Should Hongdae Be The Destination For Your Next Night Out?
You’ve just arrived in Seoul, and whether you are a big party person or not, you’ve probably heard stories of Seoul and its nightlife before. Quite possibly it has also sparked your curiosity to give it a try, even if you do not usually drink.
Problem is, how do you know which area in Seoul has good nightlife, and which area in Seoul has the type of nightlife that you specifically would enjoy. There are several districts in Seoul that offer entertainment all throughout the night, each of these neighborhoods coming with their own distinctive characteristics.
One of Seoul’s most popular nightlife spots is definitely Hongdae. It used to be especially famous among the locals, but over the past decade it has been steadily gaining traction with foreigners as well. To the point where you can almost see as many foreigners on Hongdae’s streets as you might locals, at any given time.
The main distinction between Hongdae, in comparison to Itaewon or Gangnam, is that it’s predominantly a university area. It gets its name from the Hongik University, which serves as the back end of the neighborhood. Hongik University is also known for its artistic scene, filling the streets of Hongdae not only with party goers, but with art pieces and buskers.
The buskers are exactly where you’ll want to start your night out in Hongdae from. They’re all lined up, next to each other, on a street almost right next to the subway station. You’ll easily and with no expense get to see many talented rappers, singers, and dancers, before moving onto other parts of your night. Though, be prepared for there to be crowds. After all, you’re not the only one with interest in the buskers!
But what about Hongdae’s actual drinking scene? You’ll be glad to know that there is a lot of variety in terms of bar offering in the area. There are plenty of Western style bars, such as Thursday Party and Cocky Pub, for the pleasure of those enjoying bar hopping. However, there are also many Korean style pubs for those who prefer drinking makgeolli and soju. So a little bit for everyone! You may want to do some research beforehand to see exactly which places you want to visit as, while the Western style bars are all looped closely together, the other types, plus the clubs, are more widely spread across the neighborhood.
And yes, Hongdae does have a massive club scene as well! Whether you are into EDM or hip hop, there are clubs and lounge bars for both. Unlike Gangnam, however, each club usually specializes in one type of music only. But on the other hand, the entrance fees are cheaper and the atmosphere more intimate. Keep in mind that Hongdae tends to draw in a younger crowd than Itaewon and Gangnam, if age is of any importance to you. Either way, Hongdae will keep your party feet busy all night!