History, art, culture, and food in Yangnimdong, Gwangju

Yangnimdong is my hands-down-absolute-favorite area of Gwangju! It has a bit of everything. History, culture, art, nature, food! It’s busy enough to have a lively vibe but quiet enough to be calm and peaceful. It has cool, hipstery cafes alongside beautiful historical homes. And it’s pedestrian-friendly!


Yangnimdong has a fascinating history. It was where Gwangju’s part in the March 1st Independence Movement began. It was also where Christian missionaries from America first settled and there are many old homes, churches, and a cemetery from this time.


Yangnimdong is full of small galleries and street art. The Penguin Village area is pretty much all a work of art.

Cafe Culture

Cafe culture is in full swing in Yangnimdong. We love Puul when friends with kids visit because you can have your own private room with floor seating and big windows.

Quokka Cafe has amazingly good macaroons. Did you know that the Quokka is a marsupial native to Australia and found only on a small Island near Perth? I have no idea why there is a cafe with this name in Gwangju, South Korea. I would like to know. This also happens to be our girl’s favorite place. She loves macarons!

Penguin Village

What a weird and wonderful place the Penguin Village is! It has recently been renovated and lost a bit of its charm but it’s still worth a visit. It’s full of collections of old stuff. A huge collection of art and history!


There are so many great restaurants in Yangnimdong. Some of our favourites are Casual Shiktang, Mario’s, and Gentle Curry. So good!


Explore Yangnim Mountain (more like a hill) or Sajik Park for some peaceful calmness. The whole area is peppered with relics from early missionaries. Old missionary houses, architecturally standing out from the nearby traditional Korean homes and new highrise apartments, and a historical graveyard at the top of the hill.

While you’re there try,

Vietnamese in Namgwangju Market

Casual Shiktang


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