I must say that after the bars back home, I never expected to ever see a place like this!
A small group of us (girls) went out on the town, and our Korean friend took us to this nightclub downtown called Champion. When we arrived, we were greeted by several well-dressed doormen who escorted us upstairs to a table. The club looked very clean and trendy as we walked in, very different than the other bars I have been to. We were seated at a booth in the middle of a sea of tables.
A quick description of the club. There must be about 70-80 tables in the club, and they can probably fit 500+ people in there! At the front of the club there is a very large dance floor, and a huge stage.
Once we were seated, we ordered some food and drinks (very pricey, a downside). We were then (unexpectedly) treated to an evening of Korean cabaret! Several performers and DJs performed renditions of fave Western and Korean songs (all modern stuff). The music was loud and easy to dance to. We Westerners were in histarics when some very handsome Korean men broke out into Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"! There is an ongoing light show, pyrotechnics, and a really neat laser/water combo that's to crazy to describe.
There were a few downsides. We were the only Westerners there, and it struck me that that was the usual. If you go, bring a phrasebook, or better yet, a Korean friend to help you with the servers and doormen. Another issue was the cost. Because the club is very flashy, it costs a lot to run it! There is no cover, but you are expected to order food, and the cheapest plate is 40,000 W.
Despite these downsides, it would definitely be worth seeing! I'm definitely planning on going back!
Dress Code: I got the impression that as long as you looked put together, you could wear whatever you want. Men, to be on the safe side, opt for pants instead of shorts.
Crossroads is a great place to just chill with friends. The atmosphere is very laid back and tempers never seem to flare here. Located in the PNU area, this little club will see a healthy mix of locals and expats on any given night. The music is usually folky or old rock/pop, such as John Lennon, Janis Joplin and Bob Marley, along with contemporaries like Dave Matthews and the like. There aren't many seats in the house, so if you prefer to sit and chill, get there early. Lots of opportunities to mingle here. There is internet available. Usually, there is live music on Saturday nights, and drink specials all week.
The Basement is a funky little spot in the PNU area. It is located in the same building as Crossroads, Busan's infamous foreigner chill out spot. The Basement has a very different atmosphere, very cool, great music (think Roots, Beastie Boys, and other hip hop or R&B), and a decent drink menu. If you visit on Friday or Saturday night, you'll find tons of expats chilling, and very few military types. There is internet available in the corner!
The area has many bars, singing rooms, night clubs, and restaurants that stay open late, so many people head here before or after catching a movie. The trendier shops also stay open to cater to the younger generation crowd. Many street vendors serve snacks and drinks
Texas Street is to Busan what Itaewon-dong is to Seoul. Located near the harbor and Busan train station, many stores here cater to foreigners, selling blankets, hand bags, shoes, clothes, and leather goods. During its popularity as a red light district for military men based in Busan or passing through, it was called Texas Street due to the image of Texas in America as a wild, frontier area.
Okay, I have to admit that Vinyl has all the traits of a seedy nightclub: It's in a basement, it's small, it's very dark, it's smoky, it's crowded, it's loud, and so on. That being said, it is a great escape if you're looking for some Western flavour on your travels.
Vinyl is always full of foreigners. The mix is usually mostly foreigners with a few Koreans who generally speak English very well. The music is Western. The Saturday evenings when we have gone, there has been a DJ spinning a lot of great dance music, so it's got a bit of rave flavour to it.
I think the best thing about Vinyl is the fact that if you've spent any amount of time in Busan, you'll probably spot someone you know! The foreign community is quite small, and there are a few well known foreign clubs, so get ready to do a bit of networking... !
Last thing: the drinks are pretty expensive. If you're looking for a buzz, hit the Family Mart up the street and pick up some Soju or beer before you go, and have a little picnic on the tables outside the Mart.
Dress Code: Pretty much anything goes, although I do recommend closed toed shoes, as the dance floor is pretty busy. One other tip: this is a foreign bar, so act like you would at a bar at home. Don't leave your wallet or purse unattended.
The "Basement" is a small venue, but nice nonetheless. It is a typical hangout of both locals and foreigners. They have live music typically on Fridays and Saturdays.
Following the map that is linked below, it is a ~8 minute walk from the PNU subway stop.
Dress Code: Dress code is completely casual.
Fridays and Saturdays from 9pm to 3am, there are drink specials of 15,000KRW for all you can drink. Drinks include mixed drinks with Jim Beam, Vodka, Gin or draft beers.
Musical guests are local bands, many of which are ex-pats who are living local.
There is a good quality pool table and plenty of seats for all guests.
Dress Code: Dress code is completely casual
Soemyeon is a very popular area for Busan residents for nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and shopping. My favorite nightclubs are New York, New York and Hollywood, but there are many others. I have eaten at a few good restaurants in Soemyeon including a Japanese restaurant on the corner just down the block from NY, NY. Soemyeon also boasts the ritzy Lotte Hotel with rooms around 200,000 won a night.
