Shopping in Seoul

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Yongsan I'park Mall.
Insadong Ssamji street.

Seoul, South Korea has many shopping areas and markets throughout the city, such as the fashions of Myeong-dong, the luxury of Cheongdam-dong, the indie and vintage of Hongdae area, or the whole-sale of Dongdaemun and Namdaemun markets.

Markets and traditional[edit]

A traditional porcelain store in Insa-dong
Hanbok for sale in Hanbok shop in Dongdaemun Market
Shopping by night

The largest market is the Dongdaemun Market, which supplies stocks to thousands of retail fashion shops around the whole of Korea. Near Dongdaemun market are several large mall complexes that specialize in fashion goods of all sorts, from formal attire to casual, and from clothes to all kinds of accessories including bags and belts. Some of these are Migliore, Hello APM and Doota. The Dongdaemun area can be accessed by Dongdaemun station and Dongdaemun Stadium station.

There is the Namdaemun market named after the Namdaemun, a large market famous for selling "anything under the sun". Myeong-dong can be accessed by Myeong-dong station, and Namdaemun market from Hoehyeon station, both of which are within walking distance of each other.

Gwangjang market is located in Jongno-gu, and is famous for bindaetteok, and mayak gimbap. It is accessible by either Jongno 5-ga, or Euljiro 4-ga metro station.[1]

Insa-dong, a narrow street is also known for its antique stores, traditional teahouses art galleries. Other markets include the Hwanghak-dong Flea Market, Gyeongdong Market for oriental medicine, Changanpyeong Antique Market and the fish markets Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market and Garak Market where many fish vendors will prepare fresh sashimi out of any fish you choose from the tank.

Trendy and fashionable[edit]

Myeong-dong is Seoul's prime shopping and entertainment area in downtown, which contains some of the city's top stores and fashion boutiques. The area has been subject to much investment and many of the financial institutions such as banks and investment companies are located in the area.

Itaewon is another notable shopping area in the city lined with boutiques and stores especially targeted at the large foreign population in Seoul. The area contains some of city's more interesting tailors, leather and shoes stores, and antiques such as brassware and jewelry and specialist shops dealing in Korean art and calligraphy. Sinchon is particularly popular with the youth perhaps due to proximity to some of the Seoul's leading universities as well as the neighbouring youth district of Hongdae. Access Itaewon from Itaewon Station, Insa-dong from Anguk station, and Sinchon from Sinchon station , Hongik University station and Ewha Woman's University station (the former of which should not to be confused with Jamsilsaenae station on the opposite side of Seoul.

Hongdae area is also home to reasonably priced independent clothing stalls, discount and vintage shops, especially along the main thoroughfare of Eoulmadang-ro, that caters to those wanting individuality with creativity.[2] The Hongdae Playground, also known as Hongik Children's Park, located between Wausan-ro and Wausan-ro 21-gil opposite Hongik University is home to street vendors who sell their wares in the evenings. On weekends, from March to November at 13:00 to 18:00, flea markets are held on Hongdea Playground (Korean놀이터) that is in front of the main gate of Hongik University. The flea markets are called "Free Market" on Saturdays and "Hope Market" on Sundays. They are fledgling craft markets of things made by students and street artists, with its artsy atmosphere.[3][4][5]

Shopping malls


Apgujeong (Apgujeong Station), Cheongdam-dong (Cheongdam station) and Gangnam (Gangnam station) areas are also well known shopping destinations. While Myeong-dong caters to a more youth orientated crowd, Gangnam areas often attract a more well-to-do population of wealthy young Koreans, who shop at one of many luxury boutiques and department stores, as well as dining at some of the finest cafes and restaurants in the city. COEX mall in the area is also popular with many of the locals and also contains one of the largest aquariums in Asia, accessible from Samseong station.

The 760-meter-long section of main street Apgujeong-ro in Cheongdam-dong, that runs from Apgujeongrodeo station at Galleria Department Store to Cheongdam crossroad, has been dubbed the 'Cheongdam Fashion Street' or 'Cheongdamdong Street of Luxury Goods'. It is lined with stores of luxury brands, such as Cartier's first flagship store in South Korea, named Cartier Maison, MCM Haus flagship store, 10 Corso Como, Ermenegildo Zegna, Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry; as well as outlets for 3.1 Phillip Lim, Martin Margiela and Tory Burch and Korean designer Son Jung-wan.[6][7][8][9] The area is also home to Vera Wang's first Asian flagship store 'Vera Wang Bridal Korea'.[10]

Speciality stores[edit]

Myeong-dong at night, Missha store on the right

The Yongsan Electronics Market of Seoul is the largest electronics market in the whole of Asia. The market specializes in electronic goods of all kinds as well as computer parts, of which South Korea is a major world producer of and it contains approximately 5,000 stores housed in 22 buildings. This area can be accessed via Yongsan Station or Sinyongsan Station. Techno Mart in Gwangjin-gu is a large mall specializing in electronic and computer goods, accessible directly from Gangbyeon station. There is also an electronic shopping centre located in Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, accessible from exit 3 Nambu Bus Terminal station.[11]

Cosmetics and skincare

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "광장시장 '빈대떡 대통령', 노점 음식의 공식을 새로 쓰다". NoCutNews. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Hongdae Hedonism – A Haven For Young Fashion Experts". Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Hongdae Free Market (홍대 프리마켓)". Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  4. ^ Lee Sun-young; Kim Young-won; Sang Youn-joo (21 September 2012). "Treasure hunting at flea markets: Community-based markets for secondhand goods thrive in Seoul". Korea Herald. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  5. ^ Lee Sun-young; Kim Young-won; Sang Youn-joo (21 September 2012). "Seoul's best flea markets". Korea Herald. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  6. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (16 December 2010). "Cheongdam sparkles with trendiest shops". Korea Times. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Cheongdamdong Street (청담동거리)". Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Cheongdam-dong Fashion (Celebrity) Street, Gangnam". Visit Seoul. Seoul City Tourism. Archived from the original on 14 October 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose A. (28 September 2008). "Cartier Opens Flagship Store in Cheongdam". Korea Times. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  10. ^ Lee, Rachel (29 June 2012). "Vera Wang opens 1st Asia flagship in Seoul". Korea Times. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  11. ^

External links[edit]