As soon as the sun dips below the horizon, the lights of Seoul flicker on and the city is abuzz with vivacious energy. This capital city of South Korea is exceptionally renowned for its diverse range of nightlife activities. Both locals and foreigners are no strangers to the nightlife in Seoul, where there are 24-hour cafes, bars, clubs, and many more places to visit in this entertaining list below.
1. Go clubbing in Gangnam
It is definitely indisputable that clubs dominate the nightlife scene in Seoul, as even Korean celebrities and artists have been known to frequent clubs in Seoul. Therefore, party the night away at some of the most exclusive clubs in Gangnam. It is the main district and known as the trendiest nightlife hub, which houses Seoul’s luxurious and superior nightclubs such as Club Octagon (which is currently the biggest club in town) and Club Bugatti Syndrome (that has mini pools in the club). For a clubbing experience that is easier on the wallet, head over to Hongdae and Sincheon for more affordable clubs that do not burn a hole in your pocket.
Address: 645 Nonhyeon-ro, Nonhyeon 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hours: Thursday to Saturday (10pm – 6am)
Contact: +82 25780855
Facebook: Club Octagon
Club Bugatti Syndrome
Address: 587-1 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hours: Sunday to Thursday (8pm – 6am), Friday and Saturday (2am – 12pm)
Contact: +82-1085411278 (WhatsApp), For enquiries or reservations: bananahyeon (KakaoTalk)
Facebook: Club Bugatti Syndrome
Dongdaemun market is awesome at nighttime. Going to be going to the museum there soon. The night market there was fun. Super Happy Fun Time!!! #dongdaemun #dongdaemunmarket #nightmarket #vacation #sightseeing #shopping myeongdong #seoul #southkorea #korean #koreastyle #korea #vacation #日本人彼女募集中 #한국여자친구구함 #中國女朋友募集中 #台妹女朋友徵召中 #vacation #canadianblogger #canadiantraveller
The Dongdaemun Market is the iconic night spot for fashion retailers and wholesalers as it is home to the largest clothing supplier in South Korea. Here, you can get your hands on every fashion item imaginable such as fabric, handicraft materials, footwear, accessories, clothes, wedding garments, sportswear; you name it, and they have it. Established from a traditional market in 1905, this market has since been designated as a ‘Special Tourism Zone’ in 2002.
Address: Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hours: 6:45am – 3:15am (Monday to Saturday)
Phone: +82 3213444888
Website: Dongdaemun Market
Night Shopping Tour in Seoul
Price: 90 USD
Duration: 4.5 hours
Standing impressively tall at 774 feet (236 meters), N Seoul Tower is situated at the highest point in Seoul on the Namsan Mountain. This communications and observation tower is officially known as the YTN Seoul Tower and more commonly referred to as the Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower. For an admission fee of 10,000 KRW (9 USD) for an adult and 8,000 KRW (7 USD) for children and the elderly, you will be able to catch a sight of the mesmerizing night lights of the beautiful city skyline.
N Seoul Tower
Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hours: Sunday to Friday (10am – 11pm), Saturday (10am – 12am)
Phone: +82 234559277
Website: N Seoul Tower
Night Views of Seoul including N Seoul Tower and Han River Cruise
Price: 131.25 USD
Duration: 5 hours
4. Sing your heart out at karaoke (Noraebang)
Noraebang literally translates to song (norae) and room (bang). Hence, noraebang refers to a singing venue where people go to belt out their favorite Korean pop songs and international chart-toppers. In Luxury Su Noraebang in Hongdae, the average rate for a room is 20,000 KRW (18 USD) per hour and you can get a free flow of drinks, ice-cream and popcorn for an additional 1,000 KRW (less than 1 USD) per person. There are many noraebang venues around Seoul and do keep in mind that rates have the tendency to increase from noon, and the most expensive period ranges from 8pm to the wee hours of the morning.
Luxury Su Noraebang
Address: 16, Apgujeong-ro 50-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hours: Monday to Saturday (7pm – 2am) Sunday (7pm – 1am)
Phone: +82 25189334
5. Participate in a multi-bang session
There is a more evolved version and modern take on noraebang known as the multi-bang (or multi-room), which offers more than just singing. It is literally a rented room where you get to sing karaoke, watch movies and television shows, have a go on the gaming systems such as Nintendo Wii or Sony PlayStation, and enjoy free snacks and drinks. In Seoul, you can find a multi-bang at almost every corner of the city and prices range from 10,000 KRW to 20,000 KRW (9 USD to 18 USD) for an hour. Multi Plus in Hongdae, Seoul is one such venue that operates for 24 hours and even offers board games.
Multi Plus, Hongdae
Address: 355-2 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 23337799
Traditional bathhouses such as jjimjilbangs are fundamental to the modern Korean culture. Jjimjilbang which literally means ‘heated room’ is a public spa and bathhouse where people go to relax and unwind. The typical jjimjilbang will offer shower and bath rooms, hot tubs and sauna rooms. However, the more sophisticated jjimjilbangs have ice rooms, exercise rooms, gaming arcades, noraebang, hot spring swimming pools, restaurants, hair and nail salons, and much more. At Siloam Spa, you will even get to experience different rooms that vary in minerals such as jade, salt, crystals, and charcoal which will provide different therapeutic benefits, whereas at Dragon Hill Spa, you can indulge in a traditional Thai massage session.
