Seoul might as well be known as the city of shopping, with its seemingly endless stretches of streets lined with stores of all kinds. Clothes, shoes, bags, beauty products—you name it, Seoul probably has it. It is basically impossible to visit the South Korean capital without doing some serious shopping.
There is a vast number of markets, malls and shopping districts in Seoul that could get you lost and confused, especially if it is your first time visiting the land of kimchi. But whether you are looking to splurge a little more, or going tighter on the budget, Seoul’s vibrant shopping streets cater to all.
Here are The 5 Must-Visit Shopping Districts In Seoul.
A visit to Myeong-dong is a no-brainer. It is dubbed as the center of shopping in South Korea, with big names such as H&M, Zara, UNIQLO, Nike, and more calling the district home.
A quick walk down the street will also prove how much Koreans love their beauty products—there is an abundance of skincare and beauty stores all around Myeong-dong. This is where you find all the cult Korean brands and the popular names that you always see Korean models and YouTubers endorse.
The best part is that a number of the stores in Myeong-dong offer shopping discounts for tourists, so be sure to check with the sale staff before you shop! While you are doing so, do not forget to indulge in Myeong-dong’s best street food.
Nearest Station: Myeong-dong Station
#2 EWHA WOMANS UNIVERSITY
Put a shopping street near a university and you will immediately get pocket-friendly prices, and an array of trendier apparel selection. Because students are always scrimping and looking out for the best deals, the stores surrounding the school serve as a cheaper shopping option for those on a budget.
Pop by the shopping district right outside Ewha Womans University as that is where you can also find affordable fashion apparels and a selection of cheaper restaurants and cafes. When you are tired of shopping, pay a visit to the university for a look and feel of the schools in South Korea.
Ewha Womans University
52, Ewhayeodae-gil, Seoul
Nearest Station: Ewha Women University
#3 DONGDAEMUN MARKET
If a full day of shopping and eating isn’t enough (and why would it be?), go down to Dongdaemun market. The shops here only start at about 9pm and doesn’t close till 5am in the morning.
Consider Dongdaemun as South Korea’s very own Platinum Mall. The district is split into two main sections—the retail stores and wholesale markets. The stores mainly sell their goods at regular retail prices, while the latter offer dirt-cheap, wholesale prices instead.
In fact, it is said that apparels from street shops you see in train stations or shopping districts get their stocks from Dongdaemun!
Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Nearest Station: Dongdaemun
#4 HONGDAE SHOPPING DISTRICT
Hongdae is, quite simply, a must-visit destination while you are in Seoul. Located near Hongik University, the stuff you’ll find there is also reasonably cheap. But shopping isn’t all that you can do at Hongdae.
Because Hongik University is known for its arts programmes, you will be able to experience a bit more of the Korean youth culture while you are there.
There are free concerts from time to time, and you can even pop by the Hongdae Free Market from March to November to see shoes, shirts, ceramic accessories and more handmade by Hongik University students.
Hongdae Shopping District
Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Nearest Staion: Hongik University
Photo Credit: The Seoul Guide
#5 APGUJEONG RODEO STREET
Can’t get enough of your Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada bags? Apgujeong is probably where you will be happiest. Located in Gangnam, this street is lined with high-end fashion labels that will bring out your inner shopaholic. There is also the Galleria Department Store which houses many other big fashion brands.
Those who are unwilling to splurge has other options at Apgujeong as well. Keep a lookout for independent stores featuring street fashion apparels at affordable price tags.
Apgujeong Rodeo Street
Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Nearest Station: Apgujeong
For more recommendations, read our Seoul’s food and travel guides featuring the best places to visit in the city.