For the time being, Yongsan is relatively quiet compared to its northern and southern neighbors, with many one- and two-story houses covering rolling hills and the southern side of Namsan. However, things may soon change: the U.S. military base is moving to a different location, and talks are underway to develop a natural park around the area.
Itaewon Station is on Line 6 (Brown). All exits empty out onto the main drag. The subway does stop running early, so if you are hitting the bars, plan on finding another way home or staying out all night.
At Yongsan-gu, there is a . Unlike Seoul Station which handles Gyeongbu-line trains (trains to Busan, Daegu, etc.), Yongsan Station handles Honam and Jeolla line (trains to Jeonju, Mokpo, Gwangju, Yeosu).
Namsan Parkaddress: 3, Namsangongwon-gil,Yongsan-guIn the center of Seoul and considered a symbol of Seoul. Namsan Park is an ecology-island surrounded by urban districts. In spite of being an urban ecology-island, wild animals live in the park. The mountain filled with pine trees can be seen from almost every corner of the big city and the residents of the areas surrounding the hills enjoy the fresh mountain air.
phone: +82 2-2077-9000address: 137, Seobinggo-roHouses the best of the best collection of artifacts and relics from across Korea throughout different periods and dynasty. Also has some West Asian pieces from the Japanese Governor-General of Korea. Important exhibitions are Pensive Bodhisattva(bronze-Buddha statue from early 7th century), Goryeo Celadon Openwork Burner, Ten-Story Pagoda from Gyeongcheonsa Temple, and Gold Crown from Silla.
National War Memorialaddress: 29, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, 특별시 용산구 이태원로 29 (용산동1가)A museum about Korean military history and Korean War. Ancient, Middle Ages, and modern Korean weapons are on display. Also several fighter, bomber, and trainer aircraft which were used during Korean War are on display.
N Seoul TowerOnce the tallest tower in Asia, it has the best panoramic view in all of Seoul. Many locals and visitors have visited the tower to catch a glimpse of the city’s landscape while enjoying the nature of Namsan Mountain and a host of other attractive facilities. Owing to the tower's unique structure, the observatory section boasts spectacular views of the changing foliage throughout all seasons. The tower can be reached on foot, by taxi or, on the south side, by cable car. The cable car is available from 10:00-22:30 and is reached by a 10 minute uphill walk from Myeongdong station, from exit 2 or 3. Centrally located, it can be seen from nearly anywhere in Seoul and is a helpful reference for visitors on foot. There's also a Teddy Bear Museum at the tower which has lively illustrations of Korean culture. The fences around the tower are adorned with many thousands of padlocks, where couples pledge their love to each other and throw away the key.
phone: +82-2-2124-6200address: 139, Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, 04383With a big permanent exhibition hall divided in three: The Creation of Hangeul, Before the Invention of Hangeul, The principle behind the creation of Hangeul; and a small one for the special temporary topics (relating to Hangeul and other linguistic characters of the world), this place is a must-see to understand why the Koreans are so proud about their language.
I'Park Mall e-Sports StadiumFor a fascinating look into one of Korea's oddest subcultures, visit the top floor of the I'Park Mall's neighboring Yongsan Electronics Market, where you'll find an e-Stadium. Here, professional video game players duke it out real-time on a enormous screen. Video games in Korea have been elevated into a sport, and there are professional leagues, mostly devoted to Starcraft, with matches that are broadcasted on national television. Top players can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in tournament winnings and sponsorships. A fascinating glimpse of Korea's new super-wired digital culture, and definitely one of the more interesting experiences to be had in Seoul.
Tickets to e-Sports in Seoul can often be purchased on the TicketLink website's e-Sports section (in English). Payment must be made using a Windows computer and Internet Explorer, and tickets often sell out nearly immediately after going on sale.
phone: +82 2 797 1234address: Grand Hyatt Seoul Hotel, 747-7 Hannam 2-Dong, Yongsan-KuThe spa features a variety of massage treatments including a Korean massage, aromatherapy, and aroma stone treatment.
Great Korean Beer FestivalThere is Great Korean Beer Festival at the Younsan station: I-Park Mall . At the festival you can buy many handmade beers and many beers which made by many Korean and foreign brewery. People can enjoy special beers with finger snack.
