Hongdae Shopping Street: Where to Shop and What to Buy in Hongdae, Seoul 2023

Welcome to Hongdae Shopping Street, located near the Hongik university station exit, a vibrant and bustling hub of fashion, art, and culture in the heart of Seoul, South Korea. Nestled in the vibrant Hongdae neighborhood, this eclectic shopping district offers an unforgettable experience for both locals and tourists alike.

The view of Hongdae Shopping Street from Above - View from Muinsa Terrace Cafe

From trendy boutiques and unique concept stores to street vendors and lively night markets, Hongdae Shopping Street is a shopaholic’s paradise. In this blog post, we will take you on the ultimate guide of this dynamic retail destination, uncovering the hidden gems, must-visit spots, and insider tips to make the most of your shopping adventure. So, get ready to immerse yourself in the exciting world of Hongdae and embark on a retail journey like no other.

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Hongdae Shopping Street: Where to Shop and What to Buy in Hongdae, Seoul

Shopping is a popular pastime in Seoul, so many Koreans and tourists come from all over to buy Korean fashion, cute products, face care items, and so much more. These are some of the most popular places to shop in Hongdae and some of the best things to do in Hongdae. If it’s summer in Korea though, you might be better off going to some shopping malls like Starfield COEX mall in Korea to avoid heavy monsoon rains and come to Hongdae shopping street when it’s not a rainy day. 

Hongdae shopping street is quite similar to Myeongdong shopping street, but there are a few things that make it unique and different. Here are some of my favorite things to do on Hongdae shopping street.

Eat Street Food

Korean Egg Bread (A Korean Street Food) on Hongdae Shopping Street

Prepare to embark on a culinary adventure as we delve into the vibrant world of street food on Hongdae street. This bustling neighborhood in Seoul is not only known for its trendy fashion and lively atmosphere but also for its mouthwatering street food scene. From sizzling grilled meats and savory pancakes to delectable desserts and refreshing beverages, Hongdae offers a diverse range of flavors and culinary delights to satisfy every craving. 

Whether you’re a fan of traditional Korean snacks like tteokbokki and hotteok or eager to try unique fusion creations, such as cheese-covered corn dogs or colorful macaron ice cream sandwiches, the street food stalls of Hongdae are sure to leave your taste buds tingling with delight. So, join us as we navigate the bustling streets, sampling an array of tantalizing treats that make Hongdae a paradise for food lovers. However, if you want traditional Korean street food, I highly recommend you visit Gwangjang market for some of my traditional Korean food favorites. 

Catch Some Street Performances

Immerse yourself in the captivating energy and artistic flair of Hongdae as we dive into the vibrant world of street performers. Known as a breeding ground for creativity, Hongdae is a haven for talented musicians, dancers, and performers who take to the streets to showcase their skills and captivate audiences. As you stroll along the bustling streets, you’ll encounter a myriad of awe-inspiring acts, from mesmerizing live music performances to jaw-dropping dance routines and mind-bending acrobatics. 

The air is alive with the sound of music, the rhythm of feet tapping, and the gasps of amazement from onlookers. Whether you’re a fan of hip-hop, jazz, or K-pop, there’s a performance to suit every taste. So, grab a spot on the sidewalk, feel the pulse of the crowd, and let the magic of Hongdae’s street performances sweep you off your feet. 

Visit KT&G Sangsang Madang (상상마당)

This. is probably one of the most popular places to shop and buy cute products, interesting souvenirs, and just an overall cool store. to check out. It’s one of Hongdae’s most-known stores and a great way to support local artists. It’s one of the most well-known things to do in Hongdae, Seoul. This is the perfect spot to find original items you may not see everywhere in the world. It’s carefully curated with a variety of products and some traditional souvenirs. 

Shop at Art Box

Art Box is a popular place to shop in Korea and shouldn’t be missed during your things to do in Hongdae. They have lots of cute stationery, apartment necessities, nicknacks, and souvenirs. It’s a great place for you to find something for everyone. They have a lot of interesting and different things you may not find everywhere.

Art Box is a haven for creative souls seeking one-of-a-kind treasures and quirky delights. As you step into this vibrant store, you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors, whimsical decorations, and an array of artistic supplies. From adorable stationery and unique home decor to playful accessories and novelty items, Art Box offers an eclectic selection that sparks the imagination. 

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a collector of cute merchandise, or simply looking for a special gift, this charming store is a paradise of creativity. So, dive into the world of Art Box, let your imagination run wild, and discover the perfect piece that will add a touch of whimsy to your life.

Shop at ABC mart

If you are from the states, maybe these shoes aren’t as affordable as what you would get back home. However, if you need some shoes or you just want to see whats in style locally, by all means visit ABC mart. They have a large variety of different shoes and sometimes if you ended up forgetting a pair of shoes back home, it’s one of the best and more affordable places to grab a pair. 

