In a city as big as Seoul, you’ll never be left in the lurch when it comes to finding a hotel room. The hard part is finding a good one exactly where you want it.
Korea’s capital stretches long and wide with neighbourhoods varying between the glitzy and glamorous Gangnam and the bustling shopping mecca Myeongdong to gritty Itaewon and the more traditional backstreets of Insadong—and just about everything in between.
One of those in betweens is definitely Hongdae. As one of the most vibrant areas in Seoul for travellers, you’re bound to find a whole lot of buzz that will keep you busy day and night.
Interested in a Seoul accommodations experience you’ll never forget? Book yourself into one of these 7 best hotels in Hongdae…
Table of Contents
- Why stay in Hongdae?
- Where to stay in Hongdae: A guide to the 7 best hotels
- Summary: The best places to stay in Hongdae (Seoul, Korea)
- Hongdae accommodations alternatives: Other top districts to stay in Seoul for travellers
Why stay in Hongdae?
Seoul is full of fantastic neighbourhoods. Whether you’re drawn to the shopping and street food of Myeongdong or the edgy and slightly grungy Itaewon though, there’s one area in Seoul for travellers that’s got a little slice of everything: Hongdae.
The bustling neighbourhood of Hongdae is famous for its youthful vibrance. And perhaps no area in Seoul breathes with such vigour.
Hongdae is home to Hongik University and a handful of other colleges, creating a lively atmosphere and exuberance that’s unrivalled in the city. Cafés, restaurants, fashion boutiques, and bars all grace the streets. This is one of the best places in Seoul to get to experience the Korean culinary and drinking scenes, and get your shopping done without totally breaking the bank.
The neighbourhood also has its edge. Hongdae’s reputation as an alternative district runs deep. (Think of it as Seoul’s answer to Berlin’s Kreuzberg.) Walking about in Hongdae, you should never be surprised to run across quirky art galleries, street art, or even slightly quirkiest things like animal-themed cafés.
Where to stay in Hongdae: A guide to the 7 best hotels
9 Brick Hotel
Address: 32, Hongik-ro 5-gil, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 04038 Seoul, South Korea
It’s hard to put a finger on the 9 Brick Hotel. At one moment, this wonderful hotel shows off a modern face with its contemporary furnishings and artwork; in another, it hearkens back to fin-de-siecle Europe with elegant chandeliers dimly lighting arched brick hallways.
In either case when you’re hunting for where to stay in Hongdae, 9 Brick Hotel is an absolute gem. Each room here is crafted to its own style, some bright and airy while others inch closer to rich and warm. All of the hotel’s spacious rooms feature city views through European-style tilt-and-turn windows.
You’ll love spending time at 9 Brick Hotel reminiscing about your travels in the classy restaurant and bar. On balmy and pleasant evenings, the restaurant’s folding wall opens up to an outdoor terrace where you can enjoy a beverage under the city lights.
To transport yourself throughout Seoul, 9 Brick Hotel is a quick 6-minute walk from Hongik University Station and the centre of Hongdae where you’ll be able to dig into the area’s quirky artistic indie culture.
Amanti Hotel Seoul
Address: 31, World Cup buk-ro, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 03992 Seoul, South Korea
Even if it’s missing the edge that Seoul’s most alternative neighbourhood is famous for, the classy Amanti Hotel Seoul is one of the best places to stay in Hongdae. An elegant experience awaits from the moment you enter its doors to your check out.
The rooms at Amanti Hotel Seoul are decidedly modern, finished with rich hardwood floors and brightened up with large panoramic windows that reveal epic city views. The vistas over Seoul from the outdoor rooftop garden, where you can burn off some kimchi calories with a few laps, are similarly awe-inspiring.
Although the on-site Italian restaurant, Kitchen AMANTI, is only open for breakfast, Hongdae’s centre is just minutes away by foot. In Seoul’s hippest area you’ll find a multitude of bars & restaurants to tackle any food & drink cravings that float your way.
Address: 351-29, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 121-868 Seoul, South Korea
Looking for a simple yet comfortable setting for your stay in Hongdae? You’ll find it at Hotel The-Ore. While the rooms here certainly aren’t the biggest in the city, they’re bright and well-appointed with high ceilings that give it an airier feel than most typical smaller Asian hotel rooms.
Even with its clean and cozy rooms, the real drawcard for staying at Hotel The-Ore is the location. Hongik University Station is just three minutes away by foot. The bustling Hongdae area, where the Seoul youth subculture surges to life, is similarly close by.
