12 Tips On The Best Things To See, Do & Eat In Hongdae, Seoul

 Hongdae Guide

Seoul is one of our favourite destinations in Asia and the city is known for its many distinct and lively districts where you will never get bored of the endless shopping, delicious local food and exciting things to do.

Ask any local where you should go when you are in Seoul and many will tell you that Hongdae is a neighbourhood you must not miss. It is not difficult to guess why Hongdae is one of the top choices—there is just so much going on!

From indulging in spicy Korean Army Stews and getting a tipple with your friends in a bar to street shopping and catching street performances, here are 12 Things To See, Do & Eat When You Are In Hongdae.

Mukshidonna Tteokbokki


Ban Bossy


Boasting primarily pastel colours in pink, mint and white, walking into Ban Bossy Boutique is like stepping into Barbie-land. It is the perfect spot for afternoon tea with your girlfriends, complete with Instagram-worthy backdrops and an appealing array of cupcakes.

An afternoon tea at Ban Bossy Boutique looks something like this—munching on exquisitely decorated cupcakes and sipping on a pretty beverage. Yes, this is the life in Seoul!

19-22 Wausan-ro 17-gil
Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu
Seoul, Korea
Tel: +82 02 337 9896
Mon to Fri: 12pm – 10pm
Sat and Sun: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Hongik University



Mukshidonna Tteokbokki is a fuss-free restaurant that specialises in Budae Jjigae and guests get to customise the stew with an array of ingredients. Every pot comes with tteokbokki (Korean rice cake) by default, and that is their signature.

Popular ingredients on the menu are seafood, bulgogi and cheese but if you are looking for the staples, there is always ramyeon and udon.

22 Hongik-ro 6-gil
Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Daily: 10am – 9.30pm
Nearest Station: Hongik University

Simpson Tang

Photo Credit: shawnongph


Opened by a pair of Korean singers, Hwang Bo and Shim Tae Yoon, Simpson Tang—also known as Sim Seun Tang to the locals— is another popular Budae Jjigae restaurant to visit when you are in Hongdae.

The soup base is made from ox bones and mixed with red chilli paste and kimchi to produce a fragrant stock. Standard ingredients such as sausages, spam, cabbage and cheese are added into the soup.

30 Yanghwa-ro 16-gil
Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 70-4100-8318
Mon to Sat: 11.30am – 9.30pm
(Closed on Sunday)
Nearest Station: Hongik University

Doma Seoul

Photo Credit: Doma


Korean barbecue is not taken lightly by the locals and if quality is what you are after, Doma will not disappoint. Using only beef from Nebraska, diners can choose to get assorted sets with different cuts of meat or get individual meats such as Raw Prime Rib Meat, Bottom Sirloin Triangle and Seasoned Prime Ribs.

Grill them over hot charcoal and enjoy them with a mixture of savoury ban chan dishes!

33 Yanghwa-ro 16-gil
Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 03 3477 5111
Mon to Fri: 5pm – 5am
Sat to Sun: 12.30pm – 3pm, 5pm – 5am
Nearest Station: Hongik University


Photo Credit: OkDongsik


For those who are craving for a comforting bowl of gomtang (beef bone soup), OkDongsik is an up-and-coming restaurant that deserves a mention. Opened in 2017, the cosy restaurant only has counter seats where diners are able to watch the chef at work.

In order to achieve that full-flavoured beef stock that is satisfying till the very last drop, premium black pork meat and bones are simmered for hours in the kitchen. Have the clear soup with plump white rice and some ban chan at the side.

44-10 Yanghwa-ro 7-gil
Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 507 1424 9911
Mon to Fri: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm
Sat to Sun: 11am – 8.30pm
Nearest Station: Hapjeong


Playground Rooftop Cafe & Bar

Photo Credit: Playground Rooftop Bar & Cafe


Playground Rooftop Cafe & Bar is where you will find the party animals—from foreign exchange students to hip young locals. The two storey bar has its own rooftop space where you can enjoy a beer or cocktail with your friends.

Otherwise, social butterflies will enjoy taking part in their weekly events—language exchange coffee meetings, international parties and cocktail parties are just some to name.

14 Wausan-ro 21-gil
Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 02 337 0774
Mon to Fri: 6pm – 11pm
Sat to Sun: 6pm – 1am
Nearest Station: Hongik University

Vinyl Street Bar

Photo Credit: gogosallyyyy


If street bars are your thing instead, Vinyl is a quirky watering hole where colourful alcoholic drinks are served in transparent IV bags. Go there for their neat range of cocktails but it really is the hipster interior that will keep you lingering on for a chat with your traveling partners.

61-1 Wausan-ro
Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 322 4161
Mon to Fri: 4pm – 12.30am
Sat to Sun: 6pm – 2am
Nearest Station: Sangsu

Robin's Square

Photo Credit: Robin’s Square


For the serious drinkers who are looking for craft cocktails in the Hongdae vicinity, leave it to the experienced bartenders at Robin’s Square to whip up your poison of choice. Nestled on the basement level of the Vans store, the unpretentious bar offers crafts spirits sourced from all over the world.

69 Wausan-ro
Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 6085 6421
Sun to Thu: 7pm – 4am
Fri to Sat: 7pm – 5am
Nearest Station: Sangsu




Located near Hongik University, Hongdae Shopping District is where you will find the best buys at affordable prices that are kept low to attract students.

There are free concerts from time to time, and you can even pop by the Hongdae Free Market from March to November to see shoes, shirts, ceramic accessories and more handmade by Hongik University students.

Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Nearest Station: Hongik University




Walk down the streets of Hongdae and you will be greeted by many street artistes showcasing their talents. You will most definitely be impressed by the dancers who put up show stopping performances that do not lose out to professional Kpop groups. If you are feeling the beat, no one will fault you for grooving to the music!

Bunny Cafe Hongdae

Photo Credit: Bunny Cafe


Animal lovers will find Bunny Cafe right up their alley. Home to 12 adorable furry bunnies of various breeds, visitors get to cuddle up with them and take lots of pictures for keepsake.

What is a trip to an animal cafe without personally feeding them personally? Simply top up W2,000 for a bag of tidbits and you get to feed the bunnies! Do note that you are only allowed to feed the bunnies with food purchased at the cafe.

136-10 Eoulmadang-ro
Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 333 1660
Daily: 1pm – 9pm
Nearest Station: Hongik University

Nanta Show

Photo Credit: govoyagin


Catch a live comedic performance at NANTA Theatre which offers excellent shows that will leave you laughing and crying at the same time. There are both cooking and acrobatic shows but the former is what’s most popular there. The best part? You don’t even have to understand Korean to appreciate the shows.

29 Yanghwa-ro 16-gil
Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 739 8288
Nearest Station: Hongik University