Buy Socks for Cheap

Socks are a big thing in Korea and are quite affordable. Many of the fashion socks in Korea are well made and about $1 per pair. Anything more than that would be questionable unless it was made really well, unique, or had some sort of specialty. If you are moving to Korea, you can easily find socks in any size.

Design your own Neon Sign

Seoul is filled with cafes and classes where you make your own products. Making a neon sign is one of today’s fads and is worth checking out. You will learn from an experienced instructor how to design and bend your sign to the design you’ll absolutely love. Book your experience here.

Hours: Monday – Friday: 1:30pm; 4:00pm; 7:00pm; Saturdays: 11:00am; 1:00pm; 3:30pm; 6:00pm

Shop Korean Fashion at Romi Story

Indulge in the latest trends and immerse yourself in the world of Korean fashion at Romi Story. Nestled in the fashion-forward district of Hongdae, Romi Story is a treasure trove for fashion enthusiasts seeking to embrace the essence of Korean style. Step into this chic boutique and you’ll be greeted by the latest fashion trends, a carefully curated collection of clothing that effortlessly combines sophistication, comfort, and a unique sense of flair. 

From trendy streetwear and elegant dresses to stylish accessories and statement pieces, Romi Story offers a wide range of options to suit every fashion taste. Whether you’re seeking a modern twist on traditional Korean fashion or looking to explore the cutting-edge styles of the Korean fashion scene, Romi Story is your ultimate destination. So, get ready to elevate your wardrobe and embody the essence of Korean fashion as you embark on a shopping journey at Romi Story.

Romi story is a popular Korean fashion store and even caters to some girls of a curvy or bigger size. I believe it goes up to about a size 18 which is one step closer for Korean fashion catering plus size girls.

Go to Daiso – $1 store of Asia

Venture into a shopping paradise at Daiso in Hongdae, where affordability meets endless surprises. As you step into this treasure trove, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of diverse and budget-friendly products, ranging from household essentials to quirky stationery, unique home decor, household goods, and delightful knick-knacks. Prepare to be amazed by the incredible variety and incredible value that Daiso offers, making it a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists looking for a memorable shopping experience.

Daiso is a popular Japanese dollar store that has taken over all over South Korea. Many people come here for cute and useful products to save money. If you have never been to this affordable store, I highly suggest you at least visit it once to check out all the products. It’s a great place for retail therapy on a budget. 

Purchase a cute new cell phone case

Cell phone cases are all over Seoul, however, they have a lot of shops in Hongdae where you can purchase some of the cutest cases. What I love about phone cases in Korea is how they are made and many of them have cute card cases on the back which are perfect for the subway system. You can easily put your card in the back and scan it through at the subway station.

Go crazy of Korean Skincare and Cosmetic Products

Hongdae Shopping Street: Where to Shop and What to Buy in Hongdae, Seoul 2023 5Hongdae Shopping Street: Where to Shop and What to Buy in Hongdae, Seoul 2023 6

You can easily purchase skincare products everywhere in Korea, however, if you want a one-stop-shop, you can easily find every skincare store in Hongdae. They literally have each brand on every corner making it easy to find and buy. Some of the best stores I recommend checking out these cosmetic stores: Nature Republic, Innis Free, Olive Young, LOHB (Love, Health, Beauty), Sulwhasoo, Tony Moly, Holika Holika, and Etude House. 

Buy Handmade or Affordable Jewelry

There are a lot of places where you can find handmade or simple jewelry pieces in Hongdae. They even have cafes where you can create your own ring or jewelry pieces. Korean’s really loved simple jewelry pieces. If you want something real, many of the Mini Gold shops sell real gold pieces for affordable prices. This is one of the most unique things to do in Hongdae.

Shop at Hongdae M Playground

This is probably one of the most popular places to go shopping in Hongdae and they are found all over Seoul. They are mostly in shipping container buildings that are blue in color. Here you can find an array of different Korean-style sweatshirts, t-shirts, and just some interesting stuff. M Playground Hongdae is the most popular location for this franchise. You’ll find a bunch of trendy clothes that are popular within Korea here.

Get colored contacts at Olens

If you have bad eyesight or just want to change your look, you can easily get colored contact in Korea and for cheap. You do not need a prescription, just know what your eye prescription is. Even if you don’t know your prescription, they can easily do an eye test and let you know for free at certain locations.

Address: 14 Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
Hours: 10am-10pm

Take photos at Hongdae Mural Street

Get your cameras ready and unleash your inner photographer as you step into the enchanting world of Hongdae Mural Street. Located in the vibrant neighborhood of Hongdae in Seoul, this captivating street is a haven for art enthusiasts and photography lovers alike. As you wander along the bustling lanes, you’ll be greeted by an explosion of vibrant colors and captivating murals adorning the walls. Each turn offers a new visual delight, from whimsical characters and dreamlike landscapes to thought-provoking street art. 

