Top 7 most popular Hangout Neighborhood areas in Seoul

Hi guys, today I want to introduce you to the top 7 most popular hangout areas you can find in Seoul. This is the 7 spot whose popularity is continually increasing among local koreans and tourist, other than the mainstream Myeongdong and Dongdaemun Areas.

This is the list of 7 hangout areas that people are more inclined to at Seoul. Check out these neighborhoods if you want to really feel and be like locals and see what is really trending at Seoul.

1. Yeonnam-dong

Although there are many tourists in Hongdae, it is still a very popular hangout for young Koreans.

Yeonnam-dong streets are full of hype restaurants and pretty cafes, in case you haven’t read, check my post about top cafe you must visit in seoul.

Back to the topic, Yeonnam-dong is the area that have somehow unique ambience, as each shop has it’s own unique theme and style.There are always a lot of shoppers, diners, locals during the weekend, both day and night.

The popularity of Yeonnam-dong eventually and gradually pulling tourists and local Koreans away from the usual Hongdae, Dongdaemun or Myeongdong hangouts.

The differences between usual Hongdae and Yeonnam-dong areas are clealy seen. All the restaurants and cafes have a unique appeal and the nightlife is catered more to those looking for a relaxing place.

Yeonnam-dong has a large park that brings an interesting fusion of art, greenery, cafes, and food together in one location. If you come out of Exit 3 of Hongdae Entrance Station, you will be able to see the “Yeontral Park” extending for about a mile.

‘Yeontral Park’ is the name used amongst many young Koreans to describe the Gyeongui Line Forest Park located in the neighborhood of Yeonnamdong.

This beautiful park landscape is located right above the Gyeongui Railway. It was completed in 2018 and has brought a vibrant change of pace and scenery to the area.

Anyway if you want to have some cafe time here, I’ve wrote some cafes like Greem Cafe, Cafe Highwaist, Coffee Nap Roasters, Permil, and SF Bagels for you to check out and choose the best for you.

2. Mullae-dong (문래동) / mullae art village

In the past, Mullae-dong was an old industrial area in Seoul. The area was abandoned for a long time after the factories moved out. Almost all the streets were ruined and abandoned.

Under the city’s rehabilitation efforts, Mullae-dong recently became a lively business district. Many businesses were founded in this area and are peacefully co-existing with the locals. The business owners are developing their business without disturbing the original landscape.

Mullae-dong in our opinion was the most alternative and unique neighborhood in Seoul. Back in the 70s it housed numerous small-scale steel mills, but most of them relocated in the 90s to cheaper neighborhoods. It has been transformed into the “Art Village” of Seoul. That means, you’ll find many artist spaces, artist boutiques, unique cafes and restaurants peppered within the industrial area. That’s why Mullae-dong is more known as Mullae Art Village.

What is particularly interesting about the Mullae Art Village is that unlike some locations around the world that have been gentrified, the relationship between the “old” industry and “new” art feels match and mix with one another.

The artwork is heavily industrial in its character with sculptures that often appear to be made from scrap metal left over from industrial production and some murals even are honoring of the industrial workers and their craft.

Anyway, If you want to come here, check out my post about Waves Cafe that located here, as you stroll around this areas.

3. Ikseon-dong (익선동)

I think many, if not all of us already knew the fame of Ikseon-dong. I really love Ikseon more than Bukchon, to be honest, as Ikseon have it’s own ambience that is more authentic and unique in my opinion. However, these days, Ikseon-dong is already very popular among both Korean locals and foreign tourists.

Located in the heart of Jongno, Ikseon-dong became a major attraction for those who wanted to experience a fusion of traditional Korean architecture with modern Korean touches. On social media especially, the popularity of this area is gradually increasing.

In the small alleys of Ikseon-dong, you can find many quiet and romantic restaurants and cafes. This area  is considered to be the best place for dates.

For those of you who want to have cafe time here, Make sure you check my post about some cafes here such as Chang Hwa Dang, Mil ToastHouse, and Seoul Coffee 1945 for you to choose which one you prefer.