Yongsan Electronics Marketaddress: 125, Cheongpa-ro, Yongsan-gu, SeoulYongsan Station is in IMall which is another huge shopping mall with two storeys full of electronics. Without negotiating you can have cheaper prices than amazon.com. Yongsan is one option in Seoul if you are looking for electronics goods. Made up of over 20 buildings housing 5,000 stores, you can find appliances, stereos, computers and peripherals, office equipment, telephones, lighting equipment, electronic games and software, and videos and CDs. A lot of the products are bought in Japan and resold in Korea by dealers. (Decades ago, before Korea had its own electronic manufacturing, the market began selling used goods the vendors would acquire from foreign servicemen.) The market has a reputation for fleecing foreigners, particularly due to its proximity to the Yongsan U.S. Army Base. Be wary as Koreans try to avoid Yongsan for their electronics needs and rely instead on Internet shopping as sellers in Yongsan are not averse to ripping you off if you don't seem to know a lot about electronics. If you go, it's best to bring a Korean guide so you can ensure you're getting a good deal. The problem is no or very poor English. Only Korean warranty. Cash preferred. Before you buy anything, pretend to have decided not to buy it and start to leave: the best prices only come out then. At IMall they add 5% as tax when you pay by Visa. At Yongsan Electroland it depends on the seller. Up to 10% is possible.
phone: +82 2-797-2342address: 176-2 Itaewon 1-dong, Yongsan-guProbably the best place for English-language books, new or used, in Korea. Also has a good selection of magazines. Will order books for you.
- Indian curries. There are a number of Indian/Pakistani restaurants in Itaewon. A curry is around ₩15,000, and a few do buffets which are around ₩20,000.
- Fast food. Itaewon has a McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Kraze Burger, Quiznos, and Taco Bell.
- Nashville steakhouse. Prices are around ₩25,000.
Jacoby'saddress: HaebangcheonOffers a wide variety of burgers, arguably the best for the value, in Seoul. In an area often known as the foreigner ghetto, a popular area for expats who live just west of Itaewon.
Pattayaaddress: ItaewonThai restaurant, and perhaps the best in Seoul. With a menu featuring nearly 100 different items, you're bound to find your favorite dishes and make some new ones, too.
Smokey Saloonaddress: Itaewon, Apgujeong, GangnamFeaturing a selection of over a dozen authentic American-style hamburgers, freshly made onion rings, and hearty chili-cheese fries, Smokey's is one of the best places to get a taste of the US. Burgers range from ₩5,900 for the "Classic" up to ₩10,000 for the deluxe varieties. Jumbo patties are available for an additional ₩3,000. Burgers can be ordered with fries, coleslaw, and a drink for an additional ₩3,500.
Zelenaddress: ItaewonFantastic Bulgarian restaurant featuring lots of stuffed everything - from tomatoes to mushrooms, peppers and chicken breasts. Well-worth it as it is unique to the dining landscape in Seoul.
Don Charlyphone: +82 70-4219-4475address: 650 Itaewon-Dong, 2nd FlNot a Tex-Mex place - the front of the menu is a Spanish-language rant on that issue - this little "hole in the wall" will be something different for a lot of people. Portions are small, but that enables you to try a wider variety. Huge tequila menu; the Agavero is strongly recommended for dessert.
Bars and pubsMany bars in Itaewon celebrate Thursdays as Ladies' Night, which often means that women drink free before 24:00. There are also a few gay bars two alleys east of the main street, with a mix of clubs and places to drink.
3 Alley PubPopular with the older expat crowd and in an alley off the street near the Itaewon subway station. Great food and a wide selection of draught beers, though the owners can rub people the wrong way. They have a wide variety of beers and the cuisine is gourmet. Wing night on Tuesday and Quiz night on Thursday for a little variety in your life. Many expats hang out there, good pool table and darts area. The English speaking staff is friendly with a no-nonsense attitude so don't worry about being around a bunch of fools like other places in Itaewon. Try the boot! Have a shot of Jägermeister or Apfelkorn. People have their opinion but all in all, this place is top notch. If you come, order a drink, they just run a tight ship.
Bless UAnother older expat haunt. You better be good with your pool game or you'll be waiting in a long line to go again. Darts are also available. They have great popcorn and decent draft beers. It changed ownership last year and has been running a tight ship since.
