Seoul (Itaewon) Nightlife Guide

Book your hotels in Itaewon on this link to find the best deals! It’s an affiliate link, meaning I make a small commission at no additional cost to you.  It’s a great way to help us keep this website running 🙂

After getting so much positive feedback from my Gangnam Nightlife Guide, I decided to write another article about the other most popular areas of Seoul’s world-famous nightlife.  This post will focus entirely on the Itaewon District (pronounced Eee-Tae-Wahn).

I have been living and teaching English in a suburb of Seoul since August 2013.  On nearly every weekend, I have been going into the city to hang out, make new friends and party in the #1 Party City in the World. I usually spend most of my time in Itaewon and stay at a guesthouse there on the weekends.  Itaewon has become my second home in Seoul. I know this area better than any place around the city.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 3.41.39 PM

So, what exactly is Itaewon?

Itaewon is the “foreigner district” of Seoul. This area is conveniently located in the center of the city, and it’s renowned for it’s international restaurants, souvenir shopping, and incredible nightlife.

IMG_6147

Itaewon is the only place in Seoul that’s influenced by different cultures from people from all over the world.  In the past years, Itaewon has received a bad reputation for it’s presence of drunk and obnoxious U.S. military dudes, who came from the nearby U.S. Base.  They caused havoc on the streets and started fights with people in the bars.  But within the last year or two, new curfew laws have been implemented so they must return home before midnight.  This gave life back to Itaewon.

These days, Itaewon is the most up-and-coming place to go out in Seoul not only for foreigners, but for Koreans as well.  The nightlife in this district is fantastic, with many bars, lounges, pubs and night clubs that stay open all night long.  Most of the bars and clubs are located on the pedestrian street directly behind Hamilton Hotel.  Start your night walking up and down this street to get a feel for the scene. 

IMG_6141
Every weekend, I am seeing more and more young Koreans flocking to Itaewon to grab dinner, hang out with their friends and party the night away.  Most Koreans in Itaewon speak English, so it’s a great place to start explorng Seoul’s nightlife if you are new to the city.

The international cuisines offered around Itaewon are exceptional, which include everything from Brazilian Steakhouses to mouth-watering Serbian Restaurants.  Itaewon is unique, fun, and energetic during 365 days of the year! 

For the remainder of this post, I am going to share the best bars and clubs around Itaewon, all from my personal experiences.  Please note that this list is subject to change, because new bars and clubs are popping up everywhere, but I’ll do my best to keep it updated.  Please contact me if you have any more questions! 

Itaewon Top Bars

Gold Bar– Gold bar has the same atmosphere as a typical college bar in America- it’s rowdy, grimy, and energetic.

Filled with a good mix of foreigners and Koreans, they always play amazing top-hits and throwback jams (with music videos), and sell the cheapest drinks in Itaewon ($3 jack and cokes).  It’s always crowded and fun.

 

Belgrade– As the name suggests, Belgrade Restaurant is a Serbian restaurant which turns into a mellow bar during the night. Head over here for a delicious Serbian dinner, and then relax by drinking some of the tastiest draft beer in Itaewon. Belgrade is a great environment to hang out around 8-9 PM and mingle with some sexy Koreans.   The building is 3 stories tall with an awesome rooftop for hanging out in the summertime.

Dillinger’s- This foreign friendly pub has a wide variety of beer selection such as Alley Kat, San Miguel, Hoegaarden, Guinness and Kilkenny.  They have darts and several flat screen TVs.  They always have drink specials and quiz nights is on Thursday.

Thursday Party- This Thursday Party bar is the 16th one to open up in Korea, and it’s the biggest one of them all. No matter what night you go here, you can expect a rowdy, wild and fun time.  People are notabley drunker than average at this place, and you will see faces from all corners of the world (including lots of Koreans).  Drinks are reasonably priced, music is great, and they have darts, foosball, pool and more.  There’s even a patio for outdoor sitting, kicking music, and fun times.

Wolf Hound– Wolf Hound is a typical Irish pub and restaurant.  The food is great during the day- shepherds pie, Irish breakfast, fish n chips, steaks and bangers n mash and more. Great place to watch sporting events and meet foreigners. Always a friendly environment.

