Seoul (Hongdae)

If you're looking for a vibrant and trendy area to explore, this is the place to be.
Seoul Hongdae

Let’s talk about one of our favorite neighborhoods in Seoul – Hongdae. If you’re looking for a vibrant and trendy area to explore, this is the place to be.

Although Gangnam is a world-class destination for WanderLawyers, those looking to experience Seoul on a budget should consider Hongdae. 

Hongdae has everything you could ask for in a neighborhood. It’s a hub for art, culture, and nightlife, making it the perfect spot for adventurous travelers. With countless art galleries, street performers, and live music venues, you’ll never be bored in Hongdae.

Hongdae District in Seoul has become a popular location for digital nomads due to its ample offerings of coworking spaces, cafes, and comfortable work environments.

The district is home to a thriving art and culture scene, which contributes to its vibrant and creative atmosphere. This environment attracts a diverse group of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers who are looking for a stimulating and inspiring place to work.

Hongdae offers a variety of coworking spaces that cater to different needs and budgets. Some of the most popular ones include WeWork, Maru180, and Fastfive. These coworking spaces provide comfortable workstations, high-speed Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, and other amenities that digital nomads need to work efficiently.

The cafes in Hongdae also cater to digital nomads, offering a cozy and relaxed environment with fast Wi-Fi, power outlets, and comfortable seating. Some of the most popular cafes in the district include Cafe Hoho, Cafe Onion, and Cafe Mamas.

Moreover, Hongdae is located near several universities, including Hongik University, which attracts a large student population. This demographic contributes to the area’s affordable prices and youthful energy, making it an attractive location for digital nomads who are looking for a budget-friendly place to live and work.

The main avenue of Hongdae, Hongdae Street offers tons of shopping, street food, karaoke joints, bars, restaurants and live entertainment. Its common to see young students testing out their musical abilities by singing in the street, hoping to land their big break. 

Also nearby, the Gyeongui Line Forest Park offers a beautiful nature walk in the heart of Seoul. 

Best of all, Hongdae is a major hub for the Seoul metro system which makes it easy to access and find. 

Here’s our WanderLawyer rating for the Hongdae District of Seoul: 

Here is our WanderLawyer rating for Hongdae District of Seoul, South Korea 

Accessibility 5/5 stars. 

Delicious food 5/5 stars. 

Affordability 3/5 stars. 

Work remote locations & internet access 5/5 stars. 

Weather 3/5 stars 

Friendliness 3/5 stars

Nightlife 4/5 stars

Vibe: 5/5 stars

Overall Score – 4.5/5 Star

For those looking for a bite to eat, Hongdae offers a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and dive bars that are sure to satisfy any craving. Here are some recommendations:

Restaurants:

  1. Our top spot, hands down, was Hong’s Makegeolli https://hongs-makgeolli.business.site/ 

When we visited, Hong himself sat down, gave us free Makegeolli and explained how he made the popular rice wine drink (for more about Makegeolli read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makgeolli) 

  1. Linus BBQ – this American-style BBQ joint serves up delicious brisket, pulled pork, and ribs.
  2. Mug for Rabbit – this cozy spot serves up hearty Korean comfort food like bibimbap and kimchi stew.
  3. Vatos Urban Tacos – a fusion of Mexican and Korean cuisine, this popular spot serves up creative tacos and margaritas.
  4. Cheese Kingdom – for cheese lovers, this restaurant offers a variety of cheese dishes, including raclette and fondue.
  5. Ho Lee Chow – for those looking for a vegetarian option, this restaurant offers a wide range of vegan and vegetarian Korean dishes.

Cafes:

  1. Coffee Libre – this trendy cafe offers a range of specialty coffee drinks and a cozy atmosphere for working.
  2. Cafe Onion – this minimalist cafe serves up coffee, pastries, and light snacks in a chic setting.
  3. Starbucks Reserve – this Starbucks location offers unique, small-batch coffee blends and a spacious seating area.
  4. Anthracite Coffee Roasters – for serious coffee lovers, this cafe offers a variety of high-quality, single-origin coffees.
  5. Cafe Comma – this cozy cafe is perfect for working or reading, with comfortable seating and a quiet atmosphere.

