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What are the best shopping destinations in Seoul?

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What are the best shopping destinations in Seoul?

We all know that Seoul is one of the most influential cities in the world for fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and shopping. Whether you’re looking for one-of-a-kind street finds or designer garb, Seoul has something for everyone. It is the home to both classic and modern retailers, ranging from department stores to boutiques and malls. The sheer variety of options available can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve rounded up the best areas to shop in Seoul.


When it comes to shopping, Myeongdong is by far one of the best-known shopping destinations in Seoul. The area is bustling with shoppers, locals and tourists alike. The roads are lined with a never-ending array of stores, ranging from Korean cosmetics stores such as Etude House, Innisfree, Nature Republic and Missha to international brands like Uniqlo, Zara and H&M. Besides fashion and cosmetics, shoppers can also find souvenirs, jewelry, gadgets, and countless street food vendors. Myeongdong also hosts an annual fashion festival in the spring and fall.


Garosu-gil is located at Sinsa-dong in Gangnam, and is home to an abundance of chic and high-end stores that cater to the young and fashionable. The street is always alive with shoppers looking for the hottest new trends and the latest labels. Garosu-gil is home to both international labels such as Paul Smith and Valentino as well as up-and-coming Korean designers like Lee Sang Bong, Steve J & Yoni P, Lie Sang Bong, Heich Es Heich and Chloen. There are also specialized shops catering to kids, vintage apparel, antique furniture and decors, jewelry and art galleries.

Dongdaemun Market

Dongdaemun Market is a legendary landmark located near the Dongdaemun design plaza. It is one of the oldest markets in Seoul and is renowned for hosting a huge array of affordably priced fashion and beauty items. It’s an ideal spot for shoppers looking for cheap clothing or souvenirs to take home with them. You can also find a number of small boutiques that carry unique and fashionable apparel as well as plentiful accessory shops for wallets, bags and jewelry.

Namdaemun Market

Known as “Korea’s oldest traditional market”, Namdaemun Market is located near Seoul Station in Jung-gu district. The market is saturated with shops selling a huge range of things from fresh produce and kitchenware to clothes, fabric and home appliances. Dresses, blouses, skirts, sneakers and many other items can be found for incredibly low prices – it’s like a real-life version of Aliexpress! If you’re looking for Korean souvenirs, this is an ideal spot too – they sell traditional accessories, lucky charms, ginseng products and more.

Although these four shopping destinations in Seoul are the most popular ones among tourists and locals alike, there are plenty of other spots that are also worth checking out. Some noteworthy spots include Apgujeong-dong (for high-end fashion boutiques), Cheongdam-dong (for luxury designer shops) and Hongdae (for vintage stores). Unless you really have a passion for shopping, it’s best to avoid the tourist traps such as Insadong and Cheonggyecheon Market as these are heavily crowded and items sold there are significantly overpriced in comparison to other places.

For a comprehensive list of all the best shopping spots in Seoul you can visit Klook.com, which provides information on a range of markets, shops and shopping streets in the city. All these areas have a unique character that reflects the dynamic yet modern character of South Korea – whether you’re looking for branded or budget items, there’s something for you in Seoul.

Insider’s Guide to Seoul: Beyond the Best Shopping Destinations

When most people think of Seoul, they immediately think of shopping. While the city is certainly a shopper’s paradise, there is so much more to explore in this vibrant metropolis. As a local, I’m excited to take you on a journey to discover some of Seoul’s hidden gems, unique cultural experiences, and tantalizing dining spots.

Exploring Hidden Gems

One of the best things about Seoul is the abundance of lively neighborhoods, each with its unique charm and character. While Myeongdong and Gangnam are the most popular shopping destinations in Seoul, don’t overlook quieter spots like Seongsu-dong, where you can find local designers’ studios and indie coffee shops. For a more historical vibe, visit Ikseon-dong, a preserved neighborhood with traditional Korean hanok houses, cafes, and galleries.

Another lesser-known gem is the Seodaemun Prison History Museum, which tells the story of Korean independence fighters who were imprisoned, tortured and executed. It’s a chilling but gripping experience that teaches you more about Korean history beyond its thriving modern-day culture.

Savoring Local Cuisine

When it comes to food, Seoul has so much to offer. Korean BBQ, fried chicken, and bibimbap are the most popular Korean dishes worldwide. But there’s so much more to indulge in! Try ‘ssambap’ – a savory rice wrap that you assemble yourself with lettuce or sesame leaves and grilled meat. For an authentic street food experience, go to Gwangjang Market and devour some ‘bindaetteok’ – a crispy and savory mung bean pancake.

It’s also worth noting that Korean alcohol shouldn’t be missed, with soju, makgeolli, and Korean craft beer, gaining international popularity. For a unique drink experience, try ‘lightning soju,’ where an electric current runs through your drink, and it carries a bit of a shock.

Embracing Local Culture

Apart from food, Korea is also famous for its traditional music (Gugak) and dance (Chun Hyang-dan). You can find many performances throughout the city, especially at the National Gugak Centre or Namsangol Hanok Village. Korean contemporary art has excelled in recent years worldwide, and you can experience public art pieces throughout the city. The most famous piece is ‘Moon Rabbit,’ a sculpture on Namsan mountain, where the rabbit (a symbol of the moon in Korean folklore) appears as though looking down on the city.

Also, don’t miss seasonal festivals like the grand Buddha’s Birthday celebrations in May with traditional costumes, music, and lanterns. In the winter, visit Seoul’s most popular winter festival, The Seoul Lantern Festival, to witness beautiful, illuminated lanterns all over the city streets.

Dive into Local History

Seoul’s particular history is largely influenced by the Korean War, which transcribed geopolitical tensions of the era. The Korean War Memorial Museum is a must-visit destination, as it tells the story of the ‘Forgotten War,’ and provides an understanding of the current North-South Korea relationship.

For something more lighthearted, visit the ‘Wall of Love’ exhibit at the Namsan Tower observatory, where you can place a heart-shaped love note on the wall for your loved one.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Once you’ve explored the city’s top destinations, consider going more off-the-beaten-path. For example, visit Herb Island, a herb-based theme park, where you can make your own herbal cosmetics, candles, and soaps. Or, visit the Trick Eye Museum to enjoy interactive 3D art. If you’re interested in where to relax, experience the ‘jjimjilbang’ or Korean bathhouse culture. One of the biggest and most famous bathhouses in Seoul is Dragon Hill Spa.


Seoul has so much to offer besides shopping, and this insider’s guide has only scratched the surface. I hope this article inspires you to explore more and to experience the unique culture and local gems that Seoul has to offer. Remember, the best way to enjoy a city is to immerse yourself in the local culture and experiences.

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What are the best shopping destinations in Seoul?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!