It had to be really. Hongdae is the area I lived in for a year, and possibly THE biggest party district in Seoul. I know, Hongdae + Abi/Me are not a natural sounding fit, but the area has a lot to offer other than drunkards. I moved there because the hagwon (private school) I worked in was in an area called Sinchon, just one stop on the subway, 5/10 minutes by bus or a 15/20 minute walk away and our apartment building was in Hongdae.
At first I thought Hongdae was loud, dirty and busy. I left loving it, but still thinking it was loud, dirty and busy. It is a bonkers area to live in, Seoul is a city that NEVER sleeps, I mean never ever. I would sometimes go for a run at 7am and I would pass people going home from the night before. Living in that area was pretty interesting, and extremely convenient as it is super central (and not far from the river). I'm not a big one for night life, but I still found things to love about the area.
|The Hello Kitty Cafe.|
|Stall selling random cute things.|
On a Saturday morning you will find a craft fair in the "playground", this hosts a collection of local artists selling their wares. They are usually up to a pretty high standard too. The area is named Hongdae because of the local arts university Hongik University.
|Free gig inside a clothes store.|
The playground becomes a completely different place at night, then it is a meeting ground, a place to hang out and buy a dodgy street cocktail or to watch buskers. There is also an older guy that sells makgeolli (Korean fermented rice wine, aquired taste but I found it delicious), he is literally called the Makgeolli man and is known to any regulars of the area (google him for a photo).
It has a multitude of restaurants, cute cafes, bars and clubs. A gazillion fashionable shops selling oversized jumpers and little skirts, stalls selling funky mobile phone covers every hundred yards and a lot of street performers. It is also down the road from the area of Hapjeong, this is also a nice area but I didn't get to explore it enough before leaving.
I'm going to pop a collection of photos taken in Hongdae down below. There's one thing to be said for Hongdae, you'll always see something interesting...