Although there aren't any statistics to back this up, I assume that Seoul, South Korea has a bigger concentration of cafes than any other city in the world. Which is pretty impressive, considering that coffee was practically unknown until the late Joseon dynasty in the early 1900s. Even then, coffee shops, or dabang as they were referred to, were few and far between, with Seoul's coffee culture only developing into what it is today in the 2000s.
dehag, or "university," because of its close proximity to a number of learning institutes.
Over the past decade, Hongdae has garnered the reputation of being Seoul's SoHo, lessening Hyehwa to a mere a notch in the history of the city's culture boom. Today, it remains off the radar to most tourists and is even overlooked by locals. Nevertheless, it remains to thrive as Seoul's theater district- with over 80 independent theaters showing performances on a daily basis- and is brimming with diverse, inexpensive eateries, eye-catching cafes and greenspaces to boot. The neighborhood, while seemingly typical on the surface, is one of surprises. It just takes a bit of digging to discover them.
Once the center of Seoul's art and music scene, Hyehwa is a neighborhood bursting with creativity and youthful energy. The area is situated in the northeastern part of the capital and is also known as Daehangno, a nickname derived from
Urban art, also known as street art, is becomming more common throughout university neighborhoods like Hongdae and Shinchon. Many of the murals that can be found in these areas are expressive and offer insight into Korean culture
. Still, few of these art spaces are as unique and aesthetic as those in Naksan Park in northern Seoul.
There's no question that Seoul is a city for art lovers. From internationally renowned museums to obscure independent galleries, there's a space dedicated to just about every genre and medium of visual art. But it's not only in galleries that masterpieces can be found in the Korean capital.