Whether you’re enjoying a wild night out in Hongdae or wanting to ‘wine’ down after work in ritzy Gangnam, you don’t have to travel far to find a rooftop bar in the vertical metropolis of Seoul. Enjoy your brew with a view at one of the city’s best, as listed below.
L7 Rooftop Floating (루프탑 플로팅)
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Featuring panoramic views that harmonize the natural beauty of Namsan Mountain with the glowing neon of Myeongdong, L7 Rooftop Floating is one of the least known but most beautiful of Seoul’s rooftop bars. Occupying the entire 21st floor of the L7 Myeongdong Hotel, the ultra-modern bar consists of both indoor and outdoor spaces bedecked with smooth marble, contemporary lighting fixtures, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Floating offers an impressive list of wine and craft beer, as well as seven signature cocktails and a variety of food items including excellent Korean-style fried chicken. It’s also the only bar in the city that features a foot bath, which can be enjoyed during the summer months.
Transport yourself straight to Texas at Southside Parlor, where thoughtfully crafted cocktails, mouth-watering comfort food, and service with a smile await you. Marrying local ingredients with Southern-inspired flavors, the bar’s one-of-a-kind drinks like its Omija Mule and Juarez Old Fashioned are the main focus here, but solid barbecue dishes and a rotating menu of tacos (served on Tuesdays) keep its loyal patronage consistently coming back for more. Grab a seat at the copper-topped bar and prepare to be wowed by the passion of its resident bartenders as they create your beverage, or head up to the cozy rooftop to enjoy your drink with a view.
Situated in the heart of Seoul’s premier university district, Hongdae Playground is a rooftop café and bar that caters to students, young Seoulites, and tourists from all over the world. In addition to boasting great views, Playground is known for its events ranging from language exchanges to traffic light parties, making it the ideal place for solo travelers to meet new people. Friendly staff are fluent in English as well as Korean and make it their mission to introduce patrons to the best nightlife the city has to offer.
Open for business during the summer months, VVertigo on the ninth floor of the Conrad Seoul hotel is the rooftop bar to visit if you’re looking to wind down after a long day at work. Situated among the skyscrapers of the Yeouido business district, the lounge boasts a breezy, relaxed atmosphere enhanced by cool beats played by an in-house DJ. Pull up a rattan chair, order a bottle of wine, and you’ll soon forget it’s only Tuesday.
Situated in the hills of Gyeongnidan, My Sky is part of Hong Seok-cheon’s ‘My’ series and is everything you’d expect from the celebrity restauranteur. Flashy pink and purple neon, larger-than-life portraits, and vintage Korean furniture create an Insta-worthy atmosphere that attracts a trendy crowd. Yet the real draw of My Sky is its rooftop which offers a million-dollar view of the nearby Seoul Tower. Enjoy it over dinner – the menu is made up of Koreanized pastas and risottos – or a meticulously crafted cocktail.
For city views south of the Han River, head to the 17th floor of Hotel Cappuccino in Gangnam. Here, a rooftop bar overlooks the old Nonhyeon-dong neighborhood, providing unique panoramas of its low-rise houses contrasted against contemporary skyscrapers. In addition to great views and a relaxed ambiance, the bar is also known for its experimental cocktails. Try the gin and tonic, which can be customized according to your preferences.
Art aficionados will appreciate the popular Gyeongnidan hangout Avant Garde, which beautifully marries art with alcohol to make it one of the most aesthetically pleasing bars in the Itaewon area. Grab a seat on the rooftop, where you can admire various sculptures, paintings, and unique furniture placed naturally throughout the establishment, with Seoul Tower standing proudly in the background. Complete the rooftop experience with one of the bar’s well-made mojitos or margaritas, and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer evening.