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Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center Guide 2024

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Time to get your caffeine fix at Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center. One of the world’s most unique Starbucks located on Seoul’s River Han, this special floating Starbucks in South Korea certainly knows how to make a splash.

Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center

As far as we know, the world’s only Starbucks that has lifejackets – Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center, is a nice way to start your day, or reward yourself after a long river walk.

For the ultimate brews with river views, read our guide visiting the unique Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center in Seoul, South Korea:

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What is the Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center?

Opened in September 2020, Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center is a floating coffee shop that opened up on the ground floor of a cultural centre located on a barge.

The original coffee shop here Coffee Wave closed down after the COVID pandemic in early 2020 and Starbucks took over to reopen and rebrand the cafe.

Given the location of the boat / barge and its large glass windows, Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center offers panoramic views (270 degrees) of the River Han plus such landmarks as the N Seoul Tower or Itaewon.

Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center

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Where is Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center & how to get to it?

Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center can be found on South Korea’s River Han, moored up at Jamwon Hangang Riverside Park.

The nearest Metro station to Starbucks Seoul Wave is Jam Won Underground / Metro station  – it is an approximately 10 minute walk from the station to Jamwon Hangang Park.

We’d recommend downloading the Naver app to complete the walk as Google Maps in South Korea doesn’t have walking route functionality.

Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center

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Why is Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center so popular?

This is one of the busiest Starbucks in Seoul we’ve ever been to and it is likely because of its wonderful waterside setting plus Instagram friendly views.

It is sometimes very hard to get a seat here as it is popular with selfie snappers plus swotting students – so people stay in their seats for a long time – but who can blame them with these incredible vistas and riverscapes?!

Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center

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Is this the only floating coffee shop in Seoul?

No, there are several floating coffee shops in Seoul but Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center (formerly Coffee Wave) is certainly the most spectacular.

If you want to go to a floating coffee shop near the city, there are several floating coffee shops and shops near the River Han cruise departure points (by Eland cruises) in Yeouido Hangang Park.

Another popular boat / floating coffee shop is Mulgyul Hangang overlooking the ‘World Cup’ Bridge.

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Arriving and ordering at Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center

To go aboard this ‘Starbucks on sea’, take the boardwalk plank from Jamwon Hangang Park and walk down the stairs to board the Seoul Wave Art Center – Starbucks is on the ground floor and you can order on the left hand side,

Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center is split into sections – the coffee shop itself is on the left hand side with seating, plus an additional mezzanine area.

There is also a huge lounge seating about one hundred people on the right hand side.

Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center
Lounge seating area

Once you arrive, grab a table if you see one (it can get busy) or order at the counter – once you’ve ordered, you’ll be given a buzzer so you can collect your drinks and / or food when they are ready.

We visited on a Sunday afternoon and just ordered a couple of hot-drinks- it took around 15 minutes for our drink order to be ready but it was a weekend so presumably it is quieter in the week.

Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center
Coffee shop with mezzanine area above

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Menu at the Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center

The coffee and food options are pretty standard onboard – as well as a few paninis and sweet treats, the Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center menu is quite limited.

Starbucks coffee options included brewed coffee, lattes or more ‘exotic’ brews like Iced brown sugar oat shaken espresso (try saying that in Korean!).

Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center

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Other things to know

  • There is good free Wi-Fi onboard Starbucks Seoul Wave – we logged in and it was pretty quick too! Generally all free Wi-Fi in South Korea is very reliable!
  • There are free toilets onboard Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center, located in the main galley as you first get on.
  • Starbucks is very close to the Seoul Banpo Rainbow Bridge Fountain, the world’s longest bridge fountain. It has almost 400 water jets that light up and spout around five to six days a day between April to October – one of the most colourful and unique soggy attractions in Seoul!
  • There are lifejackets and life saving devices in the coffee shop – this must be the world’s only Starbucks with its own lifejacket?! Alas they aren’t branded otherwise that would be some truly unique South Korean Starbucks merchandise!
Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center

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Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center opening hours

Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center coffee shop is open from 8am until 11pm weekdays, 7:30am until 11pm on Saturdays and 7:30am until Sundays.

Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center

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Seoul Wave Art Center, 145-35 Jamwon-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea.

Starbucks Seoul Wave Art Center

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Other Unique Starbucks in South Korea

The Highest Starbucks in the World (and South Korea)

A superb Starbucks in the sky, this is the ultimate brew with a view coffee shop at over 400 metres high!

