South Korean capital with energetic huge population


Seoul the South Korean capital buzzing with people.

City Overview

Seoul, the buzzing hard-working, heaving drinking capital of South Korea. Seoul offers interesting food & street markets, palaces, temples to skyscrapers and slick shopping. Seoul is a hub of energy & enterprise with a population over 20 million people busy at work.

In South Korea the legal age of consent is 13 and homosexual activity has been deemed legal.

South Korea in general is a sexually conservative society. While Korea has never had laws against homosexuality, it does not mean it’s a sign of tolerance or acceptance.

Like many countries, attitudes are changing, especially within cities and among young people. Many gay Koreans choose not to reveal their sexual identity to colleagues and to family members.

People who identify as Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people in South Korea face legal challenges and discrimination not experienced by non-LGBTQ individuals.

Whilst male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal, however, same-sex marriage is not culturally and socially accepted at all, which is highly unfortunate but hopefully will change in the future as Korea is a highly progressive nation.

South Korean national law does not provide any anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, nor does it prohibit hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

All male citizens of South Korea must complete two years of mandatory military service. Upon joining the military men take a “psychology test” which includes questions regarding sexual preferences.

Recruits who are homosexual can be classed as having a “personality disorder” which can result in being institutionalized (a person who becomes a long-term patient or prisoner of the government) or dishonourably discharged so male recruits rarely if ever reveal their sexuality.

In 2010 the issue has been appealed to Korea’s constitutional court, as of 2016 no final decision has been made by the court.

Gay Seoul has two main areas, Itaewon districts adeptly named ‘Homo Hill’, a foreigner-friendly entertainment district and ‘Jongro-3, an almost exclusive gay Korean party street.

Getting Around

The Metro is the fastest and most affordable way to get around Seoul. With 22 subway lines making 302 stops across the city, the Seoul Metro is a highly efficient way to get around the city.

Airport Transfer

Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN) to downtown Seoul is approximately 48 km.

Airport Railroad Express (AREX) connects Incheon Int'l Airport to Seoul Station. There are various stations to transfer to either the Incheon Transit or Seoul Metro subway system.

Express Trains depart every 20 to 40 minutes from Incheon Int'l Airport and take approximately 40 minutes. All Stop Trains leave every 5 to 10 minutes and take around 1 hour to get to Seoul Station. If you’re not in a hurry take the slower train as cost 50% of the express train fare.

A taxi will take approximately 40 minutes and cost a minimum around $65\€60.

Places to stay

Gangnam is one of the busiest areas with exclusive and expensive shops (Starfield COEX Mall is located here!), restaurants, and cafes! The area is sometimes referred to as “the Beverly Hills of South Korea”!

Itaewon is the LGBTQ nightlife neighbourhood is one of the most popular areas for residents among locals, solo travellers, ex-pats, and U.S. military personnel. Itaewon also has great cuisine not seen in all of Korea, such as traditional dishes from India, Pakistan, Turkey, Germany, Portugal, Mexico, and why some people call it the “Western Town”.

Myeongdong, is best neighbourhood if your priority is shopping as you will find an impressive mix of Korean and North American brands, even local skincare and beauty shops in the main shopping streets of the area.


Bongeunsa Temple is one of many Buddhist temples in and around Seoul. It first opened in the year 794 and is a complex of multiple buildings and shrines. It's easy to visit, as it's centrally located in the exciting Gangnam area.

Gyeongbokgung Palace first built in 1395, is the largest of Seoul's five grand palaces built during the powerful Joseon dynasty. Destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries, it was restored to its original glory after the Second World War and totally restored in the 1990s.

Gwangjang Market is Seoul's best street food market combines a taste-bud tempting array of street food vendors under one large roof. The market features rows of food stalls, offering every kind of Korean food you can imagine.

Most stalls have small chairs or stools in front of them, creating tiny restaurants, where you can sit and have a meal. It's all about tasting things here, and a smile and request will usually get you a sample of most of the things on offer.

The market is in central Seoul, and it's open from 9am to 10pm. The most popular things sold here are bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes), bibimbap (rice mixed with sauteed beef, vegetables, and gochujang red chili paste), gimbap (Korean sushi), tteokbokki (stir-fried spicy rice cakes), and various types of noodles.

Seoul Tower rising almost 500 meters above the city, this communications and observation tower provides dramatic views of the city from its perch on the side of Mount Namsan. A cable car whisks you up the side of the mountain to the base of the tower. From here, you can go up in the tower and visit any one of four observation decks, one of which is a rotating restaurant.

Blue House is Korea's version of the White House. It's the official residence of the Korean president, as well as the location of his and related executive offices of state. The Blue House isn't really a single building, it's an entire campus of buildings, all built in the traditional Korean style and all featuring the distinctive blue tile roofs where it gets its name.

Bars, Clubs & Parties

Gay Seoul has two main areas, Itaewon districts adeptly named ‘Homo Hill’, a foreigner-friendly entertainment district and ‘Jongro-3, an almost exclusive gay Korean party street.

Expect the parties to start late and finish even later, most guys head out after 11 pm and many of the clubs don’t start to empty until 5-6 am.

‘Homo Hill’ most tourists become familiar with as a foreigner-friendly enclave that seems to have people from every country on the planet wandering around. The area has experienced an explosion of foreigner-friendly, upscale gay bars, in this area. English and other foreign languages are spoken by most of the bar staff and customers in Itaewon.

The gay street, Homo Hill opens on Thu to Sun and normally gets busy around 1 am onward.

