Things To Do In Seoul At Night
Looking what to do in Seoul at night alone? Want to know the best things to do in Gangnam at night? What is the best night market in Seoul? Only have one night in Seoul? Questions about the best things to do in Seoul at night? Read on to find out more!
Seoul, the city that never sleeps, a city with lots of things going on day and night. Doesn’t matter what time of the day, there is always something happening somewhere. From exploring museums to watching a performance or going for a night hike. Here are the best things to do in Seoul at night.
Things To Know Before Going To Seoul
- What to wear: the things you need to pack really depend on the time of the year. If you are coming in Summer, the night in Seoul will still be quite warm and no sweater is needed. The winter nights can go below 0°C, so make sure to layer up. Check what to wear here.
- Tipping: Generally Korea has a no tipping culture, except for taxis and tour guides. If you are going out to bars in the busy areas, you’ll definitely come across tipping jars. Feel free to tip if they have a jar.
- Foreigner discounts: Many night activities you can book and pay online. Sites like Klook and Trazy have lots of foreigner discounts for these activities.
- Free Entrance: If you have a Discover Seoul Pass, many of the attractions below are free to enter with the pass.
Public Transport In Seoul At Night
The Seoul public transport is excellent and gets you around the city in no time. If you’re out in Seoul after 12.30 PM, the best way to get back home is by night bus or taxi. There are around 9 owl (night) buses running through Seoul. Use Kakao or Naver Maps to navigate and find the right bus. To use the bus at night, you’ll need a transportation card.
Things To Do In Seoul At Night
Listed below is a summary of what to do in Seoul at night, from relaxing in a jjimjilbang to the craziest parties. There is something to do at night in Seoul for people of all ages and with all sorts of interests. Note: the legal drinking age in Korea is 19 years old.
1. Enjoy Stunning Night Views
Seoul city is stunning at night, with lights shining all over the city, one can enjoy the most beautiful views. Listed below are some of the best night views of Seoul. If you are looking to take pictures at night, don’t forget your tripod to get the best quality.
1.1 N Seoul Tower
The views from Seoul tower are absolutely amazing. N Seoul Tower is the first tower like attraction in South Korea and is a popular tourism spot for locals and foreign travelers. It towers 480 meters above sea level and can be seen from all around Seoul. You can take the bus, cable car or just walk to the top of Namsan Mountain, where the tower is located. Click here to buy discounted tickets now.
Located in the tower are a couple of restaurants and attractions including Hello Kitty Island, Owl’s Cutlet, N Burger and N Grill (rotating restaurant). Read our Namsan Tower guide here.
1.2 63 Square
Another great tower which is made out of 14 000 panes of glass, each coated with a thin film of gold (24 cart). The building has mainly offices, but in the basement there is an shopping mall and aquarium and on one of the top floors there is an observation deck, looking over the Han River and beyond. Both the aquarium and the observation deck are open till 10 PM. Click here to buy discounted tickets now.
1.3 Lotte Tower
THE highest tower in South Korea and the 6th highest tower in the world. Lotte Tower is an iconic building, located in Jamsil, just next to Lotte World, Lotte Castle and Lotte Aquarium. The observation decks are located on the 117th – 122nd floor of the building. Apart from the observation deck, there is a coffee and souvenir shop.
Not only can you visit Lotte Tower but also Lotte World, which is open until 10 PM. Why not enjoy some late night roller coaster fun when queues are much shorter than during day times? Click here for 44% discounted combo tickets.
1.4 Han River Cruise
Taking a night cruise on the Han River is another great way to see stunning night views. These run everyday but the best boat cruise is the firework one which runs only on Saturdays. You’ll see the light and water show at Banpo Bridge, 63 Building and other buildings in Yeouido and there will be a live band playing in the boat. Click here for tickets now.
1.5 Other Amazing Night Views
The 3 main towers of Seoul aren’t the only places that offer amazing views of Seoul. Listed below are a couple more locations including mountains, gates and bridges.
