If you’re a Stranger Things fan wanting to celebrate the release of season three, make sure you get down to Hongdae to experience the pop-up that will be there for two more days.
I’m a bit late to the ball on this one, but I wanted to make this post despite there being only two days left for the exhibition. If you are a fan of the show, this is definitely something that should be on your bucket list. Not only is it totally free (you will even come away with some freebies), but it is something that is, to my knowledge, totally unique to Seoul.
If you have some spare time this weekend make sure to check out the Stranger Things pop-up!
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The exhibit runs until July the 7th (this Sunday) and is open from noon until 10 pm. However, today we were told that it is actually open until midnight due to its popularity. I do recommend visiting before 10 pm however just to make sure that it is, in fact, open.
The waiting times when we visited (on Friday) were around two and a half hours. If you want to guarantee being able to enter the pop-up, consider visiting in the morning and waiting for it to open. The crowds grew smaller throughout the afternoon and by evening there wasn’t much of a line anymore.
The good news is that once you have made a booking (which is done after waiting in the line – we waited for about 30 minutes), you are free to go and do what you want. You will receive a text message when your time to enter is approaching.
The Stranger Things pop-up is located close to Hong-Ik University Station, also known as Hongdae Station. It is a very short walk from the station and takes barely 5 minutes. For more detailed directions please refer to the map below.
To get to the exhibit take exit 2 from the subway station. Turn left and follow the road until it ends. At the end, turn left again and continue on until you see the pop-up. It’s very easy to spot!
Stranger Things Pop-Up
The pop-up itself is located in a house with multiple rooms and two stories. Throughout the house, you will explore many of the scenes from the show, and you will have lots of photo opportunities as you explore the house.
The outside area has some different scenes where you can take photos while you wait. There are some bikes set up (the same bikes that Mike, Dustin, Lucas and Will use), as well as multiple different posters on the exterior walls. The front courtyard also has a mysterious rattling trash can… What could be inside?
There are posters and scenes to take photos with while you wait!
A word of caution before I continue; make sure to bring water. While some areas of the house are air-conditioned, there are also many that aren’t. Since you will most likely be inside for an hour or more, consider bringing water.
Obligatory spoiler warning. The first room inside the house is the arcade where the boys frequent and where they first hear about Mad Max. The arcade has multiple game machines and each one is playable. The whole pop-up has an impressive amount of detail, and it makes the experience all the more immersive.
The arcade and newsboard from Hawkins School.
Byer’s Living Room
Following from the arcade is the Byer’s living room. It is set up in the state that can be seen in mid-season 1 of the show. Fairy lights hang from the ceiling and wall, and the alphabet is painted on the walls from where Joyce communicated with Will. The sofa underneath the lights provides a popular photo location, and for good reason. It is one of the most iconic scenes from the show.
The light-alphabet is one of the shows most iconic scenes!
There is also a Stranger Things merchandise area here. Initially, I thought this was a store, but it actually isn’t. While exploring the pop-up you are encouraged to take photos, and if you take 13 and post them on social media you will get a chance at the raffle. The raffle has tons of prizes, from postcards to Stranger Things Monopoly and Stranger Things Lego sets. To my knowledge, everyone is guaranteed to win a prize – provided they post the required photos on social media and show the post to a staff member.
Moving on from the merchandise area, arcade and the Byer’s living room is the upstairs area. On the way up the stairs, there is a room where you can take photos with the Mind Flayer. The massive creature is painted on the walls, and smoke-machines fill the room with smoke giving it a rather eerie feeling. There are some props available for use also if you want to include them in your photos.
Perhaps the most terrifying monster from the show!
Demogorgon at School
Continuing up the stairs will bring you to a room showing the Demogorgon and the final scene in the school when Eleven kills it. There are also props here if you want to use them – from Lucas’s slingshot to a hammer. While I don’t remember the hammer being in the show, but I could definitely be wrong.
It looks even more ugly up close!
On the second floor, there is also an art gallery. The art is from many different artists and each piece of art represents one episode from the show. The art is fantastic and I am glad that they displayed it, as it’s something that I believe a lot of people haven’t seen before.
There is some really cool art!
The final room upstairs shows Eleven’s pillow fort from Mike’s basement. This is another great photo location and it feels just like what I would imagine the basement to feel like from the show. The attention to minor details and the feeling of authenticity that they create are something that really impressed me.
Eleven’s pillow fort!
Throughout the rest of the house, there are also posters on the wall. From Hawkin’s newspaper articles to missing posters for Barb and Will, the whole house feels like it is straight from the show.
The biggest downside of the Stranger Things pop-up was the crowds that it attracted. I knew that Stranger Things was popular, but I had no idea just HOW popular. Especially in Korea! But there must be a reason that they chose Seoul for this pop-up.
It’s a great method of advertisement for the show, and that gives benefits to the visitors as well. The whole exhibit is free, and you can also get free waffles (you can thank Eleven for that!) and ice-creams outside. On top of this, some people will come out of the exhibits with Stranger Things backpacks, Lego, and more. In return, you simply have to share some photos of the exhibit on social media.
If social media isn’t your thing, you are still welcome to the pop-up. However, you won’t be able to receive free food and enter the raffle.
Stranger Things is a show that gripped the whole world, and it looks like it continues to do so. If you are in Seoul and are looking for something to do this weekend, I highly recommend checking out the Stranger Things pop-up. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a super-fan, you don’t need to be. I would consider myself someone who enjoys Stranger Things but isn’t a big fan. However, I still really enjoyed the pop-up in Hongdae. It’s a unique experience and something worth experiencing.