There are two spots in the northern part of the river most tourists to Seoul don’t miss – Namsan and Itaewon. While the former is a significant landmark of the city topped with N Seoul Tower, the latter is popular for its cultural diversity and trendy atmosphere.
If you too are planning to visit the two locations in Seoul, we highly recommend you to stop by Huam-dong (후암동), perfecting your day in the area.
Geographically, Huam-dong connects Namsan and Itaewon. Wedged into the steep valley of Namsan Mountain, you can find the hillside alleys of Huam-dong on the way to Itaewon from Namsan. Find the exit from Namsan Park that links to Sowol-gil (소월길). The road would look bleak during this cold season, but it turns beautiful in spring and especially autumn, as the ginkgo trees planted along the sidewalk turn into vivid yellow.
Once you’re on the right track, walk along the sidewalk until you find the stairway on your right connecting to Huam-dong. When you’re done navigating the steep alleys of the neighborhood and to move to Itaewon, you can either walk through Haebangchon or take a bus – Green Bus 02, Blue Buses 421 and 405, and Yellow Bus 03 will take you back to the packed area.
One of the greatest charms of Huam-dong is the panoramic view of Seoul the neighborhood offers. Due to the neighborhood’s positional advantage, interesting cafes and bars find their homes in Huam-dong.
The Royal Food and Drink
37 Sinheung-ro 20-gil, Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
The Royal Food and Drink is famed for the astonishing view from rooftop seats. Stepping inside the brunch cafe, you might be disappointed by the narrow interior. Hold that thought and climb the narrow staircases to the rooftop, where you’ll find the VIP seats with a panoramic view of the whole southern part of Seoul.
The rooftop seats are very limited so they are usually occupied, sometimes with some queues. But it’s always worth the wait for wine with a view, right?
38 Huam-ro 28-gil, Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Cafes in Huam-dong also stand out for the compact and cozy atmosphere. Lala Like, located in a rather random area, is a great example.
If you value how your dessert looks as much as its taste, this cake boutique will be a perfect choice. Lala Like is renowned for its colorful cake designs and desserts decorated with Peanuts characters. It’s a great spot especially for your Instagram feeds.
The 100 Food Truck
45-1 Sinheung-ro 20-gil, Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
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This burger shop is one of the first places to pop up when you search for the rooftop restaurants in Seoul. You can spot an exclusive view of the city, either indoors or outdoors.
Avec.El 41-1 Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Known for signature toast and apple latte. Cozy atmosphere and usually long queues.
Oriole 43 Sinheung-ro 20-gil, Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
A cocktail bar operated by R&B singer Jung Yeop. A great place to visit, especially in the evening.
Siempre Como Domingo 11 Huam-ro 34-gil, Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
The colorful and sun-kissed cafe is an ideal place for a quick bite. Try Egg Omelet Sandwich and Soup combo.
By Heewon Kim