Hongdae (Hongik University Area) 홍대
Hongdae, a Special Tourist Zone
Hongdae Shopping Street & Highlights
Recommended Cafes & Restaurants
Recommended Hotel Picks
Hongik Univ. Station & Lines Transfer
Hongik Univ. Station (line 2, exit 9). Turn left at the road just in front of station exit and walk straight. At the 2nd cross street, you will reach Hongdae Shopping Street (i.e. Eoulmadang-ro). 1 min walk.
Hongik Univ. Station (AREX Airport Railroad / Gyeongui–Jungang Line, exit 7). Turn right upon station exit and cross the street in front. The start of Hongdae Shopping Street (i.e. Eoulmadang-ro) is on your right. 20m.
Hongdae is a popular hang-out for local youths and a must-visit for many foreign tourists to Seoul, South Korea.
💡Hongdae is the short form of Hongik University, pronounced as ‘Hongik Dae Hak Kyo’ in Korean. The locals used the term, Hongdae as an easier way to reference the area around Hongik University.
Hongik University is a renowned art college and naturally, the streets around Hongdae evolved with unique free-spirit culture of amateur busking performances, art markets, street art murals, cosy galleries, exhibits of young artists and of course, clubs.
The growth in fashion, accessories and cosmetic stores, as well as fabulous cafes and dining options also add on to the attractiveness of Hongdae as one of the top tourist destinations in Seoul.
Hongdae, a Culture & Arts Special Tourist Zone
On 2 December 2021, Hongdae was successfully designated as the 7th 'special tourist zone', after Itaewon, Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Jongno, Jamsil and Gangnam in Seoul. It was named, 'Hongdae Culture & Arts Special Tourist Zone' for its arts and cultural heritage.
A symbolic sculpture of the mascot playing an electric guitar was installed in Hongdae Culture & Arts Special Tourist Zone and the main road (i.e. Eoulmadang-ro) was painted red (also known as 'Red Road'), the colour of passion and youth.
The initial 175m of pedestrian-friendly theme street, named 'Hongdae Festival Street' starting from the symbolic sculpture to Jandari-ro was also extended till end of Eoulmadang-ro near Sangsu Station with a total length of about 480m.
It replaced the previous parking street into a pedestrian-friendly cultural space, divided into different zones for performances and arts/cultural events.
A Red Road Festival Proclamation Ceremony was held on 13-14 May 2023, attended by both Seoul Mayor and Mapo-gu Mayor.
Hongdae Shopping Street & Highlights
Hongdae Shopping Street (/Eoulmadang-ro)
It is very easy to get around Hongdae with shops, cafes and restaurants lined from one end of its main road, Eoulmadang-ro to the other end in 1.3km long, about 25 mins walk. From the main road, you can further explore its cross streets.
Eoulmadang-ro is exceptionally wide, owning to its historical background as a defunct train line (Danginri Line) used for transporting coal back in 1929. This road has gone by many names, including Hongik University Street, Hongdae Culture Street & Hongtong Street, Hongdae Walking Street, Hongdae Pedestrian-Friendly Street and Hongdae Shopping Street.
💡For the convenience of pedestrians, Eoulmadang-ro goes car-free on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 - 23:00.
🎭Highlights in Hongdae🎭
1. Kakao Friends Hongdae Flagship Store (카카오프렌즈 홍대 플래그십 스토어)
서울 마포구 양화로 162 좋은사람들빌딩 1~3층 | 1st to 3rd floor, LG Palace Building, 162 Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
10:30 - 22:00
Kakao Friends Hongdae Flagship Store is the must-visit for many travellers to Seoul! It is a bright and lively store with all the cutest things you can find on Kakao Friends from toys, stationeries, clothes, shoes and lifestyle items.
3F - Cafe Gongmihak
2F - Kakao Friends
1F - Kakao Friends
B1 - KaKao Friends Factory Store
2. Line Friends Hongdae Flagship Store 라인프렌즈 홍대 플래그십스토어
Line Friends Hongdae Flagship Store is located on the 1st floor of L7 Hongdae (hotel), 1 min walk right of Hongik Univ. Station's exit 1. When you enter the store, you will be greeted by the giant size Line Friends Brown, a favourite photo stop for many visitors. The store spreads over 3 floors (B1 Cafe, 1F & 2F).
Besides Line Friends Brown & friends, you can find merchandise of 'BT21' characters created in collaboration with worldwide pop-sensation BTS and 'Brawl Stars', the Supercell's mobile hit game.
