How to Enjoy Hongdae to the Fullest
Published Date : Apr 28, 2022 / Edited Date : Oct 13, 2022
Spring is the season of youth, the icon of radiance and passion. Hongdae is where radiant youth let their personalities shine. Hot, new trends are born in Hongdae, boasting a unique vibe crafted by distinct locations and the crowds of visitors. Hongdae is the optimal place for those who want to have fun as they please. Want to hang out in an area packed with trendy locations? In this edition of Seoulites’ Picks, we bring you a curated selection of fun activities for you to let loose and enjoy yourself in Hongdae.
A Holy Ground for Indie Fans
The multitude of people and flashy signboards capture your eyes once you step into the streets from Hongik University Station of subway line two. The fashionable people and music pouring out from every which direction will make you realize that you are in Hongdae. Another element we hardly leave out when mentioning the culture of Hongdae is the indie culture. Featuring youth, resistance, and challenge, Hongdae has become a symbol of indie culture. Recently, Indiespace, a dedicated theater for indie films, opened in Hongdae and is expected to become a sort of holy ground for indie fans.
“Made possible not only by the film producers but also through the sponsorship and participation of individual moviegoer, Indiespace has become a communal space for the audience and those working in the film industry. ”
- Seunghwan WON, Director, Indiespace
The first dedicated theater for indie films in Korea recently relocated to Hongdae. Indiespace screens Korean independent films all year round. Located near Hongik University Station, exit 8, Indiespace doesn’t seem to be much different from other movie theaters when seen from the outside. A few posters with primary-colored circles, triangles, and squares barely indicate that you are at Indiespace. However, once stepping into the lobby, a bulletin board comprised of the emblem of Indiespace and indie film posters, which are not found in large theaters, assure you that you have arrived in the right place. The moment you open the doors of the theater, its identity as an indie film-only theater finally comes into view. The theater seats are labeled with the names of the sponsors for Indiespace. Film directors, actors, and even individual moviegoers, have provided sponsorship as a sign of their affection for Indiespace. It is quite touching to read the names labeled on each seat as each name represents their love for indie films and their hope for the indie film industry to continue onward.
“Hongdae, the symbol of indie culture, is an area with a close-set indie film audience.
If connections are successfully made with other cultures and blend well with the local community, it may be able to add more diversity to Hongdae's culture.”
Indiespace operates various programs, such as Indie Doljanchi, a program that re-screens films that have been screened more than a year ago by asking the audience to vote for films they wish to watch again (Doljanchi is derived from dol, which refers to a baby’s first birthday celebration in Korea), and Speaking of Films, a program where critics introduce films to the audience and give lectures on film criticism.
This is part of a significant effort made by Indiespace to ensure good films are remembered for a longer period of time while helping the audience go beyond the act of simply watching movies and better understand them with a broader perspective.
“Unlike commercial films, independent films enable us to discover our different tastes.
I hope Indiespace can serve as a “space of discovery” where you can find some hidden gem-like films and discover what thoughts are on your mind, what you like, and how you are going about filling up your life.”
Dreaming of a world where people with different tastes and unbiased thoughts look forward to the present day and wonder what tomorrow will bring, Indiespace awaits you with indie films echoing different voices.
Busking Zone: Outdoor Performance Stage
Busking at Hongdae is Finally Back
So many things have been put on pause due to the pandemic, and one of the things we have been craving for over the last two or more years was watching performances. We wanted to sing amidst the crowd with the singer and fall into rhythm with the passionate dancers working up a sweat. That desire grew stronger when listening to the music on the streets.
Among the different types of music performances, busking is one of the leading activities defining Hongdae. Busking at Hongdae has been banned due to the pandemic, but with the recent ease of preventive measures, busking has resumed for the first time in 16 months. Only two of the four outdoor performance stages at pedestrian-friendly street in Hongdae are open; nonetheless, the slots for busking outdoors were fully booked in April, proving that many have been passionately waiting for the performances.
Not only songs but also dances, instrumental shows, and other various performances are awaiting. The performances are staged only in the evenings on weekdays but begin from noon on weekends. Come and watch the busking performances where you can enjoy K-pop and K-culture right before your eyes. The sweet melodies playing on a spring evening will turn into the perfect background music for your romantic date, and the vigorous K-pop and dance performances are sure to make you feel as if you're attending a vibrant Hallyu concert in person. The streets of Hongdae are indeed a place to enjoy such diversity.
