Hongdae is one of the most favorite neighborhoods in Seoul for good reasons. This region is known for the amazing scenes and urban arts that will make visiting the area an awesome experience. It’s loaded with a lot of young people and features some of the hippest attractions in Seoul.
This is one place to be in Seoul if you want to have the time of your life during your visit to Seoul.
Below are my top picks for the things to do in Hongdae.
- 1 What To Do In Hongdae, Seoul?
- 1.1 1. Hongdae Street Shopping
- 1.2 2. A Visit To The Trick Eye Museum
- 1.3 3. A Walk Through The University Street
- 1.4 4. A Visit To The Fun Cafes In Hongdae
- 1.5 5. Catch a Movie at Lotte Cinema Hongdae
- 1.6 6. Watch Hongdae Nanta Show
- 1.7 7. A Trip to Hongdae Art Market Free Market
- 1.8 8. Hangout in the Beauty Inside Exhibition
- 1.9 9. Tarot Card Reading
- 1.10 10. Karaoke at Noraebang
- 1.11 11. Wild away at the Love Museum
- 1.12 12. Go Indoor Fishing
- 1.13 13. Stroll along Gyeongui Line Forest Park
- 1.14 14. Get a Traditional Korean Herbal Footbath
- 1.15 15. Explore Animal Cafes
- 1.16 16. Nami Island Tour
- 1.17 Final Words On Things To Do In Hongdae, Seoul
What To Do In Hongdae, Seoul?
1. Hongdae Street Shopping
Hongdae neighborhood is like Myeongdong, with its array of shopping alleys. Along the streets of this neighborhood, you get to find plenty of cheap items such as food, knickknacks, souvenirs, electronic items and not leaving popular fashion trends in Korea.
These fashion products include clothing, cute accessories, and famous Korean products in the beauty niche.
The stores in this neighborhood stay open till late at night, and so you shop during your most convenient hour. But, be warned that a lot of these stores frown at trying items like clothes on. This can off course be annoying but hasn’t stopped most people from shopping there.
One benefit of shopping in such places in Seoul is there’s usually a refund on tax for bills that exceed 30, Korean Won.
2. A Visit To The Trick Eye Museum
To begin with, the Trick Eye Museum is the World’s First AR Museum. It is generally a painting gallery that comprises of 3D optical illusion arts. This is not your usual boring museum but stands out amongst the many museums you have in Seoul. Here your eyes are tricked using the Augmented Reality (AR) technique and given a real-world magic experience.
This AR technology mesmerizes you with the arts and paintings at this museum, making you feel like you’re right inside them. Imagine where you take photos inside the museum with the paintings as the background. The resultant image will look like it was a live scene with the objects in the paintings.
The optical illusions this museum brings are very fascinating and powerful. This is a great way to trick your friends and trick them into being where you have never really been.
3. A Walk Through The University Street
One place considered a very lively place in Hongdae is Hongkik University Street. This is because of the huge crowd of youngsters usually found around the area.
With such a crowd around the street, it is no doubt where a lot of action will be. For this reason, it makes the list of one of the top tourist attractions in Seoul.
A walk along this street can be a lot of fun and very entertaining, as you get to feed your eyes with amazing and buzzing sights from the shops, cafes, bars, and more.
Late at night, you’re likely to find the street full of people looking to party the night away. And during the day you get to see wandering youngsters helping themselves out with the unique food and enjoying the amazing street shopping.
You can also decide to join in the shopping around for trending fashion and clothing accessories, enjoy very delicious Korean food, and a spirited atmosphere.
4. A Visit To The Fun Cafes In Hongdae
One of the favorite Korean culture and recommended things to do in Hongdae is enjoying the cute scenery of cafes around. In fact, Korea is one country considered as the house the most number of cafes in the world. There are a lot of cafes all around Hongdae and surrounding neighborhoods.
In a place like Hongdae, you can expect to find not just your regular cafes, but cafes stacked on each other, some facing each other, other bumping butts with each other. This is to say that, you can hardly walk a block and not come across one café. With all these, wondering where to get your next coffee is no longer a thing.
As a coffee addict, everywhere you find yourself, you can easily grab a cup of ‘joe.’