3. Coconut Box 코코넛박스
Coconut Box, the hybrid metaverse play garden consists of 32 bungalows and 7 experience halls where you can relax and enjoy the day. The experience halls include NFT Gallery, Media Art Box, Bob Marley Pool, VR Box, Slide Pool, Coconut Bar and Majorca House.
4. Olive Young Hongdae Central Branch 올리브영 홍대중앙점
서울시 마포구 어울마당로 68 해창빌딩 1,2층 | Haechang Building 1,2F, 68 Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
10:00 - 23:00
For beauty lovers, there are 5 Olive Young stores just within the vicinity of Hongdae Shopping Street!
The most convenient one if you are travelling on Seoul Subway Line 2 is Olive Young Hongdae Town located along the main road (i.e. Yanghwa-ro) between Hongik Univ. Station Exit 8 and Exit 9. If you are travelling on AREX Airport Railroad / Gyeongui–Jungang Line, Olive Young Hongdae Airport Railroad Station Branch is located just next to Hongik Univ. Station Exit 3.
Of which, Olive Young Hongdae Central Branch is the biggest store in Hongdae located along Hongdae Shopping Street (i.e. Eoulmadang-ro) opposite the building, KT&G Sangsangmadang.
1F - Dermo Cosmetics, Health Food, Makeup, Beauty Tools, Must-Have Items
2F - Lifestyle, Perfume, Hair/Body Care, Cleansing, XTM Men's Collection
💡Olive Young Myeongdong Flagship Store is the largest Olive Young store in South Korea.
5. Others Stores along Hongdae Shopping Street
Recommended Cafes & Restaurants at Hongdae
Interestingly, nearly all cafes and restaurants along/near Hongdae Shopping Street (i.e. Eoulmadang-ro) have surprisingly good review ratings, not commonly found in other parts of Seoul. As such, you can easily walk into any cafe or restaurant you fancy and have a good meal.
You can also find the popular coffee/bubble tea chains like Hollys Coffee, A Twosome Place Coffee & Dessert, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Starbucks and Gong Cha in Hongdae.
⭐Popular Cafes & Restaurants in Hongdae
(Listing order from the start of Eoulmadang-ro near Hongik Univ. Station exit 7 to the end of the road near Sangsu Station)
Beer King Myeongju 맥주왕명주
17:30 - 4:00 (last order 3:30)
서울 마포구 어울마당로 147-1 동원빌딩 1층 | 1F Dongwon Building, 147-1 Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Beer King Myeongju is a popular tent-like bar with local vibes. There are numerous menu options from alcholic/non-alcholic drinks (e.g. beer, soju, makgeolli, highballs, cocktails, liqour), pizzas, assorted sausages, udon/ramen, local snacks (e.g. tteokbokki, boneless chicken feet, spicy chicken skewers, cheeseballs, cheese garlic french fries, semi-dried squid, peanuts). You can order from the tablet at each table. Menu is available in English with pictures.
Boseunghoegwan Hongik Univ. 보승회관 홍대직영점
00:00 - 24:00
서울 마포구 어울마당로 131 | 131 Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Boseunghoegwan Hongik Univ. is a 24 hours boiled pork and soup restaurant, well-liked by the locals. Its best dishes include Assorted Boiled Pork Slices, Pork Tripe Hot Pot with Korean Sausage and Pork Tripe Stir-fried with Korean Sausages. The Hangover Soup often seen on Korean drama is also available, so as the Ginseng Chicken Soup.
NooNaHolDak Hongdae - Oven Chicken & Beer 누구나홀딱반한닭 홍대점
12:00 - 2:00 (Sun - Thu)/3:00 (Fri & Sat)
서울 마포구 어울마당로 129 | 129 Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
NooNaHolDak is a casual chicken pub that occupies 1F to 3F of the building. Even so, it is often packed with people. You will be spoilt for choice with their extensive menu that includes baked/roast chicken (with bones/boneless), set menu, chicken wraps, chicken quesadillas, salad with cold chewy noodles, soup (e.g. spicy seafood, fishcake), spicy stir-fried chicken feet and many other popular/local snacks (e.g. cheese balls, nachos, tteokbokki, squid mouth/legs).
Meatman Kim Chun-bae (Hongdae Main Store) 고기꾼김춘배 홍대본점
12:00 - 23:00 (last order 22:00)
서울 마포구 홍익로3길 36 3층 | 3F, 36, Hongik-ro 3-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Meatman Kim Chun-bae is a famous meat restaurant in Hongdae where you can enjoy quality pork and beef, grilled using charcoal fire. With their partition settings, you can enjoy a quiet and comfortable meal with your own group. There are beef/pork set menu for 2, 3 or 4 people and special cuts (e.g. wagyu sirloin, jowl meat). Other menu items include fried rice, mul-naengmyeon (cold noodles) / bibim-naengmyeon (spicy cold noodles), Jjigae (Korean stew) and gyeran-jjim (Korean steamed eggs).