Address: 49 Jungnim-ro, Jungnim-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 23643944
Dragon Hill Spa
Address: 40-712 Hangangno 3(sam)-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 27920001
South Korean Half-Day Spa Experience
Price: 77 USD
Duration: 3 hours
Seoul has played host to some of the world’s largest sports competitions such as the 1986 Asian Games, 1988 Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It is no wonder that sports clubs and bars have mushroomed across the city that is known as the major sports centre in South Korea. These sports clubs and pubs have their own sport specialty, ranging from basketball to football to hockey to rugby. Even if you’re not a sports fan, you can guzzle a pint of beer or a shot of soju and cheer along with the crowd in front of the humongous television screen at Sam Ryan’s Sports Bar and Grill in Itaewon or Phillies Pub in Haebangchon.
Sam Ryan’s Sports Bar and Grill, Itaewon
Address: 50 Itaewon-ro 27ga-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 27497933
Facebook: Sam Ryan’s Sports Bar and Grill
Phillies Pub, Haebangchon
Address: 44-17 Yongsan dong 2 ga Yongsan gu, Seoul, Haebangchon
Facebook: Phillies Pub
3-Hour Small Group Korean Pub Crawl in Hongdae
Price: 79 USD
Duration: 3 hours
Seoul Chicken and Beer Crawl
Price: 118 USD
Duration: 3 hours
8. Grab a bite at 24-hour cafes
Here in Seoul, you will be delighted to find cafes that operate around the clock at almost every corner of the city. Hang out at one of the popular Korean coffee chain cafes such as dal.komm for a cup of coffee after a noraebang session. One of the Incheon outlets was featured in the celebrated Korean TV drama series “Descendants of the Sun” and had since garnered tonnes of attention from Korean pop culture fans.
However, if you are into reading instead of watching television, Culcom Book Cafe will be deemed more suitable for you. Bookworms of all walks of life will be pleased to find shelves of books lined up for reading at no cost. This cafe sells food and beverages and even rents out iPads and paying patrons can borrow an iPad for two hours for free.
Address: 76 Sejong-daero, Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 316971319
Website: dal.komm Coffee
Culcom Book Cafe
Address: 40 Jongno 2-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 27440553
9. Walk along the man-made Cheonggyecheon Stream
Cheonggyecheon Stream is a 10. 9 kilometre-long stream that was created as part of an urban restoration project. The existence of this very stream was neglected prior to its restoration in 2005. Today, you can enjoy a serene walk along the quiet river even though it is located along the busiest boulevard in the city. This is because the stream is conveniently situated at more than 15 feet (4.6 metres) below street level.
Address: Cheonggyecheon-ro, Sangwangsimni-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 2-2290-7111
One of the best ways to enjoy the famous Hangang River is by taking a ferry cruise and enjoying the scenic view and fresh air. There are approximately 7 different docks to board from and these cruises have different themes. On the cruise, you can enjoy views of a number of iconic landmarks such as N Seoul Tower, and famous tourist attractions such as Jeoldusan Park and 63 City Building. FunKo offers enlivening cruise packages such as the Dinner Buffet Cruise, with a fireworks show on Saturdays for 92,000 KRW (81 USD) per adult.
FunKo (Funtastic Korea)
Han River Evening Cruise and Gwangjang Night Market Tour
Price: 115 USD
Duration: 4 hours
For a fun-filled night, head over to Seoul’s biggest recreation complex and tourist attraction, which features a Guinness World record for the world’s largest indoor theme park. It opens all year round and is made up of the indoor theme park “Adventure” and the outdoor amusement park “Magic Island”. You can take a fun ride on the Camelot Carousel or take an exhilarating ride on the French Revolution roller coaster. You can even learn about Korea’s people and history at the Folk Museum or watch grand parades, live magic performances, and mesmerizing laser shows.
Lotte World, Seoul
Address: 240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil 3(sam)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hours: 9.30am – 10pm (Closing time may vary each day. Please refer to the official website)
Website: Lotte World
Lotte World Theme Park Admission with Guide
Price: 62 USD
Duration: Half day - 3.5 hours; Full day - 8 hours
Family Tour of Lotte World Amusement Park
Price: 75 USD
Duration: 5 hours
This may sound strange but some of the best theatrical performances in Seoul are actually non-verbal performance shows and one of them is the NANTA cooking performance. Ever since NANTA received its first award for best performance at the Edinburg Fringe Festival in 1997, it has drawn the largest audiences in Korean history. In 2004, NANTA debuted its performance on New York’s Broadway. This non-verbal performance relies solely on cooking utensils for percussions and interjects the plot with comedy.
Another entertaining non-verbal performance is the Original Drawing Show which showcases a mixture of artistic talent, music, and humor. The artists portray exceptional drawing skills and special effects such as making water cascade from a painting of a waterfall as well as perfecting a drawing on top of water. Furthermore, the actors’ hilarious interactions with the audience make the show even more entertaining and spectacular.
Myeongdong NANTA Theatre
Address: Unesco Building 3F, 50-14, Myeongdong-gil, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 27398288
Original Drawing Show, Myungbo Arthall Theatre
Address: 47 Mareunnae-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 7040708339
Website: Original Drawing Show
Seoul: NANTA Show Ticket
Price: 47.62 USD
Duration: 100 minutes
Have a night to remember in Seoul!
The next time you make a visit to Seoul, try a hand at singing at a noraebang, indulge in a de-stress session at a jjimjilbang, or enjoy the awesome theme park rides at Lotte World. Just be prepared to cross off some of these nightlife activities from this exciting bucket list as the city never seems to sleep.