I live in one of the busiest youth areas of Seoul… Hongdae! and I’ve been to some of the best clubs Seoul has to offer, and various pubs and bars too!
In fact, I am out and about at some of the best clubs Seoul sometimes three times a week! And that’s how my friends and I have managed to find the best clubs in Seoul that offer cheap drinks and an amazing crowd (most of the time!).
And so, partying at the best clubs in Seoul is one of my favorite night-time activities in this vibrant city!
Want to experience the best clubs in Seoul, South Korea?
Allow me to impart my ‘expert’ wisdom onto you, and tell you all about the best clubs Seoul, South Korea has to offer in each area:
What are the best clubs in Hongdae?
- Thursday Party
Most of the best clubs in Seoul can be found in Hongdae. These clubs and pubs are full of youths and foreigners, as it lies just around the corner of a few universities.
Additionally, there are endless rows of restaurants and street food in close proximity. These restaurants are called suljib (술집), which means ‘alcohol house’, and most of the time, clubbers or partygoers will end their night (at 6am!) by heading to a suljib for some food.
So, here are the best clubs in Hongdae:
NB2 is one of the best clubs Seoul has to offer in terms of hip hop. There are two branches, NB1 and NB2, but the latter is way more famous than the other.
NB2 is huge with a couple of levels and a few vip tables around. If the crowd is getting to you, you may head over to NB1 for a free drink and a quieter ambience.
Address: 72 Wausan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul 04067, South Korea
Aura is the next biggest club in Hongdae. Many students and models head over to Aura for clubbing so you may expect a really youthful and physically attractive crowd (beware of those charming good looks ;).
Even on a weekday or a cold winter’s night, clubbers will bear with the cold and tiredness from class for a night out in Aura!
Address: South Korea, Seoul, Mapo-gu, 364-24
While Thursday Party is not a club, and so couldn’t really pass as one of the best clubs Seoul, it is my favorite foreigner-friendly pub!
Thursday Party is a chain pub, with outlets in Itaewon and other cities such as Busan. In Hongdae, it holds a special place in my heart as I visit the pub three or four times a week with my friends.
Unlike other pubs, Thursday Party is like a pub-club hybrid, where many can be seen dancing or chilling at the bar. Also, there are games such as darts, foosball and beer pong available.
The prices of cocktails are also one of the cheapest in town, with a mug of long island tea or AMF (Adios Mother-F) at around 5,000won (5USD).
Address: 364-3, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
What are the best clubs in Gangnam?
- Club Mass
Yes, you’re right! Gangnam is the area that Psy so effortless sings about in his song, Gangnam Style. And so, if you’re looking for the best clubs Seoul has to offer, Gangnam is an area to consider.
It’s packed with clubs, and unlike Hongdae, clubbing in Gangnam is on the higher-end, with more expensive entrance fees and stricter dress codes.
Clubs in the area are also commonplaces for celebrity sightings, such as models, idols and actors.
However, club-goers, especially foreigners, should go with an open mind and understand that many clubs in the vicinity have strange policies, some of which may sound discriminating.
For example, it is common for foreigners to be rejected from entry. For stricter entry policies, people may be rejected for their physical appearances, such as their outfit, age, or general attitude.
Here are the best clubs in Hongdae:
Club Mass is famous for their EDM and techno music. And with this being such a popular music genre of late, you may believe that Club Mass is one of the best clubs in Seoul.
It gained recognition as the first EDM club in Gangnam, and they have a slightly more lenient policy for foreigners than the rest of the clubs in the vicinity. My personal experience in Club Mass has always been amazing!
I was invited over by one of my friends in the VIP section – the crowd was massive, the music was fantastic and there were plenty of free drinks.
Club Mass however, also holds a similar dress code policy where VIP’s may be denied special passes or entry should the friends he or she bring does not fit up to the physical standards of the club.
Address: 415, Gangnam-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul 06614, South Korea
Ranked as one of the top 12 clubs in the world (see, some of the best clubs are in Seoul!), Octagon is also situated in Gangnam and may be one of the largest scale clubs I have been to in Korea.
The club has a couple of levels, with an open VIP area on the second floor. Club Octagon is yet another club where one might spot a K-Pop celebrity, such as G-Dragon, Seungri, or SHINee.
While it holds a slightly more expensive entrance fee for foreigners, they do sometimes have expat events, where foreigners can enter for free.
Similar to other clubs, dressing up properly (no sandals, jeans, open-toed shoes) is absolutely necessary.
Address: 645, Nonhyeon-ro, Gangnam-gu | B1/B2 New Hilltop Hotel, Seoul 06116, South Korea
What are the best clubs in Itaewon?
- Cake shop
Itaewon is famous for its foreign-friendly clubs, and if you speak to a handful of foreigners in Korea, they would probably argue that the best clubs Seoul has to offer, is in Itaewon!
At night, the streets are packed with the most diverse population! And if you’re hungry (or hungover!), just hop over to a kebab place and get one of the best hangover meals you could ever imagine.
One thing I absolutely love about clubbing in Itaewon, is its diversity. On one side of the road, there are famous nightclubs such as CakeShop, and on the other, there is Homo Hill, packed with gay clubs with drag queen shows.
However, Itaewon has gained quite a reputation of being quite rowdy.
here are the best clubs in Itaewon:
Cakeshop is one of the most famous foreigner-friendly clubs in Korea. There are many foreign artist and DJ sightings at CakeShop, and club goers usually go crazy for their amazing EDM setlist.
On the downside, the club is quite small and it feels rather cramped when it gets really crowded.
Address: 134 Itaewon-ro, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tucked at the end of Homo Hill in Itaewon, you’ll find SOHO – a gay bar that plays the sassiest English and Korean pop songs! I cannot emphasis how much I love SOHO and the amazing vibes of its patrons.
Club Goers dance to Britney Spears and with twice the amount of enthusiasm than anywhere else, and one may not even need alcohol to feel the vibe and embrace the energy.
Should you be strutting your dance moves, a drag queen may come along for a dance battle and ultimately, the mood in SOHO is always fun and interesting.
For females going to Homo Hill, you may need to pay an entrance fee ranging from as low as 10,000won (10USD) to 50,000won (50USD) to enter a gay club or watch a drag queen show.
However, in SOHO, entrance is free! If you are interested in going to a gay bar in Seoul, I definitely recommend SOHO and for me, it may just be one of the best clubs Seoul has.
Address: Itaewon-dong 137-4, Seoul, Korea 04405
Additional helpful tips for foreign club goers:
- Using a taxi to go to or from the club is an extremely helpful service. However, there have been issues in the past with taxi drivers turning off their meter when their passengers are foreigners.
What is the best taxi app in Seoul, South Korea?
- Have an open mind! There are many clubs that will reject you because you are a foreigner (there are no anti-discrimination laws in Korea) and most of these clubs do not mention it at the door.
- Many places hold private parties and will only allow certain people inside. There are also clubs that will charge foreigners a higher entrance price, simply because they want to cater to Koreans.
Ultimately however, you’ll find the best clubs in Seoul are tons of fun and just waiting to be enjoyed!
This blog was guest written by Brenda Lee and edited by Helena Lorimer
And! If you’re interested in other fun activities to do in Seoul, South Korea, or are planning to relocate, here are some essential tips on living like a local in Seoul South Korea.