Witch's Kitchen Hongdae 마녀주방 홍대점
12:00 - 21:30 (last order 20:30). 15:00 - 17:00 (breaktime, Mon-Fri only)
서울 마포구 와우산로21길 36-10 | 36-10 Wausan-ro 21-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Witch's Kitchen Hongdae is a well-decorated concept restaurant where you can experience Halloween throughout the year. Halloween props are available for you to take fun photos too! This Italian fusion restaurant serves a good selection of tasty salad, pasta, risotto and pizza. For the daring, check out its alcohol/non-alcohol Ringer Cocktail of Witch/Troll's Blood on IV drip!
Sin Migyeong Hongdae Dakgalbi 신미경홍대닭갈비
11:00 - 22:00
서울 서초구 방배로16길 11-3 | 11-3, Bangbae-ro 16-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul
If Yoogane Restaurant is a must-eat on your vist to Seoul, you can check out Sin Migyeong Hongdae Dakgalbi for its authentic famous Chuncheon Dakgalbi. There are only 2 types of chicken on the menu (i.e. Chicken & Vegetables or Cheese Fondue Chicken with Vegetables). You can choose your preferred spicy level from Mild, Medium, Spicy to Very Spicy. Add-ons include rice cakes, sweet potato, ramen/udon, cheese, small rice balls and 3 different types of fried rice (i.e. flying fish roe fried rice, snow cheese fried rice, fried rice).
MiDoin Hongdae 미도인 홍대
11:30 - 21:00 (last order 20:00)
서울 마포구 잔다리로2길 19 1 | 19 1, Jandari-ro 2-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
MiDoin is famous for its steak and rice bowls, served in beautiful pattern tableware. Menu includes steak sets, rice bowls, noodles (asian & pasta), tteokbokki, MiDoin scotch eggs and salad.
Colline Cafe Hongdae 콜린 카페 홍대
10:30 - 23:00 (Sun-Thu) / 24:00 (Fri & Sat)
서울 마포구 어울마당로 45 | 45 Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Colline is a flower-garden cafe, a highly-recommended must-vist for cafe lovers when you are in Hongdae. It has 2 floors, both with terraces and tastefully-decorated with flowers, plants and paintings. Besides drinks (include sangria, house wine & bottled beer), cakes and pastries, Colline also serves beautiful-looking bingsu (Korean shaved iced) and all-day brunch.
Sokoa (Hongdae Branch) 소코아 홍대점
11:30 - 21:00 (breaktime 15:00 - 17:00)
서울 마포구 와우산로15길 49 1층 | 1F, 49, Wausan-ro 15-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Sokoa is a curry speciality fusion restaurant with resort-like atmosphere. All its dishes are nicely presented and certainly instaworthy! Its popular dishes include Sokoa Curry with its 3 signature curry favours served on steamed rice shaped bowls, Avocado Shrimp Udon and Mix Curry Udon.
Attractions Near Hongdae
Few subway stops away from Hongdae on Line 6, you can visit Haneul (Sky) Park at World Cup Stadium, Oil Tank Culture Park or check out the unique King-sized pot lit Korean BBQ Restaurant (Hansang Gadeuk).
Alternatively, one subway stop away from Hongdae on the same line (Line 2) is another popular university suburb, Edea (Sinchon & Ewha Womans University Shopping District). You can visit the two popular universities with beautiful campuses nearby, Ewha Womans University and Yonsei University.
Recommended Hotels at Hongdae
Besides being one of the most popular shopping districts, Hongdae is also a favourite place for travellers to stay in Seoul.
There are 3 subway lines at Hongik Univ. Station. Airport Limousine Bus also stops near the subway station. On top, most day tours from Seoul (e.g. Nami Island, Everland, Legoland) offer pick up and drop off from Hongik Univ. Station.
Unlike in Dongdaemun or Myeongdong with a good mix of accommodation options, interestingly, there are many well-known international hotel chains offering good quality 4* properties within 4 mins walk of Hongik Univ. Station. The rest of the accommodation options are primarily guesthouses or homestay.
💙Here are the Recommended Hotel Picks at Hongdae:
(Listing order from subway station nearer to Gyeongui–Jungang Line, followed by Line 2)
Holiday Inn Express Seoul Hongdae, an IHG Hotel
★★★★ | 8.6 Review Rating
Holiday Inn Express Seoul Hongdae is located right next to Hongik Univ. Station (nearer to Gyeongui–Jungang Line, exit 5 - with escalator access). Its buffet breakfast is very well received and included free for all hotel guests. Other facilites include 24/7 gym and self-service laundry room.
