It’s pretty hard not to love Hongdae. All the bright graffiti, funky clothes shops, quirky bars and cafes, and of course, the iconic Hongik Children’s Park…
This ink-splattered playground is usually inhabited by soju men and inebriated uni students, but every Saturday afternoon it transforms into a Korean craft bonanza!
Seriously, the crowds here make Myeongdong feel totally spacious and relaxed.
The whole point of Free Market is for local artists to peddle their homemade wares: no used or factory-produced items here, just good ol’ fashioned original, made-by-hand crafts, ranging from stationery to home goods to toys and loads of other bits ‘n’ pieces.
Of course, I kept my eyes peeled for the cutest stuff! I loved how unique all these crafted critters were ♥
I totally loved that pink mustachioed rabbit with the peppermint belly. And the guy next to him had a removable hat, with a little flower underneath! He kinda reminded us of the Magic Man from Adventure Time.
Eoin bought a green variation of one of those lil alien bug dudes.
We loooved this Kettleboy character! Eoin bought a couple badges and postcards intended as gifts, but I kinda have a feeling he might just sneak them away somewhere to keep for himself… They’re just too irresistibly cute! You can check out more designs on Facebook, here ♥
More cute cuddlies! I loved all the little bears and bunnies with strawberry and apple pins in their heads; the bears in the flowerpots were actually scented, like tiny air fresheners!
Even if you don’t have cash to burn, Free Market is still a funky place to hang out, and there are usually buskers and performance artists putting on shows, too.
If you’re looking to do some clothes shopping with a flea market vibe, check out Swinging Seoul (previously named Aland After Aland), also located in Hongdae!
Swinging Seoul is basically the discount outlet for Aland (think Korea’s version of Urban Outfitters.) We’ve gotten some great bargains here; it’s definitely worth checking out!
Everything seems to just sit around in here until somebody buys it, so you can find bits and pieces suitable for all seasons. Lots of great coats on that back wall, if you don’t mind buying last year’s styles!
The ground floor is all women’s fashion, while upstairs is a mish mash between men’s and women’s stuff.
I got a pair of Max Star black platform sneakers here the other weekend…for less than 15 bucks! And unlike a real flea market, everything here is new (though there may be some shop display items…and once I did find a used band-aid in a box of socks…bleugh!)
I eye up those neon pink platforms every time I come here, but they’re too small for my big ol’ feet.
I couldn’t resist that baggy star-print jumper, for less than ten bucks! I was totally tempted by the smiley-face shirt, too…
How funtastically awesome is that jacket?! Oh, man…
Hongik Uni Station, Exit 9. Go straight for 150 meters, cross the street. Turn left, and go 500 meters straight towards Hongik Uni entrance. Turn right to arrive at Hongik Children’s Park. NOTE: Free Market is only open on Saturdays, between 1-6pm, from March to November 😊
To Swinging Seoul Flea Market:
Hongik Uni Station, Exit 9. Walk straight, turn left at TGIFriday’s and cross the street. Walk past Forever 21, turn right at Tony Moly, then walk straight up the street on the left-hand side. You’ll pass the KT&G Sangsangmadang art building on the left (photo below) ↓
Turn left at 7-11, then turn right at Bar Mint. Swinging Seoul will be on the right, across from the Collagen Factory restaurant (ew?!)