Itaewon (Korean: 이태원, 梨泰院, pronounced /itʰɛwʌn/) is a dong, or city district, in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is served by Seoul Subway Line 6 via Itaewon, Noksapyeong and Hanganjin stations. About 22,000 people reside in the district, and it is a popular area for residents of Seoul, tourists, and U.S. Army personnel. It is the main area for foreigners living in Seoul, and as such has many restaurants, pubs and shops selling fare from around the world.
Itaewon is Seoul's international district, housing a variety of Western-styled venues to eat, drink and be merry. Being a place where many foreigners congregate, it remains somewhat of a niche nightlife area for Koreans who are interested in a more international scene. A number of notable bars and clubs spot the area, both on the main street and in the alleys off it. Recently becoming gentrified as more upscale restaurants and chains move in. The US army has decided to move the nearby army base outside of Seoul within the next few years so expect regular changes to the area.
Many bars in Itaewon celebrate Thursdays as Ladies' Night which often means that ladies drink free before 12am. Finally, there are a few gay bars, located two alleys east of the main street. There you can find a club and a few bars near one another.
Due to its proximity to the nearby United States Army Garrison Yongsan, a large number of American military personnel are found here in the evenings and weekends. It is not unusual to see uniformed military wearing CP (Courtesy Patrol) or MP (Military Police) armbands enforcing the curfew.
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.
- Indian curries - There are a number of Indian/Pakistani restaurants in the area. A curry will usually set you back about 10-15,000 won, and a few do buffets which are between 15-20,000won
- Fast food - Itaewon has a McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Kraze Burger, Quiznos, and Taco Bell.
- Nashville steakhouse - Prices are around 25,000 won.
- Vatos Urban Tacos, Yongsan-gu, Itaewon-dong, 81-8 2nd Floor, Seoul Korea(서울시 용산구 이태원동), ☎ 02-797-8226, . Sun-Thurs 11:30am-11:00pm Fri-Sat 11:30am-12:00pm. Korean/Mexican fusion cuisine in an urban setting. The food and service are great, but expect to be put on a waiting list during peak hours on the weekend. $3-$15. edit
- The Wolfhound Irish Pub & Restaurant. (in the alley behind Geckos across from Quiznos/Family Mart). Serves a great selection of draft beers and hearty, homemade meals. Burger, chips, fried breakfast, pies, etc.
- 3 Alley Pub. This is a great establishment with a wide variety of beers and gourmet cuisine. Quiz night Thursdays for a little variety in your life! Many expats hang out there (though the Koreans are rising in number), good pool table and darts area. The English-speaking staff are usually 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 Apfel Korn. People have their opinions about this place and its owner, but all in all, this place is worth going to. If you come, order a drink, they run a tight ship. http://www.3alleypub.com/Directions.htm
- Sam Ryan's Sports Bar (above the 3 Alley Pub). Great place to watch any sport you want from Rugby, Football (any kind you can imagine), Tennis to Cricket. There are TV's everywhere including the restrooms! You tell them what you want: you got it! 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. Potential to turn into another Rocky Mountain Tavern though. www.samryans.com
- Seoul Pub - on the main street, 2nd floor, opposite the Hamilton Hotel. Cheap beer, good atmosphere and a pool table. It is quite dingy though, so probably a place for a session rather than a quiet pint with the missus!
- Hollywood - a sports bar, up the road from the Hamilton, that shows Premier League matches, and major sporting events.
- Old Town - This is the bar / club that gets full when all the bars close. Located halfway up Hooker Hill, it is at its busiest between 4 and 10am. 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!
- Wit's End Itaewon - Pretty cool and quiet place to have a few drinks. Great selection of bottled beer, wine, and scotch. Perfect place to take a date. The staff speaks great English and wide selection of music. A good place to avoid all the drama of Itaewon. Smoking is allowed! Check it out.
- Rocky Mountain Tavern - Canadian bar for expats living in Korea. Located north of the main intersection.
- Tony's Aussie Bar & Bistro - Australian bar and bistro, owned and run by Tony Le Rhodes, a former member of the Australian band The Choirboys. Aussie food (meat pies, fish and chips, vegemite on toast, plus burgers, etc.) and drink available. Directions http://www.tonysitaewon.com/map.html
- Helios - Small Hip hop club with a bit of a reputation
For some good House/Trance music, try some places like:
- King Club - Gaudy and a tad sleazy. Located in a seedy part of the neighborhood.
- Club Volume- House/trance club, quite large and a excellent crowd on weekends. It is the best and most upscale club in the neighborhood.
- B1's - An electro house club. Round the corner from KFC
- 24 Guesthouse Itaewon, 116-20 Itaewon-Dong, Yongsan-Gu (Metro Line no. 6, Itaewon stn, Go straight out exit 1, you will see an alley next to KFC. Turn right at KFC, go up the hill and turn left on the first street. Straight ahead about 30m you'll see a set of stairs on your right and Sam Ryan's Pub. Go up the stairs and turn right at the top. You will see a big sign with a rabbit - you've made it to the 24 Guesthouse Itaewon!), ☎ +82 10-6212-2222, ("[email protected]"Checkin="15:00"). checkout: 11:00. 24 Guesthouse has twin, triple, quad, and 6 bed dorms (mixed and female only) which all have really comfortable beds, free wifi, air conditioning, lockers, a mini fridge, and a tv. The staff are super helpful, nice and speak both fluent Korean and English, which is great. There is a rooftop with a beautiful view of the city. They offer laundry service, a kitchen for guest use, and serve free breakfast (eggs,toast,coffee,juice) every morning. The hostel is less than 5 minutes from Iteawon Station and minutes from all of Iteawon's bars/restaurants/clubs/etc. It's also in a great spot to visit Namsan Park, Seoul Tower, Myeongdong, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and Seoul's other big tourist attractions. Dorm beds start from ₩19,000. edit
- [email protected] Guesthouse, Itaewon Main Street (opposite Woori Bank, 10 mins walk from subway Exit 3), ☎ 027493003. Usual dorm prices and check-in/ check-out times. Friendly staff, clean with all facilities. Top place to stay! edit
- Maree Guesthouse (Foreign Embassy Street, Dongbinggo), 81-1 Jangmun-Ro 6gil, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul (Near Nigeria Embassy), ☎ +82 2 794 6138, . checkin: Flexible; checkout: 12:00. Tidy and Clean place to stay. Suitable for group backpackers! edit
- G Guesthouse Itaewon, 131-11 Itaewon-Dong, Yongsan-Gu (Metro Line no. 6, Itaewon stn, use exit No. 3. turn around exit 3 and turn left at the Olive Young store, then walk 30m and turn left at the pharmacy, go straight 50m and turn right at international market and you will see the big G.), ☎ +82 10-8774-7767, ([email protected]), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. offers private rooms and dorms all with free Wifi, lockers, air conditioning and ensuite bathrooms. It has a nice reception area where they offer Free Breakfast and a kitchen where you can cook your own meals. It features a really nice roof top with amazing views of the Seoul Tower and Saturdays they celebrate BBQ parties here where you can meet lot of local and foreign people. G Guesthouse is in the heart of Itaewon neighbourhood just few mins walking distance to supermarkets, pubs and restaurants. Perfect place to enjoy the famous Itaewon nightlife. It is also 3 mins walk from Itaewon subway station and if you like to hike you can easily reach Seoul Tower in a nice walk through Namsan park. Fitted with heat flooring and air-conditioned rooms. Deluxe rooms also has TV, microwave, fridge and private kitchenette. Laundry facilities and luggage storage are available and free. ₩15,000 to ₩96,000. edit