new happiness in her new home with her family, a serial killer lingers in the background ready to disrupt the village peace.
Running from September to November 2019, only one season was released before drawing to a natural close. Although the show starts with many complicated story arcs that are hard to keep up with, they eventually merge into one to create an unusually satisfying show finale.
“W” – 2D Cafes
Busan Location: 33 Jeonpo-daero 176beon-gil, Busanjin-gu, Busan ( 부산 부산진구 전포대로176번길 33 지상1-2층 )
Seoul Location: 161-10, Seongmisan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul ( 서울 마포구 성미산로 161-10 )
This addition to our list of famous Kdrama filming locations is a little bit different. In fact, they are both cafes based on the show “Two Worlds Apart” or “W” (더블유) as it is often known. Both cafes follow the same interior design theme of everything being white and painted in 2D to look like you are inside a comic book or webtoon.
The show aired in 2016 for just 1 season. The story of this romantic Kdrama follows the story of two worlds that come together. After her father, a webtoon designer, disappears, a young female surgeon finds herself kidnapped and caught between the real world and the comic book world.
Filled with lovey-dovey scenes and enough romance to make you swoon, this is a fantastic Kdrama and these 2D cafe locations will certainly inspire you to give it a watch.
If you’re heading to the south of Korea you can see some other themed cafes in Busan that are just as fun as this one!
“LUCA: The Beginning” – Gamcheon Culture Village
Location: Deogyul-ri Gamcheon-myeon Yecheon-gun Gyeongsangbuk-do ( 경북 예천군 감천면 )
The Gamcheon Culture Village is not only one of the most famous tourist destinations in Busan, but it is also one of the filming locations for KDrama Luca: The Beginning (루카: 더 비기닝). This 1-season drama aired between February 1st and March 9th. It follows a character, Ji-O, who has a superpower and many questions about his life.
In this show, Ji-O lives in the area and is chased through tiny alleys and narrow gates that are found in these colourful slum-like neighbourhoods. After waking up with no memory of his past, Ji-O meets Gu-Reum, a detective who is investigating the mysterious disappearance of her own parents.
The show producers used the Gamcheon Village not only for the metropolitan field of colourful roofs but also for the many narrow alleyways due to many houses being built in the area. If you choose to visit the village you’ll get to see many photo zones and even a mural of two BTS members!
“Boys Over Flowers” – N Seoul Tower
Location: N Seoul Tower, 1-3 yongsan-dong, 2(i)-ga Yongsan,gu Seoul ( 서울 용산구 남산공원길 105 )
Boys Over Flowers (꽃보다 남자) was originally created as a Japanese Manga and has multiple adaptations including this popular Korean KDrama. Now, this next addition to famous KDrama filming locations is also one of the top tourist attractions in the country and is located in the heart of Seoul – N Seoul Tower.
The show unravels the story of a poor girl who transfers to an elite school (Shin Hwa High) and gets bullied by the ringleader of a group of the wealthiest students. Over time he starts to develop feelings for her but she is more interested in .. one of his friends! In typical Kdrama fashion, the rich meet the poor and love surrounds surprising people.
During some memorable scenes, the characters of Boys Over Flowers are seen walking around at night near the base of Seoul Tower near the padlock fence. This is an extremely popular tourist attraction outside of the show where visitors like to add their own locks to the ever-growing collection.
“Itaewon Class” – Various Seoul Locations
Location: 41, Hoenamu-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul ( 서울 용산구 회나무로 41 )
Itaewon Class (이태원 클라쓰) is a typical gritty drama show except with much less romance than other KDramas. The show follows an ex-con and his family on their journey to create a street bar in the famous Itaewon District.
Not only do we get to see the lead and his friends battle to make their bar dreams a reality, but we also get to follow their journey in seeking out revenge on a family that caused the death of his beloved father. This is a fantastic revenge drama with all-too-real character arcs and development throughout.
