Rooftop bars are FINALLY trending in Seoul. See where the best ones are at
While rooftop bars are common in places like Hong Kong and Singapore, they have been a long time coming in Seoul. Becoming the latest trend in just the past few years, we've compiled a list of places that have the best combination of views PLUS drinks and atmosphere. Enjoy the breeze!
(1) Harvest Namsan
With straw grass peeking out from potted boxes that sit on the sidelines and red wine being poured gracefully into tall glasses, if there’s ever a time for the words “upscale” and “countryside” to be together, it’s here. You’d almost forget that you’re right in the heart of the city, actually on Namsan, except for the spectacular view of downtown right at your feet—it almost looks like an advertisement straight out of a European travel agency magazine. Unlike many fancy Italian restaurants that are experimenting with sauces, Harvest Namsan’s menu consists of simple dishes such as aglio olio, carbonara and mare pomodoro that they’ve done well. Although brunch food is rumored to be equally good, opt for a reservation at the sunset just for the view.
Venue name : Harvest Namsan
Address : 7, Sowol-ro 44ga-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Opening hours : 11am–12pm
Transport : Hangangjin Stattion(Line 6), exit 1
Price : Pastas from 18,000 won
What’s better than a well-tailored suit? Having that suit personally tailored for you at a beautiful three-story building where you’re also served wine and tapas on a rooftop overlooking the city. Located right above the store Tailorable for Women, is this tapas and wine lounge called T-Bar. Originally, the second floor garden and bar and the third floor rooftop were just spaces used by employees during their leisure time until they slowly started inviting customers as well and officially opened T-Bar this past March. Walking up the stairs to the lounge, one can’t help but marvel at the beautiful Turkish ceramic wall tiles and the vintage furniture that adorn the different floors. From the lounge, one can order a variety of dishes ranging from tapas to oysters and shrimp. While breezy during the summer, the lounge is making an effort to insulate the space as much as possible for the upcoming winter months. As you sink into a luxurious oversized sofa that faces the Seoul skyline you can nurse (or throwback) one of their simple cocktails or a bottle of wine. It truly is an experience of well-tailored comfort.
Venue name : T-Bar
Address : 33, Daesagwan-ro 5-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Opening hours : Tue–Sun 6pm–2am
Transport : Line 6, Hangangjin Station
Price : Tapas from 15,000 won, cocktails from 9,000 won, red wine from 95,000 won
(3) Rooftop Kloud at the Mercure Ambassador Hotel
Think James Bond taking a summer night off his 007 duties. Located on the 21st floor of the Mercure Ambassador Hotel, this is Seoul bringing what you thought was only possible in Singapore or Hong Kong. Step off the elevator and into the entrance of a small greenhouse-like structure where young professionals are having dinner and a cocktail if it’s just past six. To your left, there’s a open terrace with breathtaking views of Gangnam. Take a table close to the ledge while a World Class 2014 Finalist bartender serves you a red rum and Campari “Blood Diamond” from their signature drink menu. Wow a date with a weeknight sunset, book in advance for a private party or come socialize on a Thursday or Friday. It’s swanky, it’s breezy—it’s Kloud, Rooftop Kloud.
Venue name : Rooftop Kloud at the Mercure Ambassador Hotel
Address : 10, Teheran-ro 25-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Opening hours : Mon–Sat 6pm–3am. Sun 6pm–1am
(4) Playground Rooftop Cafe & Bar
Hongdae's ever-popular Thursday Party now has some serious competition with Playground Rooftop Cafe & Bar. Catering to the same fun-loving crowd of exchange students and open-minded 20-somethings, this two story establishment is located right across from the notorious playground, giving you a great view of the haunt's shenanigans. Language exchanges, international parties and all-you-can-drink events are held on a regular basis. As said events may suggest, the smiling staff is quite English-friendly (some speak Japanese and Chinese as well) and the crowd's an even balance of Koreans and foreigners. It may not be the place for serious language study but if alcohol boosts your Korean-conversation confidence, note that Cass on tap’s only 2,500 won and it does seem like the kind of place where most people come to drink Cass.
Venue name : Playground Rooftop Cafe & Bar
Address : 14, Wausan-ro 21-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Opening hours : Mon–Thu 6pm–11pm. Fri 6pm–2am. Sat 1pm–3am. Sun 1pm–11pm
Transport : Hongik University Station (Line 2), exit 9