20 Things To Do In Seoul At Night

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Seoul is a city that never sleeps, an intriguing blend of historical and ultra-modern city life buzzing with activity. The thriving streets become busier, and bright city lights become brighter after the sun goes down. Whether you want to start your day before sunrise or stay up late into the night, the city always has something to do. From all-night saunas to virtual reality gaming, from Korean barbeque dinners to exciting shows, there are many things to do in Seoul at night. 

Seoul is known worldwide for its high-tech electronics, Korean barbeque, cosmetic products and automotive industry. And South Korea is becoming popular for K-pop and K-dramas, with Seoul as its centre. The Korean Wave of K-pop and K-dramas, or Hallyu, is becoming one of the largest exports and has spread the country’s pop culture worldwide. There are several night markets in Seoul, and the city is a haven for shopping for both local and international brands. Check out these things to do in Seoul at night. 

Seoul At Night

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20 Things To Do In Seoul At Night

1- Enjoy Seoul’s City Lights On A Night Tour Of The City

seoul things to do at night
The cityscape of Seoul at night.

Experience Seoul’s bright lights on a city tour after sunset as the skyscraper city turns into a fairyland with brightly lit landmarks.

There are many vantage points in Seoul at night, but the best views are from the Han river and the N Seoul tower.

Learn about the history and mysteries of various landmarks explained by a professional guide, and enjoy a traditional Korean dinner with kimchi, including Korean barbeque and bibimbap.

There are several night tours in Seoul, and some will pick you up from your hotel. Here are three worth checking out:

2- Take A Night Tour Of Deoksugung Palace And Seoul Fortress

where to go in seoul at night
The cityscape night view of Seoul and Namsan Seoul Tower, South Korea.

Deoksugung Palace is one of five palaces belonging to the Joseon Dynasty (Korea’s last dynasty), which ruled for over 500 years between 1392 and 1910.

Going on a night tour to the Deoksugung Palace and the Seoul Fortress provides a unique historical perspective of Seoul, explained by a knowledgeable local tour guide.

Enjoy the lights of the palace and the night view of Seoul from Naksan Park, a popular location fans of K-dramas will recognise, and also visit artificial islands in Sebitseom on the Han River.

Tours of the palace generally start from the palace grounds at 99 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul, next to the City Hall subway station.

3- Explore Seoul’s Night Markets 

where to go at night in seoul
Foodies pack the crowded traditional food street stalls in Gwangjang Market in Seoul at night.

If you are looking for an authentic Korean shopping experience, Seoul has many night markets, which are perfect places to hunt for souvenirs, understand the culture of using cosmetics and taste the local street food.

Shopping with a tour guide allows you to explore the best places in each market, saving you time and getting you to the hidden gems in each market.

In the Myeongdong night market, you can find all sorts of affordable and cool souvenirs, keepsakes, and a range of fried, steamed and boiled snacks.

Dongdaemun Market is a century-old market and Korea’s largest wholesale and retail shopping district.

With traditional markets and shopping centres, Dongdaemun is a mecca for all kinds of goods, including silks and fabric, clothes, shoes and accessories, electronics, leather goods, sporting goods, office supplies, pet products, and toys.

Close to the Dongdaemun is the Gwangjang market, famous for its food stalls and traditional clothing.

Namdaemun Market, also known as the oldest and largest of the night markets in Seoul, is a market that never sleeps.

This market also has a much more traditional vibe because of its proximity to Sungnyemun Gate and the Deoksugung Palace.

It’s a good place to find gifts and souvenirs for friends and family back home.

  • Myeongdong market is at Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, 8-3-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul and is open till 11 PM daily.
  • Dongdaemun market is at 266 Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul and is open till 2 AM every day (12 AM on Saturdays).
  • Gwangjang market is at 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul and is open till 11 PM every day.
  • Namdaemun market is at 21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul and has stores that close anywhere between 9 PM to late at night. 

4- Enjoy The View From Namsan Tower (N Seoul Tower)

seoul tower at night
Mount Namsan N-SEOUL Tower at night.

N Seoul Tower is in Namsan Mountain Park, Seoul’s largest park, and can be reached via scenic hiking trails or cable car.

