Seoul is a vibrant city full of life. It is always bustling with signs of life all throughout the day. Being a safe city added some perks to Seoul being one of the best cities for youngsters to visit. During the day, there are many traditional markets as well as many experiences in the palaces anyone can enjoy. Cafe-hopping also becomes a staple for any travelers as well as Seoullites to do during the day. Apart from that, there are also countless museums or art exhibitions for people in their 20s to enjoy, ranging from digital art to traditional arts. At night, many bars and clubs are open, and many of these places have different themes. Rooftop bars are also one of the many trendy places for youngsters to hangout in at night. As Seoul is filled with many choices of activities, this makes it difficult for anyone, especially travelers to pick a certain neighborhood to go to. Which is why this post will be about the top 5 Trendy Neighborhoods in Seoul, covering places only the locals know about. 

#1 Ikseon-dong

One of the busy alleys in Ikseon-dong

Pic Credits: Seoulinspired

From Hanok cafes to French cuisine, Ikseon has it all!

Ikseon-dong, located not far from the Gyeongbok Palace and Insadong has become one of Seoul’s top hangout places. It is a few minutes walk from Jongno-3-ga Station Exit 4 if you are taking the Subway. It has a very traditional but lively feel, complete with cool experiences, shopping alleys, cute cafes, and scrumptious meals. Most of its buildings are from Hanok – Korean traditional houses, and its interiors are usually decorated in a modern way. However there are also very traditional cafes serving modern western drinks and desserts. The combination of old and new integrates nicely and makes this neighborhood a good place for foreigners to experience Seoul in a glance. 

TRANSPORTATION

  1. SUBWAY: 5 MINUTES WALK FROM JONGNO-3-GA STATION EXIT 4
  2. BUS: 8 MINUTES WALK FROM JONGNO-3-GA.TAPGOL GONGWON STOP 
  3. TAXI: IKSEON-DONG HANOK-GEORI

#2 Hannam-dong

Lala Bread in Hannam-dong

Pic Credits: with ming – 티스토리

Hannam-dong, the hangout place of BTS and other hot celebrities.

Hannam-dong UN Village Hill~ If you are an EXO-L, you probably are familiar with this neighborhood. Yes, it is in the lyrics of EXO Baekhyun’s song UN Village from his solo album. This neighborhood is always crowded with locals, especially during the weekends. It is mostly filled with local Korean designer brands, pretty cafes and many fusion foods. Due to its close proximity to Itaewon, it is always a good idea for foreigners to come visit this local hot place. Many foreign Embassies are also located in this neighborhood, making it a rather safe neighborhood for anyone planning to visit. After cafe-hopping and getting hip burgers, it is a good idea to move to Itaewon at night for bars and clubs. You may even run into some BTS members as it is a known hangout place for many K-Celebrities. 

TRANSPORTATION: 

  1. SUBWAY: 11 MINUTES WALK FROM ITAEWON STATION EXIT 3
  2. BUS: 5 MINUTES WALK FROM ITAEWON119 SAFETY CENTRE BUS STOP 
  3. TAXI: HANNAM-DONG CAFE-GEORI 

#3 Haebangchon

The Royal Food and Drink – Huam-dong

Pic Credits: Outdoor News

Haebangchon is a good mix of foreignness and scenic panoramas in Korea

Haebangchon, a neighborhood on the top of Itaewon is famous amongst the foreign community in Korea. It is filled with many delicious cuisines from all over the world as well as rooftop bars and cafes. Not many foreign travelers know of this hot place, usually just going for the more-known Gangnam or Myeongdong areas. Here, due to its altitude, there are a couple of bars and cafes that hosts the best views of Seoul. Although going there might be a hike, it is definitely worth the scenic view of Seoul, especially at night. 

TRANSPORTATION: 

  1. SUBWAY: 15 MINUTES WALK FROM NOKSAPYEONG STATION
  2. BUS: 7 MINUTES WALK FROM HUAM-DONG JONG STOP
  3. TAXI: HAEBANGCHON 

#4 Yeonnam-dong

Quieter alleys of Yeonnam-dong

Pic Credits: 경향신문

Hongdae’s hidden hot-place, Yeonnam-dong

Every foreign traveler has probably heard of Hongdae, but not many know about Yeonnam-dong. Located just 5 minutes away from the centre of Hongdae, Yeonnam-dong serves a completely different vibe from the colorful Hongdae. Yeonnam-dong is a neighborhood filled with many dessert cafes, artisan patisseries, fusion trendy foods as well as rooftop bars. It is where the young locals like to mingle during the weekend, especially due to it being close to many universities. It is a place where travelers can come enjoy what the locals like to do and eat. 

TRANSPORTATION:

  1. SUBWAY: 8 MINUTES WALK FROM HONGDAE STATION EXIT 3
  2. BUS: 6 MINUTES WALK FROM YEONHEE-DONG DAEWOO APART STOP 
  3. TAXI: YEONNAM-DONG CAFE-GEORI / YEONTRAL PARK 

#5 Jamsil Songridan-gil 

Image result for lotte tower
Lotte Tower and Seokchon lake

Pic Credits: Business Korea

From Seokchon Lake to Lotte Tower, a hot place no one knows about.

Lotte Tower boasts a height of 555.7m and is the tallest building in Seoul. This makes it the best for anyone who wants to see the whole of Seoul at a glance. The observatory is a famous tourism spot. Not only that, it is right next to Lotte World, one of Seoul’s amusement parks. Seokchon lake, a lake that is in the middle of a circular park is also popular for locals to jog whether during the day or at night. The Jamsil area is not only about Lotte. A few minutes away, there is a themed neighborhood called the Songridan-gil. This neighborhood is trendy and contains many cafes as well as delicacies for travelers to try out.

TRANSPORTATION: 

  1. SUBWAY: 6 MINUTES WALK FROM SONGPA-NARU STATION EXIT 1
  2. BUS: 3 MINUTES WALK FROM BANGI-DONG SAGEORI STOP 
  3. TAXI: SONGRIDAN-GIL

What food do people usually get in Ikseon-dong?

Ikseon-dong is famous for its beautiful indoor-outdoor cafes. However, there is this particular souffle pancake cafe that always has a considerable queue called Dong Baek Yang Gwa Jeom. The interior of the cafe brings you back to Korea in the 1900s. Its souffle pancake ranges from 18,000 KRW – 23,000 KRW. 

What is the easiest way to get to Hannam-dong?

As it is quite far from the subway station, it might be easier to take the cab here. The cafe street is located near the Nine-One Hannam Apartments, so you can either go from there or tell the taxi driver to go to Hannam-dong Cafe Street (Hannam-dong Cafe Geori)

Where to get the best view of Haebangchon?

There is this cafe that is popular for having the best view as seen in the picture above. The cafe is called The Royal Food and Drink. Its address is at 37 Sinheung-ro 20-gil, Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. Open everyday. 

Other than going to cafés, what can I do in Yeonnam-dong?

Yeonnam-dong has extensive shopping spots selling clothes, accessories, cute phone cases, shoes, and many more. Note that most of these shops are Korean local brands and small-businesses, which makes it all the more unique for visitors. If you ran out of shopping places, you can always move towards the Hongdae area where there are countless shops. 

Is it better to go to Songridan-gil during the day or night?

Songridan-gil feels more like a place you would go during the day. At night when many of the places close, you can head towards Seokchon lake and enjoy the night air. 

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