5. Catch a Movie at Lotte Cinema Hongdae
If you’re looking for an optimal movie experience, you can’t get it wrong with the Lotte Cinema. This Cinema has made it to the Guinness book of record as having the largest screen not just in Korea but the world.
This cinema also features the largest building in South Korea, standing at a height of 555 meters, with 12 floors. With this screen also come 622 seats, also known as the largest number of seats available for a screen.
More than just its huge screen, is the curved and tilted features of the screen, thus allowing for an equal level of brightness as viewers watch the movies, regardless of what position they are seating.
It features many theatres and other experiences you can get in here are commercial PRs, cultural performances and events, and presentations.
In the Lotte Cinema, you can be sure of viewing the top new released movies. Plus, there are beers, wines, and other drinks to grab at the theatre to improve your movie-watching experience.
6. Watch Hongdae Nanta Show
This is one show any international traveler will love to watch. The Nanta show is a long-running and non-verbal performance combining exciting storylines, modern music, and traditional Korean rhythms of folk music.
No matter where in the world you’re coming from, you won’t have to worry about language barriers to understand the show.
The storyline centers around four cooks that are working under pressure, and will surely captivate you with their humor and high energy. It brings to you culinary skills and acrobatic talents, all in one stage.
This show has bagged several awards both internationally and locally and has been performed on theatres outside of Korea.
This comedy show is a great way to tickle you into a night of laughter and fun.
7. A Trip to Hongdae Art Market Free Market
The Hongdae Art Market Free Market is generally an open space where artists and visitors get to interact. In this unique crafts and art market, you find performers, artists, musicians, and of course visitors engaging in a face to face interaction.
This market is a run in the format of a flea market, but unlike the typical flea market that deals with sales of second-hand goods; this Market is focused on sales of purely creative artwork, a lot of which are handmade.
Held every Saturday, the free market has gradually become the prime hotspot for cultural display on Hongdae Street, as well as a venue for indie bands’ performances. It also features various organizations hosting workshops and tours where anyone can take part.
8. Hangout in the Beauty Inside Exhibition
The beauty inside exhibition is a great place to hang out whenever you find yourself around Hongdae. Featured in this location are many Instagram able rooms, as they are equipped with different designs and set up to serve as a background for picture-taking activities.
Each room comes with its unique theme and design aimed at leveling any shots taken therein. To make the most out of your visit here, it is recommended you come along with your buddies, together with a high-quality camera and choice outfits.
With such gorgeous sets and flattering lighting, the beauty inside exhibition is a perfect place for taking beautiful Instagram-worthy pictures and selfies.
More than just taking mind-blowing pictures, it is also a place that allows for relaxation and unwinding.
9. Tarot Card Reading
Fortune-telling generally in Korea is BIG. It is part of the Korean culture for them to consult a fortune-teller a couple of times throughout the year.
More than just the superstition and mysticism is also the fun derived from it. One of the most common types of fortune-telling you get to find is the tarot card reading.
During this reading, you are required to ask a specific question. Or, you can request a general fortune reading. With the help of the cards, the card reader formulates answers that reflect your circumstance – whether current or future.
It is important to note here that most of these card readers are not fluent in English or even speak at all. So, if you do not speak or understand the Korean language, you want to visit card readers that can communicate in English. This you can easily know from the doorpost sign of the café. Otherwise, you may have to carry along someone who understands Korean to serve as your interpreter.
10. Karaoke at Noraebang
As is typical of Japan, Karaoke is also a big deal in Korea; and I will personally recommend for those going on their first date. Despite its popularity throughout Asia, South Korea does its own in a unique style commonly known as Noraebangs.
Apart from being a culture, Noraebang, translated singing rooms in English is also a location consisting of many rooms you can rent and really unleash your heart’s content and let go of the singer within you.
There are many pop songs to sing – from English to Korean songs. This form of Karaoke can be super cute, bonding over music with your friends or maybe resident strangers.
Additionally, there is a provision for free popcorn and ice cream; although this may not exactly be a good way to treat your vocal chords but it sure to level up the outing.
11. Wild away at the Love Museum
If you are an adult, you may find a place like Love Museum worth the visit. It is a subsidiary of the Trick Eye Museum but prohibited from kids as it promotes sexual and no-so-modest imagery and poses.
This is again not your regular type of museum, and may seem unexciting to a lot of people; but, it will appeal much to couples. The museum is home to amazing arts and crafts, only that they are all sensual, sexual, and erotic.