New York, New York is a very popular nightclub located in Busan's Soemyeon area. It is a huge room, with a long rectangle bar, and a modest dance floor. NY, NY stays open until the wee hours of the morning. Word is that NY, NY is now Korean-only, but you should be able to get in if you are a Westerner with Korean friends.
Hollywood Club is located across the street from New York, New York in Soemyeon. It has a similar layout to NY, NY, just a little smaller and darker.
On a bright sunny afternoon I was wandering on top of Yongdusan Hill when I heard the malodic tunes of some tinny speaker box. Interesting music I though I'II search it out. To my pleasant surprise there I discovered a small group of men and women in their mid 60s at least dancing ballroom / disco style to this charming Oriental electronica. It was it appeared an illegal rave party for the young at heart. Sadly an embarrassed young police officer had been summoned by some party pooper to close down the rave party. If he hadn't have intervened I would have joined into the fun my self.
In Busan, this is probably the cheapest way to have a great evening, meet lots of people and have some drinks! Or let me say: Drink till you drop -- for free! (Entrance is just 10k Won for foreigners.)
Located in the middle of the popular Kyung-Sung University area with its many clubs, bars and restaurants, there's this so-called "language cafe" -- the LZONE -- where at daytime native high school seniors, college kids and all kinds of yuppies meet with foreigners to practice English and other foreign languages. But on Fridays and Saturdays, from 8pm to 12am, it's PARTY TIME!
Foreigners are granted a discount of 5,000 Won, and as much Soju, Fruit-Makkoli and beer as they can stomach! What's more, there's raffles and party games with prizes to win, like a bottle of Tequila.
The place is divided into the so-called "Playground" area, where most of the party people get together, a comfy lounge area for chill-out, and also some multi-media-enhanced compartments, should you want to take a break from the party noise.
The music is the typical South-Korean blend of House with Hip-Hop elements, groovy enough to make the dance floor catch fire from time to time. For your playful moments, there's a Wii with Wii Sports loaded and projected on a big screen, plus a really fancy Darts machine.
There's also a Korean chef who offers a variety of mostly Korean, Japanese and some Western dishes, which are all quite affordable and pretty good, judging from what I've tried.
After the "official" part of the party, folks usually move to the Blue Monkey dance club, which is just around the corner. Entrance is free of charge.
My favorite place in Busan/ haeundae beach to be more accurate is rock n roll bar its located in haeundae right above burger king right across from the beach, it was beautiful views and on the weekends it had great drink specials. it has 2 pool tables and a ping pong table, which is my favorite part to play beer pong or whatever you like to play. the staff is great its a hot spot for westerners and koreans.
Its right down the street from Novahotel
If you walk down the street about 500m you'll hit another bar U2 which is another great place to drink and if you go right when you hit U2 bar about another 500m you'll end up at Club maktum which is a great dance clubs that place a mixture of songs and located close to Club Elune which is also a great club similar to Maktum, All in all haeundae beach is a great place in busan to have a great time
Dress Code: Casual
This is the main so called "red light" district of Busan, Kings Cross or Reeperbahn it is not. It was once the haunt of American service men, but since the closure of many bases in the southern part of Korea it has become the frequent of Russian foreign workers. Many of the girls these days are Russian. However the area is rather tame and has a number of bars and restaurants catering to all.
Dress Code: None.
Looking for a pub like environment or sophisticated night club is not so easy a thing in Busan. That said there are no shortage of places to go out and have a drink or three. Busan is generally a cheap place to be for a night on the town. If you have been travelling for a while or ended up living here like myself you may crave the occassional Westerners' haunt. There are but several places in this city of 4 million where there are approx. 600 - 700 native English teachers. If you want somewhere homely and friendly head to Crossroads in the PNU district. There they have truely one of the best personal and up dated CD collection you will find anywhere. This is a great indie-rock and seminal music lovers environment and a great place to make new friends. Under the same building there is another smaller bar called "The Art Bar", interesting establishment also. While across the street and around the corner is the very popular "Soul Train" night club, for those who can't get enough nighlife at the former bars.
Dress Code: Great music in a friendly sarounding.
Located across from Busan Station, Texas street is a sleazy area of Russian bar-girls. The street runs several hundred meters and has many bars, small hotels, and shops. This is a dirty and somewhat dangerous areas as it is frequented by rough-and-tumble sailors and soldiers out for a good time.
Easy place first floor, Went in here before met new friends- very small cozy!-Fun time.
Owner is from England with wife. Music can choose whatever they will play.
Many cocktails and beers- not tap bottle.
Dress Code: No code