Set foot in fashion-conscious Seoul and you’ll immediately recognize that Korean men have the uncanny ability to appear as well-polished and effortlessly flawless as their female counterparts. As a result, it can be a bit intimidating to keep up with the local bros. But don’t fret, boys – with a few of our insider tips, you’ll be dressed to the nines and looking fly in no time.
Tailored to a T
Thanks to a booming men’s fashion scene – menswear consistently rules the runways at Seoul Fashion Week – Korea’s capital city is home to countless men’s boutiques selling everything from trendy street apparel and bags to imported Italian shoes and tailor-made suits.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Knockers, a small, family-run boutique tucked away on an obscure street in the market district of Euljiro, is leagues ahead of every other menswear destination in Seoul. The tiny but charming shop prides itself on having mastered the art of “man-styling” and offers both incredible service and high-quality materials (at equally high prices).
In addition to offering made-to-order tailored clothing such as premium suits, jackets, and trousers, Knockers also sells shoes and accessories and boasts a “gentlemen’s quarters” on the third floor where patrons can enjoy an adult beverage or a cigar. The father-son owners speak English, so patrons need not worry about a language barrier when ordering clothing.
Knockers, 101-35 Euljiro 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2 542 3208
Groomed with care
Although Korea’s local barbershop culture fizzled out in the 1980s, it is now being brought back to life with the establishment of contemporary institutions that incorporate classic barbershop techniques and service to take modern male grooming to the next level.
HERR is one of these shops. With an aim to “create an environment for men wanting to release their dapper potential,” HERR employs highly skilled stylists that focus not only on creating the latest hairstyles to highlight patrons’ best attributes, but also cultivating a relationship with them while doing so.
A bespoke haircut will set you back about 77,000 won (US$72) while a hot lather, straight razor shave runs about 66,000 won (US$61). Clearly, prices are unusually high, but a visit here is an experience in itself and well worth the won. After all, where else can you enjoy a glass of premium whiskey and a shoeshine while simultaneously being pampered?
If you’re on a tighter budget, Billycat Barbershop in western Seoul offers a similar experience, but with a vibe that is more hipster than high-end, and equally professional services that are priced a bit more affordably.
HERR, 32-51 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2 511 9464
Billycat Barbershop, 209-3, Seongsu-dong 2-ga, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2 467 9998
It’s estimated that Korean men account for about 20% of the world’s male skincare market, making Korea the biggest market globally for male cosmetics. This staggering fact is only further substantiated by K-dramas and K-pop videos that spotlight male leads flaunting clear, glowing skin, and looking much younger than their actual age.
Many Korean men attribute their great skin to a multi-step skincare regimen that includes the use of cleanser, toner, essence, and moisturizing cream. Head to Myeongdong’s Cosme Road to pick up these essential items at a reasonable price. Each cosmetic store in the shopping district will offer male skincare products, but we recommend Innisfree, whose Forest for Men line is one of the best out there.
Innisfree, 64-2 Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2 776 0117
Of course, no one can truly look their best without a bit of rest and relaxation to ease the tensions of everyday life and the debilitating effects of jetlag, and a visit to a jjimjilbang (Korean sauna) provides just the right amount of revitalizing comfort.
Spa For Men at the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul boasts the ultimate Korean spa, complete with a men’s dry and wet sauna room; relaxation areas with a TV lounge; cold, warm, and hot baths; and a number of comfortable beds perfect for a mid-day nap. You can even get a “Mankind Facial” that promises to give you a healthier and more youthful appearance.
Alternatively, the cheaper Dragon Hill Spa near Yongsan Station offers eight floors of entertainment including various spa zones, aromatherapy rooms, a swimming pool, saunas, and rooftop gardens.
Spa For Men, 97 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2 6388 5000
Dragon Hill Spa, 40, Hangang-daero 21na-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 10 4223 0001
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.