I’m sure you have heard of Itaewon, Hongdae, and Gangnam, but there little pockets of areas in Seoul that I think are much cooler than these places, up and coming or out and proud but still cool, where you can get away from the corporations. I have already written a neighbourhood guide for each of these places which includes my favourite spots to eat and drink. Although if you would like to know every place I have reviewed in the area then click on the bold title at the beginning of each paragraph.
Haebangchon (HBC) – My home for the last 7 years I spent in Korea, there is something so special about this neighbourhood. It has a rich historic past, due to its close proximity to the US army base. It was originally home to North Korean refugees and over the years became home to expats from all over the world. This led to a whole host of businesses opening to cater to them. Over the years it has come in and out of fashion with the Korean trendsetters but its always a great spot to go when you are looking for a diverse community. Click here for my neighbourhood guide to HBC.
Ikseon-dong – nestled close to one of the oldest parts of Seoul, and just off the tourist track is Ikseon-dong. The neighbourhood is made up of tiny narrow alleyways that no car can get down. These are home to traditional style hanoks that have been modernised and turned into cafes, restaurants, stores, and art galleries. The place exploded in popularity last year, and it is a great place to see where old meets new. Click here for my neighbourhood guide to Ikseon-dong.
Mangwon – One of my favourite neighbourhoods to hang out in. It’s like a town outside of Seoul, filled with a small treasure trove of small independent shops, cafes, and restaurants and is very conveniently only a 20 minute train ride away from Itaewon or a short walk from Hongdae. Unlike many of the trendy neighbourhoods, it has retained all of its all old-school Korean charm, thanks to the fact that it still boasts a traditional Korean market. Click here for my neighbourhood guide to Mangwon.
Yeonnam-dong – Located out of exit 3 of Hongdae is the ultra trendy and popular neighbourhood of Yeonnam-dong. This place is always expanding, and the back streets are always growing and evolving. New businesses pop up all the time, and you never know what you might come across. There is a park like area in the middle of it which is a very popular spot to hang out in Summer too. Click here for my neighbourhood guide to Yeonnam-dong.
Sharosugil – The area near Seoul National University has become very popular over the past couple of years. The main street has dozens of small independent restaurants offering a tonne of different international cuisines to cater to all the international students in the neighbourhood. It is also one of the cheapest neighbourhoods in the city because of the students. Click here for my neighbourhood guide to Sharosugil.