Hongdae is one of the areas in Seoul that is pretty well suited for travelers from North America and Europe, largely due to the fact that it is a youthful and liberal area. Hongik University is located in this area, and in fact its name is used to refer to the greater Hongdae area. In many ways, Hongik University is Hongdae, and the other way around. Although Hongik University offers a full range of course work it is most notably known for its Fine Arts program. There is evidence of the importance of the Arts program at Hongik all around this part of the city, from the multifarious cafes to the independent music venues and art galleries.
Hongdae nightlife is always exciting at the various bars and cafes. There is also a wide selection of Hongdae clubs in the area. It is not necessary to travel with South Korean friends, but this is a bonus. If you are of university age and in the area, you are likely to meet some new friends. One of the best things to do in Hongdae Seoul is to get out and explore. There is a huge concentration of cool places to hang out within the area and the liberal vibe in the air makes it a welcoming place for newcomers to hang out.
The Hongdae clubs are wild and crazy. One of the popular things to do in South Korea after a night of clubbing is to head off to one of the Karaoke rooms where you can sip sake or Korean beer and sing the night away. This is a very popular pastime with the local population of students and fun seekers. Besides having a wide selection of Hongdae clubs, this popular district in Seoul is well known for its cafes and music venues. If you are staying in Seoul and want to get a real idea of what is going on in the South Korean underground music scene, this is the place you would go. It is possible to catch original musical performances by South Korean bands at a variety of venues, as well as local DJs and dancers.
The café scene is also really vital to the Hongdae culture. As you walk the streets you will see an array of interestingly decorated cafes where much of the South Korean youth culture finds its expression. Hongdae is a place where you will see outdoor murals painted by local students and a wide range of galleries and venues that support the local arts scene.
And Hongdae nightlife is not the only reason to visit this part of Seoul. Shopping, as in most parts of South Korea, is one of the most popular things to do here. You will find a variety of traditional vendors selling authentic South Korean goods as well as a wide selection of brand name stores and clothing boutiques. If you only have a couple of days to hang out in the area, you should try to take in some shopping as well as the vibrant Hongdae nightlife. This is an area of South Korea that you will remember as having a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Image: Urbantofu (Flickr)