Best known as Seoul’s quintessential theater district, Daehangno is tantamount to an off-Broadway area that plays host to some 40 small- and medium-sized theaters and performing arts venues. As the designation means “collegiate street,” Daehangno harbors its youthful, romantic ambience with class when compared to Sinchon, another signature college district in Seoul that is more entertainment-oriented. A wide variety of stage performances, ranging from plays and musicals to concerts and comedies, are offered throughout the year at a rather affordable cost, featuring both established and up-and-coming artists. Daehangno is extremely popular with young people, as it bustles with fine restaurants, fast food joints, live music cafés, bars, and movie theaters, making it convenient for people to find something to do after enjoying the performing arts. The outdoor stage at nearby Maronnier Park is open at all times.
Indulge in a cup of coffee and famous cheesecake in a Korean old-timer ambience at Hakrim Coffee Shop 학림다방 (T. 02-742-2877), located across from KFC. Established in 1956, this old-school coffee house has maintained its original dark wooden interior design, dilapidated but authentic in a way, and plays classical music on a turntable, if not a gramophone.
Maad Studio (T. 02-766-8183), a homegrown designer jewelry brand, operates one of its three Seoul shops in this area and offers a wide selection of rings, necklaces, and other accessory items crafted in a neo-classical and minimalist style.
Check out the old fortress walls at Naksan Park and the nearby Ihwa-dong Mural Village.