A Cool Place to Hangout Even if You’re Not a Youngster

If you’re a college aged student, that loves shopping and fashion be sure to visit Hongdae, you’ll be right in your element. Even if you’re an old guy like me, it’s still one pretty cool place to walk around, lay back, sip a cup of coffee and just take in all the sights and sounds of Hongdae.

Hongdae reminds me of Harajuku in Tokyo and the East Village in NYC. The area is hip and full of the young crowd out with their friends having a good time while strolling around the streets.

I went to Hongdae on a Saturday afternoon. The weather was beautiful with a slight chill in the air. It was a prefect first time in this particular neighborhood. Even though I’ve been to Seoul numerous times there’s always something new to explore. That’s why I love Seoul so much.

Hongik University

Perhaps one of the reasons why Hongdae has such an artsy atmosphere is because of Hongik University that offers one of the best fine arts programs in Seoul. The university boast a student population of 16,000. No wonder I felt so old while I was walking around the area.

Arts, Crafts, Live Street Music and a Little More

Depending on what you want to do there are points of interests around Hongdae that you may enjoy. There’s definitely plenty of shopping. There are name brand stores around selling clothes and cosmetics.

Walk along the side streets and you'll come across a lot of bars...

Walk along the side streets and you’ll come across a lot of bars…

Even when I arrived mid afternoon there were quite a huge crowd of youngsters just hanging out and around. But by night I think the area becomes livelier. I will definitely check out Hongdae at night one of these days. There are tons of bars and watering holes which makes a lot of sense. After all it’s right next to a popular university.

Koreans do love their coffee...

Koreans do love their coffee…

And there are so many cafés in the area you will not have a problem looking for that daily dose of espresso.

A few points of interest at Hongdae...

A few points of interest at Hongdae…

Friendly Hongdae tourists assistance are on hand for suggestions...

Friendly Hongdae tourists assistants are on hand for suggestions…

There’s a trick eye museum in the area too but since I was traveling alone it would’ve been a bit hard to take photos of myself and trick eye background.

Lots more people arrive in Hongdae later in the day...

Lots more people arrive in Hongdae later in the day…

I’m going to be honest though. I’m not a big shopper. Though I do love strolling around and checking out whats around. And there are lots of shops selling all kinds of things for young people.

Hongdae is well known as a place for second hand clothing shops...

Hongdae is well known as a place for second hand clothing shops…

Though I didn’t buy anything I was told that small little private shops around Hongdae sell clothes at reasonable prices.

Food, Oh Yes Food!

One of the biggest mistakes I made during this day was I ate a late big breakfast. So I had no room to stuff my face with more food.

And it seems that many small little restaurants always have lines of customers. Though it’s usually the shops selling sweets like ice creams, shakes and juices have the most people waiting eagerly. But you’ll see that there are many international restaurants represented in the area, not only Korean. There was a kebab store but again, I wasn’t hungry, but I was so tempted to get a beef kebab.

Next time when I go to Hongdae I’ll definitely get there with an empty stomach!

But I always have room for coffee...

But I always have room for coffee…

I wish I knew about this area much sooner. As I mentioned before I’m really not a planner when it comes to traveling. I usually decide where to go when I have my morning coffee. So if you’re reading this I highly recommend Hongdae, one of Seoul’s most lively neighborhoods!

How to Get to Hongdae

You want to take Line 2 train to Hongik University Station stop. It’s the green colored line on the subway map.

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Entrance #9 at Hongik University Station…

Exit/Entrance #9 at Hongik University Station...

Exit #9 at Hongik University Station…

Once at the station you should head to entrance/exit 9, popularly known as the meeting point. Once you get out you will see a crowd of people, usually young folks waiting for their friends, hence the name meeting point.

Like any other tourist info centers in Seoul, you can get free internet Wi-Fi access...

Like any other tourist info centers in Seoul, you can get free internet Wi-Fi access…

And one thing to note there is a Hongdae Tourist Center nearby, just head towards the Hongdae Pedestrian Street and you’ll find it. There are plenty of maps inside the subway train station.

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