It is said that no one goes home at midnight in Seoul. While partying till 6 am is not uncommon as bars and club stay open till late, insomniacs also have a huge choice of other activities at their disposal.
Seoul is primarily known for its dizzying array of cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs that dish out exquisite food, the latest dance tunes and high tech lighting systems that keep dancers gyrating till the wee hours of the morning! Itaewon is considered one of the best spots for a foreigner looking for a place to party. Streets lined with western style pubs, tapas bars, lounges and some of the city’s most popular clubs offer visitors a familiar environment to meet compatriots, English speaking locals and a vibrant nightlife culture.
However, nightlife in Hongdae, Daehangno and Shinchon appear to be more frenzied. Being university towns, they are full of young people during weekends wanting to have a good time in the bars, restaurants and clubs. Well priced venues offer live performances and space to dance and the vibe is definitely friendly.
‘Club Day’ is crowded with residents and visitors alike where one entrance fee will grant access to at least a dozen other clubs. If long lines outside the more popular clubs are not a deterrent, then Hongdae is one of the best places to savour the Seoul nightlife scene. Gangnam and Apgujeong are two other night-time hotspots. This is where young people from the many businesses in the area hit the town after work. Home to some of the city’s most up market and expensive clubs, these areas are popular with well heeled locals and those wanting to have a good time at any cost. The area’s after hour’s clubs go on till sun up and partying all night long is not unknown here. The clubs and bars of Seoul’s many posh hotels also offer after dark entertainment for their guests.
A haven particularly for stressed out males are up market spas that offer a range of relaxing massages even after dark, in candlelit calm spaces with comfortable seating and individual computer screens. Some twenty four hour Korean spas are equipped with gyms, game rooms, cafeterias and saunas and even offer skin care and massage services.
With some of the fastest internet speeds in the world it is no surprise that Seoul has 24 hour internet cafes and gaming centres where patrons can play a variety of multi player games for reasonable hourly rates throughout the day and indulge in snacks when they remember to eat!
Movie theatres in Seoul provide good alternative entertainment after dark. They screen the latest local blockbusters as well as popular Hollywood fare. Although last shows generally end around 1 am, a series of multiplexes named Megabox have shows up till three o’clock in the morning.
While shopping is an acceptable late night activity in Seoul with some malls open till the wee hours, it appears that having your hair, nails and makeup done late in the night or even early morning is nothing out of the ordinary. Karaoke bars offering Japanese, Korean and English songs are found all over town and are open till 6 am. This is where bar hoppers generally end their nights belting out drunken songs!
The gamut of late night entertainment available in Seoul certainly qualifies it for the title the “city that never sleeps”.
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