Jeju Island is rarely considered a party destination. Korea’s ‘honeymoon capital’, the region is known for its calm atmosphere and peaceful landscapes. Jeju City, however, has a small but buzzing nightlife scene — as long as you know where to go. Luckily, Culture Trip is here to help, with a handy guide to the best bars in town.
Goofy Foot is a chilled-out basement surf bar. It’s popular with expats, who enjoy its laid-back atmosphere, fairly reasonably priced drinks (as well as staples such as Cass and Red Rock, they also have a number of American and Korean craft beers available) and good music playlists, mostly pop and rock. The bar has a pool table and darts.
The Factory is a live music bar in Jeju’s lively City Hall district. It’s inspired by Andy Warhol’s famous studio of the same name (look out for the Warhol banana over the entrance). Opened in 2007, it is one of the longest-running venues on the island’s indie music scene. The owner of the bar, Myoung-ae, aimed to create a creative haven on Jeju where arts and music could flourish, and her passion and energy for this have made her well-known on the island. The bar is popular with locals and expats alike, and has a welcoming, friendly atmosphere.
It’s not much to look at from the outside, but Indie’s rather drab sign marks out a lively venue that’s a hotspot for live music in the city. The bar has a strong local flavour and is a great place to experience alternative Korean music. It’s good for dancing and is especially lively on weekends. The vibe leans towards heavier rock and metal, although they’ve also played host to folk music and interactive visual art.
Nilmori Dong Dong is a little out of town, along the coast close to Jeju Airport, but worth the trek if you have time. One reason for this is that it’s many things rolled into one — a bar, a café, an exhibition venue and art space. Try the Hallasan Bingsu, which is named after the island’s famous volcano and features lava made from red bean paste. It’s a good place to start your night before heading back into the city, as the view over the sea is best at early evening.
Led Zeppelin is a lively vinyl bar where you can request any song from the 1960s to the present day. Whatever genre takes your fancy, if they’ve got it, they’ll play it. Occasionally live bands play (mostly on weekends). They serve bar foods including dried fish and nachos.