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If you’re a fan of KPOP, you won’t want to miss K Star Road. It was once just a regular shopping street in one of Seoul’s most famous neighbourhoods. But is now home to 18 statues that represent hugely famous Korean bands and musicians that put this nation on the music map.
Whether you’re a diehard fan of the global sensation that is BTS (in which case you should check out the attractions for fans in Seoul and nationwide) an old fan of PSY or a member of the Block B fandom, you’ll be able to snap photos with your idols’ Gangnamdol!
What’s great about K Star Road is that it is small enough that you can add it to an existing travel itinerary and close enough to multiple other attractions so you could also spend a full day here shopping if you chose to.
|Country:||South Korea (Republic of Korea)|
|Currency:||South Korean Won / KRW|
|Do you need a visa to visit as tourists?||Check here|
If you want to visit Korea for more than 90 days, you can apply for a Korean working holiday visa to stay up to a year.
I can even show you how to get set up as an expat once you arrive!
What Is K Star Road?
K Star Road is an art project that lies on part of a long shopping street in the heart of Seoul. But Seoul has hundreds of streets dedicated to retail therapy, so what makes this one so special?
Not only can you buy lots of designer items along this street, but it’s also an area with a huge number of entertainment companies. Each of these companies helped to create the KPOP stars we know and love. Whether they founded the stars or simply signed them later on before helping them release new albums, these agencies are truly the brains behind these musical talents.
Along the street, you’ll find multiple art pieces and attractions that pay homage to some of the biggest talents in the KPOP world. Let’s see what’s on offer..
In total, K star Road has 4 zones. These zones cover the area from Apgujeong Rodeo station all the way down to the Cheongdam Intersection. This stretch of road is less than 1 mile (roughly 1.08 km). This means it’s easy to complete the KPOP street on foot!
How To Get To K Star Road?
Location: 394 Apgujeong-Dong Gangnam-gu Seoul ( 서울 강남구 압구정동 )
The closest subway station to this popular KPOP art street is Apgujeong Rodeo Station which sits on the Suin Bundang (yellow) line in Seoul. This station and street are located just south of the river and in the heart of Gangnam so it’s relatively straightforward to get here on public transport depending on where you’re coming from.
Once you get out of the subway station (next to the Galleria Department Store), make sure to turn around in order to find the start of the road project with the large sign and 3ft tall Gangnamdol of Psy. Once you have seen and snapped your photos here you can head back past the subway stop and follow the KPOP bear statues to find all of your favourite stars.
Make sure to have your T Money card and top it up in order to use it to get around!
If you need help navigating Korea (since Google Maps doesn’t work so well here), I recommend downloading Naver Maps or Kakao Maps. Take a look at my post on all the apps that can make your life easier while exploring the country.
Want To Enjoy Some More KPOP Activities?
During your time here in Korea, you’re in the perfect place to fill the KPOP hole in your life. With attractions throughout Seoul and the rest of the country, you have tours you can join or sites you can visit yourself.
- KPOP Dance Lesson (1.5 hours)
- A full-day Seoul KPOP Tour
- Seoul Hallyu Tour
- KPOP Attractions, Cafes and Hot Places Tour
- BTS “ARMY” Sites Tour
Gangnamdols on K Star Road
One of the main ways K Star Road shows appreciation to some of their favourite idols is by using painted Gangnamdols.
But what are Gangnamdols exactly?
They’re a group of statues in the shape of teddy bears and each one is decorated to represent a famous KPOP band or artist. 17 of the Gangnamdols are representative of bands, and the largest one at the end of the street is of a single artist but can you recognise who it is?
So which bands are proudly standing tall along this Gangnam street?
- Super Junior
- F.T. Island
- Miss A
- Girls’ Generation
- Block B
Let’s take a closer look at each of the Gangnamdols
Founded in 2009 by Cube Entertainment, 4Minute (포미닛) is a 5-person girl band that originated in Seoul. During their 7-year career, the singers (Jihyun, Gayoon, Jiyoon, Hyuna and Sohyun) created 2 studio albums and one compilation album before disbanding in 2016.
The girl group were a much-loved band at the time but couldn’t agree on contract terms with their record label. They did have a fandom though that went by the name “4NIA”. This name stands for “4 Minute Mania”.
Super Junior (슈퍼주니어) was founded in 2005 and has 10 members. Technically they haven’t always performed as a group of 10 however. They have been divided into smaller groups throughout their career which allowed members to reach a wider audience by targeting different music genres.
This is also how they’ve been able to get signed to multiple labels with ease. Plus, if you’re familiar with their fandom you’ll know the E.L.F’s (ever-lasting friends) were great for their career.
