Seoul’s most popular nightlife spots consist of award-winning dance clubs in Gangnam (where you can rub shoulders with local celebrities, elites and trendsetters), towering structures and unique all-night cafes with panoramic city views, as well as the sprawling Dongdaemun night market for all your shopping needs. As the backdrop for the internationally-acclaimed Ultra Music Festival, the capital city of South Korea is home to numerous clubs and bars that are concentrated within Gangnam and Hongdae, making it a favourite holiday destination for hard-core dance music fans.
If the idea of clubbing does not appeal to you, Seoul is also home to sprawling shopping districts that transform into cultural spaces where you can enjoy fashion shows, dance performances, and live concerts for free while shopping for inexpensive goods and sampling local delicacies. To help you experience the best of South Korea’s after-dark attractions, we’ve compiled a quick rundown of the 10 best nightlife in Seoul.
Club Octagon is undoubtedly South Korea’s top nightclub, where throngs of local celebrities, elites and trendsetters gather to mix and mingle until the wee hours of morning. Set within the New Hilltop Hotel in Gangnam district, the nightclub exudes a chic underground hideout with cutting-edge sound systems, VIP lounges, spacious dancefloors, private rooms, as well as a swimming pool within the establishment. The nightclub hosts an impressive line-up of international and Korean DJs spinning electro dance and tech-house tunes. If you’re feeling a tad peckish after dancing, Club Octagon’s casual lounge area offers a variety of food and drinks. Club Octagon’s entry fee is priced between 10,000 and 30, 000 won. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Thursday – Saturday 22:00 – 07:00
- Address: B1/B2 New Hilltop Hotel, 152 Nonhyeon-dong, Kangnam-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 516 8847 or +8210 9031 0808
Also set in Gangnam is Club Answer, a popular nightlife spot that has dominated Seoul’s electro music scene since its inception in 2007. Set in the middle of affluent Cheongdam, heavyweight acts such as Justice, Deadmau5 and Benny Benassi have made appearances in this dance club. It’s also a popular venue for events such as high profile product launches, fashion show after-parties, and costume parties. Due to its prime locale, expect to rub shoulders with popular celebrities and socialites from Seoul when you’re at Club Answer. Entrance fee is priced at 30,000 won, which includes one free drink. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Friday & Saturday 21:00 - 06:00
- Address: 125-16 Cheongdam-dongm Gangnam-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +8210 4118 9006
N Seoul Tower is one of Seoul’s most popular landmarks, offering breath-taking views of the South Korea’s capital city and beyond. Constructed in 1969, it is set atop Namsan Mountain and stands at an impressive 236 meters. The fastest way to N Seoul Tower is via the Namsan Mountain cable car ride, which costs 8,500 won per person for roundtrip while entrance fees are priced at 9,000 won for adults and 7, 000 won for children and senior citizens. Aside from a breezy observation deck that overlooks the entire city, the tower also houses numerous attractions, including an outdoor terrace, fine-dining French and Korean restaurants, an observatory cafe, and a Teddy Bear Museum. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday 10:00 – 23:00, Friday & Saturday 10:00 – 00:00, Sunday 10:00 – 23:00
- Address: 105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 3455 9277
Dongdaemun Night Market
Make your way to the Dongdaemun Night Market for a seemingly endless array of clothing, jewellery, shoes, handbags, cosmetics and skincare. Open until the early hours of morning, the night market is home to massive shopping malls and speciality stores as well as an outdoor stage that regularly hosts dance performances, concerts, and fashion shows. There’s also the popular Open Market where visitors can purchase local and international brands at discounted prices. Dongdaemun Night Market is also a foodie paradise, with numerous street stalls selling burgers, dumplings, fried chicken, tteokbokki (rice cakes, vegetables and fish cakes stir-fried in red chili paste), and tteokgalbi (grilled beef and pork with a sweetened soy sauce marinade).
- Opening Hours: Daily 20:00 – 05:00
- MRT: Dongdaemun Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 & 4), Exit 8 or 9
- Tel: +822 2236 9135
B One Lounge ClubItaewon
B One Lounge Club is one of Itaewon’s hottest night spots at the moment, consistently drawing a long line of well-dressed revellers and tourists every weekend. Set beside Hamilton Hotel, international DJs spin a diverse mix of tunes, ranging from hip hop to electro dance beats. This basement lounge and club is fitted with medieval-inspired décor, brick walls, and iron-wrought gates for a Victorian-like ambience. Entry here starts at 10,000 won (depending on the event) and due to its popularity, be prepared to wait up to an hour to get inside.
