Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

A Trip to Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul

by Nicole on November 25, 2013

Growing up I’d begged my parents for a dog, heck I would have settled on a cat, but instead got guinea pigs.
While ticking the cute and furry categories, guinea pigs don’t really do anything, so I had to settle with going over to my neighbour’s house near nightly to play with her dog and pretend it was my best friend.

Hearing about Seoul’s quirky cafe culture I was determined to try to visit a few during my trip, but after spending the first days in Seoul feeling confronted by a steep language barrier, the coldest weather I’d ever experienced (oh, hello there -15°C) and the loneliness that sometimes creeps in while travelling solo, I knew the best cure was going to be surrounded by a bit of puppy love at Bau House, Hongdae’s popular dog cafe.

Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

Once inside, I wasn’t disappointed as three dogs immediately raced up to me to suss me out and, I think, in search of treats.

It’s evident that the dogs are all extremely well-loved by the cafe staff, as a dozen well-groomed, and extremely well-behaved – well, except the one time one of the more hyper dogs stole a treat from right under the nose of a miniature collie and then teeth were bared – roam the cafe.

Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

There are dozens of dogs to play with; a Golden Retriever, a Labrador, a Beagle, a Cavalier King Charles, a giant fluffy wolf-like dog that only wants to be friends when I had an open packet of treats, and other breeds that I couldn’t identify.
There were also other people’s dogs roaming the cafe, something I didn’t realise until after I’d spent half-an-hour cuddling up to a dog and the owner whistled for it to come so they could leave. In a city the size of Seoul there didn’t seem to be many doggy parks so Bau House is a place where locals can bring their dogs to play and socialise, providing they meet a list of qualifications.

Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

Pet cafes are free but you are expected to buy at least one drink, usually at a premium price; but it does mean you can spend as long as you want in the cafe.
I paid around 7,500 won (AUD$7.70/GBP£4.30) for a coffee and a bag of dog treats cost that cost around 4,500 won (AUD$4.60/GBP£2.60).

For the time I got to spend with all of the dogs, particularly this little fuzz ball (pictured above) who kept checking in on me before being determined that he wanted to sit on my lap, and nothing I could do would stop him from returning to his ‘spot’, it was a small price to pay for the sheer happiness I felt.
Petting him gently I felt myself relax into my doggy surroundings. I love dogs and this pet therapy was the best cure for my travel loneliness – I mean, look at that face! It’s heart warming.

Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

I spent half the night trying to get a decent photo of the little black and white dog (pictured above right). He was so full of energy and wanted nothing more than to cuddle for five-minutes, disrupting the other dog who had claimed my lap, before running off in hope of scoring a treat from another visitor or bringing back a slobber-covered tennis ball in hope I’d throw it again.

While cute as a button he did chew off the plastic zipper tags of my jacket – something I should have been more wary of because I didn’t notice until I was rugging up to leave and was met with fingers full of slobber.
You also need to be careful with your food and drink because I found out that some of them really like Oreo milkshakes after the plastic cap had been bitten off the cup and the straw long discarded!

Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

That’s just a dogs nature though – playful and often cheeky.
The dog (pictured below) managed to sneak onto my chair without me noticing and buried his way into a nook under my winter jacket and next to my backpack. A big surprise when I went to put my camera away!

One thing that took me a while to get used to was the smell. It hits you as soon as you open the first door and just gets stronger, something unavoidable in a room of 12-or-more dogs, even when the staff quickly clean up any doggy mishaps!

Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

All the doggy love and affection were blissful, even if sometimes you were only their friends while the doggy treats lasted.
My few hours of cuddles, pats and slobbery ball throwing – followed by a meal of Korean BBQ – seemed to do wonders to cure my travel loneliness… even if I did smell a bit ‘doggy’ for the rest of my trip.

Now it’s over to you:
Would you prefer to visit a cat cafe or a dog cafe?
Have you visited any quirky cafes?

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Details

Bau House
Jeil Bldg. 1F
394-44 Seogyo-dong,
Mapo-gu,
Seoul, South Korea

Address (English): 394-44 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. (Je-il Building, rear entrance, 1st floor)
Address (Korean): 서울특별시 마포구 서교동 394-44 제일빌딩 후면 1층

Website: http://bau.cyworld.com (inaccessible outside of South Korea)

Admission: Free, but you must buy a drink.
Drinks cost around 7,500 won (AUD$7.70/GBP£4.30) for a coffee and a bag of dog treats cost around 4,500 won ($4)

How to get there: Take the train or catch a taxi to Hapjeong Station Hapjeong Station in Korean and English and take Exit 3. Turn right and walk down the nearest road – Yanghwa-ro 8-gil – and you should see the sign for Bau House on the ground floor window of the building, or you can use this accurate map.

(Bau House has recently moved so there are a unupdated maps floating, like the one on Eat Your Kimchi. I learnt this the hard way after spending two-days searching for the new location!)

How to get to Bau House Dog Cafe in Seoul, South Korea

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julie | A Lady in London November 26, 2013 at 5:10 am

I love this! I want to visit and play with the dogs. Sounds perfect!

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2 Nicole December 11, 2013 at 11:23 pm

It’s a lovely way to spend a few hours, Julie!
Hope you visit Bau House soon. 🙂

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3 Lauren @BonVoyageLauren November 26, 2013 at 7:53 am

OH MY GOD I must go here. Thanks for sharing!