2PM (투피엠) were founded in 2008 by JYP Entertainment as a 7-member boy band that eventually became 6. The lasting members of the band consist of Jun. K, Taecyeon, Wooyoung, Junho, Nichkhun and Chansung.
During their career, they have released 7 Korean albums and 5 Japanese albums steadily every few years. The stars have an interesting story behind their fandom name of “hottest” fans. The entertainment agency considers 2PM to be the “hottest time of the day” and well, the name just stuck with them.
F.T Island (에프티 아일랜드) – short for Five Treasure Island – is a KPOP group that was formed in 2007 by FNC Entertainment. Consisting of 3 members (although 6 members combined including those who left the group) the stars released 7 Korean albums and 10 in Japan. The primary sound created by these idols is KRock, punk and a little bit of pop.
And let’s not forget their fandom of “Primadonna”. The fan club were blessed with this name based on one of the songs on their first album where a man experiences his first love.
SHINee (샤이니) have been in our lives since 2008 and was founded by SM Entertainment. Given the unofficial title of the “Princes of KPOP”, these idols released 8 albums in Korea by 2023.
Arguably the best group to see live in KPOP this quartet (Onew, Key, Minho, and Taemin) is well known for their complex choreography and great sound. They temporarily had to take a hiatus from their musical careers after reigning in the music industry for a decade. This was due to some of the members needing to attend military service which is mandatory in Korea. But don’t worry, these guys came back in 2021!
MISS A (미쓰에이) was a popular Korean girl group that was formed by JYP Entertainment back in 2010. The singers (Jia, Fei, Min, and Suzy) had an impressive start to their music career as their debut song reached number one on one of the hottest musical lists – the Gaon Digital Chart.
Having released only 2 albums and their extended play (in 2011, 2013 and 2015 respectively) the girls eventually separated while working on solo projects in 2017. Even after it was confirmed they had gone their separate ways, they were listed in the “Top 10 KPOP Girl Groups of the Past Decade” in the 10th position.
CN Blue (씨엔블루) was formed in 2009 in Japan and has more of a rock sound than pop. Consisting of 3 members, these musicians released 2 Korean albums and 8 in Japan.. Having started their careers across the water, they’ve had an impressive career.
The band’s name is both a backronym (reverse acronym) of BLUE (burning, lovely, untouchable and emotional) and abbreviated from Code Name to “CN”. And their name is not the only clever wordplay either since their fandom is known as the “Boice” which is a combination of “blue and voice”.
TVXQ (Tong Vfang Xien Qi (Chinese: 東方神起) (Korean name is 동방신기)) is another KPOP band that was loved both in Korea and in Japan. As a current musical duo, they originally started as a 5-member group. The current members are U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin. The previous members included Hero Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun and Xiah Junsu.
They were the first Korean group to ever be invited to the Kohaku Uta Gassen which is the most prestigious New Year’s Eve Music event in Japan. Not bad! They also broke records as being the first foreign group (ie not Japanese) to perform at the Nissan Stadium.
Instead of a standard fandom name, the band has a fandom colour – red. They were even listed as having the biggest fandom in the world on the Guinness World Records at one point but that was proven to be false.
Girls’ Generation (소녀시대) also sometimes known as SNSD or Sonyeo Sidae, is a Korean KPOP girl group that was founded by SM Entertainment. With originally 9 members, the band was most recently a group of 8 after one of the girls left. Lasting members include Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona and Seohyun.
Having won many awards and earning a fantastic reputation, they were appropriately named the “Nation’s Girl Group” at home in South Korea. Having released 7 albums at home and 3 in Japan, this fun girl group has multiple catchy songs that garnered them attention.
EXO (엑소) is a Chinese-Korean band with 9 members: Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O, Kai, Sehun. Having been founded in Seoul in 2012, this boy band started with 12 members that got cut down to 9 when 3 members separated from SM Entertainment. although they started their careers together, the boys got split into “spin-off” groups Exo-K and Exo-M.
During their career so far, they have released 4 Chinese and Korean albums, 4 Korean exclusive albums and one in Japan. They have performed many of their top tracks in both Korean and Mandarin and have a high-standing status in both markets. Also, what’s interesting about the fandom for this group is they have both an official name (Stars/Aeris) and unofficial names the fans would call themselves (EXOtics and EXOstans). Which do you like best?
AOA (에이오에이) which stands for “Ace of Angels” was a Korean KPOP group with originally 8-members. Founded in 2012 by FNC Entertainment, the girls released 3 albums during their career to date. There were only 3 members still remaining at the time they disbanded in 2019; Hyejeong, Seolhyun and Dohwa.
The girls stayed in the spotlight by appearing on multiple variety and reality shows including a survival show on Mnet. But during their short career, the girls of course had a fandom as well, only this one was called ACE of ELVIS which was often shortened to AOE.