From the base, an elevator takes you to the tower’s observation deck, where viewing the sunset and the twinkling city lights is one of the must-see activities when visiting Seoul at night.

The tower also has a revolving restaurant and other restaurants where you can enjoy city views with your meal. 

The N Seoul Tower is located at 105 Namsangongwon-Gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul and the observation deck is open till 10 PM from Monday to Thursday and till 10.30 PM from Friday to Sunday.

5- Relax On A Han River Cruise

seoul at night
Going on a cruise is one of the fun things to do in Seoul at night.

The Han river, also called Hangang, is a wide, majestic and beautiful river that runs through the centre of Seoul.

The river’s banks are lined with pedestrian walkways, bicycle paths, public parks and restaurants and some of the most scenic locations in the city.

Cruising the Han river is a comfortable way to view the city’s skyscrapers, skyline, landmarks, and top attractions while learning about the role of this great river in Korea’s history.

You can end the evening with a lovely buffet of vegetarian and non-vegetarian Korean delicacies.

The tour starts from a common meeting point for all passengers, please check the location and time after booking.

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6- Have Fun At Lotte World 

seoul at night wallpaper
Cherry blossoms spring in Lotte World amusement park at night, Seoul, Korea.

Lotte World Adventure Theme Park is a popular holiday destination for locals and tourists.

Filled with rides, adventure activities, parades and seasonal events, the theme park is divided into indoor and outdoor areas, which are open all year round.

The park has rides and activities for all age groups.

The park is also adjacent to the Lotte World Aquarium, which will keep adults and kids entertained after a hectic day at the theme park.

Buy a multi-day pass if you want more time to visit all the activities and experiences related to Lotte World.

  • Lotte World Adventure Theme Park is at 240 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul and close to Jamsil subway station and is open till 9 PM Sunday to Friday and till 10 PM on Saturday
  • Lotte World Aquarium is at 300 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul and close to Jamsil subway station and open till 8 PM Monday to Thursday and till 10 PM Friday to Sunday

7- Walk The Glass Floor In Lotte World Tower 

Lotte World Tower is a 123-floor skyscraper and the tallest building in South Korea.

The Seoul Sky Observatory is on the topmost floor of the tower and has the world’s highest glass-floored observation deck.

With floor-to-ceiling windows all around, the observation deck gives a spectacular 360-degree view of Seoul.

Although the views from the deck are impressive during the day, the city looks even more breathtaking at night and is one of the must-see activities while visiting Seoul at night.

The tower also houses shopping malls, luxury hotels, and a duty-free shop.

Lotte World tower is at 300 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea and is open till 10 PM from Sunday to Thursday and till 11 PM on Friday, Saturday, and the day before holidays. Skip the line and reserve your entry ticket here.

8- Watch The Nanta Show

seoul street at night
Myeongdong Market shopping in Seoul at night.

Nanta is Korea’s longest-running theatre show and a unique non-verbal performance presented using music and emotions.

The show integrates Korean traditional folk music with modern music, uses acrobatics, martial arts, and comedy skits and even involves the audience.

Suitable for families, the live show uses a kitchen as the setting, the chefs as its main characters, and knives and other kitchen utensils as musical instruments in the hands of professional artists.

This unique comedy show also premiered in an Off-Broadway theatre in New York City.

Myeongdong Nanta Theatre is at 26, Myeongdong-Gil, Jung-gu, Seoul and has night shows at 8 pm from Tuesday to Friday. Book your tickets here.

9- Explore Seoul Like A Local 

seoul south korea at night
The glittering Seoul city at night is a fairyland of lights.

Seoul is a city that truly never sleeps and offers a whole host of activities and experiences.

There are so many options for each activity that you’ll be spoilt for choice.

This is when seeing Seoul through the eyes of an experienced local host will be of immense help.

There are a variety of guided night-time tours in Seoul, each catering to your and your family’s particular interests and tastes.

Choose a highly personalised tour where you can experience the city’s lights at night, visit a children’s aquarium, explore Seoul’s museums, go to an animal café, sing at a noraebang, taste Korean street food, and more.

10- Discover The Dark Side Of Seoul On A Ghost Tour

Korean culture and folklore are filled with stories of vengeful ghosts and unjust and cruel crimes that have gone unpunished.

