The pub and bar scene in Seoul is alive and kicking, giving ample reason for you hit the streets of the Korean capital after dark - even if nightclubs aren’t your thing. The Sinchon area of the city continues to attract a steady, fun-loving university crowd, while plenty of upscale bars in the downtown and Gangnam areas draw in fashionistas with a bit more cash to splash.
Seoul’s nightlife is rated as one of the best in Asia, and it’s no wonder why. Among our top 10, we’ve also included a few favourite rooftop hangouts affording some pretty awesome views across the skyline, and of course, no list of a city’s best pubs can forget about the more expat-oriented haunts, most of which here can be found in the vibrant Itaewon neighbourhood. Below, find our select best bars and pubs in Seoul.
Glam Lounge attracts a steady following of fashionable elites, young executives, and business travellers. This upscale bar is set on the second floor of District, a multi-level nightlife establishment with vaulted arched windows, glittering chandeliers, and stylish interiors. The ambience here is relaxed with candle lighting and unobtrusive house music playing in the background while the central horseshoe-shaped bar makes it easy for patrons to make eye contact from across the room. While entry is free of charge, the price range for drinks at Glam Lounge is higher than most bars in Itaewon. Most drinks cost between 10,000 and 15,000won, but if you’re a cocktail lover, skilled mixologists here can easily whip up something unique upon request.
- Opening Hours: Daily 19:00 – 03:00
- Address: 2F District, Hamilton Hotel Annex, 116-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 796 6853
The Wolfhound is Seoul’s pioneer Irish pub, offering Irish lamb stews, grilled steaks, and Irish sausages, as well as a variety of beers and cocktails at affordable prices. Aside from Guinness Stout, Magner’s, and Kilkenny beers on tap, Wolfhound Pub serves some of Korea’s best domestic craft brews, wines, cocktails, whiskies, and martinis. Highly-frequented by expats and foreign tourists, the pub is also famous for its jovial themed parties and weekend nights with resident DJs spinning a selection of oldies, rock & roll, and the latest top 40 hits. Keeping up with its Irish roots, The Wolfhound is also a great place to catch live Irish music performances, which takes place every Sunday from 17:00 onwards.
- Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 16:00 – 01:30, Saturday & Sunday 11:00 – 02:30
- Address: 128-6 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 749 7971
Pierre Bar in Lotte Hotel Seoul offers 28 types of vodkas, signature cocktails, and premium champagnes, making it Seoul’s definitive vodka and champagne bar. Fitted with intimate boudoirs and plush sofas, this posh establishment is set on the 35th floor of the five-star hotel, where patrons can enjoy a great view of downtown Seoul as well as N Seoul Tower in Namsan Park. The atmosphere is livelier come night time, with resident DJs spinning electronic, hip-hop and house tunes. Catering to a more affluent clientele, the service here is graceful and poised with cocktails priced between 18,000 and 30,000 won while bottles start at 240,000 won.
- Opening Hours: Daily 18:00 - 01:00
- Address: 35F, Lotte Hotel Seoul, 1 Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 317 7181
Griffin Bar - JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square
The exquisite Griffin Bar at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul is hailed as one of the city’s best spots to enjoy signature cocktails and fine wines. Set on the 11th floor, the bar is fitted with wooden flooring, warm lighting, a grand piano, and an expansive rooftop terrace that offers panoramic views of Heunginjimun (Great East) Gate, a 600 year-old heritage site built during the Joseon Dynasty. Attracting a steady clientele of affluent travellers, local socialites and celebrities, Griffin Bar is a nice place to mix and mingle whilst enjoying classical piano performances.
- Opening Hours: Daily 18:00 - 02:00
- Address: 11th Floor, JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul
- Tel: +822 2276 3344
Dillinger’s Bar & Grill
Set within Seoul’s Itaewon district is Dillinger's Bar & Grill, a favourite watering hole for the city’s expat community. With a music policy that ranges from 90s rock tunes to the latest hits, this two-storey bar is fitted with steel tip dartboards, pool table, and flat screen televisions airing the latest sports events. Dillinger's Bar & Grill’s alcoholic offerings consist of 17 types of beers at 3,000 won onwards while cocktails cost between 7,500 and 8,500 won. Definite must-tries are the Mason Jar Double drink special, where patrons can choose two shots of vodka, gin, rum or Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (with a mixer of their choice) for 6,000 won.
