30+ Things to do in Seoul at night

Things to do in Seoul at night

Are you looking for the best things to do in Seoul at night? This list will introduce you to some of the most popular attractions, but also hidden gems and activities.

We lived for almost one year in Seoul and have experienced both corporate life, and also family social activities. Koreans take their social lives very seriously and will party until the morning, both when going out with colleagues or friends.

You are socially expected to go out (mainly drinking) at least once every week with your boss and team. Thus you can expect there to be plenty of places where to eat and drink.

This guide will show you the most popular tourist attractions to see at night in Seoul, but also the less-known destinations.

We will make our best to answer all your questions, so you can plan a great Seoul and South Korea vacation.

Read alsoHongdae or Myeongdong? Where to stay in Seoul as a tourist | The Best Guesthouses in Seoul

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Things to do in Seoul at night – the complete list

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Go on a Hangang River cruise

Seoul at night Gangnam bridge
Photo credit: Agata

If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable way to explore the city, a river cruise is a perfect choice. On the cruise, you can soak up breathtaking views and appreciate the beauty of the skyline at sunset. One of the most spectacular sights during this experience is the Bampo Bridge, which illuminates an array of vibrant colors after sunset.

When the cruise is over, you can explore one of the city’s popular markets where you’ll have the chance to sample various local dishes. Whether it’s street food or traditional dishes, there’s something for everyone on this experience! You’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into an episode of your favorite travel show!

Another option would be to book a cruise that ends with a Hangang Park picnic, where you will have a taste of traditional Korean fried chicken and some local Makgeolli.

View the city from Lotte World Tower Observatory Deck

Lotte Sky Tower at night
Photo credit: Agata

The Lotte World Tower Observatory Deck is the perfect place to get an awe-inspiring view of Seoul from a birds-eye perspective.

Standing at 555 meters tall, it is the fifth tallest building in the world and the tallest in Korea, giving visitors unparalleled views of the city skyline and its surrounding landscape.

The observatory deck includes a 360-degree view of the city, plus several observation decks and an observatory lounge.

Go on a Night Walking Tour

When it comes to night tours in Seoul, there are plenty of options, depending on what you want to see and do.

If you are traveling alone or you want to socialize with locals and other tourists, choose a private tour that includes a Korean BBQ and a visit to a local market. You’ll also visit N Seoul Tower and Naksan Park.

Book your tour in advance here!

If you would rather visit another part of the city, still popular but not as crowded, choose this guided night tour. You will spend your evening exploring Deoksu Palace, Seoul Plaza and Dongdaemun Market.

You will get to see the illuminated City Hall building on Seoul Plaza, shop for souvenirs and taste authentic street food at Dongdaemun market, and enjoy hotel pick-up and drop-off.

Book your tour in advance here!

Shop for souvenirs and food at Dongdaemun Market

Dongdaemun Market is a shopping paradise in Seoul, South Korea.

This vast market is the perfect place to find unique items and souvenirs that you won’t find anywhere else. It has over 30,000 stores offering everything from fashion apparel to electronics and handmade crafts.

The sheer size of Dongdaemun Market can be intimidating but with its variety of shops, it’s easy to spend an entire day exploring what this amazing market has to offer.

You’ll find clothing boutiques selling traditional Korean garments as well as modern styles, plus plenty of accessories like jewelry and handbags.

There are also plenty of street vendors offering delicious local snacks such as tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) and hotteok (sweet pancakes).

Read also: Choose the best Hanok Stay in Seoul

Shop for skincare and eat street food in Myeongdong

Things to do in Myeongdong-instagrammable place in Seoul

Read alsoFun things to do in Myeongdong | Where to stay in Myeongdong | How to get from Incheon to Myeongdong

Myeongdong is a vibrant and exciting place to explore in Seoul. Especially at night, the area comes alive with people shopping, eating street food, and enjoying various entertainment options. Whether you’re looking for a casual night out or an unforgettable experience, there are plenty of things to do in Myeongdong after dark.

Even though I visited Seoul with a friend during a cold winter (before actually living there), no matter how cold the weather was, we couldn’t help but go back to explore more of this area.

Myeongdong is by far one of the best places where to buy skincare in Seoul, but it is also the place to go for street food. With tens of food carts selling hundreds of local delicacies, you will find it hard not to decide what you want to eat.

