You don’t need to spend much money to have a good time in Hongdae, particularly in summer when there are as many people drinking in the street as as there are in the smokey clubs. Nevertheless, these places are always worth going to.
7 Strange Fruit
This sweet bar plays the right soundtrack for catching up with friends, and is typical of Hongdae with its wall of vinyl, twinkly lights and posters of the Beatles.
A full-on expat dive, Vent feels like a student union, with sticky leather stools, a disco ball and DJs
playing dubstep. There’s also 2,000 W beer
on a Tuesday. The bartenders are fun and the music and cheap prices drag in a regular crowd. Vent normally gets busy around 10 or 11pm, though sometimes it remains completely dead all night for some reason. The banana beer
is alright as far as gimmicks go, but try the Amaretto
and Cranberry Juice
for 5,000W. Annyeong!
A classic stop for the Saturday night Hongdae hipster, Exit is a sweet little extension of whatever is going down in the park. This well-known place may appear to be an old public toilet, but the dance floor gets properly rowdy by 12am, with electro beats so loud the cement floor vibrates. Happy people fall into the alley outside Exit’s doors to continue their dancing and drinking and kissing. Yay.
Friday nights are more relaxed, there’s complimentary kettle chips and cigarettes. Just don’t order the tomato beer.
10 Redemption Bar
An eclectic homage to Bob Marley
and all things Rasta, Redemption bar is full of palm trees and prayer flags. The happy hippie Korean staff usually lounge on the floor under a cloud of sweet Shisha smoke, and later on, are often to be found dancing barefoot round the room. It is a fun place and perfect for a date, being relaxed and never packed. Despite all the marijuana emblems, there’s no drugs here, the closest you can get is the totally legal, and ineffective, Cannabia beer.