You can even stay in the highly recognised G Guesthouse from the background of the show on your next visit to Seoul with a rooftop offering city views!
“Hometown Cha Cha Cha” – Pohang
Location: Gyeongsangbuk-do Pohang-si Buk-gu Cheongha-myeon Minam-ri 454-6 ( 경북 포항시 북구 청하면 미남리 454-6 )
Hometown Cha Cha Cha (갯마을 차차차) is a popular rom-com TV series that was released in 2021 in the fictional village of Gongjin. It follows the story of a dentist who moves to a quiet seaside village and meets a handyman before a budding romance starts to brew.
Here you’ll find one of the famous Kdrama filming locations that you’ll recognise from the show. The Live Café & Pub pictured above is a well-recognised building in the show that looks almost exactly the same in everyday life as it does on the show. You’ll notice throughout the area that many of the buildings located here have actually kept the signs from the show too.
Pohang seems to be the perfect destination for filming this Kdrama and really compliments the overall story of this dreamy seaside show. Unlike many other Kdramas, this one showcases the best of this coastal town which creates the desire for a perfect vacation. Maybe that’s why it was so popular.
“Crash landing on you” – Hallasan National Park
Location: 15-1 Topyeong-dong Seogwipo-si Jeju-do ( 제주 서귀포시 토평동 )
Crash Landing on You (사랑의 불시착) is a 2019-2020 KDrama that was filmed throughout Korea and Switzerland for their iconic scenes. The show unravels the story of a wealthy South Korean heiress who accidentally paraglides and crash lands in the DMZ on the North Korean side.
While enjoying a leisurely paragliding experience a storm rolls in and heavy winds drag Yoon Se-Ri off course and into the forbidden territory. After being spotted by a North Korean military officer, they build a bond and he helps to keep her hidden. He is no ordinary offer, however, as he is the son of the Director of the General Political Bureau in the Korean People’s Army which gives his family status on this side of the border.
Over time, the pair fall in love despite the political differences they face being from two halves of the Korean Peninsula at war. Since filming inside the actual DMZ is forbidden, the show producers used Jeju Island’s Hallasan National Park for the scenes depicting the dense DMZ forest.
Want to visit the DMZ? Check out this guided tour.
What about taking a hike through Hallasan National Park? Here are 2 of my favourite trails you can do independently:
- Taking the Seongpanak trail to the Hallasan peak
- Gwaneumsa Trail: Hiking the Steepest trail of Mt.Hallasan
Or if you’d rather travel with a group on an easier trail, check this one out:
“Goblin” – Jumunjin Beach
Location: 81-151 Gyohang-ri Jumunjin-eup Gangneung-si Gangwon-do ( 강원 강릉시 주문진읍 해안로 1609 )
Jumunjin Beach might be recognised as one of the famous filming locations for the KDrama known as Goblin (쓸쓸하고 찬란하神 – 도깨비). The plot of this show follows an immortal character, Kim Shin who is a Goblin, on his journey to find a beautiful human wife.
Why does he need a human wife? Because he was stabbed and has an invisible sword embedded in his chest and only the chosen human bride can remove it and end his life. Although this is an extremely popular show, it wasn’t without a little bit of controversy. The two leads had a very obvious age gap which made many viewers in Korea uncomfortable.
That being said, the show was still loved by many and you can easily visit this east coast beach where the famous scene was filmed – Jumunjin Beach at the end of one of the rocky piers.
“Descendants Of The Sun” – Camp Greaves DMZ
Location: 137 Gunnae-Myeon Paju-si Gyeonggi-do ( 경기 파주시 군내면 적십자로 137 )
Descendants of the Sun (태양의 후예) is a military KDrama set in the fictional country of Uruk. Filmed in Korea and Greece, there are plenty of places to enjoy recreating scenes from this show. With Camp Greaves near the DMZ and the abandoned Hanbo Coal Mine in Taebaek, fans will be able to fangirl all they want at these locations.