- Gwanghwamun Square
- Haneul Park
- Bugaksan Mountain
- Seokchon Lake
- Maebongsan Mountain
- Banpodaegyo Bridge & Hangang Park
- Dongdaemun Design Plaza
2. Nightlife In Seoul
Unlike the West, where partying and drinking is mainly done in weekends and Friday nights. Many Koreans go out drinking during weekdays, due to the working culture. Not only is the work culture different than the West, but also the drinking culture. Rather than going to a single bar for a couple of beers, they tend to go to places which serve food and alcohol. As you are eating greasy food, you can drink more alcohol. If you are looking to visit clubs and bars, you’ll have to go the busier areas of Seoul, like Gangnam, Itaewon and Hongdae.
2.1 Night Clubs
One of the major night clubs is Octagon in Gangnam. This club is apparently in the top 20 best clubs in the world. It is a hot spot for celebrities and can fit up to 8000 people. The club mainly plays electronic music, but has separate rooms for hip hop and house music. Click here for Octagon tickets now.
TIP! Book an accommodation close to the club. This way you don’t have to worry about getting home late at night. Goldhill Guesthouse lies withing walking distance from Octogon club. It is an affordable and high rated accommodation.
Other major clubs in Seoul are listed below:
- Arena, Gangnam
- Club Bound, Gangnam
- Cakeshop, Itaewon
- Boombar, Itaewon
- Club Vera, Hongdae
2.2 Go To A Bar
There is no lack of bars in Seoul, especially not in Hongdae, Itaewon or Gangnam. In the other parts of Seoul, you are more likely to find hofs or gogi jibs. There are also some really cool rooftop bars which have amazing views overlooking Seoul, these are especially great to visit during hot summer nights. If you’re looking for a cheap nightcap, then why not hang out at a convenience store? Many bigger convenience stores have some seating outside or inside and they stay open 24/7.
2.3 Sing Your Heart Out At Karaoke
A noraebang or karaoke is a great place to end the evening. They are private rooms with a karaoke system and songs both in English and Korean. Many places serve drinks and have some small snacks. You normally pay per hour and prices range from 6000 – 30 000 krw. Karaoke rooms can be found anywhere, but there are a couple famous noraebangs which have been featured on TV like Su Noraebang in Hongdae.
2.4 Watch A Performance
The most popular performance in Korea is NANTA, the cooking show. This is a slapstick action and music show which follows four chefs preparing food for a wedding party. This show runs every evening in Myeongdong and Hongdae. Other major performances in Seoul are Jump, THE PAINTERS, The Palace and many more. Tickets for these performances have to be purchased in advance online. Click here for discounted tickets now.
If you prefer not to spend any money to see performances, then head to Hongdae, which is famous for its street performances. Friday and Saturday evenings are the best times to see the singers and dancers, but there will be some during weekdays too.
2.5 Play Games At An Arcade Or Game Room
Arcades and game rooms are a popular thing to do at night among locals. There are massive arcades in Hongdae, Myeongdong and Gangnam, like Funny Room (Hongdae). Games at the arcade include claw machines, coin karaoke, racing, dancing and more. The machines only take coins, so make sure to bring cash. Notes can be exchanged in the arcade.
2.6 Night At The Museum
A couple of days a week certain museums are open till late at night. Take this opportunity to soak up some culture and knowledge. Usually these times are also less busy than during day time or weekends. You’ll probably have the whole museum to yourself. Who knows what might happen, we’ve all seen Night At The Museum 1 & 2! Museums that have late night openings are The National Museum Of Korea, Royal Palace Museum, MMCA, Trick Eye Museum and many more.
2.7 Spend The Night At A JJimjilbang
A Jjimjilbang is a Korean style bathhouse where you can enjoy hot/cold baths, a massage and even spend the night. After spending time in the sauna and bath room, you need to put on your given outfit and head to the communal resting room. In this area you can probably find different types of hot kilns, a restaurant and a resting area where you can sleep. If you are traveling on a budget, then spending the night here is a very affordable option (prices are around 10 000 krw).
