You’ve lived the high life in Gangnam, shopped till you dropped in Myeongdong and soaked in traditional art at Insadong. Now, it’s time to get a glimpse into the creative heart of Seoul—the vibrant Hongdae neighbourhood.
Its name is derived from the nearby Hongik University, a prestigious fine arts institution. This area initially became the center of indie music and culture and a treasure trove of vintage shops when students began moving in.
Today, befitting its reputation as one of the most lively precincts in the city, its tiny streets are jam-packed with trendy boutiques, cool cafés and bars and chic boutique hotels.
But its greatest strength can also be its weakness—it can be hard to tell what’s good and what’s not. For the discerning traveller, here’s a guide to the places to see and be seen in Hongdae.