Seoul, South Korea, is famous for its nightlife. When the sun goes down the city truly comes to life. With 24-hour cafes, bars, nightclubs and more, you’d be mad to be tucked up in bed at 11pm. Daytime Seoul only tells half the story of this incredible city so I’ve put together a nightlife guide with some tips and suggestions on what to do in Seoul when the sun’s on the other side of the world.
Go Clubbing in Gangnam
Don’t leave Seoul with getting your Gangnam style on! The Gangnam district is the place to be when you’re in Seoul, with a dizzying array of high-class restaurants, luxury brand stores, cafes, bars and clubs to choose from. If you’re looking for a more upmarket clubbing experience then Gangnam is definitely the place for you. The uber-trendy bars and nightclubs in this exclusive district are frequented by all the coolest kids! Start your night off in Moon Jar – a hipster bar/restaurant that serves the traditional Korean rice wine ‘Makgeolli’ in various flavours (sweet potato, raspberry honey… to name but a few). Make sure to book though as it’s usually full. Then head on over to the luxurious Club Octagon – Gangnam’s best-known club – and dance yourself into the early hours of the morning.
If you find yourself getting a bit peckish during your nocturnal shenanigans, make your way to the Itaewon district for a bite to eat. It’s teeming with restaurants and cafes serving food from all over the world at all times of the night. If it exists somewhere they probably serve it in Itaewon, for example you can get New York style pizza at Gino’s NY Pizza or South African grills at Braai Republic. Or try Le Saigon for delicious traditional Vietnamese food at reasonable prices.
Do Some Night Shopping at Dongdaemun Market
Dongdaemun Market is the centre of the shopping universe for fashion-conscious South Koreans looking for a bargain. Open 24/7, Dongdaemun is huge, with 20 shopping malls and 30,000 shops spread over a few city blocks. Although open all day long, the market really comes alive at night. When shopping gets too much, there are plenty of food stalls to avail yourself of, or, alternatively, relax in a nearby 24-hour jjimjilbang (Korean spa).
Go on a Hangang River Cruise
There’s no better way to see the city at night than on a ferry cruise, where you’ll be able to take in such sites as the N Seoul Tower and the Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain. Cruise ship packages usually include live performances and a meal and are well worth it for the extraordinary views you get to see of the city.
Enjoy the View from the N Seoul Tower at Night
For some truly spectacular views of the city, be sure to go to the N Seoul Tower. At 774 feet (236 meters) tall, this communications and observation tower sits on top of Namsan Mountain, providing visitors with panoramic views of the city. If you’re going to go though, go at night, when the skyline is simply mesmerising.
I’m in the middle of planning an extended South Korea trip and this research is a sponsored collaboration with Expedia.com so I’d love to hear some of your suggestions for enjoying Seoul’s nightlife to round out my final itinerary. Please do share them here!