There are four popular locations for you to stay in visit in Seoul. Itaewon, hongdae, gangnam, and Hyehwa. You will defiantly be able to visit and experience all four districts but it can be a little confusing choosing where to stay.
The best place to stay in all of Seoul is Backpackers Inside in Hyehwa! Hyehwa is a great district to stay in for numerous reasons. First it has awesome and cheap restaurants all over the place. My personal favorites are Kongs Rice Ball and an delicious homemade dumpling place. Both restaurants offer full meals under 4,000 Won.
Another reason Hyehwa is an awesome district to stay in is the atmosphere. Across the street from Backpackers Inside is the oldest university(sungkyunkwan university) in Seoul. All day and night the university students are out walking around, hanging out, and giving Hyehwa a unique and upbeat feel. Staying at Backpackers Inside in Hyehwa gives you great access to all other places in Seoul. The subway is very close and all other popular places and districts are only a short ride away.
Hyehwa is a less popular or well known district then others but this only adds to its charm.
Staying at Backpackers Inside in Hyehwa is the best choice you will make during your time in Seoul!
Hongdae is the most popular student district in Seoul. It is filled with Korean (and foreign) hipsters, artist, and university students. Hongdae is unique because it still holds on to its personality. There are many local coffee shops, boutiques, and clubs.
During the day Hongdae is dedicated to shopping but at night it comes alive with street performers and clubbers partying and having a good time
On Friday and Saturday nights it seems like all of Seoul comes out to Hongdae to party. Most people pregame at the playground near the clubs then disperse into separate clubs depending on budget. Some clubs are free to enter while some cost anywhere from 5,000 to 30,000 won.
If you choose to stay in Hongdae you are destined for a wild time 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Itaewon is Seoul's vibrant international district. It has many restaurants and store from all over the world and the majority of people in Itaewon are not Korean. Lots of Americans because the United States military base is located in the is district. While Itaewon mostly caters to an international crowd does not mean it is not a good place to stay and visit.
The best thing about Itaewon is the food. When you are tired of Korean food or are vegetarian or vegan, Itaewon is the best option to find food you can enjoy.
There is a Korean song that talks about how in Itaewon everyone is a bit more "free"
Itaewon also has many many clubs and the party does not stop until the sun comes up.
Itaewon is a good place to stay and visit if you are looking for epic night life and want to be exposed to more then just Korean culture.
Gangnam is where the money is. Expensive shops, expensive restaurants, expensive clubs... But it's fun. Most people in Gangnam are wearing designer clothes or business suits and Gangnam is the plastic surgery capital of South Korea.
The best shopping in Gangnam is Coex Mall or the underground shopping center at the Express Bus Terminal. While your at the under shopping center you can go to Bampo Bridge for a romantic evening.
Clubbing in Gangnam can be memorable but the dress code is strict and drinks are expensive.
In Gangnam everyone is beautiful and rich. It's a fun place to stay and visit if you can afford it.