A trip to Seoul would not be complete without shopping. There are many good shopping areas where you can find cheap and affordable fashion without breaking your bank. Listed below are different areas of Seoul where locals do their shopping.
This list does not include boutiques and higher end shopping. We will leave that for another post perhaps. Presenting to you our shopping guide for Seoul, the 7 Best / Must Shop in Seoul!
#1 Hongdae (홍대)
Hongdae is named after “Hongdik University” and being located near a university means that there will be lots of shopping and street food around! There are also many interesting cafes and popular restaurants in Hongdae, making it a good place for students to hang out and dine.
On Saturday afternoon, there’s a “free market” where you can find many handmade crafts and accessories. If you stay till evening time, you will get a treat! There will be street performances and you will be entertained by students who pop up on the street and dance to the tunes.
For somewhere lively, artsy, unique and different, Hongdae is the place to be!
Subway: Hongik University (홍대입구역)
#2 Edae (이대)
Edae or commonly known as Ewha Woman’s University Fashion Street, is another youthful place to be. Again, being near to a university, you find that the stuff sold around that area tends to be cheaper, to cater to the students’ budget.
At Edae, you can find lots of street food, fashion bags, clothing and cosmetics. You can find many cosmetic shops around, although the hub of cosmetics shops is at Myeongdong.
Subway: Ewha Woman’s University (이대역)
#3 Dongdaemun (동대문)
Dongdaemun offers you a unique shopping experience where you can literally shop till you drop as many of the shopping malls open till about 5am! You can easily find about 7-10 popular fashion shopping malls there.
The wholesale mall there starts from 8pm and closes at 4am. Wholesale means that you have to purchase 3 or more in order to shop there and many of them are very strict with this rule.
Shopping at Dongdaemun also means that you will need to bargain a little. If you don’t like the idea of bargaining, then Dongdaemun is not for you.
Check out “7 Must Shop in Dongdaemun”!
Subway: Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (동대문역사문화공원역)
#4 Myeongdong (명동)
Myeongdong is literally known as the cosmetics shopping area because at every corner you turn, you will see familiar cosmetic branded shops, and repeats of the same brand just a few steps away.
Apart from cosmetics, there are also branded fashion labels and even a LINE shop, just to name a few.
As you walk, you can easily find street food by the side. You may not be hungry but as you see the delicious street food being cooked right in front of you, you will be tempted to buy and munch. However, street food in Myeongdong is relatively more expensive than other street food you find in Seoul.
There are also popular food and dessert restaurants such as Baek Jeong (Korean BBQ, Yoogane (Galbi), Sulbing (Bingsu) and (Gingseng Chicken).
Subway: Myeongdong (명동역)
#5 Insadong (인사동)
Insadong is the place for culture and traditional crafts. There are many shops selling handmade crafts and traditional arts. It is an interesting place to visit and you might even find something you like here. You can also get lots of souvenirs here!
Check out Ssamziegil, located in the center of Insadong. It is a mall with a unique spiral design. You will love this place!
Insadong is also home to many traditional teahouses such as “Moon Bird Only Thinks of the Moon”.
The roads on the main street of Insadong are closed to traffic every Saturday and Sunday from late morning to night and it turns into a cultural street. This is also to accommodate the huge human traffic on weekends.
Subway: Anguk (안국역) / Jonggak (종각역)
#6 Express Bus Terminal Underground Shopping (고속터미널역)
There are many underground shopping areas in Korea but you can’t miss out the one at Express Bus Terminal Station. The shopping area is also called Go-To Mall or Gangnam Underground Shopping Arcade)! The shopping here is almost endless and you will wonder if you will ever reach the end.
Shopping here is much easier compared to Dongdaemun as it’s just one level of straight shopping and you don’t really have to bargain here. This is one of the places where many Korean girls shop at!
Subway: Express Bus Terminal (고속터미널역)
#7 Lotte Mart (Snacks)
The most convenient place to get all your popular Korean snacks in bulk is at Lotte Mart, just above Seoul Subway station. It’s similar to Big C in Thailand where they sell almost everything.
You can get your favourite Honey Butter and Tteokbokki snacks here. Stay tuned for our list of Must Buy Snacks at Lotte Mart!
Subway: Seoul (서울역)
Do you agree with these place listed? If you have more to add on to this list, feel free to comment below. 🙂