L7 Hongdae (by LOTTE)
★★★★ | 8.3 Review Rating
L7 Hongdae by LOTTE is located along a nice stretch of walkway, 1 min walk right of Hongik Univ. Station's exit (nearer to line 2, exit 1 - with escalator access). It is one of the most popular hotels in Hongdae. There are FLOATING Restaurant & Rooftop Bar (22F), Seasonal Rooftop Pool (22F, fee applies), Blue Roof Lounge (21F), Angel-in-us Coffee (2F), Fitness Center (5F) and 24hrs Coin Laundry Service (5F). The popular Line Friends Hongdae Flagship Store is on the 1st floor of the building too!
Mercure Ambassador Seoul Hongdae
★★★★ | 9.0 Review Rating
Mercure Ambassador Seoul Hongdae is located 2 mins walk from Hongik Univ. Station's exit (nearer to line 2, exit 9). The hotel has the highest review rating of all hotels in Hongdae. It is centrally located right in the center of Hongdae Shopping Street. Selective room types come with balconies too! Facilities include a restaurant & bar, gym and coin laundry.
RYSE, Autograph Collection Seoul by Marriott
★★★★ | 8.9 Review Rating
RYSE is located 3 blocks away from Mercure Ambassador Seoul Hongdae, 4 mins walk from Hongik Univ. Station's exit (nearer to line 2, exit 9). There is an open-fire steakhouse, CHARR and Side Note Club, a cocktail rooftop bar with panoramic views of Seoul.
9 Brick Hotel
★★★ | 8.5 Review Rating
9 Brick Hotel is located 1 block away from RYSE Hotel, 6 mins walk from Hongik Univ. Station's exit (nearer to line 2, exit 9). Check out its 'Double Room with Terrace'! It is a fairly large and well-decorated room with an outdoor tub, garden and good view of Hongdae. The room size for other room types at 9 Brick Hotel are also larger than most hotels in Seoul. For those who do not like carpet in the hotel room, this is the hotel for you!
Insights into Hongik Univ. Station & Lines Transfer
3 Subway Lines at Hongik Univ. Station
AREX Airport Railroad (All Stop Train) - Direct access to Incheon Int'l Airport Terminal 1 (54 mins, 10 stops, ₩4,050), Incheon Int'l Airport Terminal 2 (59 mins, 11 stops, ₩4,350) and Gimpo Int'l Airport (14 mins, 4 stops, ₩1,350). 2 subway stops to Seoul Station (for KTX Trains to Busan, Lotte Mart, Lotte Outlets & Seoullo 7017). No special/exclusive ticketing requirements. It functions like any other subway lines (e.g. line 1 or 4) in Seoul.
⚠️Please do not take AREX EXPRESS, the premium train from Incheon Int'l Airport as it only stops at Incheon Int'l Airport T1, Incheon Int'l Airport T2 and Seoul Station.
Seoul Subway Line 2 - Popular stations along the line include Sinchon (for Sinchon Shopping Street & Yonsei University), Ewha Women's Univ. (for Sinchon Shopping Street & Ewha Womans University), City Hall (for Deoksugung Palace), Euljiro 1(il)-ga (for Myeongdong Shopping Street), Dongdaemun History Culture Park (for Dongdaemun Shopping Malls) and Gangnam (for Gangnam Shopping Street).
Gyeongui–Jungang Line - Day trip to Dumulmeori & Semiwon Garden at Yangpyeong, walking distance from station (Yangsu Station, 84 mins, ₩1,950).
Airport Limousine Bus Stop at Hongik Univ. Station
If for whatever reason you wish to take the Airport Limousine Bus (#6002, ₩17,000, about 60 mins) to (/from) Incheon Int'l Airport (T1/T2) instead, the bus stop is located at Hongik Univ. Station, exit 2. Walk 25m ahead and cross to the middle of the road on your right for the bus stop.
Transferring between Lines at Hongik Univ. Station (e.g. AREX Airport Railroad ⇆ Line 2 )
Though the 3 lines share the same station name, it is about ➠280m via the underground passageway between Line 2 (near exit 1, 2, 8 & 9) and AREX Airport Railroad / Gyeongui–Jungang Line (near exit 5, 6 & 7).
Line 2 (B2)
AREX Airport Railroad (B4) & Gyeongui–Jungang Line (B1)
Map of Getting to Hongdae (Attractions, Recommended Cafes, Restaurants & Hotels)
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