Happy travels 🙂

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4 Nicole December 11, 2013 at 11:22 pm

It’s a pleasure Lauren! Hope you get to Seoul and Bau House soon 🙂

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5 Beth November 26, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I went to a cat cafe in both Japan and Hong Kong… but if given the chance, I’d love to visit a dog cafe! I’m always missing my doggies back home 🙂

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6 Nicole December 11, 2013 at 11:21 pm

There are cat cafes in Hong Kong?! Where?!!!
We might have to go – if you have time and if you’re still there! – when I’m there next 😉

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7 Lindsay November 27, 2013 at 1:14 am

I MUST GO

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8 Nicole December 11, 2013 at 11:14 pm

When you are in Seoul you should! It’s such a fun afternoon. 🙂

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9 Jewel December 2, 2013 at 2:14 am

Any feline cafe?

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10 Nicole December 11, 2013 at 11:20 pm

In Seoul? I’ve heard that GioCat Cafe is good and Tom’s Cat Cafe is quite popular as well.

There are also cat cafes in Paris, Japan, and Budapest! (Sure there’s more but these are the ones I know of 🙂 )

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11 Ruth December 13, 2013 at 4:56 am

I would love to visit this place (the difficult part would be to convince my husband who doesn’t like dogs). My parents didn’t get us a dog until we were old enough to take care of it by ourselves. So, I developed a dog love kind of latter in life but I definetly like to be surrounded by the furry creatures.

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12 Veera Bianca January 14, 2014 at 7:44 pm

What a lovely post! I hope to visit Seoul this year and really want to check out this place 🙂

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13 Grant March 25, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Can dog owners drop off their dog and leave them there for an hour or two? A charge?

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14 Tom @ Waegook Tom May 15, 2014 at 1:46 am

Now then, I wasn’t a fan of Bau House. Unless you buy the doggy treats, you’re not going to get any dogs going near you for the most part. They just swarm to whichever table has an open bag of treats. I much prefer the cat cafes – the felines aren’t so easy to manipulate, and are much more open to petting.

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15 Helen June 23, 2014 at 6:03 pm

This is such a quirky idea for a cafe! I would love to visit. Keep reading interesting things about Seoul making me think about adding Korea to my list of must-visit places.

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16 ColdSocks August 2, 2014 at 8:38 pm

I like dogs too but I hate what you said about guinea pigs. I own two guinea pigs and they are one of the best pets out there.

People who say guinea pigs are boring are those that don’t really take good care of their guinea pigs. If you spend alot of time with them you will understand how cute they are. Each pig have their own personality and loves to cuddle. Mine comes to me whenever I call them and love to snuggles against my neck.

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17 Nicole August 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm

I’m sorry if you feel that way about my choice of words.

My sister currently has two guinea pigs and I had two as a child. While they are cute, they will come and cuddle and they do certainly have their own distinct personalities they aren’t like dogs. They won’t fetch, I can’t take them for walks (though my sister did once try that!) and I feel they aren’t the right pet for someone who is quite active.

I won’t lie – I love cuddling up to Rocky and Elvis (and Liquorice and Lily before them) whenever I had a free moment. 🙂

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18 Xiao Vee August 7, 2014 at 11:55 am

OMG thanks for sharing ♥♥
I gotta visit this cafe someday!! ♥

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19 Nicole August 7, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Do! It’s so much fun. 🙂

Have you been to Korea before? I see that your blog says you like Korea + Japan!

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20 Christine August 29, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Hey there!

Awesome post!
My husband and I are thinking if moving to Korea with our dog – she would love this place.
What are the Koreans like with dogs? Are they allowed on public transport?
Thanks
Christine

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21 Meng October 8, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Hi Nicole,

I really like your post on the dog cafe in Seoul! As I run a travel website and Facebook in Singapore focusing on regional travel (Korea, Hong Kong, etc) would it be ok with you if I could re-publish a short summary of your post with 2 or 3 images? I think our fans would really like to know about this interesting aspect of Seoul and we would link back to this post of course for our fans to read the full article here.

Cheers,
Meng

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22 Ernalou Del Rosario October 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Awesome! Here in the Philippines, we just had our first dog cafe! Can I link your post to my blog? Thanks! <3

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23 Nicole October 20, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Hey Ernalou – For sure 🙂
Hope you enjoy your trip to the Philippines first dog cafe!

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24 Roma February 17, 2015 at 5:40 am

First time commenter, long time fan of your work Nicole.
I’m putting this straight on my list. Off to an impromptu Seoul trip this week.
YAY PUPPIES! *Excited squeal* .

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25 Uzoo April 9, 2015 at 10:22 pm

We love this post !

What do you think of our Top 5 Animal Cafes from around the world?

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26 Madi May 31, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Wow this is amazing! I’ll definitely need to visit one day – I love my dogs. That collie pup is adorable!

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27 Nicole June 1, 2015 at 2:39 am

It’s so much fun! Really hope you can visit soon. 🙂

If you can’t wait, there’s a cat cafe in Melbourne (near the Queen Victoria Markets) and other cities in Asia also have animal cafes, even sheep cafes! It’s a strange world out there… you gotta love it!

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