3. Seoul Night City Tour Bus
Experience the best of Seoul, while taking a city night tour bus and see the best views of the city. There are different companies running tours, each with its own unique feature. The best selling bus tour is the Seoul City Night course which passes along the following locations: Gwanghwamun, Mapo Bridge, Seogang Bridge, Gangbyeon Expressway, Banpo Bridge, Some Sevit, Dongjak Bridge, Seongsu Bridge, Hannam Bridge, N Seoul Tower, Namdaemun Market and Cheonggye Plaza. The bus leaves at 7:30 PM and the tour takes around 1,5 hours. Make sure to book tickets online in advance. Click here for tickets now.
4. Join A Seoul Night Tour
Seoul is an exciting city to discover at night, when the sun goes down, the city comes to life. During a night tour you see the city in a different light as Seoul is the city than never sleeps. If you are only in Seoul for a limited amount of time, then you want to do as much as possible in one day and not waste a second. Listed below are different night tours, from pub crawls to ghost walking tours.
4.1 Night Food Tour
Night markets come to life in the late afternoon, early evening when people finish work and want to get a quick bite before heading home. Many street markets only start around 4 PM. Taking a Seoul food tour is the best way to discover the local cuisine and not miss out on the authentic food Seoul has to offer.
4.2 Pub Crawl Tour
Are traveling through Korea and Seoul solo? Then a pub crawl is a great way to meet new people and make friends with other travelers passing through. Pub Crawl Seoul runs 2 tours, one in Itaewon and the other one in Hongdae. The tours only happen Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening starting at 8:45 PM. Click here to book now.
4.3 Night City Tour
Are you visiting Seoul in summer and is the heat too much during the day? Then spend your day inside in the museums and venture around the city at night while taking a night city tour. The tour will take you to 4 main tourist attractions in Seoul, namely Namsangol Hanok Village, N Seoul Tower, Seoullo 7017 and Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Click here for tickets now.
4.4 Ghost Walking Tour
Want to take your experience to another level and learn about the dark stories of Seoul? Then take a ghost walking tour which will take you to the spookiest parts of Seoul and teach you all about the horrors, scandals and massacres of the previous dynasty. A unique thing to do in Seoul, not suited for the faint hearted! Click here to book tickets now.
5. Visit A Night Market In Seoul
Want to discover the night markets on your own without a tour guide? Great! Listed below are the major and biggest night markets of Seoul including Myeongdong, Namdaemun and Bamdokkaebi market. Apart from the latter one, each market is open all year around, including winter.
5.1 Myeongdong Streetfood Market
The most popular of all markets: Myeongdong night market! At this market you’ll find everything from traditional Korean street snacks to the more modern and new street snacks. This market is a bit more expensive that a local non touristic market outside Seoul, but is worth a visit. If not for trying food, then for the atmosphere and night shopping. The market takes place in Myeongdong shopping street, where most shops stay open till 10 PM.
5.2 Namdaemun Market
Bigger than Myeongdong night market is Namdaemun Market. This market is absolutely huge, but is not only a food market as there are lots of other shops that sell clothing, toys, home supplies and much more. The street food is only sold late afternoon, early evening, but the rest of the market is open overnight. After 12 AM, that’s when the wholesalers open up.
5.3 Bamdokkaebi Night Market
This market is organised by the Seoul city hall and takes place in different locations around the city. Bamdokkaebi Night Market only runs from March to October and is closed during the winter months. Not only can you find food from all over the world at the market but also hand made accessories and cultural performances are held at the market occasionally. The different markets are as follows: Yeouido World Night Market, Banpo Romantic Moonlight Market, DDP Youth Runway Market, Cheonggyeceon Stream Time Tour Market, Culture Tank Forest Picnic Market and Cheonggye Plaza Seasonal Market. Each market has different opening times and days.