This week Seoul Secrets took a trip to Sookmyung Women’s University area in Yongsan-gu. As with many university areas in Seoul, there’s a certain vibrancy and community of young students who need places to study. This leads to the surrounding area being a hive of coffee shops and cafes with free WiFi and open all hours of the day, all for reasonable prices.
Sookmyung Women’s University was Korea’s first royal private education institution for women in Korea, founded in 1906 upon the hillside next to Hyochang Park. The name Sookmyung comes from the ancient symbols meaning ‘elegant’ and ‘bright’.
The campus has a mix of older more traditional buildings and more modern architecture, with some decadent flowery park areas thrown into the mix, This creates a rather pleasant place to sit, relax and chat with friends.
To get here take the subway line 4 (light blue line) to Sookmyung Women’s Univ stop and take exit 10.
At the top of the hill you will find the university and its surrounding campus:
If you continue to walk up the hill past the University, you’ll find Hyochang Park:
Hyochang Park is where Korean royal family members used to be buried. In 1940 the then ruling Japanese converted it into a park. When Korea fought back for independence the bodies of Korean revolutionary members were buried here, and a shrine built to remember their sacrifice for their country. Today the park is an excellent maze of walking trials, picnic areas and some points of interest.
If you head back towards the Sookmyung University, the hill leading up is lined with all the coffee shops and cafes you can imagine. With all the generic coffee shops from International chains to your Korean based chains, here you can find a unique cafe half way up the hill unlike any other called ‘Blind Alley’.
Blind Alley is a raccoon cafe! Move over cats and dog cafes here is coffee shop filled with cheeky little critters to play with whilst sipping on a coffee. Offering reasonable prices and some great bingsu, handlers will bring you a baby raccoon to cuddle with and spend some time with your friends.
The larger raccoons are kept in a separate section, with bedding and play equipment. Obviously there are rules to follow for your own safety and that of the animals. (They also have a puppy called ‘Cookie’ who is incredibly cute)
If animal themed cafes aren’t your kind of thing then have no fear! Continue walking down the hill take a left at ‘Watsons’ and walk up that hill.
Hue Blanc Cafe Lounge specialises in delicious homemade desserts, as well as some great drinks all in a trendy and relaxed environment. A franchise with other locations throughout Seoul and Daegu, with each specialising in different areas. This branch focuses is the desserts from chocolate cake, tiramisu and cheesecake.
One of the most popular drinks here is the ‘Cube Latte’ which arrives as a glass of iced espresso cubes and a jug of honey milk. Slowly pour the honey milk over the coffee cubes and watch the coffee infuse with the milk to create a delicious coffee concoction.
For more info check out:
If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a reasonable priced burger, look no further than Burger In! With an unassuming entrance to a basement, the smell of beef patties grilling greets you as descend into the restaurant. Offering a range of burgers and fries all for reasonable prices, fresh and well cooked with a great balance of taste.
For the location check out:
Go check this place out!