Nightlife Culture in Seoul

Hello CAU party-goers! As you may have already noticed, Seoul city does not sleep. The nightlife in Seoul may be something you may not want to miss out on and is definitely a scene that you should experience.

Starting as early as 10pm and lasting until 6am the next day, the night culture will keep you busy from dusk until dawn. From clubs to bars, the opportunities are endless!

Be sure to take caution while having a fun night and remember to drink responsibly.


hongdae-nb2-clubThe clubbing scene is filled with loud music, bright lights and energetic people dancing the night (and their stress) away. A few things to note, depending on the club’s popularity and capacity, you may have to wait in line-ups or pay a cover fee (averagely ₩10,000). For those who want table service, there would be a minimum order that could be used to waive the cover fee for a set number of people.

At your discretion, smoking is permitted at most clubs.

Bars and Lounges

Screen Shot 2019-05-27 at 2.57.30 PM

If you are into a more laid-back environment and relaxed drinking, bars and lounges would be up your alley. Both are very similar, as they serve drinks and food, play music or hold live performances. Also, some may even turn into clubs as the night goes on!

Popular Areas


Right off of Hongik University Station (Line 2) and known as the student university/college town, you will mostly be surrounded by a younger crowd in this area. Being relatively on the more affordable side, there are a lot of cheaper drinks and food options, so you can party on a budget.

The scene itself is very vibrant, hyped and loud. Typically, Hongdae is known for its underground scene, hip hop clubs and DJs. The dress code is very casual, you will see a lot of people with diverse senses of styles.


Stationed at Itaewon Station (Line 6) and known as a foreigner-friendly area. There are many international and Western style bars and restaurants. You might also run into many expatriates (or expats), meaning a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than their native country.

What makes Itaewon’s nightlife culture distinctive is that there is a larger demographic with not just ethnicities, but in terms of age. The crowd ranges from people in their 20s, 30s as well as 40s. There are plenty of venues and clubs to choose from, each holding their own concept and music such as hip hop, EDM, techno, reggae, etc. You are bound to find one that suits your taste!


Located at Gangnam Station (Line 2) for those who like the glitz and glamour, Gangnam is right up your alley! Extravagant, elite and chic, the nightlife culture will definitely be on the classier and higher scale side. Clubs and bars here are bigger, more expensive and notable. Socialites and even celebrities often spend their time here.

Since quality is expected from the area, Gangnam holds a much more mature scene. Clubs and bars are stricter when it comes to your appearance, so formal attire is often pronounced and expressed. Put on your best dress and suits, ladies and gents!   

Quick Tips

Remember to bring your ID

‣ Real form of identification are valid (passport, ARC card, driver’s license, etc.)

Cash is recommended

Legal drinking age in South Korea

‣ 19 (20 Korean age) is the legal age to drink and enter clubs in Korea

Convenience stores are your go-to

‣ Accessible and affordable alcohol (soju, beer, traditional Korean liquor, etc.)
‣ Quick snacks so you don’t end up drinking on an empty stomach

Surviving the Morning

‣ Hangover soup (Haejang-guk)
‣ Recovery drinks
‣ Hangover pills behind the cashier
‣ Jimjilbang (Bathhouse)

More Nightlife Options

Nightlife in Seoul is not limited to only clubs and bars. There are plenty nightlife alternatives for your enjoyment!

‣ Noraebang (Karaoke)
‣ Live Music Clubs
‣ Hookah/Shisha
‣ Arcade/VR room
‣ CGV (Movie Theatre)
‣ PC Bang (Computer Room)

Partying in Seoul city will be such an experience! Remember to watch your drink and be aware of your surroundings. Also, make sure you eat before you drink and stay hydrated!

Stay safe and have fun!!!

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