East Asia South Korea

Itaewon, Seoul: Korean BBQ, rooftop bar and nightlife

Itaewon Seoul

If you are traveling in Seoul, South Korea, you definitely do not want to miss out one of the most popular districts of the city – Itaewon. As my Korean friends told me, just several years ago it was not the safest and attractive area to visit, but now it is one of the most unique and vibrant places of Korea.

Itaewon, Seoul, is known for the huge foreign population, thus fusion of many cultures in the capital of South Korea. Here you can find restaurants of various cuisines of the world, numerous hipster cafes, fancy rooftop bars and night clubs, as well as unique foreign shops. When I visit Itaewon, it does’t feel like I am in Korea anymore – it is so different from, for example, Hongdae or Gangnam.

Although Itaewon is not my favourite region of Seoul, I came here few times for delicious food and party. On Saturday, I decided to meet my Konkuk University friends – Jihee, Yura and Changhyun – in Itaewon. Fridays and Saturdays are always ‘party days’ in every country, and here in Seoul all places are very crowded during the weekend as well. But despite queuing for a place in restaurants and bars, I enjoy the vibe of Itaewon’s nightlife.

Korean BBQ dinner

I met guys at Itaewon station around 6 pm to have dinner. I was craving Korean barbecue, so we found a nice restaurant near the station called “걸구네 왕곱창” (Golgunae Wanggopchang). It has 3 floors and we got the table on the rooftop, which was kinda cool. We ordered 2 portions of samgyeopsal (삼겹살) (12.000₩ per portion/220g) and one portion of gopchang (곱창) (11.000₩ per 100g). Meat arrived fast alongside with side dishes. The waiter cut fresh meat in front of us and grilled it with kimchi and onions.

Seoul Korean BBQ
Ready to eat!

The taste was amazing! I enjoyed eating “ssam” (쌈) – the way of eating Korean BBQ, when you roll meat with side dishes and sauce into lettuce or other kinds of leaves. 맛있다! Yummy! After eating barbecue, it is common to use the leftovers of meat and kimchi to make fried rice – beokkumbap (볶음밥) – so we did that as well. Everybody was super full and ready to hit the bars.

Itaewon station, line #6, exit #4

Itaewon-ro 26 gil 6, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

Open everyday: 5pm – 3am

Sunset at Itaewon rooftop bar 

It was a warm summer night, and rooftop season was at its best. Since it was almost sunset – after 8pm – we wanted to go to the rooftop bar or lounge first. Not easy at all on a Saturday night in Itaewon – we visited around 7 rooftop bars until found a table for 4 persons. Recommendation: book a table!

Before finding a rooftop bar, we had a nice walk & talk around Itaewon streets, and the view was spectacular! I didn’t miss the sunset kkk

Finally we found a free table for 4 in a rooftop par “OKTOP”. We ordered Stella Artoua which was 9.000 won per 0,33 l, quite expensive but normal price for such places in Seoul. You can also have a meal in this bar, mostly western food. Views were great and the air was finally fresh. We spent some 40 min at the rooftop bar until it became dark and headed to the club.

Neoksapyeong station, line #6, exit #3

Neoksapyeong-daero 40 gil 31, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

Bar Prost and Thursday Party Itaewon 

We headed to the main “party street” of Itaewon to join the club scene of the night. On the way there, I took more pictures with Namsan tower, which is so beautiful at night and visible from different parts of Seoul.

Seoul Namsan tower
with Namsan tower

After taking more pictures we went to the pub “PROST”- one of the popular bars of Itaewon. My friends told that this place is famous for “hunting” – picking up girls/guys, but I didn’t really notice it. We ordered some cocktails and enjoyed our night. Cocktails were delicious and 10.000₩ each. The is also grill food served in this pub.

After PROST we wanted to go to Thursday Party Itaewon bar – I have been many many times in Thursday Party Hongdae and I really like it. We got in, but the place was super packed and it was impossible to get to the bar. After a little bit of dancing we went back to PROST.

Itaewon station, line #6, exit #1

Itaewon-ro 27 gagil 26, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

Open every day

This was a great Saturday night with friends! Do not forget to party in Itaewon while traveling in Korea – this is the place where you can see the unique and vibrant nightlife of Seoul. Feel free to use this small itinerary while planning your activities in Seoul!

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