Escape the City for Korea’s Dreamy Camera Café

If you know anything about me, I have a thing for unique cafés, especially in Korea. Whether it’s the whimsical Enrogel Teapot Café in the middle of nowhere or the incredibly pretty Grand Garden in along the coast, I’m willing to go out of my way to spend an afternoon sipping coffee. It shouldn’t surprise you that I’ve had the Dreamy Camera Café on my radar for quite a while!

quirky-camera-cafe-interiorWhile the rest of Seoul is bustling with activity and tight spaces, there is a calm, spacious café in the shape of a Rolliflex Twin Lens Camera 40 miles away in Yangpyeong county. Its owners, two former military pilots, opened the café to celebrate dreams and the pursuit of them. In a country where the definition of success often looks the same from family to family, this couple wants to celebrate those who dare to dream differently.

Make no mistake, while the unique shape of the café will attract shutterbugs and Instagram lovers, it’s meant for so much more. When you settle in, either Park Sung Hwan or his wife, Kwak Myung Hee, will hand you their menu. Besides the drinks and treats, you can read their story and inspiration behind the Dreamy Camera Café as well as look through the dreams of former visitors. You will then get a piece of paper to write your own dreams (five of them) as well as a place to write something encouraging. Someone will then take a polaroid for you to keep while you leave your paper behind for others to read.

cafe-for-dreamersIt’s such a calming place. I came straight from Myeongdong, an area known for its crowded shopping, and spent nearly two hours on the subway to get there. The two places could not be more different. I brought my laptop to do some work and enjoy being in the countryside once more. Recording my dreams, doing what I love, and reflecting on the past was exactly the kind of day I needed in the middle of my post-contract travels.

camera-cafe-seoul

If you do find yourself coming out here, don’t feel sheepish taking photos of the place (trust me I have tons), but also don’t rush out of there after ordering your drink. Take the day, relax, and dream.

MORE ABOUT THE DREAMY CAMERA CAFÉ

  • Korean Name:  꿈꾸는사진기
  • Time: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
    • Closed Monday + Sunday
  • How to Get There: Take a subway to Yongmun Station. Take a taxi
  • Address: 341-13, Jung-won-ri, Yongmun-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 양평군 용문면 중원리 341-13)
  • Use their Facebook page for updates. Sometimes they do close for personal reasons.
  • The Verge’s “Drinking Coffee Inside a Two-Story Camera”

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11 Comments

  1. November 11, 2016 / 10:49 am

    I love how creative the outside of this cafe is! I really wish more places would take a risk and make fun designs like that as a regular thing! I especially like the process of getting a Polaroid taken and writing down your dreams – it seems like a fun thing to do then come back in a few months and see where you are and if you’ve chased down your dreams. Thanks for sharing such a unique spot.

  2. November 3, 2016 / 10:41 pm

    What a crazy coincidence because I JUST saw something about this adorable cafe on Instagram earlier this week! Perfect timing to get even more information about it! I love the cute round windows. I absolutely love the idea of them giving you the paper to write your dreams on and that you get an instant souvenir! This is seriously high on my Korea list!

  3. November 3, 2016 / 1:04 pm

    Such a cool looking cafe and a unique building! We also enjoyed koreas knack for unique cafes! Sad we didn’t make it to this one! Beautiful pictures Sam!

  4. November 3, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    This is the cutest looking cafe ever!! I love it when owners turn their visions into reality. The round window reminds me of the doors in Hobbiton!!

  5. November 3, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    What a cafe shaped as a camera? I honestly thought (After reading the title) it would be a place for photographers to chill or something haha. this is so unique and fun. I love quirky stuff myself.

  6. November 3, 2016 / 9:48 am

    Wow, what a lovely concept! This is such an inspiring cafe – the owners sound like they are visionaries too. Would definitely make a visit if I’m in Korea!

  7. November 3, 2016 / 6:48 am

    This is so cool! I am already adding it to my list of places to photograph around the world!

  8. November 3, 2016 / 2:57 am

    Bookmarking this definitely! I just visited Seoul last year and I wish I have known about The Dreamy Camera Cafe! I think the story behind the owners opening it as an inspiration for others to continue to dream and pursue whatever it is they love, is really great. Thanks for sharing this wonderful place and awesome pictures!

  9. November 3, 2016 / 2:34 am

    What an inspiring place! I want to go just to be able to read the dreams and photos of others. Of course it’s a plus that it’s adorable to look at and in the countryside where you can take some time to just “be”.

  10. November 3, 2016 / 12:09 am

    Hahaha.. what?! I love these quirky little places – it’s a bit gimmicky but I do appreciate the uniqueness of the place. And if it’s outside the city, hopefully it’s not always crowded with people. Great find!

  11. November 2, 2016 / 7:20 am

    This is beautiful! I also love finding out of the way cafes- places to do some reflecting and reading. You have just inspired me to go to Korea just for this!!

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