- Opening Hours: Monday 20:00 – 04:00, Tuesday – Saturday 22:00 – 06:00, Sunday 20:00 – 04:00
- Address: 119-7 Itaewon-dong, Yonsan-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 749 6164
Also known as the Asia Multiplex Club, Ellui in Gangnam is a massive multi-level club with three main sections that cater to different genres. Ellui’s VIP white room is dedicated to lounge-style house music while the black room plays funky to hard electro. Meanwhile, the main stage plays host to an impressive line-up of international DJs such as Mark Knight, Mauro Picotto, Diplo, and The Pretty Reckless. Ellui is also one of Asia’s biggest dance clubs, attracting a steady following of refined Seoulites and tourists looking to mingle and party the night away. Due to its sheer size, it’s easy to get lost but the crowds in Ellui are very approachable; as long you extend the same courtesy, you’ll end up making new friends and having lots of fun.
- Opening Hours: Friday & Saturday 22:00 – 08:00
- Address: 129 Cheongdam-dong Gangnam-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +8210 2032 7954
Lookout Cafés on Hangang River
Enjoy the night cityscape of Western Seoul by visiting these unique crane-shaped cafés, all of which are perched upon six bridges crossing Seoul’s Hangang River. While the riverfront has always been a popular venue for daytime recreational activities, the lookout cafes on Hangang River offer cosy retreats for those looking to unwind after a day of sightseeing in Seoul. Open past midnight, the cafés serve a variety of beverages such as tea, coffee and fruit juice, as well as alcoholic beverages. Food-wise, the Gureum and Noeul cafes on Dongjak Bridge serves western delicacies such as pork cutlets and steaks. Every week, visitors can also enjoy grand piano performances here – completely free of charge.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 02:00
- MRT: Sinsa Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 4
- Tel: +822 1330
Club M2, known as one of the best clubs in Hongdae district, is a massive nightlife venue filled with state-of-the-art sound and lighting facilities, three well-stocked bars and spacious dance floor. With an entrance fee between 10,000 won to 20,000 won, the nightclub is often packed with trendy clubbers and fans of house, progressive, and trance tunes. Priced between 6,000 and 10,000 won, drinks here are quite affordable compared to most clubs in Seoul. As the main dancefloor can get rather stuffy at times, the club’s second floor has a private area for VIPs looking to have the ultimate clubbing experience minus the hectic crowds.
- Opening Hours: Tuesday - Thursday 21:30 - 05:00, Friday & Saturday 21:30 - 07:00, Sunday 21:30 - 05:00
- Address: 367-11 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 3143 7573
Paradise Walker Hill Casino
Apart from nightclubs and night markets, casinos are the most popular venues in Seoul, and the Paradise Walker Hill Casino is arguably the best establishment in the city. Catering only to holders of foreign passports (South Koreans are banned from gambling), the casino is set within the five-star Sheraton Grande Walkerhill where guests can also enjoy an extensive array of alcoholic beverages and pleasant views of the Hangang River. Paradise Walker Hill Casino takes inspiration from Las Vegas’ swanky casinos, offering Baccarat, Black Jack, Roulette, Tai-Sai, as well as numerous table games and arcades. As a foreigners-only casino, its staff members are fluent in many languages to serve the customers’ needs.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 24 hours
- Address: 177, Walkerhill-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 456 2121
Myeongdong Nanta TheatreMyeongdong
The Myeongdong Nanta Theatre is South Korea’s first venue for Nanta performances, which are comic non-verbal plays that take place within a kitchen. Combining Korean traditional musical elements like garak (rhythms) of samullori (traditional Korean percussion quartet), this live performance features five main characters who are kitchen staffs performing intricate rhythms on makeshift instruments such as pots and pans whilst frantically preparing for a luxurious wedding banquet. The Myeongdong Nanta Theatre attracts over 700,000 attendees every year with VIP seat tickets priced at 60,000 won while standard seats cost 50,000 won.
- Opening Hours: Daily 14:00 – 22:30
- MRT: Myeongdong Station
- Tel: +822 774 3238