While some may find it vulgar and over-expressive on pornography, some others are finding it hilarious. If you’re already familiar with the Jeju Loveland, this is just a low key version of it. This place can serve as a source of education and inspiration for naïve and newlyweds, as well as a perfect destination for honeymoons.
12. Go Indoor Fishing
Going fishing can generally be an ordeal, where you will be required to carry along gears such as a net, a cooler, bait, fishing poles, and tons more. But, with the advent of entertainment convenience in Korea, fishing has been turned into a way of relaxing with family, friends, and loved ones in fishing cafes.
Fishing cafes generally constitute a somewhat large room. In the middle of the room, you have a large tank surrounding by chairs. To take part in the fishing, all you do is grab a seat, together with a fishing pole and then launch out for your catch.
The more fishes you catch, the more points you will be awarded, which afterward qualifies you for various amazing prizes. The more the points, the better the prizes won.
The fishes are not for consumption; the whole experience is just an opportunity to have a fun and exciting day out.
13. Stroll along Gyeongui Line Forest Park
Also known as Yeontral Park, the Gyeongui Line Forest Park is a beautiful Yeonnam-dong cultural park and urban greenery developed along the former 6.3 kilometer-long train tracks of the Gyeongui Line. It features a long promenade lined with cafes, restaurants, bars, and dessert shops.
Over the years, the fame of this park has spread across the city and country at large. It’s a place where, after a tiring and long day at work, one can just stroll around and enjoy the refreshing air nature offers.
During the autumn, otherwise known as the fall, you find the park beautifully decorated with yellow ginkgo trees. It’s a perfect spot for a family picnic or just any regular gathering.
14. Get a Traditional Korean Herbal Footbath
One place in the world known for its wellness treatment and herbal beauty products is South Korea. The popularity of Korean traditional cafes has over the years grown, which is a confirmation of the effectiveness of their medication.
Thus you want to take advantage of any visit to Hongdae and be treated to a nice traditional herbal footbath.
You may want to make this the last thing you do after an exhaustive Hongdae sightseeing tour, giving your feet the pampering it truly deserves. The feeling of having your feet soaked in an herbal concoction is no doubt out of this world and will go a long way to boost your blood circulation.
In every visit to Seoul, I am always looking forward to this healing experience. I always make a point to take advantage of my spa session to relax and allow the surroundings’ natural aesthetics to soothe your body and soul.
15. Explore Animal Cafes
This particularly goes out to all animal lovers. Seoul, and indeed Korea at large is known for its many cafes, and one category that is in recent times becoming more popular is the animal cafes.
These are special cafes that allow you to touch and pet adorable dogs and cats, and provide playgrounds for pets. You are allowed to bring in your own pets.
Some cafes take it a step further by offering pet grooming and pet hotel services. While the animals featured in these Cafes are not limited to just cats and dogs, they are the most popular.
More than just a place to snuggle up with canine friends is an opportunity to enjoy refreshing beverage sips. There are many cafes to choose from, a few of them to consider are Bauch house, Blind alley, Meerkat friends, Catdog cafe, bunny cafe, and so on.
16. Nami Island Tour
Nami Island is generally considered a perfect destination for relaxation, nature walks, and biking tours. It has served as a choice destination for shooting several movies such as the popular Winter Sonata. This is largely responsible for the popularity of this destination, and its romantic perception.
This island I would say has all that you need to make your stay as comfortable, relaxing, and beautiful as possible.
There are Ginkgo Tree Lane, Metasequoia Lane, Pine Lane, Cherry blossoms Lane, as well as Tulip Tree lane. There are also a lot of free-living animals such as ostriches, squirrels, deers, and birds of countless types, moles, ducks, rabbits, turkeys, and geese.
In the middle, you will find lots of galleries, restaurants, and coffee shops. There are also water sports and swimming pool facilities, camping, and training facilities. You would never regret having a tour around this idyllic destination
Final Words On Things To Do In Hongdae, Seoul
There you have it – things you can do during your visit to Hongdae and the environs. Hongdae is no doubt a very touristy destination, with loads of things that can keep you occupied, and you’ll get bored.
I hope you enjoyed the above list of things you can do in Hongdae. Let me know what you think about them in the comment section.
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