Discover the dark history of Seoul by visiting places, buildings and structures that have witnessed ghastly crimes and the tales of ghosts haunting these places.

The ghost stories tour is a macabre experience told through a collection of bizarre stories, taking you to places where those events happened. 

A tour guide adept in Korea’s history will guide you through various locations explaining quirky secrets and urban legends, some of which have been lost in history.

The tour starts at a common meeting point which may vary with the option booked.

11- Discover Hwaseong Fortress UNESCO Site

Hwaseong Fortress is an 18th-century brick fortress from the Joseon Dynasty that surrounds the centre of Suwon City.

Located south of Seoul, the fortress wall is six km long and has many vantage points to see Suwon City from a height.

The fortress is beautifully lit at night and serves as an evening walking path.

Learn about the role of the fortress in Seoul’s history from a tour guide, and enjoy the serene atmosphere surrounding this UNESCO-designated site.

Hwaseong Fortress is at 320-2 Yeonghwa-dong, Jangan-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do.

12- Explore A Folk Village 

If you are interested in exploring Korea’s history and understanding how people lived hundreds of years ago, take a moonlight tour of the Korean Folk Village.

The museum village showcases traditional Korean homes and recreations of common houses and aristocrats’ houses from the Joseon dynasty.

Many of these structures have been relocated or restored from different parts of Korea and have unique shapes and designs.

The village also has a theme park for kids and restaurants.

The Korean Folk Village is at 90 KR, Minsokchon-ro, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do and is open till 7 pm every day from May to September, till 6.30 PM from February to April and October

13- Take A Korean Cooking Class 

Korean food is famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, including kimchi, gochujang, ramen and bulgogi.

The best way to discover the taste of Korean dishes is by taking a cooking class with a local chef who will give you an authentic home-cooking experience with a clear explanation of the ingredients.

It’s also a great way to find out which Korean dishes to order when you next eat out.

A visit to the local market is a part of the tour and finally, you’ll get a taste of the authentic homemade dishes you helped to cook. 

14- Hop On The Seoul City Night Bus Tour

downtown seoul at night
Seoul’s night traffic speeds through an intersection in the Gangnam district.

A great way to enjoy the city lights of Seoul at night is to take the Seoul City Night Bus Tour.

Sitting in an open-top bus, you can view all the major sights and landmarks in Seoul from the comfort of your seat while listening to a guide explaining the details of the landmarks.

Gaze at the Han river, stop at the N Seoul Tower, and see famous palaces, malls and markets.

A night bus tour of Seoul is a relaxing way to explore. 

Buses start and end at Gwanghwamun station at Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul. Tours start from 7 pm in September to April, 8 pm June to August and 7.30 PM in the remaining months. Book your ticket here. 

15- Go Pub Hopping

seoul korea at night
Going on a Han river cruise is one of the most relaxing things to do in Seoul at night but if you want some contemporary culture, go on a pub crawl instead.

One of the fun activities in Seoul at night is to enjoy the exciting and vibrant night scene in the Korean capital.

Korea’s lively night culture has given rise to thousands of bars, karaoke rooms, and nightclubs in upscale and down-to-earth neighbourhoods spread across the city.

While some districts turn into nightly carnivals of takeout drinks, street food, and parties, others have a more chilled vibe where you can enjoy karaoke and drinks.

Lined with neon-lit bars and clubs, murals, fashion stores and street performers, Hongdae Street is the perfect place for photos, souvenirs, shopping, eating, drinking, and playing in the arcades. You may also like this Korea BBQ, pub and market tour.

Itaewon is another district popular among foreigners for its international cuisine, rooftop bars and foreigner-friendly clubs.

South of the Han River, Apgujeong and Cheongdam areas in Gangnam are home to many of the city’s high-end clubs.

  • Hongdae Street is in Mapo-gu at 364-27 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, close to the Hongik Univ. subway station.
  • Itaewon Street is in Yongsan-gu at Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, close to Itaewon subway station.
  • Apgujeong is in Gangnam-gu, close to Apgujeong Rodeo subway station.
  • Cheongdam is in Gangnam-gu, close to Cheongdam subway station.

16- Walk The Cheonggyecheon Walking Trail

seoul at night gif
Cheonggyecheon in seoul at night.

