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The heart of performance culture in Korea

aehangno is an area, which comprises Jongno-gu Dongsung-dong, Hyehwa-dong roundabout, and Ihwa-dong intersection. This area is called, "the heart of performance culture" because more than half of the small performing theaters (about 30 theaters) in Seoul are crowded here. Also, a number of plays, which depict controversy in Korean society, have been shown here in Daehangno, and this is the place where lots of original, experimental plays flourish. To prove its popularity, new plays come out everyday, and a theater festival is held there in June every year. So, if you are interested in any performances, you should go to the red ticket booth near Marronnier Park. Tickets are sponsored by the government to create a sound performing culture, and they are on first come first served basis. The average ticket for a performance costs about W8,000.

The center of Daehangno is Marronnier Park. In fact, there used to be a liberal arts and sciences department of Seoul National University, and the word "Daehangno" was named to commemorate its move in 1980. Currently, there are departments of Seoul National University Medical School and Sungkyunkwan University there, and the memory of the past continues through the existence of a coffee shop called, "Hangnim".

Daehangno is usually called, "the street of youth". There are numerous street performances and people play street ball on weekends. Also, people who want to become singers, dancers, or comedians, can show off their talents here and feel comfortable with the audiences as well. Around ginkgo trees, which are more than several hundred years old, there are many portrait artists and fortunetellers. They are not professionals, but are interesting enough to attract foreign tourists.

More than 200,000 people come and go daily, and even more people visit here on weekends for a drink because most bars and motels are quite inexpensive.

The main street is crowded with teenagers and young people, who look for clubs, while the place behind the parking lot of Batang-gol Small Theater is for people in their thirties. For these "older" customers, there are many neat restaurants, which include Italian, Mexican, French, Indian, and Korean traditional restaurants. You can also try Pajeon (Korean traditional pancake) and Makoli (Korean traditional wine) here. In addition, you can see art works at gallery cafes, and listen to your favorite jazz tune at live cafes.

   Editor's Choice
Roman Holiday

It is a cute, pure white building that may remind you of Audrey Hepburn in the movie Roman Holiday. The garden, with its terrace, is so beautiful that it has become a famous place for going on dates and taking photos. The main menu is a variety of dishes seared on a hot pan. You may order a simple side dish to go with your drinks, or a complete meal. Two of its most famous dishes are specially prepared prawns, and a chopped steak entree. Each dish is served for two people, right on the pan. Adding a bottle of wine will create an even better atmosphere. For people who don't drink, various teas and cocktails without alcohol are available.

  • Menu: Roman Holiday's special dish, W50,000 (for two people); chopped steak, W30,000 (for two people); noodles with octopus, W22,000 (for two people).
  • How to get there: Take the number 4 line to Hyehwa station and take exit number 1. Walk straight towards KFC which you will see on the corner. "Roman Holiday" is located across from a public parking lot.
  • Operating Hours: 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Tel: 745-6534

  • (Sourced from WHAT'S ON SEOUL)

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