Nanta Cooking Show

Myeongdong is home to one of the most enjoyable and talked-about activities: the Nanta Cooking Show!

Get ready to be mesmerized by martial arts-style acrobatics, jokes, and kitchen percussion when you join the audience in this Myeongdong theater performance.

To make sure that you get the seats you want, we recommend that you make your reservations in advance.

However, keep in mind that if you are trying to book directly on Nanta’s website, you may come across issues as many local websites do not accept payments from international cards.

To ensure a hassle-free experience and to be one of the lucky few to get front-row seats, book your tickets online here!

Go on a night tour of Suwon Hwaseong Fortress

Suwon Hwaseong Gate

This activity will indeed take you outside of Seoul, but visiting Suwon and the beautiful Hwaseong Fortress was one of our favorite activities, and one of the best day trips outside of Seoul.

The majestic Hwaseong Fortress at Suwon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers incredible insight into the Joseon Dynasty. Located in the heart of South Korea, this impressive fortress was built in 1796 by King Jeongjo with an ingenious design combining walls and gates, as well as canals and moats. A comfortable coach will take you from your centrally located hotel to the fortress and then back again.

You’ll get to explore the fortress at night, which is an amazing way to experience it. As you wander around the historic grounds, listen to stories about how the Joseon Dynasty ruled for 500 years.

The tour will also take you for dinner at a local restaurant where you will have the chance to make your bibimbap.

Visit the N Seoul Tower and Namsan Park

Namsan Tower

Even though it might look otherwise, Namsan Seoul Tower is more than just a broadcasting tower, being one of the most important tourist attractions worth seeing in Seoul. Built in 1971, on top of Namsan Mountain, at the heart of South Korea’s capital city, the tower offers panoramic views from its Observation Deck, but also lots of other ways to spend your time. 

Inside the tower, you’ll find restaurants, cafes, photo spots, observation decks, and much more. Come here on a clear night and you can get an unobstructed 360-degree view of the city. 

The tower is 236.7m high and sits on top of the highest mountain you can find in the center of the city, at 243m above sea level.

Attend an outdoor movie screening at Olympic Park

Attending an outdoor movie screening in Olympic Park is a unique and enjoyable experience. The park has been a venue for hosting various events of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, making it a popular tourist attraction.

During the summer months, it hosts free public screenings of movies and documentaries every weekend. With its large grassy area, visitors can enjoy their favorite movies under the stars.

Aside from watching movies and documentaries, you can also explore the surrounding area for other attractions such as the Olympic Museum and sculpture park.

Relax and unwind at one of the city’s many jjimjilbangs (Korean SPAs)

best Korean SPA in Seoul

One of the best things to do in South Korea, especially after spending a few days or weeks exploring, is to spend a few hours at one of the best Korean SPA in Seoul.

There are plenty of great options in Seoul, Incheon, or Busan, and offering yourself a few hours of pampering is always a good idea. If you are traveling during winter in Korea, the rainy season, or you just love a good SPA, you should not skip this experience.

A jjimjilbang is a typical Korean spa and bathhouse with traditional saunas, hot tubs, and massage tables.

The smaller ones are fully segregated by gender, but some of the large ones can be enjoyed by couples with children, except for the hot tub area.

Many Korean SPAs are open throughout the night, thus you can spend the evening relaxing.

Read everything you need to know about jjimjilbang here!

Marvel at the majestic beauty of Bongeunsa Temple at sunset

4 days in Seoul itinerary

Bongeunsa Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Gangnam, close to COEX Mall.

It was established in 794 A.D., during the Unified Silla period, and has been a worship site for over 1200 years. Bongeunsa is renowned for its grand architecture and well-preserved artifacts that tell the story of Korean Buddhism throughout history.

The main hall houses many statues of various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, as well as paintings depicting the life stories of these figures. Additionally, the temple grounds are home to several smaller temples dedicated to different deities such as Avalokitesvara and Ksitigarbha.

Visitors can also explore a variety of cultural relics from Korea’s past including stone lanterns, pagodas, and stupas that date back centuries ago.

Choose to visit during sunset and enjoy a cup of tea at the temple’s charming tea place.

Party in Hongdae District

An area popular with students mainly because of its location between two of the main universities in town.

