Since we talk a lot about different places in and around Korea, we thought that it would be important to actually explain about locations, attractions and show some pictures of where places actually are. Some people who read Chincha either don’t live in Korea, or don’t live in Seoul, and some posts would be better explained if the location was clear.

First on our list is Hongdae. Everything seems to happen in Hongdae, and you’re probably more likely to visit here than anywhere else in Seoul for a night out (although, Itaewon and Gangnam are also favourites). Hongdae, however, is famous for tucked-away back-alley bars, atmospheric gig venues, graffiti murals, and the infamous park playground. Whether you’re just looking for a quiet drink or a full-on night out, Hongdae has the chilled out bars to start the evening and the norebang to end your night in a messy fashion at 7am.

Picture by (above)
Hongdae at night has anything you could want, from gigs in clubs FF and Freebird to small smoky Korean bars playing retro Korean music, Hip-hop, K-pop, Indie, or just a quiet Hof to drink your beers in. The atmosphere changes at night; it’s no longer coolly calm, but has an energetic buzz about it. In the summertime the place to be is the park. There are always individuals busking, or a band playing, or someone beat boxing. Once a month there is a free silent disco, where a hundred or so people dance around the park in headphones while carrying their soju or some makkoli from the . The park is the place to be in the summer before heading out to a club or bar. Things will change now winter is coming, but there are plenty of places to keep warm and enjoy the ambiance of Hongdae at night time.

Hongdae isn’t only well known for it’s nightlife. In the daytime the area is busy with students, tourists, foreigners, locals, couples, anyone and everyone. Hongik University is located in the centre of Hongdae (Hongdae is an abbreviation of Hongik University) so there are thousands of art students in the area, giving Hongdae the reputation of being one of the most cool and up-and-coming areas of Seoul. It’s an architectural living and breathing personification of art.

I would place money on the fact that in there are more coffee shops per square meter in Hongdae than any other place in Korea. On every street, around every corner there is an independent, cute, themed coffee shop. A dog cafe, a cat cafe, a Hello Kitty Cafe or even a sheep cafe; Hongdae has it all, along with shops that spill out onto the streets into the form of market stalls, in the park near the university on a Saturday there is the Free Market where independent sellers showcase their handmade purses, clothes, wallets, hand sewn kimbap roll cushions and various other kitsch items.

The graffiti around Hongdae adds to the vibrant city vibe too. It adds to the atmosphere, and instead of being offensive and ugly it means the streets have a border of art. Wherever you go you are surrounded by street art; people’s personalities spray painted on the walls, allowing you to get to know those who live in the area, and the kind of character the place has.

Picture by (above)

How to get to Hongdae. Subway.
Sangsu station, Line 6
Hongik University, Line 2

If you’re unsure of the area, or what it looks like, here’s a map.

Pictures by , Me, and Tallullah Elle.