Itaewon Top Clubs

Soap – Soap is a brand new underground club in Itaewon but without the usual claustrophobia and grimeyness. Super clean spot (hence the name) with a heavy sound system to make you dance till the morning with the well curated weekly international line up. You will hear House, Hiphop, Future Bass, Otaku music or anything that the club decides to throw at you that night. Let yourself drown in the bubbles at Soap, and you wont regret it.

spap-itaewon

B One- Club B One is the biggest club in Itaewon, and one of the largest in Seoul in terms of capacity.  The entire club is underground, with several different rooms, multiple DJs and dance floors.   The music is a mixture of deep house, dance hits and underground electronic music.  It’s always crowded on every night of the week, as you’ll see by the large line to get inside.  If you only have one night to party in Itaewon, and you want it to be absolutely crazy, then go to B One.

B One

Move- Club Move is a really cool and unique underground Venue.  The music is throwback hip hop with a mixture of electronic jams.  It’s usually 95% Koreans, which is a great experience if you want to party with the locals.  It’s probably my favorite place to party in Itaewon and I’ve never had a bad time at Move!

Cake Shop- Cake Shop is the definition of an underground club.  Well-known local DJ’s come to this underground club to play future house, techno, disco, hip hop, R&B hits and all other underground music. The capacity is about 200 people and there is a large dance floor.  I always meet cool people when I go to Cake Shop. 

Venue- Venue is another underground club in Itaewon.  The music varies from old school hip hop to awesome underground electronic beats.  The DJ’s are frequently local superstars, who get the party going all night long.  Venue has somewhat of a European feel to it, with the hipster crowd and unique music.  Venue is pretty small is size, but it’s guaranteed a fun time. 

Itaewon Top Lounges

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 2.44.40 PM
Glam Lounge

Full Moon- Full Moon is a lounge, dance club & bar in the heart of Itaewon.  It has a swanky feel to it, with classy couches and tables for bottle service, and a fun dance floor in the middle.  On Friday and Saturday nights, this place is always packed with (mostly) Koreans until the wee hours of the morning.  Music is electronic.  

Boom Bar- Boom bar is another one of my favorite places to go out in Itaewon.  It’s upscale feel attracts hundreds of people, dancing to the best hip hop and R&B music in Seoul.  Boom Bar really sets the bar high when it comes to lounges in Seoul, as the environment is hard to beat.  The crowd is mostly Koreans, which makes it a good place to meets some local babes! 

Between- Between is a dining and tapas lounge, which offers incredible music played by resident DJs throughout the night.   It has large glass windows with an outdoor patio that is perfect in the summertime.  Between is one of the hottest places to go out in Seoul, but I will warn you that it’s not cheap! Head over here for a drink or two to experience first-class Korean nightlife.  

Globe- This lounge is sort of hidden on the second floor on the main pedestrian street in Itaewon.  They frequently have events with local and international DJ’s performing top quality electronic and underground music.  The layout is nice, with a dance floor, tables in the back and even a small balcony outside.  It’s really easy to meet people here and it’s a great place to stop by for a few beers. 

Glam- Glam is one of the classiest lounges in Seoul.  At this upscale venue, you will see mostly people in their 30s dressed fancy and sipping on their expensive cocktails.  Glam attracts a nice mix of international and Korean faces.  The music is never too loud, so it’s easy to have a conversation.  The candle lighting inside is intimate, and it’s a great place to pick up a significant other.  The bar is shaped like a horseshoe, so you can easily make eye contact with others across the bar.  A must visit for a unique experience in Seoul! 

Where to Stay in Itaewon?

Itaewon has a large variety of hotels & hostels that will satisfy your needs to party the night away. Below are my top recommendations:

For a more comprehensive list of hotels in Itaewon, check out TripAdvisor for the best rates!

1) For Budget Travelers – SP Guesthouse (Book Online Now)
*rates – $10/night for 8 bed mix dorm

SP Guesthouse is the best hostel in Seoul to meet other backpackers and have a comfortable stay.  I know the owners really well and they are a very nice and welcoming.  This hostel is in a great location, just steps away from all the clubs and bars!