Busan X The Sky (overlooking Haeundae Beach) opened in 2020 – as well as being the tallest building in Busan, it is the second tallest building in South Korea (after the Lotte World Tower in Seoul).

Featuring many attractions like glass skywalks and outdoor observation decks, one of the best things to do here is visit the world’s tallest Starbucks coffee shop, located on the 99th floor of Busan X The Sky.

From panoramic views of Busan (the perfect accompaniment to your coffee) to the store layout and Starbucks merchandise and menu available, here is our guide to visiting the world’s tallest Starbucks at Haeundae X The Sky in Busan, South Korea >

Gyeongju Hanok Starbucks Daereungwon

We would rate this as one of the most unique Starbucks in South Korea, a charming coffee shop located in a homely hanok.

Gyeongju Hanok Starbucks Daereungwon

Whilst the interior is a fairly standard South Korea Starbucks, the Gyeongju Starbucks exterior is incredible.

As Gyeongju is a UNESCO World Heritage site, many of the buildings and businesses have to fit in with their surroundings hence this super cool Starbucks facade.

Gyeongju Hanok Starbucks Daereungwon

Unusually, the traditional green and white branding of Starbucks is combined with a reddish pinkish colour to make it more in keeping with the local area.

Inside, you can find exclusive Gyeongju Starbucks Daereungwon merchandise plus other South Korea exclusive Starbucks merchandise.

Gyeongju Hanok Starbucks Daereungwon

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Starbucks Famille Park, Seoul

One of our favourite places to visit at Shinsegae Central City mall in Seoul is the Starbucks Famille Park branch – a very unique Starbucks in South Korea.

Starbucks Famille Park, Seoul

This special Korean themed Seoul Starbucks opened to mark 15 years of Starbucks being in South Korea – there are ‘flying birds’ on the ceiling and the dome represents a forest setting.

Starbucks Famille Park, Seoul

More curious Coffee Shops in South Korea

It isn’t just Starbucks in South Korea that has unique coffee shops and weird and wonderful settings. Some other special South Korea coffee shops include:

Ddong Coffee, Insadong, Seoul

Obviously this isn’t a Starbucks because it really does serve ‘cr*ppy’ coffee.

Ddong Cafe is basically a poo / poop themed cafe located on the top-floor of the Ssamziegil complex in Insadong, popular with all ages (not just kids).

From drinks and food served in toilet bowls to turd themed interiors, Ddong Cafe in Insadong is quite the experience.

Sitting amongst poo emoji cushion chairs and faux toilet cubicles with plastic poos may not be everyone’s cup of tea (or crappy coffee even).

It is one of the more fun and silly things you can do in Seoul and to be fair, the coffee we got was actually better (stronger) than most Seoul coffee shops we went too. This is one of the best things to do in Seoul with kids.

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Daelim Changgo, Seongsu-dong, Seoul

One of the best known coffee shops in Seoul (and certainly the most Instagrammed), Daelim Changgo is a wonderful warehouse coffee shop in Seongsu-dong.

‘Changgo’ is actually Korean for ‘warehouse’ and you could quite easily miss this colossal coffee shop if you didn’t know about it.

There are no giveaways from the outside as to what to expect inside other than a huge wooden door on the outside that simply says ‘Open’.

Inside, you’ll find an artisan array of baked goods and sweet treats plus two huge warehouse rooms with art installations and pop-up exhibitions.

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Snoopy Cafe / Snoopy Place, Busan

A cute and charming Snoopy character cafe in Busan, this place is ‘Peanuts’ to find – just head to Haeundae and look for the huge Snoopy statue outside where he is doggy-paddling on a surf-board.

Haeundae’s Snoopy Cafe is great for children (and big kids like us to be fair) and inside you’ll find cute murals, illustrations and signs featuring all your Snoopy favourites like Woodstock, Linus, Peppermint Patty plus other huge cartoon figures.

Many of the sweet treats are Snoopy themed (although it feels weird biting into Snoopy’s head).

We also really liked the Woodstock latte art on the frothy foam on top. A very cute and unique coffee shop in South Korea indeed!

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Thanks for checking out our blog!
We are currently digital nomading / travelling for the next few months around London and Asia (Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Singapore). Check out our travel diaries on Instagram – @.c.k.travels, Tik Tok – @cktravels and on Facebook.

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