SOHO Bar is Homo Hill most popular gay bar and dance club, located in the middle of the main gay street for bar hopping. The crowd is young locals & international visitors in Seoul. Only open on Friday & Saturday, from 10 pm until 5 am, it slowly starts to get busy with expats and cute Korean boys around 2 am.

Why Not is one of the oldest gay bars is located right next to SOHO bar. It is a well-designed bar popular with trendy locals between the age of 30-40 and plays Korean pop music. Open daily from 7:30 pm to 3 am and until 5 am on Friday & Saturday.

Jongno is Seoul's biggest gay enclave, with many clubs and venues located in the centre of Seoul in the Nagwon Dong neighbourhood to the north and east of Topkol Park (Independence Park).

The majority of bars and club in this area are quite small and serve a traditional Korean clientele, now mostly mature. But, Jongno is gradually changing with the times and newer additions to the gay neighbourhood tending to be larger, more open and more international in outlook.

During the day the area is known for musical instrument shops, traditional arts and crafts stores, tea houses, and the nearby Insadong shopping road.

If you have a Korean friend along to translate, you might like to visit one of the traditional soju bang, serving snacks and Korean and Chinese-style liqueur.

But if you're alone then it is better to go to Itaewon districts adeptly named ‘Homo Hill’ where the bars and clubs are used to foreign customers and English is more widely spoken.

Cafes & Restaurants

If you are in Seoul then you absolutely must try some of the amazing South Korean dishes. You probably won’t be able to pronounce a lot of the dishes but it is guaranteed that just about anything you order off the menu will be delicious. You can also find exotic dishes that aren’t found in any other part of the world in Seoul.

Do not miss Gwangjang Market is Seoul's best street food market combines a taste-bud tempting array of street food vendors under one large roof. The market features rows of food stalls, offering every kind of Korean food you can imagine.


Seoul’s sauna and cruise club scene is relatively small and while most are open 24 hours most saunas are busy from early evening until the small hours.

Similar to nightlife most of Seoul’s gay saunas don’t get busy until late which is around 2-3 am and when guys start leaving the clubs.

It is commonplace for gay saunas in Seoul to restrict access based on age, race, fitness and general ‘hotness’.

Shelter Sauna Seoul is one of Seoul’s famous gay saunas in Gangnam. This gay sauna attracts many locals from young muscled guys to cute bears. Facilities include a cruise area, showers, maze, relaxing cabins and free lockers.

Prince Sauna is Seoul hottest men sauna with a fit young man only policy. A small sauna on the 3rd floor of the building. Whilst  many gay saunas only accept locals but foreigners whom the consider hot will be welcome at Prince Sauna.

Mun Hwa Sauna is Seoul most popular sauna among older Korean men and some foreigners. It gets busy, especially at weekends with three hot baths, a steam room, and many other facilities.

Hyundae Sauna is the longest-run gay sauna & cruise club in Itaewon, conveniently located in the main gay district. The sauna is on the second floor of the building, open 24 hours, daily. Popular among a younger crowd, it gets busy after 8 pm, midnight and 6 am – 7 am after clubbing.

Hyundae Sauna is popular with guys before 11.00 pm who then go clubbing and return after the party. The venue is welcome to all visitors, as it’s one of the best gay saunas in Seoul. It attracts all types of the crowd from the gay street after clubbing.

GM Sauna is a large gay cruising place in Gwanghui-dong near Subway Station with a mirror maze, kinky rooms & BJ room. It’s open 24 hours, daily and usually gets busy after midnight and over weekends.

GM gay sauna offers 4 floors every with its own style and more of a gay cruising venue than a sauna. 2nd floor has lockers and showers. 3rd floor has a mirror maze (must-try!), TV/video lounge, showers, kinky rooms with red lights and leather curtains, and even a BJ room. 4th floor looks like something out of a pirate ship with long bunk rows top and bottom. 5th floor only open on Friday and Saturday when gets extra busy.

The venue is welcome to all visitors for cruising in the mirror maze & shower area. The venue attracting mostly local bears and men over 30.


Shopping in Seoul is an amazing experience as the city is full of unique shops and markets that offer a vast array of products. Whether you’re looking for clothes, cosmetics, souvenirs or anything else, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for in Seoul.

Myeong-dong is Myeong-dong is one of the most vibrant shopping districts in Seoul, offering everything from high-end luxury brands to affordable street vendors. Shopping isn’t the only thing you can do here, as there are also plenty of restaurants and cafes for those looking for a rest from the hustle and bustle of the crowds.

Dongdaemun is a popular shopping area consisting of 26 shopping malls and over 30,000 shops offering a vast selection of goods including traditional Korean handicrafts to high-end fashion items.

Itaewon is the vibrant and bustling LGBTQ neighbourhood at night and offers wide range of interesting boutiques, from independent stores to high-end designer shops, which offer everything from clothing to jewelery and accessories.

Gangnam is a fashionable and upscale area of Seoul where shopping there can be expensive. For high-end shopping, head over to the COEX Shopping Mall which is home to some of the world’s most prestigious brands such as Dior, Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

Apgujeong (Gangnam) is a chic and luxurious shopping district in Seoul that is well known for its designer shops, high-end boutiques and trendy cafes.


Currency – South Korea Won (KRW)

Language - Korean

Visas - Visa-exempt visitors must have an approved South Korea ETA to enter the country for tourism, no matter the duration of their intended stay. This Electronic Travel Authorization is a multiple-entry visa waiver valid for 2 years from approval.

Best Time To Visit – March - May and September - November to avoid cold winters or hot summers.

Timezone – Korean Standard Time (GMT+9)

Homosexual Activity – Legal but LGBTQ rights are minimal. Therefore, be discreet with showing affection in public except if you are in Itaewon.

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