SP Guesthouse

2) For Mid-Price – IP Boutique Hotel (Book Online Now)
*rates – $75/night for superior twin room

Located in the smack center of Itaewon, IP Boutique is the best value for your money. The modern decorations are amazing, especially in the lobby.  Rooms are small, but clean, and the staff is extra friendly.  Located just a few meters away from great restaurants, bars and clubs.

3) For Luxury – Grand Hyatt Seoul (Book Online Now)
*rates – $334/night for a king room

The Grand Hyatt is arguably the best hotel in Seoul, and it’s located just up the hill from Itaewon. The lobby is beautiful, and the rooms are well appointed with good bedding and nice showers. Outside the hotel, there is a cute bridge connecting the hotel and Namsan park (where the Seoul tower is). You can walk down to the main road in Itaewon for dining or partying. The Swimming pool is nice and the Han river view from the hotel room is spectacular.

Thanks for reading!  If you have any more questions about the nightlife in Itaewon, please comment below and I’ll answer! 

86 thoughts on “Seoul (Itaewon) Nightlife Guide

  1. Hi Drew,

    Thanks for the advice. I am heading to Seoul in April. Arriving mid-day Saturday and leaving mid-day Tuesday. So have Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights. I was planning to spend one in Itaewon, one in Gangnam and one in Hongdae. Would you recommend going to or avoiding any on any of the nights?

  2. Hi drew,

    I’m 18 but technically not legal in Korea. I heard bars don’t really check your license that closely. Is that true? Do you think I’ll be able to get away with just giving them a glance at my American license?

  3. Hi Drew,
    I will be in Seoul in July with a friend , Is it good time for party in July ? i also was wondering if the Korean girls are European friendly just like BKK ? I would be grateful if you reply.
    All the Best

    1. Yes July is great!! No, Bangkok they are much more open — Koreans are hard to make friends with if they don’t speak English. But you wills till have fun!

  4. Thank you for your website. Soooo much information. really useful for me!

    I have a few questions.
    For the weekdays, better to go to ITAEWON or GANGNAM?
    Which area has more people? What are the age range of guys in those two areas?

    Do you know any bar/club to go for after-party?

    Thanks! 🙂

  5. Hey Drew,

    Great website. I’m going to be in Seoul for 2 nights by myself. Can you recommend a couple bars/clubs/lounges in Itaewon or Gangnam that are good for solo travelers?

    Thanks!

  6. Hi Drew !!! Really loved to here some tips from you. I am here in SNU for a course, and we planned to go for Party on Friday and Saturday. Please let me know where to take the crew :). It should be cheap so that everyone can afford

  7. Hi..loved your blog..but i have a question.. in sub zero winters..is it that lively??m planning to travel in January.. what time itaewon becomes dead in winters..?plz reply..Thank you

      1. Hey drew , hope you don’t mind answering my question but I understand that Korean clubs ban foreigners from their club.
        I hold a Singapore passport , am half-korean half Chinese , female and a model.
        I’m definitely good looking , therefore , do you think I’ll be barred from entry the moment they look at my passport?
        I’m hoping to enter with another female model that is 100% Chinese.
        I can speak a bit of Korean as well. Thank you!

  8. Where is move, cake shop and venue? Do we need to reserve ahead of time for glam lounge? We actually thought Prost was glam lounge last month smh lol. Where is the Serbian restaurant and does it have lots of meat options? I want to try, because the staff at Itaewon Inn have always suggested it, but I never get a chance to go.

    1. No need to reserve, and they are all on the main pedestrian drag behind Hamilton Hotel. The Serbian restaurant is all the way down the main drag next to PRAHA. Have fun!

    2. Hi Drew,
      GREAT blog, thanks so much for sharing your insider tips. I’m in itaewon now and it’s FREEZING! How dressy do the ladies get at B One? Do you know if there’s a coat check and if ladies wear jeans into B One during the winter? Thanks!

  9. Hi Drew, thanks for writing about Seoul fun stuffs on your site. I’ll be in Seoul on 31 December for 3 days. I tried to reserve for a room at SP but it’s booked out except 10 bed dorm. Is there any other place in Itaewon you can recommend?

    Also, kindly recommend good places to have ‘lots’ of fun during the day & thenight.

