leisure in Seoul
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Updated 4 months ago

Seoul is a city that never sleeps - you will find activities to entertain you at any time of the day or night, whether during your days off or during the week.

Forget the activities in your home, and even dinners with friends or colleagues organised at home, Korean life happens outside in the city!

Coffee in Seoul

Whether alone or in company, going for coffee is a basic recreational outing in both European countries and South Korea, but you will soon see the differences in Seoul. Many cafes stay open late into the night and Koreans go there at any time to enjoy various drinks and desserts. Seoul is full of themed cafes, with a variety of decor to suit all tastes. There are cafes for cats, dogs, meerkats or raccoons, art galleries, tranquil hangouts, music, coffee florists, etc., the list goes on! To see the whole variety, simply walk around or find a place that interests you on the internet before visiting (Instagram, in particular, is full of recommendations).

Some examples of coffees to test: C27, C Through, Pink Pool Coffee, Cachi, Old Ferry Donut ...

Golf & baseball in Seoul

In Seoul, you will find plenty of facilities where you can practice baseball or golf in a single room or across several! Since Seoul is a city that never sleeps, it’s easy to find this kind of establishment open late into the night. For another option, it may surprise you to know that you can see a baseball game almost every day during the season.

Have a drink in Seoul

Drinking culture is well-developed in South Korea, and it’s not uncommon to see drunk Koreans in the street before 7 pm. Friends and colleagues will probably suggest you join them for a few drinks regularly. All neighbourhoods in Seoul offer their own array of bars, but some are more lively than others - consider Hongdae, Sinsa, Itaewon or Gangnam for the most vibrant bar scenes. A bar is an opportunity for you to taste Korean specialities such as Somaek (soju mixed with beer), Soju or Makkoli. Furthermore, if you go out with colleagues or students, you will have a chance to experience what some Koreans call "alcohol traditions"- which are reflected in drinking habits (eg. how to mix soju beer) that differ depending on your business, group of friends or even university.

Cinema in Seoul

Another classic weekday outing, you will find plenty of cinemas in Seoul - but you may find the cinematic experience reaches a whole new level! Large cinemas offer different experiences in specific rooms (2D, 3D, 4D, VIP room or even private rooms). In Seoul, movie tickets are reserved and paid for by seat number, which saves you arriving long before the show if you have a preference for particular seats.

The Han River

When the rainy days return, Koreans rush with their tents and picnics to the banks of the Han River. Spots favoured by the locals are the Banpo and Yeouido parks, but these quickly become overcrowded, with tents pitched elbow to elbow. In late spring and summer temperatures remain mild even during the night, so this is the ideal setting for a picnic, a dessert, a drink at the water's edge, or in front of Rainbow Bridge in Banpo.

Good to know:

Be aware that it is perfectly legal in Seoul to drink in the street and in public provided you do not pose a problem (too much noise, violence ...).

Eating out in Seoul

South Korea is a country rich in culinary adventures, so if you are a curious eater or even an amateur - you will have the choice between a multitude of dishes. Each neighbourhood is full of restaurants more or less divided into traditional cuisine, street food and dessert. Koreans believe that eating together is the best way to connect, so this is the perfect opportunity to invite colleagues or friends to grow your social circle.

The street singers and dancers of Hongdae Street

A student district par excellence, it is where you can enjoy a mass of street food eaten while strolling along the pedestrian street populated by amateur or emerging artists, showcasing their talents to the passers-by.

Noraebang (Or Karaoke in Korean!)

There are no set times or days in South Korea for karaoke. An institution, karaoke spots are open all night and every day of the week, all across the city. In Seoul, Karaoke is considered the activity par excellence to relax and unwind, and Koreans never hesitate to go, whether alone or with friends.

Several systems are available to you and depend on the establishment. You will pay per song, the time spent, or a package allowing you to sing all night!

Leisure in Seoul is varied, and there is something for all budgets, so you will have little chance to get bored!

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