[TRAVEL] Explore Seoul’s most happening district Hongdae with EXO!

Text/Photos By: Caro

Known for its youthful ambience, Hongdae is a popular hang-out spot for locals in their 20s and 30s. Walking along the streets of Hongdae, you’ll be able to find unique cafes, cozy galleries, fashion shops, eateries as well as clubs.

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For all those of you who have watched the reality show EXO Showtime, you would have known that there are some episodes are filmed at the streets of Hongdae. If you’re interested to know how you can cover those places in Hongdae, read on!

Episode 2: HAHA’s 401

At episode 2 of EXO Showtime, EXO showed the fans what they would do during their free time. Members, Sehun, Tao, Baekhyun, Chanyeol and Kris went on a midnight supper feast at the streets of Hongdae. Their midnight supper adventure started off with a visit to a BBQ restaurant. And this restaurant is none other than HAHA’s restaurant – 401. It was previously called Paliamakchang which has undergo extensive renovations earlier this year.

Personally, I have yet to try out the food at the restaurant as the both times I was there, the restaurant was closed. However, I would definitely come back here in the future to try out the food after seeing how delicious the food at this restaurant are from watching EXO Showtime.  Other than the Hongdae outlet, there is also a new outlet open in Myeongdong! The opening hours are usually 4PM onwards, but to be safe you can head there for dinner!

[Hongdae Outlet] 서울특별시 마포구 서교동 395-17 / 395-17 Seogyo-dong (23 Jandari-ro) – closest to Honggik Univ. Station Exit 9
[Myeongdong Outlet] 서울특별시 중구 명동 10길 41 참피온빌딩 8층 / 8FI, Champion bldg, 41, Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu Seoul – closest to Myeongdong Station Exit 8


After having their BBQ feast, the boys then proceeded to Hongdae Jopok Tteokbokki shop to enjoy a plate of the popular Korean street food. The tteokbokki (Korean rice cakes) here goes from 3,000 won per plate. Other than tteobokki, you can also find odeng (fish cake), soondae (blood sausage) and many other twigim (fried fritters).

If you were to ask me, I would say this is one of the best place in Seoul to get Tteokbokki, as not only can you sit down and enjoy the delicious street food, the tteokbokki served here is soft and chewy and the sauce has a good balance of spiciness and sweetness. It is no wonder that Hongdae Jopok Tteokbokki progressed from just a regular street food truck to a two-restaurant chain now.

Address: 서울 마포구 어울마당로 60 / 60 Eoulmadang-ro, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Episode 11: 2 INJEON YONGSU NORAEBANG (2인전용수노래연습장)

Remember Episode 11 where EXO were put on separate KTV rooms and had to answer a series of questions that tested their telepathy skills? Well, this noraebang is none other than “2 Injeon Yongsu Noraebang” at Hongdae. Here at this Noraebang, you can sing all the latest K-pop songs at an affordable price, starting from 10,000 won an hour for a room. This 24-hours noraebang is a fantastic place for you to hang out with your friends when you are in Hongdae. 2 Injeon Yongsu Noraebang occupies the 4th and 5th floor of the building. If you want the exact same rooms used for the filming of EXO Showtime, aim for the rooms on the 5th floor.

Address: 서울 마포구 어울마당로 68 / 68 Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul

If like Baekhyun, you wish to grab some snacks and drinks from 7-11, it is just a few shops away. To get there, exit the building and continue walking down the street. It’s just a few shops away from the noraebang.

Travelling Tips:

Finding these 3 places in Hongdae is relatively easy, all you have to do is to take Sangsangmadang (KT&G 상상마당 홍대) as the center point for all the locations. Between Sangsangmadang and all three of the locations, it will only take you less than 5 minutes to walk to the different locations.

Facing the building, the noraebang is located at the same street but opposite of the building. To get to the Tteokbokki shop, you would have to cross the road. It’s easy to spot the shop as the signage is really big. As for HAHA’s 401 restaurant, while facing Sangsangmadang, walk towards your left and at the first junction, cross the road.

Hope this adds a little idea on your next Hallyu trip to Seoul and have a fantastic and fun EXO Showtime day at Hongdae!

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