Some of the best nightclubs in South East Asia are located in Seoul.
It has a young and dynamic scene, drawing international DJs and some excellent live bands. The nightclubs in Seoul tend to offer a little more than places in other countries, and are well-known for providing interesting dining options as well as pulsating music and a long drinks list. Usually a full menu is available as well as snacks and delicacies from all around the world. This means that eating and clubbing do not have to be separate experiences.
The popular areas for nightlife in Seoul tend to be based in Hongdae, Itaewon and Apkujong. Hongdae boasts Hongik University and therefore has a lot of young people.
There are a variety of alternative bars and clubs and some very studenty places, but you can find any kind of music in this part of town. It is frequented by a mix of Koreans and foreigners.
Itaewon is particularly popular with foreigners as it offers international restaurants as well as Irish pubs, disco-pubs and nightclubs. Some parts of this area are a little seedy so it is best to know where you are going before you venture in.
Apkujong is the richest area in the city and is a central spot for nightlife. It caters for young professionals and tends to have higher prices. Here you will find a diverse range of wine bars, dance clubs and theatres.
Here is a selection of bars and clubs in Seoul worth visiting:
This is an up market club, located in the Millennium Seoul Hotel. It is particularly popular with the young, hip crowd. It has spacious seating arrangements and complex lighting arrangements. With a great ambiance and playing everything from hip-hop to trance, DJs aim to get everyone on the dance floor as soon as they arrive.
This is a western-themed bar which is situated on the third floor of the building adjacent to Route 66. With the smoke machine belching, and lasers lighting up the dance floor it is hard to resist boogying to remixes of old and new chart hits. Local bands and DJs perform regularly.
For electronic enthusiasts this place cannot be beat, with world class DJs playing pulsating rhythms all night long. It has good food, a huge selection of cocktails and a spacious dance floor which tends to be jam-packed at the weekends.
This is perhaps the most happening venue in the city. It boasts a lounge bar which is ideal for those who want to unwind and enjoy a few drinks from the extensive wine list. It plays the latest hits and has live bands playing everything from rap to rock.
M2 and Ohoo
M2 can handle up to 1500 people on any given night. It was opened in 2004 and regularly hosts some of the best DJs in the world. M2 is part of the larger complex of Ohoo which has three bars based around Seouls largest dance floor, with split level stages and a place to chill out on the VIP balcony.
Located in Hongdae, this is a hip-hop club that draws a young crowd. It has several levels and rooms and can get very busy at the weekend. It is a great place to people-watch, with lots of young Koreans dressed as home-boys or punks.
JJs can be found in the Hyatt Hotel in Itaewon. Although the drinks are very expensive, it is a popular hangout, especially for foreigners. One side of the venue plays Korean dance music and the other has a live band.
Seoul, being the vibrant and modern city that it is, has a plethora of places to choose from. It is just a matter of deciding what kind of music you would like to listen to, and whether you would like to be part of a huge crowd or in a smaller, more intimate environment.
Most clubs are open until 3am on the weekends, so you can always try out more than one kind of venue.