Arguably one of the most famous KPOP groups to come out of Korea, BTS (방탄소년단) (also known as the Bangtan Boys) is of course represented on K Star Road. The group has 7 members: Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook.
After being founded in 2010, and releasing their first album in 2013 with Big Hit Entertainment, they are now a global sensation with fans around the world. If you ever meet a fan of BTS, you’ll notice that they call themselves A.R.M.Y. which stands for “Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth.”
B1A4 (비원에이포) which is an abbreviation of “Be The One, All For One”, is another popular KPOP group that is now disbanded. Debuting in 2011, this band had 5 members (CNU, Sandeul, Gongchan, Jinyoung and Baro) and found success in both the Korean and international markets.
They released 9 studio albums, four of which were Korean and five in Japan, as well as seven EPs during their career. They were at the top of their game for a while. If you’re wondering what their fandom name is, the fans called themselves “BANA” where the BA represents the bandmates and the NA represents the fans.
VIXX (빅스) were formed by Jellyfish Entertainment back in 2012 and the popular reality show MyDol. Originally a group of six, two members left the boy band which turned VIXX into a quartet. Unlike many of our other KPOP bands, VIXX (N, Leo, Ken and Hyuk) is known as what’s called a concept group. That means that instead of just being a standard musical performance, their shows typically tell a story with the music, choreography and overall stage presence.
This popular boyband released 3 Korean albums and 2 in Japan all while also appearing in a number of reality shows – 12 specifically. This kept the artists very busy and helped secure their spot on the list of best KPOP acts of this generation.
Infinite (인피니트) is a 6-person boyband that was created in 2010 by Woollim Entertainment. Consisting of 6 artists, Sungkyu, Dongwoo, Woohyun, Sungyeol, L and Sungjong, they broke a number of records early in their career. They were the launching band for Rolling Stone magazine’s K-Town column and their track “The Chaser” was listed as one of the best 75 boy band tracks of all time in 2020.
During their career, they released 3 Korean and 3 Japanese albums and even started 2 sub-units. These sub-units comprised fewer artists than the main group (Infinite H was Dongwoo & former member Hoya and Infinite F was Sungyeol, Sungjong and L). These smaller groups gave them the opportunity to reach a wider audience.
Originating in March 2007 as a quartet under DSP Media (consisting of Park Gyuri, Han Seungyeon, Nicole Jung, and Kim Sunghee) this KPOP group has a unique, mature R&B sound. Throughout their career, the girls successfully released 4 Korean studio albums and 5 over in Japan.
After Sunghee left the group, Goo Hara and Kang Jiyoung were added to create a girl group of 5 instead. As usual, this KPOP group have loyal fans with their own name. The Kara (카라) fandom and fan club call themselves the Kamilia.
Block B (블락비) is the last Gangnamdol along K Star Road (depending on the direction you travel in. Block B is a KPOP boy band that was founded in 2011 by artist Cho PD. Although criticised for their extra provocative dancing in the early stages of their career, this boyband received accolades including nominations to the Seoul Music Awards and the Golden Disc Awards.
Made up of 7 members (Taeil, B-Bomb, Jaehyo, U-Kwon, Park Kyung, Zico and P.O) the stars released 2 albums and participated in 3 reality shows. Each fan of this famous group is known as one of two things. KBBC if they are within Korea and IBBC if they are international fans from any other country. The group disbanded in 2018.
What else Is There To Do On K Star Road?
If seeking out each of the Gangnamdols isn’t enough you can rest assured that there are a few more things you can enjoy relating to KPOP here.
You’ll be able to see some of the large entertainment companies that created the stars’, work. These companies include JYP Entertainment, JNC Entertainment, SM Entertainment and BH Entertainment for example.
Plus, if you are a fan who likes to collect memorabilia or souvenirs to take home with you, you should 100% check out the Gangnamdol Haus store. This store is located right outside Exit 7 of Apgunjeong Rodeo station at street level. You can’t miss it! Inside you’ll get the chance to buy miniature Gangnamdols, toys and keyrings of your favourite artists and K Star Road signage.
Once you’ve got the KPOP attractions out of your system (if that’s even possible), you can head into one of the other attractions that make this street so popular including but not limited to:
- Galleria Flagship Department Store
- The Gangnam Tourist Information Centre
- The Hyundai Department Store
Where To Stay During Your Trip To Seoul
With K Star Road being located in the heart of Seoul, it is easy to reach from almost anywhere else in the city. This means you can stay in any area that is close to a subway and still find your way around without much trouble. If you want to stay near K Star Road specifically, you should search the neighbourhood of Gangnam.
Have you been to K Star Road? What did you think?