It was totally unplanned and we did not do research on the Internet before visiting the Coffee Prince cafe. But we had seen all of Namsan Park earlier that day, and on the spur of the moment, decided to visit The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince. Just in case you don’t know, Coffee Prince was a hit Korean drama in 2007 and they filmed it at the cafe.
People say the cafe is located at Hongdae in Seoul, where three major Korean universities are located. All i knew was that you get off at the Hongik University subway stop.
Okay, since it is such a famous drama, i am sure people around Hongdae would know where it is. When we came out from the Hongik University subway exit, we were pleasantly surprised by how European-like the area was. The streets are narrow, lined with trees and there were many eateries and small shops along the streets. It reminded me a lot of Wudaokou in Beijing. You will also see many students around the vicinity.
After walking rather aimlessly because we did not have a map nor instructions on how to get to the Coffee Prince cafe, we decided to ask for directions. The first two people we approached didn’t seem to know what we were talking about. The third person we asked was a Korean girl in her mid-twenties. She knew where we wanted to go, and made a gesture that it was difficult to explain to us. She told us she would walk us there! Oh wow, that’s really nice of her.
We thought it was just around the block, but she walked and walked and it turned out to be around four blocks! I didn’t speak much to her because of our limited Korean and really regretted not exchanging emails or taking a proper photo with her.
where the Coffee Prince cafe is.
We arrived at the cafe when it was about to turn dark and it was around 5:30pm. From the outside, the cafe looks rather run down and deserted ~ not as new and happening as what you saw in the drama. Nor would you see Yoon Eun-hye or Gong Yoo and the Coffee Princes when you get there. 😉
Inside, a single barrista was behind the counter and he was a Korean dude with reddish blonde dyed hair. They only served drinks – no waffle, no food. What? No waffles? We ordered Coffee Mocha (7,000KRW) and iced tea (6,000KRW).
We spent about half an hour at the cafe, taking a much needed rest and doing some research and updating our itinerary for the next few days. There were about two other tables at the cafe occupied and later on, a group of ajummas from Japan came to the shop. They ordered coffee with beautiful artwork on the top. Hmmm…how come their drinks had those and ours did not? Anyway, they were clearly Coffee Prince drama fans too and took photos at the “sunflower wall”.
but you can still see her artwork
on the glass windows
There are many small shops selling clothes and shoes around Hongik. It’s a nice place to spend a leisurely afternoon shopping and hanging out with friends.
For those who want to visit the cafe, here’s the directions (courtesy of www.travbuddy.com).
HOW TO GET THERE:
Take Subway Line 2 to Hongik University, take Exit 4 -> turn right on Seven Springs corner -> walk 2 blocks -> at the end of the street, turn left -> turn right on the first right – > walk until you almost reach the end of the street where the street goes slightly uphill (about 500 meters) -> find the coffee shop on the right side
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