- Opening Hours: Monday - Thursday 16:00 - 01:00, Friday 16:00 - 03:00, Saturday 13:00 - 03:00, Sunday 13:00 - 01:00
- Address: 72-32 Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 793 7232
Woo Bar - W Hotel Seoul
Woo Bar boasts one of Seoul’s largest open-space lounges, offering an extensive drinks list and spectacular night views. Set within W Hotel Seoul, this modern lounge is equipped with an 18-metre bar (known to be the longest of its kind in South Korea), retro décor, funky eggshell chairs, and interactive artwork displays, while resident DJs spin dance tunes in a spaceship-shaped booth. Woo Bar presents a satisfying range of spirits available by the bottle and glass, with up to 40 choices of vodka and 200 fine wine. Cocktail lovers will delight in Woo-spresso cocktail (vodka and Absolut Vanilla) and Woo Bar’s take on Old Fashioned, which is a mix of Ballantine’s whisky, brown sugar, and a slice of orange.
- Opening Hours: Sunday - Thursday 10:00 - 02:00, Friday & Saturday 10:00 - 03:00
- Address: 1st Floor, W Seoul-Walkerhill Hotel, 177 Walkerhill-ro, Gwangjin-Gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 2022 0333
The Timber House
Located on the lower level of the Park Hyatt Seoul, The Timber House’s design concept is based on the traditional hanok, a wooden Korean house complete with roof tiles, patterned sliding doors, a wall made of books stacked in layers, and a glass wall decorated with old furniture locks. With a clientele of local celebrities and affluent travellers, the bar serves fresh sushi and sashimi, boutique Japanese sakes, signature cocktails, Korean soju, vintage champagnes, new world wines, and a wide selection of unique whiskeys, including single malts and rare whiskeys. At The Timber House, patrons can also enjoy live jazz music performances daily from 20:30 to 01:30.
- Opening Hours: Daily 18:00 – 02:00
- Address: Park Hyatt Seoul, 606 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 2016 1290
Cheeky Kiwi Bar
Cheeky Kiwi Bar brings authentic Kiwi food, music, drinks and hospitality to the vibrant Sinchon district, attracting trendy youths studying in the neighbouring Yonsei University, Ewha Women’s University, and Seogang University. Run by a Kiwi expat, patrons can catch live telecast of rugby, cricket, and netball matches whilst enjoying craft beers from Tuis, Monteith’s, and Old Mout Cider as well as a selection of wines, spirits and kettle cocktails from New Zealand. Cheeky Kiwi Bar is also a great place to savour Kiwi-style pub grub, such as fish and chips, fish burgers, and potato wedges with a side of sour cream and sweet chilli sauce.
- Opening Hours: Thursday 19:00 - 00:00, Friday 18:00 – 00:00, Saturday 17:00 – 01:00
- Address: 57-16 Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Sinchon, Seoul
- Tel: +822 3144 8683
Sky Lounge - COEX Intercontinental Seoul
Sky Lounge, located on the 30th floor of InterContinental Seoul COEX, offers modern Italian cuisine and cocktails in an aviation-inspired setting. Featuring minimal décor, white furnishing, and massive windows overlooking the Han River and downtown Seoul, patrons can enjoy imported wines and whiskies with Italian and pan-Asian dishes. The ambience here is rather subdued with unobtrusive music and efficient service, making it a good place for quiet gatherings and romantic dinners. Signature dishes here include the grilled Canadian lobster and marinated Norwegian salmon while desserts consist of walnut-honey chocolate pound cake and raspberry yogurt mousse.
- Opening Hours: Monday - Wednesday 21:30 - 01:00, Thursday - Saturday 21:30 - 02:00, Sunday 21:30 - 01:00
- Address: 30th Floor, InterContinental Seoul COEX, 524 Bongeunsa-ro Gangnam-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 3430 8630
While Gangnam is famed for its upscale nightlife scene, Bulldogs Pub exudes a very cosy vibe where you can enjoy alcoholic drinks and piping hot pub food. Drinks served here include craft beers, draft beers, bottled beers and plenty of unique cocktails as well as hard liquors such as Hendricks Gin, Jameson, Johnny Walker Gold Label, and Jack Daniels. The English-speaking bartenders here are very friendly and are more than happy to play any music upon request. This British-themed pub is a less than a minute-long walk from Gangnam Subway Station (Line 2, Exit 11), making it a very convenient watering hole for those travelling via train.
- Opening Hours: Monday - Thursday 16:30 - 01:00, Friday 16:30 - 02:00, Saturday 11:30 - 02:00, Sunday 11:30 - 01:00
- Address: 9 Gangnam-daero 94-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 538 2998