Address: 141, Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 03995 Seoul, South Korea
Don’t let the name fool you: there’s nothing square about L7 Hongdae. This newly-minted 3-star hotel from Lotte features, like its sister in Myeongdong, rooms with elegant contemporary stylings and remarkable Seoul city views through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Aside from the delightful modern rooms, L7 Hongdae keeps guests busy with a fitness centre and restaurant & bar where you can retire for a nightcap after a long day of sightseeing.
Although the on-site restaurant only serves breakfast, the location of L7 Hongdae puts some of Seoul’s best soul food at your fingertips. Scattered all around the hotel’s vicinity are some of the best restaurants in Seoul, serving up Korean food favourites like dakgalbi, bulgogi, tteokbokki, and dongaseu.
Address: 333-30 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-Gu, 121-836 Seoul, South Korea
Among the best budget hotels in Hongdae, there’s hardly a more worthy contender than Urbanwood Guesthouse. The colourful furnishings and unique nature-inspired wall art throughout this cozy little guesthouse impart a warm and inviting atmosphere for your stay in Seoul.
Even with the delightful and comfortable rooms, the best feature of Urbanwood Guesthouse is its prime location. From here, you’re just minutes away from all of the outlandish action of Hongdae and from Hongik University Station where you can reach other parts of Seoul in a veritable flash.
RYSE, Autograph Collection
Address: 130, Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 04038 Seoul, South Korea
The ultimate in Hongdae luxury comes to the fore at the brand-spankin’-new RYSE, Autograph Collection. This cool and contemporary 5-star luxury hotel is truly one-of-a-kind in a Seoul neighbourhood where weirdness & quirkiness reign supreme.
Rooms at RYSE, Autograph Collection enliven guests with their colourful pastel tones, tastefully modern furnishings and wide panoramic views over Seoul. Extras like Bluetooth speakers, walk-in rain showers and bathrobes speak to the exclusivity of this property.
For gourmands, there’s a choice of 4 on-site restaurants and bars at the RYSE, Autograph Collection. Whether you’re craving the exotic Thai flavours of Long Chim or a evening cocktail at the classy Side Note Club, there’s an option to align with your every mood.
When you decide to escape the hotel for the big city buzz, RYSE Autograph Collection is just steps from some of the best things to do in Hongdae from its art galleries to its flavour-blasted traditional Korean restaurants.
Address: 7-6, Wausan-ro 29ma-gil, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 121-836 Seoul, South Korea
Staying in an exciting neighbourhood and getting a good deal on a well-appointed room aren’t mutually exclusive. And the wonderful Hao Guesthouse in Hongdae proves it.
The comfortable rooms at Hao Guesthouse come in all shapes and sizes from dorms to simple twins and doubles to larger family rooms. A shared kitchen and guest lounge help create an atmosphere here that feels much like your home away from home in Seoul.
As with most smaller guesthouses, there’s no restaurant on site at Hao Guesthouse. Guests are welcome, however, to hone their Korean BBQ skills in outdoor garden or cook to their heart’s content in the communal kitchen.
Even if self-catering isn’t your cup of insamcha, there’s a barrage of amazing restaurants and quirky cafés (umm… merkats, anyone?) scattered around the Hongdae area to indulge your every Korean food whim.
Summary: The best places to stay in Hongdae (Seoul, Korea)
Still can’t decide which of these best hotels in Hongdae is best for you? Here are a couple favourites:
- Need a budget room in Hongdae? Book yourself a comfy bed at the homey Hao Guesthouse.
- Want a nice mid-range hotel in Hongdae that won’t break the bank? You’ll love the swingin’ stylings of the elegant and sleek 9 Brick Hotel.
- Craving the ultimate in Hongdae luxury? There’s nowhere sexier than the cutting-edge and imaginative RYSE, Autograph Collection.
Hongdae accommodations alternatives: Other top districts to stay in Seoul for travellers
- Myeongdong: Head northeast of Hongdae and you’ll find yourself in this lively consumerist heart of Seoul. Find your perfect accommodations with this guide to the best places to stay in Myeongdong.
- Insadong: Want to get close to Seoul’s top tourist attractions? This small traditional corner of Seoul is one of the coolest places to wander around in the city and lay your head down. Get your accommodations sorted out with this guide for where to stay in Insadong.
- Itaewon: An even edgier alternative to Hongdae, this foreigner-friendly and slowly gentrifying area is one of the crazier areas of the city to spend time. Start your search with this list of the best Itaewon hotels.