  10. Your blog is amazing man…and thanks for this….I will definitely be checking out a few of these places when I go Seoul again. Itaewon Inn is amazing and their staff is also great

  11. Just realized I’d be in Seoul one day longer than my res in Hongdae so took your word and switched over to spend my last night in town @ SP for an Itaewon farewell! Hope my post-thanksgiving weekend is on point!

  12. If you get a chance, hit up the Sin Bin Sports Pub in Itaewon, it’s across from the King Club on the 3rd floor. Good food (I like the pizza) and decent priced drinks. All depends what you want to do. There are a million guesthouses around Itaewon now which is affordable. The staff is cool and you can watch games there or play darts, pool, or shuffle board. You can enjoy yourself without pissing your wages away on three drinks. LOL

    1. Hi Drew. On Monday which is the best place to go in Seoul to dance, drink and meet babes. B-One? Octagon? Thanks and great blog!!!

  13. Hi, I’ll have one day/night to spend in Seoul because I’ll have 22hrs between flights. I’ve booked hotel in Seoul Main Station area, so I’m planning to see sights around and visit some club. What do you recommend as that ONE? What is vodka’s shot regular price in clubs? Thanks a lot.

  14. Drew great blog. I’m gonna try out some of your sights. I am going to be solo in Seoul oct 31-nov 3 before meeting friends in taipei. looking to have a great time based on your recommendations. I WOULD THROW U A PARTY IF U WERE HERE!!

  15. Hey, I am Lukas A.U.L.T’s cousin! Heading to Korea, he told me all about you and your blog!

    We are staying in Itaewon. Definitely going to check out some of the places you highlighted. Party on!
    Thanks,
    Melanie

    1. Hey Melanie! Haha tell Lukas I say hi!! Korea is an amazing place, and Iteawon is a great area. When are you going? I am actually heading there from Nov 1-25! I could show you around if you want! Cheers

      1. Hey, just going to miss you, we leave on Oct 31! Itaewon is the shit! Recommend the Imperial Palace Boutique hotel. It’s super funky, has great art, and is reasonably priced for an employed yuppie! The elevator is a travel chest! Hard to explain, you jist have to check it out. We also went to Itaewon Spa Land for amazing massage. It was an authentic and fun experience! Going to check out some of the recommended clubs tonight!!! Thanks!

    2. We’ll be staying in Seoul Nov 7-10th with some money to spend in good bars and clubs!
      We’d love to join in any meeting!
      J and Matt

  16. Hey,
    I’m in Seoul for a week of work, but off course still want to squeeze in Nightlife, so my question is, which of the locations you know are already packed n wild at a comparably early hour.

    Cheers
    Chris

  17. Hi Drew,

    Planning a visit to seoul in Nov, me and my mate have done Bangkok – Pattaya – Bali – Ho Chi Minh – We love to Party, was hoping to get some insider tips, maybe we could chat on email. Cheers

  18. Hi Drew, Thanks for the guides! They are great! 🙂

    I’m visiting Seoul in October for 3 nights and trying to work out the best place to base ourselves and how best to combine this with the best places/areas for nightlife.

    I had looked at Myeong-dong as a base which would seemingly be central, decent for transport links and tourist sites. The downside would seem to be that we’d then be needing to travel elsewhere for the nightlife and get taxis back in the early hours so I’m not sure if that’s the best idea or not? Basically, we’re 2 guys in our 30’s, looking to combine busy touristy days along with getting a proper feel for Seoul (people, food, neighbourhoods) and then experience the absolute best of the nightlife.

    I’ve read about Itaewon but I’m not sure it would be the best area for us as it seems like it may be a bit more touristy, westernised and the US military presence may take away from the feel of the place when compared with other areas of Seoul. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Sean — Thanks for the comment!

      You are going to have a blast in Seoul. I am excited for you!

      You def shouldn’t stay in Myeongdong. It’s filled with Chinese tourists 24/7. I think you should really stay in Itaewon, cuz it’s centrally located, and it has some of the best nightlife. Yes, there are a lot of foreigners, but you can easily transport to any area of Seoul and explore from Itaewon. And taxis are really cheap as well.

      Feel free to email me if you have any more questions! Cheers,

      Drew

  19. Hey Blake,

    Me and a friend is going to Seoul for a party vacation in september, we will stay around 12-14 nights.
    In what area would you recommend us staying? And where do one go for party in the weekdays?