Whether you’re a professional photographer or simply seeking Instagram-worthy shots, Hongdae Mural Street provides a picturesque backdrop for your creative endeavors. So, grab your camera, explore the winding streets, and capture the magic of this artistic wonderland one frame at a time. Get ready to fill your gallery with breathtaking moments and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Meet some sheep at Thanks Nature Cafe

Thanks Nature Cafe is a unique and charming establishment nestled in the bustling streets of Hongdae, Seoul. What sets it apart is the delightful presence of fluffy sheep that roam freely within the cafe premises, providing an enchanting and serene ambiance for visitors to enjoy their coffee and treats. It’s one of the best cafes in Hongdae that you should add to your list. 

Eat at the Best Restaurants in Hongdae

An image of Hongdae Shopping Street showing soem of the restaurants in Hongdae

Embark on a gastronomic journey through the vibrant streets of Hongdae and experience the finest dining options it has to offer. From trendy cafes serving artisanal dishes to hidden gems showcasing authentic Korean cuisine, Hongdae is a haven for food enthusiasts seeking unforgettable culinary experiences. Indulge in a fusion of flavors, innovative culinary creations, and the warm hospitality that awaits you in the best restaurants of Hongdae. There are a lot of restaurants in Hongdae with good food as they always have to be on trend and keep up with locals and foreigners alike. 

Shop at Kakao Friends Flagship Store (카카오프렌즈 홍대플래그십 스토어)

Images of all the Characters at Kakao Friends Store on Hongdae Shopping Street

Kakao friends is probably one of the most popular characters in Korea and one of the most popular places to shop at during your things to do in Hongdae. Kakao is a chatting platform similar to WhatsApp that are related to these really cute characters like Apeach, Ryan, and so many more. They have lots of plushies, cute notebooks, pens, and accessories that are great to check out.

Address: 162 Yanghwa-ro, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu (서울 마포구 양화로 162)
Hours: Every day: 10:30am ~ 10:00pm

Shop at Line Flagship Store (라인프렌즈 홍대 플래그십스토어)

BTS Character Line Friends Sittong on a pink couch for pictures

Step into this immersive and interactive space, where Line’s beloved characters come to life through merchandise, interactive installations, and exclusive collaborations. Whether you’re a Line enthusiast or simply looking for unique souvenirs, the Line Flagship Store offers a fun-filled experience that combines shopping, entertainment, and the charming world of Line all under one roof.

Line is another chatting service similar to Kakao. However, they have partnered with BTS and have a line with all of the BTS members in cute characters, plushes, and similar accessories to the Kakao friends store.

Address: 141 Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 양화로 141)
Hours: Every day: 12:30pm ~ 8:30pm

Shop at Gentle Monster Flagship Store (젠틀몬스터 홍대 플래그십스토어)

You might walk into this store thinking it’s an art gallery, but it’s one of the most interesting sunglasses and glasses brands in Korea. They are often filled with extravagant sculptures and designs within the building that bring you in to look at their products. This is one of the things to do in Hongdae that even most locals like checking out.

Address: 54 Dongmak-ro 7-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 독막로7길 54)
Hours: Every day: 12:00pm ~ 9:00pm

Visit some of the best Cafes in Hongdae

Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae

Beyond the bustling main shopping street, discover unique cafes like the whimsical Hello Kitty Cafe and the fascinating 2D Cafe. With countless other options waiting to be discovered, Hongdae is a paradise for cafe enthusiasts seeking unforgettable experiences.

How to Go to Hongdae Shopping Street

Getting to Hongdae Shopping Street is a breeze, thanks to its convenient location in Seoul. Whether you prefer public transportation or private means, there are various options to choose from. 

By Subway

If you’re using the subway, simply hop on Subway Line 2 and disembark at Hongik University Station. Take Exit 9 and make a left turn, and within just a minute of walking, you’ll find yourself right in the heart of Hongdae.

By Private Car

For those exploring Seoul by car, reserving a private car service is highly recommended. This allows you to visit multiple attractions, including Hongdae, in a single day. Just ensure that you communicate your destination to the driver in advance for a smooth and comfortable journey.

By Taxi

Alternatively, taxis are another convenient way to reach Hongdae. Make sure to show the driver the name “홍대” (Hongik University Street) or “홍익역” (Hongik Station) or provide them with the address in Korean to ensure they can easily locate the destination. It’s worth noting that not all taxi drivers in Seoul speak English, so having the name or address handy will be helpful.

When taking a taxi, it’s important to be aware of the current fare rates. As of now, the standard starting fare for a four-passenger taxi in Seoul is 3,800 won, with an additional 100 won added for every 132 meters traveled. Keeping these details in mind will help you navigate your way to Hongdae Shopping Street smoothly and without any hassle.You more than likely won’t be able to take a taxi if the distance is too short. 

Some ways to make it easier is to download the Kakao taxi app which is like Uber in Korea. You can pay the driver with cash or card, but typically you need to select the option before ordering a vehicle. 

Hongdae Shopping Street Map


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