Marronnier Park in Seoul

Marronnier Park is a popular meeting point in the Daehangno neighborhood of Seoul. Daehangno is the theater district with over 100 mostly smaller theaters showing performances and plays of all kinds every day. Exit line 4 at Hyehwa Station (혜화역) and you will soon see many ticket vendors. There are of course many restaurants, gift shops and coffee shops as well to spend the time before and after going to a theater. But Marronnier Park itself is a place for performances as well.

There is a stage and I’ve often seen bands performing there for free. In autumn the D-Festa was held, a festival to support the area. During the festival time there were many performances at Marronnier Park.

Marronnier Park is many things, but there’s one thing it isn’t: a park.There’s not much greenery at the park and it’s looking more like a square with a few trees and benches than a park. Definitely not a place to go for a picnic.

Two guys regularly perform at the park to a point where I think that they actually live there. They do a mixture of music and improv comedy. Never mind that the guy on the right is playing on a broken drum, people don’t come to hear their music anyway. That guy will often scan the crowd, pick someone out and insult him/her in a humorous manner. If you don’t look like a Korean he will definitely spot you and shout something along the lines of “Welcome to Korea!”. These two guys have a way to catch their audience attention and are often more successful than the bands playing real music on the stage.

There are lots of sculptures and art installations around the park as well. While there’s no shortage of public art in Seoul, I feel that most of it is bland and uninspired. But the ones in Daehangno are really nice.

How to get there: Take exit 2 from Hyehwa Station Line 4. The park will be on your left. Besides Marronnier Park and the theaters, both Naksan Park (hiking) and Changgyeonggung Palace are in walking distance from the station.

Mia Jaap

Journalist, developer and passionate about Japanese and Korean language. Japan is my #1 country for travelling, penguins my favourite animals.

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