The Unconventional Side of Hongik University
Hongdae (the abbreviation of Hongik University) has become a symbol of unique cultural identity among Korea’s youth. The area is home to an eclectic mix of cafés and clubs that have served as breeding grounds for many of Korea’s growing subcultures.
Center of Club Culture
At the very center of Hongdae beats the heart of the club culture. Young people from all over the city congregate at the clubs on weekends to drink, dance, and listen to a variety of music ranging from techno to R&B, hip hop and acid jazz. Claiming independence from so-called commercial capitalism, indie bands and underground musicians give live shows in intimate settings such as cafés, bars, and clubs. To the delight of club enthusiasts, a program started in 2001 where visitors can visit multiple clubs with one single ticket purchase (held on the last Friday of every month from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.). This special event (known simply as “club day”), in combination with the area’s unique charm, has attracted a number of international tourists to Hongdae in recent years.
Weekly Sunday Bazaar
The streets around Hongdae are a maze of shops, cafés, and bars that express the artistic talents and stimulate the cultural sensibilities of the area’s youth. Local shops showcase an array of merchandise ranging from handmade clothes to artistic creations and luxury goods. For the nonshopper, the area is packed with art galleries, live performances, and literary exhibits. Every Sunday Hongdae is full of people browsing at the weekly flea market looking for a bargain among the selection of unique crafts, paintings, and second-hand goods. Even if you’re not planning on spending any money, the flea market is the perfect place to mill around and soak in the unconventional style that has become known as the essence of Hongdae.
To reach the information center, walk 160m from Exit #5 of Hongik University Station (Subway Line 2), turn left, and walk for another 130m. The center provides tourism information on the area around Hongik University in English, Japanese, and Chinese.
• Fees are charged every four hours up to 12 hours, after which fees are charged once every 12 hours.
• Accepted forms of payment: T-Money Card (electronic transit card), credit cards, cash