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The Top 16 Cafes in Seoul to Read in

Picture of Linda Dunsmore
Updated: 7 May 2017
Seoul is famous for its crazy themed cafes where you can feed sheep, dress up like a princess or eat food out of toilet-shaped containers. However, there are also a great deal of quiescent safe havens for those needing some quiet time to get work done or read. Here are the best cafes in Seoul to read in.
Takeout Drawing

Takeout Drawing Café is one of those places you can spend an entire day at. It is also a place where you find inspiration and tackle procrastination. A café/art gallery, Takeout Drawing is the perfect location to unwind and forget the busy world, but also where you can get work done if you need to.

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Stylenanda Pink Pool Café

While this might not look like the best place to read at first glance, once you step onto the rooftop of Stylenanda Pink Pool Café, you’ll find quiet and peace in the middle of Seoul’s busiest shopping district of Myeongdong. Grab a giant pillow and relax with homemade lemonade, while enjoying a great book on the roof of this wonder in pink. Before or after reading, you can shop the finest in Korean makeup and fashion on the floors below.

Opening Hours
Sun - Mon :
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Budget
$$
Gingko Avenue

Ginkgo Avenue is a lovely café for those seeking the sun while enjoying a good beverage and a book. As the name implies, the cozy café is situated on an avenue lined with lush green ginkgo trees. When the weather is good, guests can sit outside and enjoy the view.

 

Lay Bricks

Specializing in hand dripped coffee, Lay Bricks is a great location to hang out and relax. Even if you are in a hurry or just need a quick caffeine fix, Lay Bricks is one of the best places to go in Seoul.

Opening Hours
Sun - Mon :
12:00 pm - 1:00 am
Budget
$$
Café Noriter

The locations of café chain Noriter have got to be the coziest in the entire country. Unlike other coffee shops, Noriter not only provides cozy seating arrangements, but also tiny second-floor areas where you can lie down and relax. If you are looking for a café with the utmost level of comfort and privacy, Noriter is definitely high up on the list.

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You Are Here Café

Set up by Simon and Martina from Eat Your Kimchi, the You Are Here Café is a relaxing oasis in the middle of Hongdae. While the YouTube stars are no longer affiliated with the café, it is still successful and recently transformed into a Fair Trade wonderland. The best part is that you can also relax in the green front yard.

🙂 Yay, I saw it! #youareherecafe #hongdae #Seoul @youareherecafe #southkorea #eatyourkimchi

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Opening Hours
Sun - Mon :
9:00 am - 1:00 am
Budget
$$
Café OUI

If pastel colors and fluffy animals make you happy, you should definitely visit Café OUI. Besides the charming atmosphere, the coffee shop also features wide open spaces and a terrace. Café OUI is located in Garosugil, one of the hottest areas in Seoul at the moment.

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Café The Bridge

The Bridge Café in Hongdae is a lovely place to forget it all. Beyond some cozy chairs, the café also has designated areas where you can lie down and relax completely. On top of that, you’ll find shelves filled with Korean comics and other entertaining books, in case you forgot your own at home or want to try something new.

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Café Sketchbook

Supporting local artists, Café Sketchbook displays artwork of up-and-coming artists from Seoul. This is another one of those locations where you could sit for hours on end and you wouldn’t get bored. Come here to catch up with a friend, enjoy a delicious snack or get some ‘me time’ with a good book.

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Opening Hours
Sun - Mon :
10:00 am - 12:00 am
Sum Island

A combination of café, reading room and art gallery, Sum Island is the perfect place for bookworms. The café is also a famous for its delicious homemade tarts. The interior reminds you of a British library from the 1950s with dark wood elements and green shelves.

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Coffee Conhas

Homemade Tiramisu, drip coffee and cozy leather sofas – Coffee Conhas attracts countless regular customers coming from near and far to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. Be mindful that the coffee shop gets quite full in the evenings.

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Sikmul

Located inside a remodeled hanok house in a rather traditional area of Seoul, is Sikmul, a hip café and bar. The owners are fashion designers with a passion for architecture and interior design, who wanted to create a creative space for locals to relax and get inspired. They have succeeded.

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May Island

May Island Café is a popular location for students who need a quiet and comfortable place to study. The warm lighting and rustic wood elements of the interior give the place a homey atmosphere. The drinks and snacks are also reasonably priced.

Opening Hours
Sun - Mon :
9:00 am - 11:00 pm
Budget
$$
Sajin Chango

Photography fans love Sajin Chango for its display of black and white photographs. The café is located inside a charming old building and regularly changes the photos on display. Come here and you’ll find inspiration to get work done and try new things. You won’t regret it.

Opening Hours
Sun - Mon :
9:30 am - 10:00 pm
Budget
$$
Rabbit Study Café

While this location might look more like a library than an actual café, Rabbit Study Café offers delicious drinks and snacks. Primarily catering to students, the café is also perfect for reading. The tall shelves are filled with all kinds of books and even English copies are available.

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Opening Hours
Sun - Mon :
10:00 am - 11:00 pm
Budget
$$
Tteuran Teahouse

While technically not a café, Tteuran is still worth being mentioned on this list. The traditional Korean interior of the lovely teahouse in Ikseondong is perfect for bookworms of all kinds. On top of that, you can order homemade Korean tea and snacks and enjoy the views of the green garden.

Budget
$