Dongdaemun, Han River, Hongdae
Blogging about our vacation makes me want to go back there. I wish we had more time and did more sightseeing on the last day in Seoul, but my mom was tired, the weather wasn’t all that good and we had to meet our friends.
We started by eating in an Italian restaurant in front of our hotel. There are some really great places around Seoullo! I had Squid Ink spaghetti for the first time. It was unexpectedly delicious. Probably the best spaghetti I ever had! I cannot remember the name of the place, but it is located in front of the Seoul Station. There are other restaurants and cafes in there (great burgers too!), so it is worth a look if you are visiting Seoullo 7017 (18, Toegye-ro, Jung-gu | Daewoo Jaedan Bldg., Seoul 04637, Südkorea).
After finishing our late breakfast/lunch we went to Dongdaemun Design Plaza aka DDP.
This monstrosity, as I like to call it, was opened in 2014. We went there last year for the first time and I really liked the shops inside the building. It also futures some art galleries and has a food court, but I really like the small design shops the most. They have a lot of cute figures, cute bags and other things you never knew you needed in your life.
Not far from DDP is the Dongdaemun Market (동대문시장). If you are looking for cheap clothing and accessories, this is probably the place to go! Personally I am not interested in shopping for clothing, so we didn’t bother to go there. Instead we opted for visiting the Han river. There is a lot you can do there if you visit on a warm day. You can rent a bike and drive along the river as far as you can go (don’t forget your passport though, otherwise you won’t be able to rent it), or you can sit down for a picnic and order food delivery. There are even stands with flyers from different restaurants with menus on them. But I think these activities are better done in summer or late spring/early autumn. Our friends went to the artificial island Sevit instead and took some great photos there while nighttime.
Our last stop was Hongdae (홍대). It is a popular neighborhood around the Hongik University, which is famous for it’s arts programs. Hongdae has a lot of cool shops and bars and is less touristy than Myeongdong. You can definitely feel the student vibe there. There is always some street performance going on and the bars are full with groups of young people going out after their studying. We went bar hopping with our friends, because staying in just one place meant missing out on all the other great experiences.
Our starting point was in Hapjeong (합정, southern end of Hongdae), a sushi bar called Park Yong-seok Sushi 박용석 스시, which is opened 24 hours! Here is the address: 465-1 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu (126 Donggyo-ro, Mapo-gu). It was one of the best Sushi experiences I had in Korea till now. The pieces of fish are huge and melt in your mouth, the price is on the expensive side though.
What’s this? Gold on my tuna?! This tuna was so fatty and delicious, it melted in my mouth like butter.
The next bar which caught our eyes was in this Japanese looking building. It was so impressive on the outside that we had to go in. I don’t remember the name, so I cannot look up the address. It is located somewhere between Hapjeong and Hongdae. Inside interior was equally impressive…we took probably the shabbiest room they had to offer, because why not?, but it was fun to sit there. We didn’t order much, but the things we tried were pretty good.
The last stop was a Korean 70s themed bar. They have some old Tekken game-machines, how great is that? There is also a selection of snacks from the 70s besides the normal menu. The food was so-so, but the atmosphere is great, which is complimented by the fake rain along the windows.
I have been to Hongdae many times, but so far these bars were the most memorable for us. On our next visit, we have to try this amazing looking Czech bar!