Stradeum is one of those places that sounds a bit odd until you experience it. It is essentially a gallery for experiencing music — both live and recorded. In the age of iTunes and Spotify, going to a place to listen to music sounds a bit quaint at first. After going? I admit I really enjoyed it, and I’ll gladly return.

We first learned of Stradeum from the New York Times, and thought it might make a fun diversion on a Saturday morning. It’s a short walk from Itaewon and just around the corner from the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Hannam-dong, so we headed off.

The building is fairly narrow and easy to miss. The entrance looked utilitarian — no windows and minimalist signage. We entered, paid our 10kw and received a brochure and an overview of Stradeum.

You begin on Level 1 in a room called the Sound Gallery. Around the room are a series of Astell&Kern portable music systems and headphones, with curated lists of music from different time periods. The sound quality is amazing, and you could easily get lost in here for a few hours of musical exploration. The menus on the players are in Korean, so figuring out how to navigate between playlists, albums and artists took a little trial and error.


Stradeum Sound Gallery

My personal favorite? They had an amazing list of 1970’s era progressive rock.

A Passion Play

Downstairs on Level B are the Sound Alcove and Music Rooms I & II. The alcove has little cubbies and books about music (in Korean). Very laid-back.

The two music rooms are for audience listening. One room is devoted to classical and jazz; the other to rock and pop genres.  A music “curator” creates a playlist, and the music is experienced at live performance volume levels.

Levels 2 and 3 hold Stradeum Studio, where live performances are held. This space can seat up to 100 people, and is used for curated playback, a recording studio, and for live performances on a regular basis.

Level 4 has the Rooftop Lounge, where you can use your admission ticket for a free tea or coffee. There is an indoor lounge and a rooftop patio that’s a perfect finish, especially when the weather is nice.

And afterwards, walk around the block for lunch at ROOT.

Joan’s already planning to go back to Stradeum.


251, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu,
Seoul, Korea