Since we lived relatively close, I loved going out and simply strolling around this area. While during the day you can explore countless cafes and restaurants, during the night Hongdae comes to life and transforms itself into one of the best party areas in Seoul.

Read also: The best things to do in Hongdae | Where to stay in Hongdae, best hotels

Watch a traditional Korean performance at Namsangol Hanok Village

This is an experience that one will never forget. Located in central Seoul, the village is home to five traditional Korean houses or “hanok”, as well as a pavilion and pond.

Visitors will be able to see outdoor folk games and Namsangol Traditional Performance in front of the hanok courtyard.

The performances are carried out by professional actors who perform both music and dance that not only represent the Joseon Dynasty but also showcase a type of traditional Korean culture.

Commonly used tools such as drums, flutes, and gongs are played to produce music that is unique to each performance. As for the dances, performers use regional folk songs and dance moves while wearing clothing from the period of the Joseon dynasty.

Go on a night tour of the Deoksugung Palace

Deoksugung-Palace

Deoksugung Palace is one of the most iconic attractions in Seoul.

While we visited on a sunny spring day, when we rented hanboks and planned for a professional photo shoot, seeing the palace by night is a great option.

Read my comprehensive guide for renting a hanbok in Seoul!

Located near City Hall and Gwanghwamun Square, Deoksugung Palace was originally built as a royal palace for the Joseon Dynasty in 1410.

Since then it has served as both a residence and government office for many centuries until it became an official public park in 1910.

Today, visitors can explore its beautiful grounds and marvel at its traditional Korean architecture which includes stone walls with pavilions, courtyards, and gardens filled with ancient trees.

Inside the palace are several museums where you can learn about Korean history and culture through artifacts on display such as paintings, sculptures, calligraphy works, furniture pieces, and other historical items from various dynasties.

Go for a hike along the Seoul Fortress Wall

Exploring the Seoul Fortress Wall is an amazing way to experience the history and culture of South Korea.

The wall stretches for nearly 18 kilometers around the city, providing stunning views of both ancient palaces and modern skyscrapers.

Along the hike, you’ll see traditional Korean architecture as well as several interesting historical sites that have been preserved since ancient times.

Admire the city from above, from a different point of view. Choose from one of the many trail options, depending on your fitness and how much time you want to allocate for this activity:

Sungnyemun Gate Trail Baekbeom Square ~ Site of Donuimun Gate – 1.8 km long – around 1 hour

Baegak Mounatain TrailChanguimun Gate ~ Hyehwamun Gate – 4.7 km long – around 3 hours long

Heunginjimun Gate TrailHeunginjimun Gate ~ Jangchung Gymnasium – 1.8 km long – around 1 hour long

Inwangsan Mountain TrailSite of Donuimun Gate ~ Changuimun Gate – 4 km long – around 2.5 hours long

See the Dongdaemun Design Plaza light up

Apart from its cool architecture and the fact that it hosts different exhibitions throughout the year, DDP (Dongdaemun Design Plaza – 동대문디자인플라자) sometimes lights up at night. Come here during the Seoul Light events taking place once every year, usually in December.

The place is easily reached and makes for a great experience if you are in the area.

Eat your heart out at one of the Night Food Markets

Night food markets in Seoul are a special experience that provides the perfect way to explore the city’s vibrant culinary culture.

From street vendors selling traditional Korean dishes to restaurants offering exotic international fare, these markets offer something for everyone.

The atmosphere is lively and exciting, with people of all ages gathering to sample delicious snacks from around the world. Whether you’re looking for an authentic Korean meal or just want to try some new flavors, night food markets in Seoul have something tasty waiting for you.

Here are some of the best Night Food Markets in Seoul:

Myeongdong Night Market –  Myeongdong Station (Exit 6 or 7) in Chungmuro, Jung-gu – come here for street food but also cosmetics

Dongdaemun Night Market – Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station (Exits 1, 2, or 3) – popular mainly for clothes and K-fashion, however, it has a food area

Namdaemun Night Market – Hoeheyon Station (Exit 5) – you can stop by on your way to N Seoul Tower. The market is open during the day and night, and it hosts one of the biggest flower markets in Seoul. You can also shop for souvenirs, clothing, fruit, and vegetable.

