Nightlife in Seoul: Itaewon

Itaewon (이태원) is the number one spot to find other foreigners in Seoul. Generally, it is a long street filled with shops, restaurants, and bars. This is probably the best place to go if you are feeling home sick from your culture because of the large variety of cuisine options you have here-from Mexican, American, Italian, Turkish, French, Greek, Australian, Thai, and many more. Be prepared for the restaurants in this area to be, on average, more expensive than many other areas in Korea. After you quench your craving for some home-style dinner, there are many bars and clubs to choose from.

 

Gold Bar

Gold Bar has become the bar in Korea that I attend most. It’s not very large and not very fancy but the drinks are cheaper than most places and the music is very modern. It is conveniently located just 2 blocks passed Itaewon exit 2 off the metro station. Entry is usually free but sometimes on the weekend can go up to about 5000 Won (with a free drink card.) The music playing is usually Top 40 hits from the United States and there are multiple screens throughout the bar that are showing the music video that goes with the song. There are 4, small VIP sections located along side of the narrow bar, a small dance floor located right in front of the bar that stands in the back of the building, and towards the entrance of the building you will fine a pool table and an area to play darts. The bar lets you come and go as you please, and there is a large area in front of the entrance where you can always find people getting fresh air and talking outside of the Bar.

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Opium

Opium has a much larger club atmosphere than Gold Bar but it still small, holding a maximum capacity of only 200 people. The type of music is usually hip-hop or house music but it also will occasionally play underground music from different cultures. This club is open on Friday and Saturday from 9pm-5am and has an entrance fee of 10000 Won. There is a main dance floor, located in front of the DJ table, and it has a light up structure built around and above it. There are many color changing strobe lights that are flashing throughout the club at all times. The bar, located next to the dance floor, is very long and is also illuminated by neon bright lights. One thing that stands out to me about opium, is that even though it definitely has the atmosphere of a club, there is a line of small tables for people to sit down and enjoy their drinks, as well as multiple high top tables placed around the building for standing with friends and drinks. Opium is conveniently located directly next to Gold Bar, so it is easy to go to both in one night.

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Source: Opium

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Source: Opium

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Source: Opium

Thursday Party

Thursday Party is one of the most popular bars in Itaewon and is also the most filled with foreigners, in my opinion. The bar originally started in Busan but now has multiple locations in Seoul as well. It has a very western feel to it with popular music from the states, multiple beer pong tables, shuffleboard tables, and darts. There is one large bar in the shape of an L that is located in the back of the bar. The drink prices are very reasonable compared to many places in Itaewon, with some cocktails as cheap as 5000 Won and beer from 4000 Won. Something unique about Thursday Party is that they actually serve very good finger food such as nachos, cheese fries, burger sliders, and more. If you are able to snag a table or high top with friends, the servers are very good at reaching you despite the large crowd that fills the bar.

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Faust

Faust is a small, trendy techno club located down a small alley in Itaewon. Many of the French students I have met consider this to be one of their favorite bars. The cover is usually around 20,000won with a free drink card. The drinks inside are relatively expensive, small cocktails for about 7000 Won and beer for about 8000 Won. There is one large dance floor located in front of the DJ table, and one very small bar located off the side of the dance floor. The club is not usually very packed but it is always filled with smoke, so if you are not a fan of techno music or smoke, I do not recommend attending. However, there are often well-known DJs that play at the club, which may be a cool experience if you do enjoy this type of music.

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Article by Rachel from the U.S.A.

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