A Wonderful and Unique World of Drawings
Numerous coffee shops in Hongdae are ready with open arms to welcome patrons. If you are looking for a new, unique, and hip place that can spark up a little excitement in your life in Hongdae, then this place is for you.
The moment you step into Greem Café, you will suddenly find yourself taking pictures with your camera. This coffee shop that features a unique design also appeared in the popular Netflix romance movie, To All the Boys: Always and Forever.
Everything in Greem Café seems like drawings on a huge sketchbook. Made up of white backgrounds and black lines, this coffee shop makes you feel like a drawing on a canvas. You drink your beverage from a flat-looking cup placed on a table that looks like a two-dimensional drawing while sitting on a chair that seems to be drawn with a black pen on white paper. You feel like the protagonist of your own story captured in illustrated form.
Featured with a spacious, clean interior and unique design, Greem Café also has seats for groups and bijou goods for sale. Already known as a trendy place on social media, it is the perfect place to take an eccentric photo to remember.
Once placing your order from the wide range of menus at Greem Café, your beverage and dessert will be served in its one-off signature tableware. The cups and plates designed in line with the interior concept will add fun to your experience. Like Alice in Wonderland, come and get lost at Greem Café, Hongdae. It is sure to reward you with a mysterious and memorable experience.
A Novel Date Amidst Fragrant Flowers
Once in a while, we want to take a step back from the streets of Hongdae packed with flashy signboards, lucent neon signs, and music, and visit a tranquil park or garden. Colline is exactly that.
The fragrance of flowers stimulates our hearts, while the green plants help us center ourselves. As if invited to a floral world teeming with life, the interior is filled with everything that tell of spring's arrival.
The café Colline consists of two floors. The first floor is a sunroom where customers can leisurely enjoy their time among flowers regardless of the season or weather. The second floor is an open terrace that makes you feel as if you're out on a picnic on a sunny day.
As a place that looks like a secret garden offering a sense of happiness through its arrangement flowers and plants, Colline has already become well-known as the film location for K-dramas, including Vincenzo, Nevertheless, and True Beauty, and entertainment programs, such as Show Me the Money 9 and Sporty Sisters.
Among the various beverages, bread, and cakes available at Colline, popular menus, in particular, include soft persimmon over bingsu, or shaved ice, and a cotton latte, where latte is topped with mouth-filling, giant cotton candy.
At Hongdae, shopping is a must. Colline happens to run a flower shop, so feel free to shop for some special flowers. Beautiful flowers and cute heart-shaped cactuses are awaiting a new home. The café and flower shop are open from 10 AM to 11 PM, so why not head to Colline for a picnic? It's the perfect pick for a romantic Hongdae experience spent among the flowers where you're sure to leave satisfied.
- Let’s tour Hongdae and become superfans! Fan Life Starts in Hongdae
- Feel the Warmth of Spring with Accessible Tourism in Seoul
※ This article is dated April 2022. Business operations and business hours may change according to government quarantine guidelines. Please check before visiting.
#Hongdae Busking#Dates in Hongdae#COLLINE#Hongdae#INDIESPACE#GREEM CAFÉ#things to do in Hongdae
What is Hongdae Street famous for? ›
Hongdae is a neighborhood known for its youthful ambience, with shops selling everything from clothing and cosmetics to living goods and books, as well as unique cafés and restaurants. The streets are also filled with buskers and dance performances, making a walk here quite entertaining.Why is Hongdae popular? ›
It is known for its urban arts and indie music culture, local shops, clubs and entertainment. The area is located in Mapo-gu in the western end of Seoul, stretching from Seogyo-dong to Hapjeong-dong.What time should I go to Hongdae? ›
It's highly recommended to visit Hongdae in the evening time, possibly around 5 PM. At this time of the day, there's a lot of happenings in the area. Plus, the atmosphere during night-time is very amiable. Also, try to schedule your trip to the shopping street on the weekend.Why is Hongdae called Hongdae? ›
Hongdae gets its name from the fusion of the first two Korean syllables of nearby Hongik University (Hongik Daehakgyo). Exploring Hongdae's top attractions, you'll discover a vibe unique for Seoul. The area puts quirky cafés, yummy restaurants, and happenin' clubs at the forefront.Where is the Korean BTS house? ›
The filming location is Seorojae, a modern mansion in Goseong, Gangwon Province, which is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Seoul.What is the most beautiful street in Seoul? ›
Bukchon Hanok Street
Probably one of the most beautiful areas in Seoul.
