Hongdae is a fashion-forward neighbourhood 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 neighbouring 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.

Hongdae District - one of the highlights of 10 Most Popular Neighbourhoods in Seoul and 10 Best Places to Go Shopping in Seoul (Read all about Seoul here)

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 neighbourhood. The basement levels has a cinema 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 Traveller