Gwangjang Market – Jongno-5 Station (Exit 7) – Seoul’s oldest market

Noryangjin Fish Market – Noryangjin Station (Exits 8 & 9)

One of the best ways of experiencing a night market is on a guided tour. You will be joined by a local guide who will take you to some of the most important attractions in town, but also to Gwangjang Market where you will taste Makgeolli (rice wine) and Jeon (savory pancakes).

A less-known food market that we loved to explore was the Mangwon Food Market. It is tucked further away from the main tourist destinations, thus you will have an authentic experience.

If you don’t feel comfortable going on your own, book a food tour and skip the crowds.

Go on a Pub Crawl

A tour is a perfect way to experience pubs in Seoul for groups or solo travelers. This nightlife adventure will provide you with access to three bars and one club, four complimentary drinks, and plenty of discounts.

Your guide will give you an insight into the vibrant party atmosphere of Asia’s top destination. Mix with people from all over the world and meet locals alike.

Explore Itaewon for international cuisine and shopping

Itaewon streets Seoul

Itaewon is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood located in the heart of Seoul. It’s a great place to explore for both locals and tourists alike, offering something for everyone from its unique street vendors to its eclectic mix of restaurants, bars, and clubs. Whether you’re looking to shop till you drop or just take in some local culture, Itaewon has it all.

It is known mostly as an expat-friendly area, thus here is where you will find plenty of international restaurants. That being said, you might want to stay away during popular international festivities (such as Halloween) since the area can get really busy.

Watch the Bampo Bridge Rainbow Fountain (반포대교 달빛무지개분수) light up

If you don’t want to go on the Han River Cruise, you can always watch the Banpo Bridge light up from Hangang Park.

Located on the Han River, it is one of the longest fountains in the world at 1.3 kilometers long! The fountain features over 10,000 LED lights that create a beautiful rainbow display every night for visitors to enjoy. During the summer months (from April until October), Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain provides an amazing light show with music that makes for an unforgettable experience.

The show takes place four to six times a day for 20 minutes, and hours vary by day and season.

Experience the Hangang River Festival

Various activities and programs take place in the parks along the Hangang River. Each season comes with its special program, thus no matter when you are visiting Seoul you will find something interesting to enjoy – during the day and once the night falls.

Hangang Moonlight Night Market (한강달빛야시장)

The event takes place once every year and is held in the Yeouido Hangang Park area. At the festival, you can enjoy local and international food but also shop for handmade accessories.

Follow the festival’s official Instagram page for the next dates and schedule.

Nodeulseom Island (노들섬)

Open to the public only in 2019, the island hosts today a live house, bookstore, music lounges, garden, and more, serving as a cultural entertainment spot for the public. 

At night, from this place you can admire the stunning Seoul skyline.

Address: 445, Yangnyeong-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 용산구 양녕로 445)

Lotte World Adventure and Seokchon Lake at night

Seokchon Lake at night
Photo credit: Agata

Lotte World Adventure in Seoul is an incredible theme park that offers something for everyone.

It’s the perfect place to spend a day with your family or friends, and you’ll be sure to have a great time.

With over 100 attractions, ranging from thrilling roller coasters to fun-filled water rides, there’s plenty of excitement and entertainment here.

There are also dozens of restaurants and shops located throughout the park so you can take a break from all the fun and fill up delicious food or pick up some souvenirs for yourself or your loved ones.

Once night falls, be part of the “Let’s Dream Night Parade” and enjoy an incredible multimedia show.

You can also admire the famous themed park by taking a stroll around the beautiful Seokchon Lake.

Take part in a Ghost Walking Tour in Seoul

Discover some of the most haunted places in Seoul, and let yourself be guided through Seoul’s hidden alleyways. Discover a darker side of South Korean history, and listen to tales and legends, while chasing ghosts.

Do some night shopping

Did you know that Seoul hosts some 24/7 shopping malls? Head to the COEX Mall (home to one of the most Instagrammable libraries in town), Lotte World Mall, or Times Square Mall, depending on where you choose to stay in Seoul.

Go for a walk along the Cheonggyecheon Stream

Autumn in Seoul

Cheonggyecheon Stream is a 10.9-kilometer-long modern stream that runs through downtown Seoul.

It is now one of the most popular attractions in Seoul, drawing more than 8 million visitors each year.

It features lush green spaces, bridges, sculptures, water fountains, and other decorative elements along its winding path that stretches from Jongno 3-ga Station in central Seoul to Dongdaemun Gate on the north side of town.