It's the third biggest district in Seoul and the most expensive. It's also where a lot of entertainment companies are located, including SM, JYP, and Cube Entertainment.
The Gangnam area, which includes Gangnam-gu, Seocho-gu, Yongsan-gu, and Songpa-gu, is one of the richest neighborhoods in South Korea. What is Gangnam Style? Gangnam has developed greatly since the 1960s with intensive government investment.Do people speak English in Hongdae? ›
Assuming everyone speaks English
It's generally not a very widely spoken language in South Korea. However, you'll have better luck finding a local who can speak English in main tourist neighborhoods, such as Myeongdong, Dongdaemun and Hongdae.
The best time of year to visit South Korea is generally considered to be the spring months of April, May & June, and the autumn months of September, October & November. During these two seasons days are typically sunny and dry with comfortable average temperatures.
What time do people go to bed in Korea? ›
Koreans go to bed after 11 p.m., and sleep for 7 hours and 59 minutes per night. They spent less than 40 minutes for each meal, and more than 2 hours for house chores every day. According to data released by Statistics Korea Monday, on average Koreans sleep 9 minutes longer than they did five years ago.What is Hongdae fashion? ›
Hongdae is a popular tourist destination among foreigners traveling in Korea. It's a shopping paradise with all the fashion stores, cosmetic brands, and accessory brands that showcase all the latest trends! With so many different stores to shop at, it can get overwhelming trying to decide where to go.Is Hongdae expensive? ›
The average price of a 7-day trip to Hongdae is $1,714 for a solo traveler, $3,078 for a couple, and $5,771 for a family of 4. Hongdae hotels range from $49 to $175 per night with an average of $54, while most vacation rentals will cost $130 to $400 per night for the entire home.Is Hongdae good for tourists? ›
Hongdae is full of creativity, fun activities, good food and great shopping opportunities. It reminds me a bit of Harajuku in Tokyo. Visiting Hongdae in Seoul should definitely be on your list. There is no better way to experience the city's vibe than taking a stroll through this awesome neighborhood.Where is the most expensive house in Korea? ›
The 2,862-square-meter mansion located in Yongsan, central Seoul, was valued at 28.03 billion won ($21.59 million) for 2023, as assessed by the Land Ministry, down 9.8 percent from this year.Are BTS still living together? ›
BTS also revealed they're no longer living together, adding that that's made them closer.What is the number of BTS? ›
The number seven is significant for BTS for both obvious and less well-known reasons; for one thing, the band is made up of seven members: RM, SUGA, V, Jungkook, Jimin, Jin, and J-Hope.How can I contact BTS? ›
Donghwa Bldg Rm. 201, 4 Wangsan-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea. ZIP: 02582. TEL: +82) 02-3444-0105.Which part of Seoul has the most foreigners? ›
Itaewon is the one place in Seoul where you will be surrounded not by Koreans, but mostly by foreigners. Itaewon saw an increase in Western and Japanese tourists during and after the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul as English and Japanese are commonly spoken on the streets here.Where is most beautiful in Korea? ›
The scenic Jeju Island, fondly known as the Island of the Gods, is among the most beautiful places in Korea, and rightly so. Located just off the South Coast of the country, it boasts a scenic setting that drives jetsetters, holidaymakers, and honeymooners by the thousands.
Where does BTS stay in Seoul? ›
The apartment is located in Hannam Hill, alongside the Han River and Namsan mountains.What is the most expensive apartment in Seoul? ›
In 2021, the Paarc Hannam apartment located in Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu in Seoul was the most expensive apartment in South Korea, with an actual transaction value of around 12 billion South Korean won. The Penthouse Cheongdam (PH129) followed with about 11.5 billion South Korean won.Where do most Americans live in Seoul? ›
Popular International Districts
There are many different international districts in Seoul, which are extremely popular not only among expats, but among locals as well. Itaewon-dong (Yongsan-gu) is located near Yongsan US military base and is home to the largest expatriate community in the entire country.
