If you are coming to Seoul for the first time some places are a MUST visit! Seoul has a lot of famous spots, such as Gangnam and Itaewon, and today I will introduce you to the best one among the three: Hongdae! ‘Hongdae’ stands for the abbreviation of Hongik University (홍익대학교). The word joins the first syllable of “hongik” (홍) and the first syllable of “university” (대). The neighborhood is famous for its crowded nightlife, shopping areas, and also famous restaurants. In this post, I will give you some tips on how to spend a whole day in Hongdae. From places to eat to nice things to see.
Hongdae(Hongik University) pizza
Since Hongdae is really famous for its nice life, is, of course, full of places with “international” food. Yeah, sure you can find a lot of Korean food, which is great to experience Korea as its best! But there are better places to try traditional food, Hongdae is the place to try the western world interpreted by Korea. Therefore I strongly recommend you to try the pizza places in Hongdae. Different from other places in Seoul, Hongdae is one of the only places where you can buy only one slice of pizza instead of a whole pizza. Prices vary from 4,000won to 6,000 won each slice, and as for the whole pizza you can expect to pay between 20,000 won and 30,000 won. A whole pizza serves two people really well.
Check out: Pizza Mall – Hongdae Branch
Hongdae pizzas are famous all over Seoul! The size of pizzas in Hongdae is bigger than anywhere else. Korean people usually eat a whole pizza by themselves, but the size of these pizzas is kinda small. As for Hongdae, you can expect a huge pizza with a lot of cheese and crunchy crust!
One good thing about Hongdae is that you can find pretty much all of the traditional and modern mixed together in one neighborhood. For example, you can’t leave Korea without trying their delicious Sulbing. I have tried it back in my country but the taste is completely different, and there’s nothing that can keep up with Korean Sulbing. It’s matches really well with the pizza because is light and refreshing. The prices vary a lot depending on where you go, but you can expect something between 10,000won and 25,000 won. The one in the picture is Oreo flavored! It was absolutely delicious and it served two people really well (there were some leftovers actually).
Another must-try is the famous 32cm ice cream! You can easily find it in pretty much every small street in Hongdae. You can buy this ice cream in a lot of different flavors, my personal recommendation is the mango and strawberry. I usually don’t like mango ice cream, but this one has really special and good taste, which is totally worth it! Also, this ice cream is really really cheap (considering it has 32cm): for 2,000won or 2,500won depending on the flavor you choose. The sellers are always very kind and attentive and they sometimes speak English, which is helpful if your Korean is not really good.
Hongdae is probable the place in Seoul with the largest number of claw machines. A lot of people tend to think that these machines are untrue and that you will never get a prize. I also used to think like this until I actually got something on the first try. As you can see in the picture, it was a Psyduck, for only 1,000won. But of course, I have tried a lot of other claw machines before that one, and never got anything. Some of my friends are really lucky with claw machines, they always get what they want. One of my friends got two keychains in a row in the same claw machine! She was very very lucky. There is no secret for these claw machines, but they are really fun to try!
Hongdae also has arcades with so many claw machines options you will want to spend all of your money on it. But it’s arcades we are talking about, so of course, they have a lot of other fun things to do. One of my favorites is Pump It Up machines. Even if you are not a pro at rhythm games, it’s totally worth it to give a try at these machines. You will have a lot of fun. Each time you play costs only 1,000 won. And that goes for pretty much every machine inside the arcade.
Hongdae is located in the subway’s green line, at the same name station. Jump out of bed and go enjoy a fun day at Hongdae, filled with delicious food, sweet desserts, and fun games. If you try any of the experiences I recommended here, don’t forget to tell me about your experience in the comments section below!