The Galapagos: A Trendy Animal Themed Cafe in Hongdae

The Galapagos Cafe, Hongdae, Seoul, KoreaThe Galapagos (갈라파고스커피) is a trendy animal themed cafe in the popular art district of Hongdae.

The vibe of the cafe is upscale and modern and unlike many of the other animal cafes that are much simpler and often have an odor of cleaning products wafting out of the door due to the obvious issues that come along with housing numerous pets in a small space. The Galapagos, though housing quite a few animals on site, is probably lucky in that they have smaller animals to showcase and clean up after. The animals may not be the soft and cuddly kind like other animal cafes, but they’re unique and definitely conversation starters not to mention the coffee and drinks are superb at this cafe.The Galapagos Cafe, Hongdae, Seoul, Korea The Galapagos Cafe, Hongdae, Seoul, Korea The Galapagos Cafe, Hongdae, Seoul, KoreaWhile most animal cafes charge a fee upon entry, and the fee is really just a price of a drink, The Galapagos didn’t seem at all pushy about making sure everyone bought something. A turtle just hanging out on the patio welcomed us into the cafe and it wasn’t until after five minutes of playing with him, that we decided to enter and actually purchase our drinks. The turtle seems pretty friendly and used to the photos and pets and sort of sauntered over probably looking to see if we had food in our hands. We did not and he proceeded to turn around and pee in front of us. Guess we deserved that… and it’s a good thing we were outside on the patio too!

Are you hoping to stay in the area? Check out Hotel The Designers, Marigold Hotel or The Win Art House for a great stay in this popular art and live music neighborhood.

The Galapagos Cafe, Hongdae, Seoul, Korea The Galapagos Cafe, Hongdae, Seoul, KoreaBehind the bar is a glass enclosure that also has bearded dragons which stand very stoically watching the people come and go. No one seemed to mind as we stepped behind the counter to check them out. I actually hadn’t even realized it was an enclosure with live animals in it for some time as the lizards were so still, but getting close up to them, I could see them moving ever so slowly. The Galapagos Cafe, Hongdae, Seoul, Korea The Galapagos Cafe, Hongdae, Seoul, Korea

The other popular pets in the shop are the sugar gliders. These four furry friends are nocturnal so if you visit during the day, you  may not see them. However, they woke up for a bite of grapes and a little play just after noon when we visited. The shop keeper opened the cage and let us pet the animals though he warned of their long nails. They are so soft and playful and seem to love licking fingers. Our little one was more keen on just watching them because she couldn’t really figure them out, but her excitement filled the air and the other patrons got a kick out of seeing her so happy and interested.

If you have a little one interested in animals, this is a fun place to check out in Hongdae. If you’re an animal lover or someone just looking for a cafe, this is also a hot spot to enjoy. If you want to visit this and more, check out this awesome post by Bobo & Chichi on what else you can find to do in Hongdae.

The Galapagos Cafe, Hongdae, Seoul, Korea The Galapagos Cafe, Hongdae, Seoul, KoreaIf this cafe is right up your alley, then you’d probably LOVE to stay at Urbanwood Guesthouse. This quirky guesthouse is always given the highest ratings and is the MOST popular place to stay in the Hongdae area. Check it out!The Galapagos Cafe, Hongdae, Seoul, Korea

Coffee on the menu ranges in price from W5,000 to almost W8,000. They also have Mojitos ranging from W10,000 to W12,000 for the late night crowd looking to play with the nocturnal furballs and a lassi menu and a dessert menu making it a perfect after dinner fun spot. Smoothies, ades and teas really fill out the menu so there’s definitely something for everyone even if the animals aren’t appealing or aren’t awake.

If you’re looking for some more themed cafes in the area, also check out the Hello Kitty Cafe and the Nature Cafe that has two sheep on the premises.

The Galapagos (갈라파고스커피)


316-12 Sangsu-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul

서울특별시 마포구 상수동 316-12


By Subway: Sangsu Subway Station, exit 1. Walk straight and at the second alley turn right. The cafe is just a few buildings down on the right side. Should be easy to spot.


Weekdays: 12:00pm ~ 11:00pm

Weekends: 12:00pm ~ 11:30pm



Did you like this post? Pin It!

The Galapagos, Hongdae, Seoul, Korea: Animal themed cafes are all the rage in Seoul and this one is trendy and modern and houses a turtle, sugar gliders and bearded dragons for something unique and cool in Hongdae, Seoul, Korea.


Facebook Comments

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. No way this is so odd! Hongdae is so awesome I miss Seoul =( Enjoy for me…

    • Hallie says:

      It can be super odd sometimes! This is such a different take on the animal cafe idea that we loved it. I hope you get to come back sometime to visit these cool places. ^^

  1. May 17, 2017

    […] The Galapagos – Another animal themed cafe in Seoul to check out! Galapagos is unique because they don’t have furry popular furry critters to hang out next to, instead they have tortoises, sugar gliders, and bearded dragons! 316-12 Sangsu-dong Mapo-gu […]

  2. August 6, 2017

    […] interesting theme cafe that involves less cuddly critters. Instead, The Galapagos Cafe in Hongdae has tortoises, sugar gliders, and bearded […]

What do you think?