carole king bar

Part Three: Hongdae

I think Peter and I had the most fun in Hongdae. We spent every evening here! When we got off the subway and walked up the steps to the street I was like, “WOW!” So many lights, people, music playing; it was awesome! There were tons of street vendors selling cute socks and winter gear. Immediately I spotted an Etude House and had to go in (went there three times total!). Korea is known for their skincare. I think it’s interesting that in Asia they consider really white skin to be beautiful and sell whitening skin products; whereas in the West, people will do anything for a nice, golden tan.


I passed on the whitening products but picked up loads of face masks! Thanks Peter for standing their while I took my time looking through all the beauty products!

Hongdae is the place where all the college people go to have fun. We found a few really unique bars like the Carole King Jazz Bar that was down a narrow stairway in the basement of a building. We had drinks while listening to the owner’s collection of jazz music. Hongdae seemed like the place where you could make your dreams in business come true. Anything that you might have an interest in, could be found here. We had the best fried chicken I’ve ever had in my whole life at a restaurant called Big Hit Chicken. One whole wall was dedicated to alcohol beverages from all over the world. The cool thing was that it was self-serve. So you get a basket and help yourself to the drinks, put your empty bottles in the basket, and then when you’re done take your basket to the cashier and pay.

We also found this other bar called the Chez Robert Artist’s bar on the 3rd floor of another building. It could only fit about 10 people but the vibe, music, and decor was cool. The best thing was that the owner had a cute little black and white kitten that was so much fun!

Also, in both bars I ended up with something called a “Midori SHOWER” which was pretty much a Midori sour but I think something got lost in translation.

Another great thing about Seoul are all the good street food carts. These things are so popular and very worth a try. There are a lot of different types of food, we tried the waffle stuffed with sugar. It was too good.


Hongdae is full of shopping, as is most of Seoul, but here you can find Korean brands with items made in Korea. We went into Art Box and bought some heat packs and looked around a bit. I could have spent my whole life savings in that store. So many cute things!

I love places where there is art in everything. From the moment I stepped off of the subway exit there were people singing on the sidewalks, a group of kids performing a KPop dance routine, and tons of artwork and beautiful graffiti throughout the parks and streets of Hongdae.



Next: How I celebrated my birthday!