There are a few animal cafes that get all of the attention, but there are also a few hidden gems in Seoul. This is the best raccoon cafe in Seoul!
The biggest of these overlooked highlights is the Akdong Animal Healing Café (or 악동 애니멀 힐링 카페). Meerkat Friends is located just around the corner, and sadly it gets most of the attention. I mean sure, meerkats are cute. But who doesn’t prefer a cute raccoon?
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Located just outside the front gates of Hong-Ik University, the Hongdae Healing Café (hereby called the ‘Hongdae raccoon café’ – after all, that’s the highlight for most people!) is located right in the heard of Hongdae.
The café itself is quite easy to overlook. It is located upstairs (on the third floor) of an otherwise standard building. There are usually some signs on the street, but even then, it can be easy to miss. The map link below shows the exact location of the raccoon café so that you don’t miss it.
The café is located on the third floor of the building. However, at the bottom of the stairs to the third floor, you will find an area to store your shoes and to put on slippers. These slippers are required to enter the café. After putting on the slippers, you can go upstairs and pay for entry and drinks (if you want them).
Entrance to the café is 10,000KRW per person, and this does not include drinks. Drinks are a further 2000-5000KRW on top of the entrance fee. The drinks are not essential though, and as long as you pay the entrance fee, you will have access to the whole café.
The menu is quite limited, but it has a few options. Soft drinks (sprite and coke) are available, and so are black coffee and mochas. Further, there are also black tea and chai tea options. For the hot drinks, you can expect to pay 3500-4000 and the soft drinks cost 2500.
Behind the counter of the raccoon café, you can find lockers. This is especially important to note as the raccoons can stink at times. Not only this, but they LOVE to dig in pockets. If you want to keep your wallet, phone, or keys safe, feel free to hand them into the café staff. They will store your possessions in the lockers provided. The same goes for backpacks and excess clothes that you may want to keep clean. If you are wearing nice clothes, I highly recommend using lockers.
The corgi puppies are so cute!
The raccoon café has a large interior that is divided into a few different rooms. To keep the café from dissolving into utter chaos, the animals are divided into specific areas. In the main ‘café’ area, the dogs are allowed to free roam. There are a lot of different dogs, ranging from corgis to cocker spaniels. The cutest members of the dog family, however, have got to be the corgi puppies.
When we visited there were 5 puppies which were still very young. They, like the other dogs, roam around the café freely. Possibly the biggest highlight of the roaming animals, however, is the arctic fox. Not much bigger than a dog, the arctic fox walks around with the dogs.
The arctic fox at the Raccoon Cafe
Other than the main room, there are three more areas containing animals. The raccoon room, animal room, and healing room.
The raccoon room is quite self-explanatory. It houses the most curious, playful, and stinky animals. I’ve visited the café twice, and on both visits, there have been five raccoons located in this room. However, this may soon change! The raccoons have recently had babies, and I would expect them to be free-roaming soon.
Raccoons are some of my favourite animals. So curious!
Next-door to the raccoons there is another room containing a variety of animals. On my first visit, this room had a Coati, a wallaby, and some kittens. On the next, it had the Coati and an emu. When I most recently visited, it had meerkats, a few wallabies, a Coati, and more! The animals are always changing.
Finally, in the healing room, are animals that are being cared for. This room usually contains sick animals and young animals that are too young to be with the larger animals. Visitors are allowed to enter this room, and with permission, you are allowed to touch and interact with some of the animals. On my most recent visit, this room had everything from fruit bats, to baby raccoons, to snakes. We were allowed to pat the bats, some corgi puppies, and hold a snake (although rather unwillingly).
While the raccoons are the main attraction, this café is home to so many different animals. The thing that makes it truly unique is how free you are to interact with the animals. There are some restrictions (for both the customer and animals’ safety), however, you are generally free to play with the animals.
The cafe also has some cute kittens!
It’s one of the few cafes where you can play with a raccoon and then go next door to pat a wallaby, and this is what makes it very unique.
How Does the Hongdae Raccoon Café Compare?
One of the biggest questions is ‘how does it compare to Meerkat Friends?’ as it is located just around the corner. Meerkat Friends is the much more popular café due to the media coverage it has received, but I honestly believe that the Akdong Animal Healing Café is just as good, or better.
Meerkat Friends is generally a cleaner café, but Akdong features many more animals and is larger. The café isn’t as clean, but that is just the nature of the animals. Raccoons are known for being dirty (they are trash pandas after all!), but somehow the café still remains relatively clean.
This café also has the benefit of being less busy. It can definitely still be busy at peak times, but it usually doesn’t reach the same crowds as Meerkat Friends.
A curious raccoon appears!
When being compared to the other big raccoon café in Seoul (Blind Alley), Akdong has a few advantages. It is bigger, located in an easier to access location, and houses a far larger variety of animals. While all of these cafes are great in their own way (and all are worth visiting), I don’t think any of them are ‘better’ than the others.
Should you visit?
Here are my final notes about the Hongdae Raccoon Café. If you want to have a hands-on experience with some cute, furry, and friendly animals, then the café is a MUST visit. If you prefer to keep your distance from animals – and just view them, then this café probably isn’t for you.
The Hongdae Raccoon Café is generally a lot more hands-on than the other animal cafes of Seoul. This is it’s the greatest attraction – along with the large variety of exotic animals that it is home to.
In short: You should visit Akdong Animal Healing Café in Hongdae.