Cheonggyecheon Stream is a major recreational spot in Seoul and regularly features in walking tours and travel itineraries in Seoul.

Popular among locals and foreigners, the walking trail is adjacent to many landmarks and often has beautiful structures that are sure to catch the eye.

The trail is one of the best places to walk in downtown Seoul and is home to many events all year round, such as the Lantern Festival and art festivals.

The trail is lit with colourful lights, especially during winter and festivals.

Cheonggyecheon Walking Trail begins at 1 Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul and can be accessed from various points along the trail. The trail is always open.

17- Visit The National Museum Of Korea

Seoul has a lot of museums and it can be confusing to choose which one to visit.

If it’s your first time in Seoul, the National Museum of Korea should be at the top of the list.

As the name suggests, the National Museum of Korea is South Korea’s largest and most comprehensive museum, housing approximately 15,000 pieces dating from prehistory to the modern era.

The museum has national treasures from Korea’s ancient royal kingdoms and dynasties, art collections from across the world, permanent and seasonal exhibitions, children’s museums and activities, and various educational programs and exhibitions that create an immersive experience with cutting-edge technology.

The National Museum Of Korea is at 137 Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul and is open till 9 PM on Wednesday and Saturday.

18- Shop For Traditional Arts And Crafts In Insa-Dong

Insa-dong is a popular cultural neighbourhood in Seoul close to Gyeongbokgung and Changgyeonggung Palaces.

The area comprises streets and narrow alleys lined with several small art galleries, handicraft shops, traditional wooden tea houses or hanoks, restaurants, cafes, shops selling traditional Korean tea and offbeat makgeolli (rice wine) bars.

You can get unique souvenirs with your name engraved, try traditional drinks rarely available elsewhere in Seoul, and even get yourself clicked wearing a hanbok (Korean ethnic clothing).

If you want an authentic culinary experience in Korea, including trying different types of makgeollis, go on a guided tour with an experienced local.

Insa-dong’s streets are blocked off for vehicles on Saturday and Sunday till 10 pm and perfect for walking.

Insa-dong is Jongro-gu, Seoul, close to Anguk subway station. 

19- Chill Out At Bamdokkaebi Night Market

seoul streets at night
Typical Korean street food on a walking tour of Seoul at night.

Located on the banks of the Han River, the Seoul Bamdokkaebi is a unique night market in many aspects.

The market grounds are a popular picnic spot for locals and foreigners where families and friends can gather to spend time, eat street food, shop and have a good time.

The night market also serves as a frontrunner for the city’s fresh new art and culture, where you can find diverse events. 

To taste delicious street food, shop for handmade products, or just mix with the locals, the Bamdokkaebi night market is the right place.

Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market is at 330 Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu and is open till 10 pm from Friday to Sunday. You can reach the market by exiting the Yeouinaru subway station.

20- See The Lights Of Bongeunsa Temple After Sunset

seoul korea skyline at night
Sunset at Bongeunsa temple in Seoul.

Amidst Seoul’s modern buildings and skyscrapers, there are also many historic and beautiful Buddhist temples.

One of the famous temples in Seoul is the Bongeunsa Temple, known for its statue of the 23 m (75 ft) tall Maitreya Buddha – the Buddha of the future.

The temple is popular for the lanterns which come to life after sunset.

The greenery of the temple and the traditional lanterns that are lit after sunset give a contrasting and calming feel to the modern urban high-rises of the capital.

During Buddha’s Birthday (celebrated according to the lunar calendar), the temple becomes even more beautiful and impressive with lanterns and lights featuring characters and images from Korean and Buddhist myths and lore.

Bongeunsa Temple is located at 531 Bongeunsa-Ro, Gangnam-gu, close to Bongeunsa subway station.

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Vamsee Chandra lives in Hyderabad in India and is a financial markets trader by profession. An engineer with an MBA, he is a free-spirited traveller at heart. He has visited 17 countries on three different continents (Asia, Europe and North America) and has a personal target of visiting 50 countries before he retires. His favourite city is Paris, for its amazing museums and people. His favourite building is Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world, and his favourite countryside is the Bavarian region in Germany, where the Neuschwanstein Castle is located.