Major Shopping Districts in Seoul
Myeong-dong is a favorite on the shortlist of Seoul’s leading shopping districts. The bursting and brightly-lit main street and each of its alleyways are full of unique shops, including bonded warehouses, cosmetic stores, foreign and domestic brand-name flagships and shoe shops. There’s plenty to do and see, such as taking in a show at historic Myeongdong Theater or exploring Myeongdong Cathedral, one of Korea’s oldest and most ornate churches. Several of Korea’s biggest department stores, including the Lotte and Shinsegae, are located in the area.
- Website : www.myungdong.net
- How to Get There : Exit 5, 6, 7 or 8 of Myeong-dong Station (Line 4)
To the south of Dongdaemun Gate is a cluster of shopping malls with cutting edge Korean fashion at highly competitive prices. This is where aspiring young Korean designers are able to nurture and expand their artistic creativity. The market is popular not only with ordinary fashion-forward shoppers, but also provincial retailers. In addition to wholesalers like Shin Pyunghwa Fashion Town and Dongdaemun Shopping Complex, you’ll also find large-scale shopping malls like Migliore, Doota, Cerestar, Hello apM, Goodmorning City, Maxtyle and Lotte Fitin. The market is a must-see for international tourists.
- Website : www.dongdaemun.com
- How to Get There : Exit 8 of Dongdaemun Station (Line 4) or Exit 14 of Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station (Line 4)
Korea’s largest outdoor market, Namdaemun Market is home to around 6,000 shops selling a wide range of products, including clothing, foodstuffs, fresh produce and sundries. It is popular with both domestic retailers and international travelers. You’ll also fine alleyways lined by restaurants and plenty of food stalls selling tasty snacks like hotteok (fried pastries filled with honey or brown sugar) and eomuk (skewered fish cakes), making this the place to satisfy both your shopping and culinary dreams.
- Website : www.namdaemunmarket.net
- How to Get There : Exit 5 of Hoehyeon Station (Line 4)
This could very well be the best place to go in Seoul if you want to taste Korean food and feel Korean styles. There are many antique stores, art galleries, and shops selling intriguing traditional crafts. There are also many food carts selling pajeon (Korean pancake), yeot (Korean taffy), kkultarae (traditional candy that was eaten in the palace), and many other snacks that you’ll regret if you don’t’ try.
- How to Get There : Exit 5 of Anguk Station (Line 3) / Exit 5 of Jongno 3-ga Station (Line 5)
Located to the northeast of Gyeongbokgung Palace, Samcheong-dong is located along the road that follow the eastern wall of the palace before swinging right in the direction of Samcheong Park. The road is lined by galleries, restaurants and cafes. A major cultural center, Samcheong-dong is also close to Bukchon Hanok Village and Changdeokgung Palace, making it an excellent place for leisurely exploration.
- Website : www.samchungdong.com
- How to Get There : Exit 2 of Anguk Station (Line 3)
Sinchon & Ewha Fashion Street
Sinchon and Ewha Womans University vicinity are lively neighborhoods with a youthful spirit around Yonsei, Ewha and Sogang universities. Fun to explore, the spiderweb of alleys between Sinchon Station and Ewha Womans University Station is filled with fashion stores and accessory shops, shoe stores, shoemakers, and clothing tailoring and mending shops. The Sinchon branch of the Hyundai Department Store is surrounded by a variety of restaurants.
- How to Get There : Sinchon Station (Line 2) / Exit 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Ewha Womans University Station (Line 2)
“Hongdae” is the local name for the area near Hongik University, Seoul’s top art university. Called the “neighborhood of freedom,” Hongdae is a space with a deeply-embedded indie and underground culture where youth, romance and the arts come together. It bustles with not only trend-setting street side fashion boutiques, unique cafes and small galleries, but also street performances and festivals. In particular, every Friday evening sees a flood of young people come to the area for an evening of fun at its many music and dance clubs, in one of Seoul’s top club districts.
- How to Get There : Exit 8 or 9 of Hongik University Station (Line 2)
This district is often called the “Small Global Village.” In orderto meet the demands of the multi-cultural clientele, there are many international restaurants run by native chefs. Leather goods, plus size clothing, party dresses, and more has made the area a very popular shopping district among foreign visitors.
- How to Get There : Exit 1, 2, 3, or 4, of Itaewon Station (Line 6)
Apgujeong-dong Rodeo Street
Apgujeong-dong developed into the heart of Seoul’s fashion scene as famous designers began moving to the district from Myeong-dong. Apgujeong-dong’s Rodeo Drive is called Korea’s No. 1 fashion street, with cutting edge fashion and upscale brands. There are also a number of restaurants and cafes oriented toward the young professional crowd.
- How to Get There : Exit 5, 6 or 7 of Apgujeongrodeo Station (Bundang Line)
Garosu-gil, meaning “tree-line road,” refers to the 0.7km stretch of road lined by ginkgo trees between Sinsa-dong Residents Center and Industrial Bank of Korea’s Sinsa-dong branch. In addition to its shops selling fashion and interior design product, Garosu-gil also has a well-known range of independent cafes and restaurants serving cuisine from all over the world. Popular with both locals and international tourists, Garosu-gil is most beautiful in autumn, when its ginkgo trees turn golden.
- How to Get There : Exit 5 of Apgujeong Station (Line 3) or Exit 8 of Sinsa-dong Station (Line 3)
Cheongdam-dong is often referred to as the Bevely Hills of Korea. Although a bit expensive, the galleries, restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops or the area offer top-of-the-line taste and service. The beauty salons here boast star-studded clientele, so if there’s a Korean celebrity you have your eyes on, this is the place to go.
- How to Get There : Exit 8 or 9 of Cheongdam Station (Line 7)