Most foreigners in Korea live in the greater Seoul area, which accounts for around 50% of the whole population of Korea and includes Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province.What is considered rich in Seoul? ›
*Millionaires are defined here as individuals who have financial assets of one billion South Korean won or more. 1,000 South Korean won equals 0.83 U.S. dollars or 0.74 euros as of March 2022.What is considered disrespectful in Korea? ›
Touching, patting, or back slapping is to be avoided during interactions. In addition, direct eye contact between juniors and seniors should be avoided because it is seen as impolite or even a challenge. Korea is one of the most demographically homogeneous countries in the world, racially and linguistically.Do you tip in South Korea? ›
Tipping is not required nor expected in Korea.Where is Korean most spoken in the US? ›
Korean. Another Asian origin language – Korean – belongs to the most widely spoken languages in the United States. Almost 1.1 million Korean speakers are located mainly in the states of Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama. Still, they can also be found in the US major cities like Chicago, Washington, and New York.Is 2 weeks in Korea too much? ›
If you have 14 days in South Korea, you can explore the mainland and the charming Jeju Island. This is plenty of time to see the vibrant cities of the country, learn about the culture and history, and of course, stuff yourself with tasty local dishes. I honestly think 2 weeks is just perfect.What month is the cheapest to fly to Korea? ›
High season is considered to be January, November and December. The cheapest month to fly from the United States is April. Enter your preferred departure airport and travel dates into the search form above to unlock the latest South Korea flight deals.
What clothes to wear in Korea in September? ›
Most locals are wearing jeans, leggings, skirts, long-sleeved shirts, and lighter weight sweaters, jackets, and windbreakers by the start of September in Korea. By the end of the month (or even earlier), it's cooled down enough that shorts and sandals would feel strange.Why do old Korean couples sleep in different beds? ›
According to Dr. Seockhoon Chung, MD, PhD, and Dr. Hoyoung An, MD, who write in Sleep Medicine Research, Korea's tradition of co-sleeping stems from not only its parenting philosophies, which prioritize family care over individual privacy but also its home design and architecture.How many hours do Korean adults sleep? ›
According to a survey conducted by Gallup Korea in 2017, the average sleep duration in South Korea is about 6.5 h . A survey by Statistics Korea, on the other hand, found an average sleep duration among Koreans of 7.7 h.How long do Koreans sleep for? ›
A new study revealed that South Koreans sleep 6 hours and 42 minutes on average during weekdays. Australian furniture company Koala released details of the “2021 Korean Sleep Survey” which analyzed the sleeping patterns of Koreans. On weekends, Koreans average 7 hours and 49 minutes of shuteye.Is it better to stay in Myeongdong or Hongdae? ›
We recommend Myeongdong over Hongdae for most tourists because it's close to important attractions, good street food and has excellent connections to the rest of the city. Hongdae is great for museums, nightlife, and shopping.What age is Hongdae Seoul? ›
Most clubs do not have an age limit beyond the minimum age of 19. Clubs in the Hongdae region attract younger crowds in their early 20s. People in their late 20s and early 30s prefer clubs in Gangnam and Itaewon. Most clubs charge a higher entrance fee for men; the peak party hours are from 1 am to 4 am.What is Hongdae busking? ›
Busking and dancing in the Hongdae Street have become so popular that people show up early to secure a spot for the night. But this kind of activities usually seen even in the evening. Dancing K-pop choreographs, singing and playing.Is $100 dollars a lot in South Korea? ›
US$100 a day is more than enough. My personal experience in Itaewon was it is more expensive than other parts of Seoul and you must bargain.How much is 1 meal in Korea? ›
As per my experience, the price for one whole meal (that is rice with viand on a regular eatery) ranges from KRW 6,000 - KRW 12,000 (roughly USD 6-12). Fast food price also falls almost the same range. For street food, average price is from KRW 3,000 - KRW 5,000 (roughly USD 3-5).Is 100 000 won a lot in Korea? ›
Now since 10,000 Won is the largest bill and is roughly equivalent to USD10, you may find yourself with quite a thick wallet and just for this reason, Korean banks issue a 100,000 Won check. This check is accepted almost everywhere and it's pretty much used like cash.