Airing from 24th February until 22nd April 2016, this was another show to only offer one season to their fans. The story is centred around a traditional love story expected in KDramas except this rendition is between a Special Forces Officer and a surgeon.
This show had a strong moral message to its viewers which is in part what made it so popular. It showed that when you dedicate your life to a truly helpful profession you too can lead a fulfilled life and reap the benefits. That’s exactly what happened in this show as both of the leads were working in highly regarded professions – all while creating their own love story.
You can visit Camp Greaves near the DMZ and even stay in the hostel in the area while learning about the Korean War!
“Fight For My Way” – Hocheon Culture Village
Location: 1517-8 Boemcheon-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan ( 부산 부산진구 엄광로 491 )
The Hocheon Culture Village is one of the most famous filming locations for the Fight For My Way (쌈 마이웨이) KDrama. Released in 2017, this Kdrama follows the story of Ko Dong-Man, a Taekwondo expert, and Choi Ae-Ra who works in a department store, and their journey through life’s many obstacles.
Although labelled as a TV Drama, it is a more lighthearted and funny show that seems to go against the grain of your typical Kdrama style. It shows a gradual relationship between the two main characters who had been friends for over 20 years.
The main filming locations within this village are Dong-Man’s gym, the private rooftop bar and the well-known apartment building recognised in many episodes. Of course, not every part of the show was filmed here, as many scenes were filmed in and around Seoul’s Hongdae too, such as the bus stop and the blue and yellow house!
Bonus tip: This is one of the best views in Busan at night, so get your camera ready and join a night photography tour of the city.
“Pinnochio” – Cheongsando Island
Location: Cheongsan-myeon Wando-gun Jeollanam-do ( 전남 완도군 청산면 )
Pinocchio (피노키오) was filmed on a small remote island off of the south coast of Korea in the Jeolla-namdo province. It was one of the primary filming locations for this KDrama based on the famous Italian fairytale of the same name. (If you want another place that reminds you of Italy, head to Italian Village neighbouring Petite France).
The show centres around friends Dal-Po and In-ha and their journey to get justice. Dal-Po’s family was ruined by a news story so he tries to clear their name. In-ha on the other hand has something called “Pinocchio Syndrome” which prevents her from ever telling a lie. The friends become journalists in order to get the best revenge of justice.
The filming locations on Cheongsando Island for this short series are absolutely stunning and warrant a visit if you don’t mind heading to the remote southern island. With rice fields, beautiful long beaches and a quiet pace of life, this is a true paradise away from the bustling hubs such as Seoul and Busan.
“Personal Taste” & ” Monster” – Bukchon Hanok Village
Location: Bukchon Hanok Village, 105 Gye-dong Jongno-gu Seoul ( 서울 종로구 계동길 37 )
Personal Taste (개인의 취향) & Monster (몬스터) are two KDrama shows that use the famous Bukchon Hanok Village as one of their filming locations. The show “Personal Taste” aired in 2010 and follows the love story of a prim and proper architect who accidentally falls in love with a furniture designer. This seems straightforward except for the fact that the architect had been pretending to be gay.
“Monster” is the complete opposite and is labelled as a thriller. We follow the journey of a man who has a multitude of hardships thrown his way and has no choice but to work hard to overcome them in order to find his true love. Airing from March – September 2016 this show released a total of 50 episodes.
The Bukchon Culture Village is an ancient residential area that still resembles what it did during the Joseon Dynasty. With many homes still in the original style that offer us a look into the past, this is a fascinating tourist attraction that lets you see a real Korean contrast between the old Korean residential neighbourhoods to the bustling, modern Seoul we see today.
“Kingdom” – Changdeokgung Palace
Location: 2-71 Waryong-dong Jongno-gu Seoul ( 서울 종로구 율곡로 99 )
Kingdom (킹덤) is a medieval period KDrama that follows the lives of those living under the Joseon Dynasty. The location scouts and producers chose the stunning Changdeokgung Palace as the main backdrop for the show and it’s a location you can easily visit yourself!