Dillinger'sServes draught and bottled beers and good food. Wednesday night is Wing Night, where 10 wings go for ₩4,000. Sports played on a number of big screens, plus lounge/club upstairs.
GeckosA relaxed bar scene and good food. Very popular with GIs and expats (and prostitutes seeking customers).
HeliosSeedy hip-hop club with a bit of a reputation.
HollywoodA sports bar with a pool table, darts, a golf arcade game and several TVs airing all kinds of sports (including Premier League matches and major sporting events). Reportedly Nigerians and American soldiers have been banned here.
MetroA lot of older expats and many Koreans hit up this joint. Only one Korean beer on tap, but free pool. The front (or right side when you go up the stairs) seems to be for the expat crowd, while the back (the left door when you go up the stairs) seems to be more hof style for the Korean crowd. They have the typical range of snacks available and free peanuts for beer drinkers.
Old TownThis is the bar/club that gets full when all the bars close. It is at its busiest between 04:00 and 08:00. Hard to miss, as it'll be the place that has everyone lounging around in various states in the very early hours of the morning. Not for the faint-hearted!
Rocky Mountain TavernA Canadian bar for expats living in Korea. East of the main intersection. They have weekly chicken wing specials. Go early. The best place in Seoul to watch hockey.
The Rose & CrownLondon-style pub with great fish and chips and interior decoration. Darts and sports on the big screen available.
Sam Ryan's Sports Bar & GrillThis is the best sports bar in Seoul for North American sports. It shows numerous sports throughout the year on replay, sometimes live. There are TVs everywhere including the restrooms! Darts in the corner. Kitchen is extraordinary, excellent menu. The drink selection is great, better than most in Itaewon besides the 3 Alley Pub. The English-speaking staff is friendly as well, they still run a tight ship though. A terrace in the back enables one to get away from all the noise. Rib night is Tuesday.
Seoul PubCheap beer, good atmosphere, a pool table, darts and Guinness on tap. It is quite dingy though, and badly needs a renovation, so probably a place for a session rather than a quiet pint with the missus!
The Wolfhound Irish Pub & RestaurantServes a great selection of draft beers and hearty, homemade meals. Burger, chips, fried breakfast, pies, etc. Tuesday nights are buy one, get one free fish and chips.
NightclubsFor some good house and trance music, try some places such as:
B1'sAn electro house club.
Club VolumeHouse and trance club, a quite large and excellent crowd on weekends. It is the best and most upscale club in the neighborhood.
Del DiscoReportedly a gay club.
King ClubGaudy and a tad sleazy. Located in a seedy part of the neighborhood.
PulseGay dance club.
CraftworxFind the NOXA bar and walk past it two or three stores down. No pool or darts, but the best on tap beer you'll find in Korea. Seriously.
PhilliesA bar and grill that has changed ownership several times. Beer prices are par and food is OK.
phone: +82 2-792-0001 (Main Desk), +82 18 223-0002 (English)address: Yongsan-guIf you have never been to a jjimjilbang then this is perhaps a good place to start. A little on the pricey side for a bathhouse but the premises is modern, gaudily theme-decorated and incredibly tourist-oriented. Extensive signage exists in English, Chinese and Japanese as well as dedicated multilingual staff, even in the dead of night. Has the usual array of spas, saunas, heated sleeping rooms and Korean restaurants plus a small Japanese-style game arcade, screen golf, swimming pool (swimwear required), terrace restaurant and outdoor cinema on the roof. You can also have your photo taken in traditional Korean attire if you so desire. Sleeping mats are in short supply in line with Korea's favorite running gag, but headrest cubes and blankets are unusually available by request from the locker room attendant with a very hefty deposit: be sure to guard them well in the wee hours. All expenses incurred are charged to a wrist tag and paid for upon departure. Oversize luggage storage available and promise of a Capsule Hotel in the near future.
Hamilton HotelA landmark in the heart of the Itaewon shopping district. Nice rooms, stay here to help reduce culture shock.
Noble Hotelphone: +82 2 790-2700address: 서울특별시 용산구 한강로동 새창로 209The exterior looks old, but the interior is neat and tidy. It is very close to Yongsan Station and it is very easy to move to other places.
address: 747-7 Hannam 2-Dong, Yongsan-KuSet amidst landscaped gardens with good views over the city. Full service spa.
As with elsewhere in the capital, there are plenty of PC Rooms available.