    1. My name is Drew, not Blake 😉

      I recommend Itaewon at SP Guesthouse or Itaewon Inn! And you should party in Itaewon and Gangnam. Have fun!

  20. Hey Drew,

    Thanks very much for all this information – it all sounds so overwhelmingly awesome!!!

    We have a connection in Seoul which is about 18hrs long; I get in Friday night around 5pm(a few months from now) and leave the next day(Saturday), around 10am. I’m arriving with 2 friends. We’re getting plenty of sleep on the plane ride over from the states. What do you recommend, is a good club, that foreign guys have a chance to speak with some Korean ladies? What areas of Seoul? What clubs? Since, we’re only over for 1 night of full partying; we’d like to go to clubs that are a little more foreign-easy, but of course, not fully fledged foreign areas – where you get none of the cultural experience. We’re leaning more towards being able to talk, party and club with locals there. We obviously wanna be around the Korean crowd…lol 🙂 We figure, since its our first time there, we would like to bring a good amount of money each, for one night – maybe around $300 each(way above our budget). I haven’t done enough research, but given by the information in your post, you seem like a pretty knowledgeable guy!

    Thanks in advance, Drew!!

    1. Hey Blake – thanks for the comment! Given what you’ve told me, you DEFINITELY want to go to Itaewon. It’s a very foreigner friendly place, and also filled with English-speaking Koreans who will be easy for you to meet. $300 is plenty of money.. You can really have a night to remember with that kind of cash. If you send me an email, I’ll give you some more insider tips 🙂

      1. Hey Drew,

        Thanks very much for the prompt response! Once I speak to my friends, I will have plenty of questions.

        Thanks again!

      2. Hi drew am going to korea today pls give me insiders tip for the best clubs in hongdae itaewon and ganghnam am put up at hongdae pls email me which of the area has best chances to get laid and i dont mind the pay and park thing
        Thanx in advance

  21. Drew,

    Great info here. Thanks for putting it together. I’m doing a three night stopover in Seoul soon.
    I have two questions:

    Where do you recommend for a decent western style breakfast? I can handle almost any kind of Asian food for lunch or dinner but need my bacon and eggs in the morning, if possible.

    I’m staying near Hoehyeon station in Myeongdong. I can see myself missing the last train (done it many a time here in Osaka) on a night out in Itaewon when the booze starts flowing. Any idea how much a cab would cost between Itaewon and Hoehyeon?

    1. Hey Kyle – No problem! The best western breakfast or brunch is at Sujis.. It’s a New York Deli and it’s located all the way down the end of the main road on the corner. Just ask someone and they will tell you how to get there.

      Hoehyeon is a great area to stay in! A taxi would be no more than $8-10 frmo Itaewon to Hoehyeon. Don’t worry man 🙂 Let me know if you have any other questions, and welcome to Seoul!

  22. Drew,

    I was wondering if you would be able to create a review guide on Hostess Bars in Korea. BTW, I love reading your travel blog, and hopefully I will be in Korea sometime within the next couple of years.

  23. Also, I was planning on staying in a hostel in Hongdae after my buddy leaves, but after reading this blog I wonder if I should stay in Itaewon. Which would you recommend? I understand Hongdae is a trendy, hipster area and fun place to hang out. I can dig that, but if it’s too heavy on the hipster scene, that can get annoying after a while. I prefer a down-to-earth, chill crowd sometimes ya know… not people that smell their own farts.

  24. Drew, your blog is great. Me and a buddy will be visiting starting this Friday, Dec 19. He is leaving sunday then i’m flying solo in Seoul and flying out on Christmas. We are going to stay in Gangdam and partying at some of the clubs you recommended on Fri and Sat, and hopefully meet some nice ladies. Do you recommend we try to hit the Gangdam clubs maybe on Friday and then Itaewon on Saturday? If you want to get together to have some beers that’d be great. We are American dudes living in Okinawa (non-military).

    1. Taylor- I’m glad that you found my posts useful! Yeah your plan sounds good. Gangnam one night, and Itaewon the other. It doesn’t matter which is on Friday or Saturday, cuz they will both be crazy. Email me and I’ll send you my contact info. It would be fun to show you around!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *