The Student Center of Seoul

Main sights: Hongdae, Sinchon, Yeonnam-dong, Mangwon Market, World Cup Stadium

Mapo is best known for its vibrant student communities concentrated around four top Korean universities - Yonsei, Hongik, Ewha, and Sogang. The unique location of the area has heavily influenced its image and vibe. The streets around the universities are full of cheap and fun bars, bbq places and chicken restaurants. Everything here is aimed at students: from crowded all-you-can-drink joints with K-pop music to underground bowling alleys, game arcades and pool clubs. 

Hongdae is an area around Hongik University, where trendy youth and subcultures of Seoul converge to create what must be one of the most exotic ambiances in South Korea. Hongdae has long been serving as the bastion of Seoul’s subculture and indie culture, where young passionate artists can express themselves through urban art, live busking performances and opening up their own stores. The district overflows with unique themed cafes, small galleries, accessory and flagship stores that cannot be found anywhere else in Seoul.

Hapjeong-Mangwon is a classier, quieter neighbor of Hongdae. Up until the development of the World Cup Stadium and its surroundings, Mangwon was considered a run-down area with the big Mangwon Traditional Market at its center. With the recent gentrification, it has evolved into one of the trendiest spots in Seoul famous not only for the YG Building and the market but also for countless designer shops, cute cafes and hip food joints.  

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