Where do idols stay in Seoul? ›
In Seoul, there are many idol lodgings near Gangnam, where there are many agencies, and there are many idol lodgings near Cheongdam-dong, Yeongdong Bridge, Konkuk University entrance, Hapjeong or Hongdae.What is the luxury town in Korea? ›
Gangnam is known as a wealthy district, with many modern buildings and expensive shopping streets that are always the dream of women. Gangnam is located south of the Han River in Seoul, South Korea, and is connected to the northern area and central Seoul through a bridge.What part of LA has most Koreans? ›
As of 2008, about 350,000 ethnic Koreans live in Los Angeles County. As of 2008 the largest Korean ethnic enclave in Los Angeles is Koreatown and the majority of the Koreans have been concentrated around that area.Who is the richest person in Korea? ›
Fewer than a handful saw their wealth increase and none more so than private equity maven Michael Kim, who tops the ranking for the first time and is this year's new No. 1.How much is BTS house in Korea? ›
Like most K-pop celebrities, J-Hope, one of the main rappers of BTS, owns a luxury apartment in Seoul's Forest Trimage complex. The apartment was bought for USD 6.1 million in 2016, as per reports. The rapper is also the proud owner of Porsche Carrera 911 which costed around USD 84,000 at the time of buying.Where do celebrities live in Korea? ›
Cheongdam-dong is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Seoul and is known for its luxurious homes, high-end fashion boutiques, and gourmet restaurants. The area is home to many Korean celebrities, including K-Pop stars and actors.What is the incident of Hongdae with BTS? ›
BTS's Jungkook was captured watching street dancers cover their song, “Boys In Luv”. While enjoying his night out at Hongdae, he stumbled across a group of young performers. He can be seen hidden in the background watching the boys perform his song. In the dark shadows of the busy street, he wasn't easily recognized.What is the most famous street in South Korea? ›
Myeongdong Pedestrian Street is a famous commercial street in Seoul, South Korea. More than 4 million foreign tourists come here every year.What is Hongdae street style? ›
Big hoodies and t-shirts, one-size-fits-all (boys and girls!), huge logos, and a lot of black characterize this style. Think of little fisherman beanies, big sneakers, and tight pants. Hongdae Street Fashion is also very popular among K-pop stars, such as Lisa from Black Pink, Jessi from JYP, and Hwasa from Mamamoo.What is the most Kpop street in Seoul? ›
The K-Star Road is also notable with its densely located Korean famous entertainment companies, which have led the driving force of K-pop. While having a look around the GangnamDols near the Apgujeong Rodeo Station, you may find the GangnamDols ofGirl'sGenerationand EXO.
Are any BTS songs banned in Korea? ›
Boyz With Fun by BTS was banned from Music Stations due to the Chinese Phrase "chi fan le ma" for "did you eat" which sounds like a curse word in Korean. BTS Pied Piper song mentioned the names of some apps like Vlive and Twitter which is why it was banned in South Korea.Where do BTS hang out in Korea? ›
Banpo Hangang Park always has been a go-to place for Seoul locals, and for that reason was featured in “BTS' Life in Seoul”.Who still lives in BTS dorm? ›
BTS: It is revealed that Jimin and Jungkook live in the same house and even sleep together. BTS recently announced their temporary hiatus as a group to focus on their solo activities, and confirmed that they no longer live together, as they each have their own residence.What is the rich neighborhood in Korea? ›
Gangnam. Best for high-end shopping, fancy restaurants, and cocktail bars. You have likely heard about Gangnam in the famous song Gangnam Style by PSY. Gangnam is an upscale district, known as the Beverley Hills of Seoul.What is busking in Hongdae? ›
Some buskers in Hongdae conduct a variety show-like performance where there is a specific timeslot for the audience to jump in and show what they got and usually, participants are awarded small gifts and souvenirs for their participation.Who is the richest idol in K-Pop? ›
V, BTS. V is one of the most popular K-pop idols and the richest male artist and has given many solo songs. He has a huge fan base, thanks to his looks, clothes and personality. V has $58.5 million followers on Instagram and is reported to have a net worth of $35 million.