Think the fun’s over once the sun goes down? Think again! Whether you’re interested in exploring the city and seeing the colorful lights, nursing a drink at a snazzy rooftop bar or singing your heart out at karaoke, Seoul is a cosmopolitan city that stays up 24/7.
Here are our 10 best things to do in Seoul at night:
1. See the colorful lights in Sebitseom
Also known as the Sebit Isles, these man-made islands can be found on the Han River. There are three islands in total — Gavit, Chavit, and Solvit. Also part of Sebitseom is Yevit, a land-based multimedia art gallery where various media content can be screened. (Trivia: some scenes from Avengers: Age of Ultron were shot here!).
In the southern part of Sebitseom lies the Banpodagyo Bridge as well as the Banpo Moonlight Rainbow Fountain. The latter draws crowds to its thousands of LED lights and water jets that move in time to music in a spectacular showpiece during those enchanting Seoul evenings.
How to get there: Sebitseom Island is approximately 20 minutes on foot from exits 8-1 of the Express Bus Terminal Station (Subway Line 9). If you want to go to the bridge and fountain, it is approximately 3 minutes on foot from exits 1-2 of the Dongjak Station (Subway Line 9)
2. Soak your stress away in a jjimjilbang (Korean bathhouse)
Spend a relaxing night in a Korean bathhouse where you can soak in a hot tub, meditate in a sauna, get a massage, and eat snacks. Visiting a jjimjilbang is a common Korean practice that the locals believe brings health benefits. Think relaxing tension in muscles, improving blood circulation and metabolism, recovering from fatigue and relieving stress.
How to get there: One of the most popular jjimjilbangs is Dragon Hill Spa. It’s a 2-minute walk from exit 1 of Yongsan Station (Subway Line 1)
3. Hop on a bus and go on a Seoul city tour at night
See Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung — two famous places in Korea — at night for a different but just as glorious perspective. Get on one of Seoul’s City Tour Buses at 8pm, and you’ll be treated to one-of-a-kind views of the city’s culture.
How to get there: 2-minute walk from exit 6 of Gwanghwamun Station (Subway Line 5) or a 4-minute walk from exit 3 of City Hall Station (Subway Line 1 or 2)
4. Go clubbing in Hongdae
If partying and clubbing is what you’re looking for, the Hongdae area is where to be. The area around Hongik University has more than 200 clubs mostly filled with young people dancing and enjoying music played by famous DJs and bands.
How to get there: The Hongik University area is a 6-minute walk from exit 2 of Sangsu Station (Subway Line 6). Alternatively, you can take a 13-minute walk from exit 9 of Hongik University Station (Subway Line 2)
5. Take a stroll through Naksan Park
Stemming from the Korean words ‘nakta’ (camel) and ‘san’ (mountain), Naksan Park is set above Daehangno on a mountain. Interestingly, part of the park houses the old city fortress, which was historically used as one of the city’s defense lines.
Today, the park has many walking and hiking trails, an exhibit hall where you can learn about the area’s history, and an observatory where you can view the dazzling cityscape at night.
How to get there: 9-minute walk from exit 2 of Hyehwa Station (Subway Line 4) or a 23-minute walk from exit 2 of Changsin Station (Subway Line 6)
6. Cruise along the Hangang River
Cruise along the Hangang River and take in the scenic city-at-night views with an evening cruise. Popular options are the Dinner Buffet Cruise, Hangang River Story Cruise, Fireworks Dinner Cruise, Cocktail Cruise, or Night Cruise.
How to get there: 9-minute walk from exit 3 of Yeouinaru Station (Subway Line 5)
7. Sing your heart out in a noraebang (karaoke room)
One of South Korea’s popular evening pastimes is noraebang (singing room) otherwise known to the rest of the world as karaoke. Whether you’re a group of friends, a family, or even colleagues out for a good time, going to a noraebang is always a good idea.
Recently, coin noraebangs have been trending, so it’s not uncommon to go into a small noraebang cubicle, put some coins in, and start singing with a friend or two.
How to get there: One of the more luxurious and popular noraebang places to go in Korea is Hongdae Su Noraebang. You can get there via 9-minute walk from exit 9 of Hongik University Station (Subway Line 2), an 11-minute walk from exit 1 of Sangsu Station (Subway Line 6), or 12-minute walk from exit 3 of Hapjeong Station (Subway Line 2)
8. Spend the evening in 63 Square
With 60 floors and 3 basement levels, 63 Square (also simply known as 63 Building) is one of Seoul’s incredibly commanding landmarks. Besides boasting spectacular city views, the building also houses two popular South Korea tourist attractions — the 63 Art, an art gallery on the 60th floor, complete with an observation deck, and Aqua Planet 63, a crowd-pleasing aquarium that features mermaid shows and colorful marine life. Other amenities in the building include a cinema, shopping mall, wax museum, banquet hall, and convention center.
How to get there: 21-minute walk from exit 3 of Saetgang Station (Subway Line 6)
9. Have some drinks in one of the many rooftop bars
Seoul’s beautiful skyline make it the perfect backdrop for tipples:
- PP Seoul in Itaewon Korea is known for its Instagrammable interiors
- Southside Parlor is an American-style rooftop bar that serves amazing cocktails with a side of arcade games
- Oriole — owned by the popular singer Jung Yup — is known for its single malt whiskey
- The Four Seasons Hotel serves champagne and barbeque on the 15th floor
- Hotel Cappuccino is known for its gin and tonics, as well as gorgeous views of Gangnam from the 17th floor.
10. Explore the Bamdokkaebi Night Market
This market was aptly named bamdokkaebi, meaning night ghost or goblin, because it’s open only at night and disappears in the morning! Open from 6-11 pm, this popular area has everything from food (if you’re a foodie, check out our Seoul foodie guide), fashion, leisure activities, cultural performances, and more.
Covering areas such as Yeouido Hangang Park, Banpo Hangang Park, Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), Cheonggyecheon Stream, and Oil Tank Culture Park, each place is designated a certain theme, which means you’ll never run out of things to see and things to do in Seoul, South Korea.
Want more options to satisfy your shopaholic heart? We’ve got the perfect guide for you!
How to get there: 12-minute walk from exit 1 of Yeouinaru Station (Subway Line 5)
Bonus: Chill around the Bugak Skyway
Another walking night spot for a leisurely evening is this approximately 12km long road that stretches along the northern ridges of the Bugaksan Mountain and the Gyeongbokgung Palace. With octagonal pavilions, great views, restaurants, and other amenities, this area is perfect for a chill night out.
How to get there: 22-minute walk from exit 3 of Gireum Station (Subway Line 4)
Are you excited to spend a night out in Seoul yet? What other activities would you have added to this list? Let us know in the comments!
Want to know more about Seoul? Read our comprehensive Seoul City Guide.
Can’t get enough of Seoul? Check out our list of Seoul activities.
Featured image: @cherish_yoo_