Hyehwa [혜화]: a vibrant neighborhood, with colorful nightlife and walking streets that are closed off to traffic in the evenings.
Ask me to name a district that defines me the most, and I will instantly answer: Hyehwa.
It took me about a week to finally realize that I have indeed set foot in Seoul, and I do believe that staying in this neighborhood helped with that big time. One of its major perks was the availability of all kinds of facilities, which definitely helped keeping me entertained, especially since I rarely left the area whenever it heavily rained.
Today, I’m going to share with you a snippet of Hyehwa’s charm.
When I first booked the hostel, I had absolutely no idea where I would be staying, geographically speaking. All I knew was that it was located in a university area, that the Airport Limousine Bus stopped exactly in front of it, and that a subway station was nearby.
Day after day, I discovered the hidden beauty of Hyehwa. First of all, everything was within walking distance, which made it easier to wander around the place.
Depending on what you’re looking for, there is a wide range of facilities to meet your needs:
- Satiate your culinary taste by either opting for Korean cuisine or settling for the usual food chains.
- Restore your energy by sipping on a hot beverage at the Coffee shops scattered throughout the area.
- Enjoy your time to the fullest and sing your heart out during a Karaoke session, go on an arcade venture, or simply catch a movie at the CGV.
- Shop until you drop in the many stores and retail shops around the area.
- Discover the rest of the neighborhood by taking each one of the four subway station’s exits.
Hyehwa meets Seoul
While tetraphobia is common in Korea, I choose to believe that four is a fortunate number.
As seen above, exit 4 is home to all the leisure you can come across. But as you prepare yourself to leave Hyehwa station, the many destinations that represent the heart of Seoul are both endless and rewarding.
Line 4, also dubbed the Blue Line, operates between Donggogae and Oido termini and can take you to a lot of places. I have personally been to the following stations:
- Dongdaemun (Seoul city wall, Dongdaemun Market)
Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (Cheonggyecheon, DDP, and Yeouido via Line 5)
- Chungmuro (Heading to Gwangju through Express Bus Terminal via Line 3)
- Myeongdong (Myeongdong shopping street, N Seoul tower)
- Hoehyeon (Namdaemun, Namdaemun Market)
- Seoul station (Heading to Busan via KTX, Hongdae via AREX Line, and Ilsan and DMZ via Gyeongui Line)
- Samgakji (Heading to Itaewon via Line 6)
- Ichon (Failed attempt at finding Ichon Hangang Park)
- Isu (Heading to Ttukseom resort and BigHit Entertainment via Line 7)
- Sadang (Heading to Gangnam via Line 2 then Bundang Line)
My take on this neighborhood might be heavily biased, since it’s the very first part of Seoul I have ever discovered. Nevertheless, I stand by my viewpoint and I invite you to prove me wrong.
I’m no travel Guru, but I know a thing or two about being spiritually connected to a specific scene. Hearing Hyehwa’s name in the subway is enough to make me smile and lose myself to a mix of overwhelming emotions.
Furthermore, I’ve had a great deal of firsts in Hyehwa:
- First taste of Korean food: Triangle Kimbap, Tteokbokki, Twigim, Hotteok.
- First taste of Korean snacks: Banana Milk, Pepero, dried Squid, Market O Butter palet.
- First Halal meal.
- First shooting range experience.
- First shopping spree.
- First cat Café experience.
- First CGV experience.
On my way back home, I felt like I’ve left a piece of my heart within Hyehwa.
That’s all for today! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and stay tuned for more Hallyu gems. Until I see you next time, thank you for reading me.