Korea is known for its extensive nightlife culture with late hours and high energy. Not only is the clubbing scene in Korea more lively, it is also very affordable, especially if you know where to go!
Some of the most popular areas to go clubbing in Seoul, Korea are Hongdae, Gangnam, and Itaewon. Hongdae clubs adhere to a younger, foreigner friendly crowd due to many surrounding universities.
Here’s your guide to the best clubs in Hongdae that will give you the quintessential Korean night out experience.
First – What to know
You could be Rejected from a club
Unfortunately, there is still some discrimination in Korea, especially when it comes to clubbing. Some clubs are known for rejecting foreigners on busy nights or denying foreign IDs.
On the bright side, there are plenty of foreigner friendly clubs that will welcome you off the street into their club. Through personal experience, I have found the clubs that will always welcome anyone in, which are listed below.
Make sure to carry an ID
The drinking age in Korea is 19 years old. The clubs here often check IDs and almost every club will accept foreign drivers licenses (every club below accepts them).
If a club is asking for a passport, it is usually a club in an area like Gangnam, or more high end. From personal experience, Korea checks IDs a lot more than other international countries. Come prepared and have it on you.
Most clubs have free entry
I only chose to go to free entry clubs because there were plenty of high quality ones on every corner. Some clubs will even give you a free drink card with entry. If the line is long, some clubs will let you cut the line if you buy a bottle.
Reentry whenever after stamped
The lines can get long after 12pm, so it is common to “collect stamps” in the early hours of the night and jump around cutting lines when it gets busy. Once you are ID checked, you get stamped, and then you can roam around freely and walk right in when you come back during busy hours.
You’ll Recognize Most Songs
Because Hongdae is a very foreigner friendly neighborhood, you will hear lots of American songs in English when out at clubs. Don’t worry though, they still play your favorite K-pop or K-hip hop songs!
Traveling to Korea? Read up on Culture Shocks in Korea HERE
*Main hours are 1am – 4am with crowds staying until the early hours in the morning past sunrise*
Now a run down of the clubs:
All. Time. Favorite.
The perfect mix of elevated surfaces, affordable mixed drinks, rowdy hip hop beats, and the cage inspired bar design.
Check out their 1 Liter cocktails to share with a friend at the bar, or get low on the mini stages.
Make sure to be aware of the smoke because your jacket might smell, but the memories are 100% worth it.
This club can have more of a bar atmosphere with a pool table and dart board on slower days. However on busy weekends the pool table quickly turns into a dance floor.
It’s spacious, and the general music played is more pop and iconic singable songs. However the line can get long sometimes and the security is stricter here. I don’t recommend sneaking in soju, it will get tossed.
Switch up the vibe and head over to FF where it’s more of an indie/ rock atmosphere. It’s a small basement club which hosts live bands during earlier hours.
The vibe here can be described as more alternative and very welcoming. FF is one of the clubs where I have been given a free shot for going on a Thursday, so keep that in mind!
This is the most hip hop club out of all of these options. It never gets too packed so there is plenty of room to dance.
The floor has several platforms and poles, and the dance movies in this place are on another level.
I would explain this club as a chiller vibe from B1 with a shorter line, but just as good, if not better music.
Sinkhole is a smaller club and plays mostly pop music. I do not have loads of personal experiences at this one but from what I do remember, is little smoke and friendly people.
From my experience this club can get really crowded, but remains a great spot to chill if you want a different taste than B1 or XX.
If you really want to mix it up, go here for some Latin beats. It’s more of an outdoor club with a whole open wall.
It can get really crowded and has more of a bar vibe at times. The Latin music is heavy here so be prepared to break out your best dance moves.
Out of the whole list La Bamba offers a switch up from your majority English songs and plays majority Latin pop and hip-hop tracks.
Now Get Going!
The culture of clubbing in Hongdae is unlike anything I’ve seen in the States. From arcades, to photobooths, to Karaoke, Hongdae has an extensive list of options to add to the night out.
Clubs blast music outside and crowds stay vibrant throughout the night. The entire atmosphere will pull you right in, so stay safe and make memories!