Seoul audio tour: Alternative Seoul – Hongdae’s B-boys, Makkeolli Men, and Guitar Gods

Alternative Seoul – Hongdae’s B-boys, Makkeolli Men, and Guitar Gods

Walking Tour

60 mins

About the Tour

In Seoul, there’s everywhere else, and then there’s Hongdae. This is the Korean capital’s center of alternative culture – its most vibrant, most exciting, and most unpredictable neighborhood. It’s the city’s laboratory, its band stage, its design studio, its dance floor. It’s a place for rebels and misfits and good-time kids, where young Koreans come to cut loose. Above all, though, it's just incredibly fun.

This tour will take you through the heart of Hongdae, to its bars, boutiques, cafes, and clubs. Along the way you'll also catch some of its lively street theater and we'll explore the history and energies that have made this neighborhood so unique.

Tour Producer


Charles Usher

Charles Usher is a Wisconsin native who has lived in Seoul since 2009. He is an editor at 'MorningCalm,' Korean Air's travel magazine, and is the author of the forthcoming 'Seoul Sub→urban,' which profiles the South Korean capital's neighborhoods by subway stop. The book has also been translated into a Korean language version titled '찰리와 리즈의 서울 지하철 여행기' ('Charlie and Liz's Seoul Subway Travelogue').

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Major Landmarks

  • Gopchangjeongol Bar

  • Sangsang Madang

  • Hongdae Park

Directions to Starting Point

Begin outside of Hongik University Station, Exit 9. The station is on Seoul Subway Line 2, the AREX Airport Line, and the Gyeonggui-Jungang Line. Face the KFC with your back to the main street.

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Places to stop along the way

Drink in Gopchangjeongol Bar, browse the neighborhood boutiques, explore Sangsang Madang art space, eat at Samgeori Pocha, hang out in the Hongdae Park.

Best time of day

Hongdae's most vibrant and alive at night, especially on weekends.


Seoul's a remarkably safe city. Pretty much the most serious thing you have to worry about here is someone who's had too much to drink stumbling into you.


Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Alternative Seoul – Hongdae’s B-boys, Makkeolli Men, and Guitar Gods