Dive Bars:

  1. NB2 – this popular dive bar offers cheap drinks and a lively atmosphere, with regular live music performances.
  2. The Beastro – a casual bar with a friendly staff and a laid-back atmosphere, serving a range of beer and cocktails.
  3. Thunderhorse Tavern – this American-style bar serves up classic pub fare like burgers and wings, along with a wide variety of beer.
  4. Plastic People – a popular spot for dancing and drinks, with regular DJ performances.
  5. Dingo Bar – a small, cozy bar with a friendly vibe and affordable drinks.

Clubs:

  1. Contra – a popular underground club that plays a range of electronic music, with a focus on techno and house.
  2. Cakeshop – this club hosts regular parties with a variety of music genres, including hip-hop, EDM, and more.
  3. Pistil – a small club with a cozy atmosphere, hosting regular DJ performances and live music events.
  4. Faust – this club offers a unique atmosphere with its underground location and a focus on experimental electronic music.
  5. Soap Seoul – a large, popular club with multiple floors and regular events featuring local and international DJs.

Coworking Spaces:

  1. Fastfive – a spacious, modern coworking space with private offices, meeting rooms, and open workspaces.
  2. Co-Up – a cozy coworking space with a friendly community, offering private offices and shared workspaces.
  3. WeWork – this global coworking chain has a location in Hongdae, offering private offices, meeting rooms, and event spaces.
  4. Maru 180 – a sleek coworking space with private offices and open workspaces, along with a rooftop terrace.
  5. Cafe Yeonnam-dong 223-14 – a unique coworking space located in a converted hanok (traditional Korean house), offering private offices and shared workspaces.

Lodging: 

Here are a few hotels or guesthouses in Hongdae District of Seoul:

  1. Urban Art Guesthouse – This cozy guesthouse is located in the heart of Hongdae and features unique artwork and decor. They offer private rooms and dormitories with shared facilities.
  2. Twin Rabbit Guesthouse – This modern guesthouse is located a short walk from Hongik University and offers private rooms and dormitories. They have a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city.
  3. Hotel The Designers Hongdae – This trendy boutique hotel features stylish and modern rooms with unique design elements. It’s located near Hongdae’s famous shopping and nightlife areas.
  4. Marigold Hotel – This newly renovated hotel offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities. It’s located near Hongdae’s cafes, bars, and restaurants.
  5. L7 Hongdae by LOTTE – This upscale hotel offers stylish and comfortable rooms with stunning views of the city. It’s located in the heart of Hongdae’s shopping and entertainment district.

Attractions:

  1. Hongik University Street – a bustling street full of shops, restaurants, and street performers, perfect for exploring.
  2. Trick Eye Museum – a unique museum with interactive exhibits and optical illusions
  3. Gyeongui Line Forest Park is a public park in Seoul, South Korea that was created from a former railway line.

Transportation: 

Hongdae is a well-connected district in Seoul with various transportation options. The most convenient and popular mode of transportation is the subway, which offers easy access to other parts of the city. There are two subway lines that run through Hongdae: Line 2 (Green Line) and Line 6 (Brown Line).

Line 2 stops in the heart of Hongdae at Hongik University Station, which is a major transportation hub with connections to other subway lines and buses. This station is surrounded by shopping malls, cafes, and restaurants, making it a popular meeting spot for locals and tourists alike.

Line 6 also stops at Hongik University Station, as well as Sangsu Station and Hapjeong Station, which are both located on the outskirts of the district. These stations provide access to other popular neighborhoods in Seoul, such as Itaewon and Gangnam.

In addition to the subway, Hongdae is well-served by buses and taxis. The district has several bus stops that connect to other parts of the city, including the airport buses that run to Incheon and Gimpo airports.

For those who prefer to bike, there are several bike rental stations located throughout Hongdae. This is a convenient way to explore the district and nearby neighborhoods at your own pace.

VERDICT:

Overall, we rank Hongdae above Gangnam for WanderLawyers. The affordability and vibe of Hongdae (not to mention the all night food options) edge out Gangnam as the top neighborhood in Seoul. Considering we believe Seoul is one of the best locations in the world for WanderLawyer, it doesn’t get much better than Hongdae!

Authors

Anthony Shallat

Anthony Shallat

Anthony Shallat is a digital nomad attorney and WanderLawyer co-founder. Anthony believes travel unlocks potential and opens minds. He’s been wandering and lawyering since 2014.