4. Samcheong-dong

Samcheong-dong is a scenic area located in the North of Seoul. Samcheongdong has an enchanting combination of traditional Korean houses and trendy modern buildings. It is the home to distinctive European-style cafes, trendy shops and chic galleries along the serene streets.

The name “Samcheong” is derived from the words “sam” meaning “three”, and “cheong” meaning “fresh” or “pure”, because the mountain, water and the heart of the people in this area are all very fresh and pure. Then it’s not wonder why many artists have sought out Samcheong-dong over the years. Because of this, Samcheong-dong became known as an artistic area.

The area of Samcheongdong is actually made up of several neighborhoods: Anguk-dong, Sogyeok-dong, Hwa-dong, and Sagan-dong and ends at Samcheong Park. Samcheong-dong is dotted with various art museums, museums, art galleries, restaurants, cafés, and shops; some are traditional, some are modern, but all are unique and colorful. 

Samcheong-dong draws many visitors to Bukchon Hanok Village, a centuries old traditional hanok houses filled with artisan workshops, tea rooms and small museums. Elsewhere, galleries like the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and Kukje Gallery show avant-garde work.

Anyway, if you love tteokpokki, then you want to check my post about Mukshidonna Samcheong-dong, the best tteokpokki you can find in Samcheong-dong, or if you prefer to just have some coffee or dessert, check my post about Blue bottle coffee samcheong-dong and Baskin Robbins Samcheong Madang.

5. hannam-dong

Many of us might already knew or heard about Itaewon. As Itaewon is famous for its cosmopolitan dining and nightlife, with Korean BBQ restaurants, and upscale bistros, as well as low-key kebab shops catering to a late-night crowd.

However, these days more people are discovering the other corner of Itaewon, which is Hannam-dong.

Hannam-dong is a neighbourhood of Yongsan-gu in Seoul. The Hannam-dong located around Itaewon Station, Hangangjin station, and Hannam station. This area is also close to Namsan and the Han River. In addition, this area is close to the Hannam Bridge and the Gangnam area.

Many celebrities and executives live in three well known residential areas in the neighborhood: UN Village, The Hill, and Richensia Apartments.

Beginning in the 2010s, the area has grown into a trendy hotspot both day and night with boutique cafes, restaurants and bars filled the area.

You can also enjoy Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art as you come visit this areas to just having some time take a good pictures there.

If you are looking for great cafe in Hannam-dong, check out my post about Tartine Bakery cafe and One in a million cafe that is located in Hannam-dong

6. Seongsu-dong (성수동)

Seongsudong used to be an industrial area back in the 80’s and 90’s. But after the factories packed up and moved their business elsewhere, young college students moved in. They slowly transformed the area from a wasteland of abandoned factories and homes into an arts and business areas.

It is very easy and simple to reach this area using public transportation. The area is very large and there are many restaurants, bars, and cafes hidden in small alleys. If you are interested in engaging in some Korean drinking culture, this is the place to do it. 

On the streets and hidden in the small alleys, there are also many specialty shops and cafes in addition to the residential areas. Seongsu-dong is also known as the brooklyn of Seoul.

Seongsu-dong is a rising neighborhood for shopping and hanging out. The nearby Seoul Forest offers a large green space inside the dense urban landscape.

If you plan to find some great food or cafes located here, check out my post of some cafes here such as Matchacha, Cafe Radar, Zesty Saloon, Under Stand Avenue, and Cafe Cha.

7. Hapjeong-dong

Hapjeong is a non-tourist area where you’ll find the young and trendy locals korean. Eventhough this one is not as famous as the other 6 I mentioned earlier, yet this one is also worth to visit, not just for their cafe but for just enjoy the local ambience as if you live in Korea.

Some of things you can enjoy here is Yanghwa Bridge, that connects to Seonyu-do and the Han river south bank, Mecenatpolis that connected to Hapjeong Station, and Seoul Gas Thermal Power Station, a quiet, tree-line area concentrated with artistic types.

Anyway, if you want to have some coffee here, make sure you check out my post about Anthracite Coffee Roasters, as it’s located here in Hapjeong-dong.

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