There is a reason why Seoul is called the soul of Asia. Yes it’s home to numerous cultural institutions as well as a plethora of authentic East Asian markets. However its nightlife truly gives the city its character and spirit. The three main districts to visit at night (Hongdae, Itaewon, and Gangnam) have their own unique style and feel giving Seoul its pulse, vibrancy and, well, soul.
Dress codes vary significantly from district to district. Itaewon and Hongdae are generally more lax, whereas Gangnam is slightly stricter in this regard. However, what all three districts have in common is that they are literally open 24hrs. While many large cities like to claim they don’t sleep, Seoul truly lives up to this moniker. Last call does not occur until the wee hours of the morning 4am to 6am when people shuffle into the street to catch the first subway at 5:30am.
To see the edgier, hipster side of Korea checkout Hongdae. Here you can catch an underground Korean indie concert, watch B-boys battle, and also dance to Korea’s hottest new djs. For a more eclectic experience Itaewon offers everything from Afro-Caribbean hotspots to the city’s highest concentration of LGBT clubs. However the largest and most exclusive clubs are in Gangnam. Places like Ellui, Heaven, Answer, and Eden are where (as cliché as the saying is) people go to see and be seen.
To go to Ellui and Answer, take line 7 to Chung-Dam and proceed out exit 7. To visit Itaewon, take line 6 to Itaewon Station. For Hongdae, take either line 2 or the Airport Railroad (AREX) to Hongkik University and take exit 9 for the main club and bar drag.