Hongdae is a fashion-forward neighborhood with a bright and youthful ambience, underground cultures, and freedom of self-expression. Located in central Seoul, it’s often packed with local youths and students of the neighboring Hongik Art University.

    The pedestrian streets are lined with cosmetics shops and fashion boutiques with different price points. Many of these stores stay open until midnight. There are several streets dedicated to Seoul’s modern arts, clubbing and dining scene. You’ll find quaint cafes, art galleries, jazz cafes, dabang (vintage coffeehouses), as well as cocktail lounges, wine bars, and dance clubs.

    photo by Ken Eckert (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    KT&G Sangsang Madang is a prominent shopping mall in Hongdae – it has 7 floors with shops selling clothing, crafts and accessories by local designers, an exhibition space, art gallery, and restaurants overlooking the neighborhood. The basement levels has a movie theater and a live performance hall that regularly hosts music, dance and theatre.

    One of Hongdae’s main draw is its weekend ‘Free Market’ at Hongik Children's Park, where local artists and crafters showcase their handmade crafts, accessories, stationary, paintings, and music CDs from 1pm till 6pm. 

    Like most places in Seoul, the fastest way to get to Hongdae is by subway – take the Seoul Subway Line 2 and alight at Hongik University Station (Exit 9).

    Hongdae District

    Location: Hongdae, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 9am to midnight (hours vary by shop)

    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveler

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