Once night falls, you can take leisurely walks along its banks or simply sit back and appreciate its beauty as you watch the river flow by.

Admire the city from above from one of the many sky parks and mountains

Haneul Park

The great part about Seoul is that no matter where you are you can go to some park or mountain and admire the city from above.

We lived in DMC (Digital Media City) and Haneul Sky Park was close by. Haneul means sky in Korean, and the park is set on the top of a hill from where you can have a great overview of the city’s important buildings.

You can easily get there by Subway Line 6, get off at the World Cup Stadium Station, Exit 1, and walk for around 25 minutes.

Eungbongsan Mountain (응봉산) is another great spot for admiring the city from above.

Take the subway Jungang line and get off at Eungbong Station (exit 1).

The Bugak Skyway Octagonal Pavilion was another one of our favorite spots for admiring the city from above. While you might need to drive there, the place is easily reached from the city center. You can also take buses numbers 1020, 212, or 7022 to Buam-dong Community Service Center.

Admire the city from a rooftop cafe

Sanmotunggi Coffee
Sanmotunggi Coffee

Noop Cafe is open until midnight and has a terrace with a stunning view over the Namsan Tower.

Seoulism is another popular cafe in Seoul with a view over the Lotte Sky Tower. Address: 48-7 Songpa-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 송파구 송파동 48-7)

Sanmotunggi Coffee is set in one of the best off-the-beaten-path destinations in Seoul, our favorite neighborhood, Buam-dong. Address: 153 Baekseokdong-gil, Buam-dong, Jongno-gu (서울특별시 종로구 부암동 백석동길 153).

Type Hangang Cafe caught my eye with its large windows and the perfect view over the Han River and Yeouido. Address: 5th floor, 128 Tojeong-ro, Mapo-gu ( 서울 마포구 토정로 128 5층).

Photo: Molto Espresso Bar Instagram account

Molto Espresso Bar is located in the heart of Myeongdong and has a rooftop terrace overviewing the Cathedral.

Take a picture with the Dior Concept Store in Seoul

Located in the former industrial district of Seongsu-dong, the store lights up at night attracting locals and tourists alike.

Address: 7, Yeonmujang 5-gil, Seongdong-gu

Have BBQ Dinner at the Waikiki Market

The place is open until midnight and it is set on the banks of the Han River, offering stunning views of the city once the night falls.

Go there for sunset at around 7 PM and make sure you book your table ahead of time.

Address: 332 Maponaru-gil, Mapo-gu (서울마포구마포나루길332)

Hit the clubs in Gangnam

With so many cool clubs to choose from, party until you drop at Octagon, Palace, Bound, or Answer in Gangnam.

Sing your heart out at a Noraebang

I’m not a huge karaoke fan, but Alex sure is one. And South Korea was the place to be for this activity. All his colleagues used to go to noraebangs (Korean karaoke), and most took it seriously!

So if you like to sing your heart out, don’t miss this fun activity while in Seoul!

Is Seoul a night city?

Yes, Seoul is a night city. With its vibrant nightlife and numerous clubs, bars, and restaurants that stay open late into the night, it’s easy to enjoy an evening out in the city.

Whether you’re strolling through iconic landmarks like Namsan Tower or partying at one of the high-end nightclubs in Itaewon, there’s no shortage of activities to do after dark.

So if you’re looking for a great time in Seoul both day and night, this bustling metropolis has something for everyone.

Does Seoul have a good nightlife?

Yes, Seoul has a vibrant and exciting nightlife that offers something for everyone.

From bustling street markets and chic bars to lively nightclubs and quirky cafes, there’s always something going on in this dynamic city.

With its unique fusion of traditional Korean culture and modern sophistication, the nightlife in Seoul is one of the best in Asia.

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By Ingrid & Alex

Ingrid A former financial professional, I have been passionate about photography since an early age. My fascination with Korean culture was one of the reasons Alex accepted a business role in Seoul. Alex A former corporate business executive, I am a historical fiction writer. My business career allowed us to live in Seoul and explore South Korea for one year. We fell in love with the country, its culture, food, and people, and we strongly believe you will love it too! Because we know how difficult planning a trip can be, especially to South Korea, we are here to help you out and ensure you have an awesome time there.

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