The show follows Lee Chang who is the Crown Prince involved in a coup and some political unrest. There is also a plague that causes those who are sick to become “undead” including the King. Chang tries to uncover where it came from and how to stop it while battling through an epidemic taking over the Joseon Kingdom.
Like all ancient palaces in Korea, this one is just as beautiful with its delicate and brightly coloured painted roofs. It’s one of the most famous palaces in the country and is one of the most perfect filming locations for this exciting KDrama.
“Ladies of the Palace” – Gyeongbokgung Palace
Location: Gyeongbukgung Palace, 1-1 Sejongno Jongno-gu Seoul ( 서울 종로구 사직로 161 )
Ladies of the Palace (여인천하) was released in 2001 and showed us the fighting and negative relationships between women in the palace. This KDrama took place in arguably one of the most famous locations in South Korea, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and is the perfect setting for the show’s filming requirements.
The show is set during the time period from the reign of Jungjong to the reign of Injong. Within the show, you will see a very obvious struggle between the women and the power they each crave. Following Queen Munjeong and her sister-in-law Jung Nan Jung, this old KDrama shows us how the palace was run on a day-to-day basis and how they managed their family dynamic as powerful women.
Even outside of the show, Gyeongbukgung Palace is absolutely stunning and is a must-see for all visitors to the city of Seoul. It is very affordable to enter the palace as a guest and is completely free if you enter wearing Hanbok.
“The Glory” – Cheongju Central Park
Location: 117 Namja-ro, Sangdang-gu, Cheongju-si, Chuncheongbuk-do ( 충청북도 청주시 상당구 남사로 117 )
The Glory (더 글로리) is a new KDrama that aired in December 2022 and was filmed in and around Cheongju and Seoul. With only one season released so far, it is a dark drama watched by people in Korea and around the world.
One of the most recognisable filming locations for the famous KDrama is Cheongju Central Park. Other popular filming locations include Cheongju National University of Education, Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort, Taeneung Seolleongtang (Restaurant) & Cheongju Yonghwasa Temple to name a few.
The story is another gritty revenge drama that follows Dong-eun on her mission to exact revenge on those who bullied her. Based on true events, the story shows us how she plans to make each of her high school bullies pay for their treatment of her in the past. It certainly has some dark undertones.
“My Love from Another Star” – Petite France
Location: 616-2 Goseong-ri Cheongpyeong-myeon Gapyeong-gun Gyeonggi-do ( 경기 가평군 청평면 호반로 1063 )
My Love from Another Star (별에서 온 그대) follows the story of an alien played by Do Min-joon and his journey after crash landing on Earth. For 400 years he stays looking youthful and handsome – exactly as he did when he first came to Earth. He starts off with a general dislike for the human race, that is until he meets a stunning actress at the top of her field and falls in love.
The show first aired in December 2013 and wrapped up by February 2014 with a total of 21 episodes. Those who watched the show will recognise the hugely famous tourist attraction of Petite France (located next door to the Italian Village) as one of the filming locations of season 15 for this romantic KDrama.
This KDrama showcased the undeniable chemistry between the two leads who were cast perfectly to portray otherworldly lovers. This is clear throughout Petite France with signs up honouring the show, but it’s not the only KDrama to use this place as one of their filming locations. Other shows include: “Running Man”, “The Fiery Priest” & “The Liar and His Lover”.
You can visit Petite France on a number of guided tours combined with other destinations:
- Tour #1 – Nami Island, Petite France, & Optional Railbike Tour
- Tour #2 – Namiseom, Petite France, & Garden of Morning Calm
The Verdict: Famous KDrama Filming Locations
As you can see above there is a multitude of KDrama sets and filming locations just waiting to be explored. This is not an exhaustive list as there are many MANY more KDramas that deserve recognition too, but these are certainly some of my favourite destinations that double as settings for popular shows.
Have you been to any of these locations? Do you have any favourites?