OWL Magazine Korea

Seoul Gwanghwamun Bookstore ‘Kyobo Book Centre Main Store’

Kyobo Book Centre is the largest bookstore in South Korea, offering a wide range of domestic and international books. It is considered the largest bookstore in South Korea in terms of scale, currently operating both online and offline stores.

You can find Kyobo Book Centre in major cities, including Seoul, where it has its main store in Gwanghwamun, as well as in prominent areas like Gangnam. The Gwanghwamun Main Store, in particular, connected to Gwanghwamun Square and the underground, boasts a considerable size.

“Seoul Gwanghwamun Kyobo Book Centre Main Store”

The Gwanghwamun Kyobo Book Centre is located on the basement floor of the Kyobo Building. It shares its space with stores like Hottracks and Artbox. Since its establishment here in 1981, it has been known as a sanctuary for Korean public knowledge. Currently, Kyobo Book Centre operates approximately 42 stores nationwide, and among them, the Gwanghwamun Main Store is the first and foremost location that comes to mind when you think of Kyobo Book Centre.

The appearance of the Kyobo Book Centre Main Store has changed somewhat from the past. After its opening in 1981, a first-round remodeling in 1991 introduced shops handling leisure restaurants, stationery, and music. A second remodeling took place in 2010. In 2015, another remodeling altered the structure, and in 2017, after another round of remodeling, in 2022, a partial area was remodeled once again. Starbucks was introduced in the previous food court area, leading to yet another transformation.

Currently, you can find “Starbucks” where the old food court used to be.

“A Considerable-Sized Kyobo Book Centre”

Being located at the heart of Gwanghwamun, the Kyobo Book Centre boasts symbolic significance, and its store exudes a more spacious atmosphere compared to other Kyobo Book Centre branches.

While the Kyobo Book Centre Hapjeong Branch, established relatively recently, is known to be the largest, it’s divided into two sections, making it less perceivably spacious when visiting each section separately. However, the Gwanghwamun Main Store is connected as one, giving a strong impression of its considerable size.

Thanks to this, you can explore a variety of books classified by topic and also gather information on bestsellers and recent trends.

“Kyobo Book Centre Hottracks”

Hottracks, a space within Kyobo Book Centre that sells stationery and miscellaneous goods, can also be found within the Gwanghwamun Main Store. In addition to stationery, you can find everyday items, accessories, computers, and mobile phones. It’s a place where not only books, but also general miscellaneous items are sold.

Furthermore, various shops selling items like Artbox are scattered throughout, making it a great place to browse not only for books but also for various lifestyle and innovative items.

“Order Online at Kyobo Book Centre”

You can not only visit Kyobo Book Centre in person but also order online. Through online orders, you can have books delivered to you, or use the ‘Barodrim’ service to pick up books in person from the store.

The ‘Barodrim’ service started on May 26, 2009. The advantage is that you can receive books at a lower cost compared to having them delivered, and if you’re near the store, you can pick them up as soon as they’re ready. Additionally, using the ‘Barodrim’ service allows you to purchase books at a lower cost compared to buying them directly from the store.

Visiting Kyobo Book Centre allows you to grasp the recent trends in the bookstore industry. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to understand what topics people are interested in. As a central location for one of the largest bookstores in South Korea, it effectively maintains the image of the main store. Whether you’re visiting not just to purchase books, but to also explore the atmosphere of the bookstore, it’s a great place to visit.

“Seoul Gwanghwamun, Kyobo Book Centre Main Store”

  • Address: B1F, 1 Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Phone: 1544-1900
  • Operating Hours: (Daily) 9:30 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Website: Kyobo Book Centre