6 Must-visit Shopping Districts in Seoul!
I must have written this post long ago but somehow never took the time to do it. But since many people who are visiting Seoul ask me about it, I thought I would do a blog post about it and then simply share the link with them. As an avid shopper in Seoul, I think I explored major and minor places in Seoul for shopping. And I have taken special care to include the shopping areas that are easily accessible from the subway. Most of these shopping districts start right from exit gates of subway stations!
So here is a list of 6 Shopping Districts in Seoul that you need to check out on your trip to Seoul:
- Apgujeong Rodeo
- Ehwa University Market
- Express Bus Terminal
One of the most famous shopping districts in Seoul is Myeongdong. And shopping in Myeongdong is the most natural thing for anyone visiting the place since it is filled with outlets of international and Korean brands. There are so many malls, department stores in addition to individual shops and brand showrooms. There are also many food joints in the area so it is a great place to hang out after shopping. There are also different events held in the area especially in the evenings so the atmosphere is always lively. I loved the energy of the place and felt like I belonged since it is filled with avid shoppers like me! Myeong-dong also offers gastronomic delight since there are restaurants offering cuisines from all over the world.
Be prepared to see a big crowd if you visit Myeongdong in the evening or during the weekends/holidays.
If you are into Korean beauty products, you can find all the major brands in the market. I used to visit Myeongdong specifically for Uniqlo, Zara, H&M and Forever 21!
If you have time to explore only one place for shopping, Myeongdong is the best choice!
Subway station: Myeongdong
Psy definitely made Gangnam famous world over but it has been a good hangout place for youngsters years before the song “Gangnam Style” came out. There are so many shops, pubs, cafés, restaurants, malls, brand outlets in this area that one trip may not be enough to cover it all. The energy of this place is electric and there are so many events held throughout the year in Gangnam that it is a must visit place in Seoul whether you want to go shopping or not. The underground market on the way out of the Gangnam subway station is also fun to check out. I remember picking up quite a few accessories including phone covers. Since Gangnam is on Red Subway line (also called Sinbundang line), if you are in Bundang-gu then you cannot afford to miss visiting Gangnam.
Gangnam is usually crowded in the evenings!
Subway Station: Gangnam
Dongdaemun is one of the most famous markets in Seoul for shopping. There are so many local designers selling affordable clothing, accessories etc. in addition to thrift stores in the Dongdaemun market. One of my friends used to frequent this place (more than me) and would always end up with gorgeous summer dresses, skirts etc. at really low prices. And this is one of those places where you can bargain. There are a few malls in the district as well but make sure to check out the whole sale outlets to find better deals. You can find toys at great prices too. Some of my friends went there to shop for gifts for their families!
Subway station: Dongdaemun Stadium Station or Dongdaemun Station
4. Apgujeong Rodeo
Ever heard of Beverly Hills? Well if you cannot go to Rodeo Drive of Beverly Hills, LA then you should definitely check out the Apgujeong Rodeo area. They have showrooms and exclusive outlets of so many international luxury brands. My favorite place was a mall called The Galleria, especially for luxury makeup brands. And when I say luxury brands, they have cars (Rolls Royce etc.) , accessories (Tiffany & Co.), fashion (think Tory Burch, Cartier, Dior, Chanel etc.) luxury brands. I think this area is worth a visit even if just for window shopping.
Subway station: Apgujeongrodeo Station
5. Ehwa Womans University Market
Notice the “Womans” instead of “Women”? It is intentional. Anyway, I think out of all the markets we explored around universities and colleges in Seoul, the Ehwa Womans University market had the best stuff to choose from. And the prices are quite affordable for many things. I think the handbags were really great. So if you are into affordable handbags, you can choose from the hundreds of designs available in stores in the market. And Korean beauty brands like Etude House, Missha, The Face Shop, Hanskin, Skin 79, Tony Moly, Innisfree have multiple stores in the area.
Subway station: Ehwa Womans University Station
6. Express Bus Terminal
Since I was living in the Bundang area, the Express Bus Terminal and Sinsa were the most accessible shopping districts for me. And since it is one of the bigger underground shopping markets in Seoul (world’s biggest underground shopping centre is Co-EX mall located in Seoul) so it is also worth checking out. This place is also ideal for thrift shopping, I still have so many of the 1$ accessories I picked up from there. I do not think bargaining helps there as much since the price is fixed and usually displayed on boards but you can always try your luck. One of my favorite things to do after shopping was to sip Bubble Tea (I love Taro Bubble tea)!
Subway station: Express Bus Terminal
So those are the 6 shopping districts/ shopping centers/ shopping markets worth checking out in Seoul. Actually there are nice markets in every neighbourhood especially outside Subway stations. So there are plenty of other places you can check out. You can get more details about Seoul through the official Korea Tourism Organization website or the Visit Seoul website.
I loved going to Seohyeon, Sinsa, Jamsil, Itaewon, Migeum, Jukjeon, Insadong (Anguk Station), Times Square (Yeongdeungpo Station), D-Cube City (Sindorim Station) etc. for shopping as well.
Hope you found this information useful. I plan to write another post on my favorite places to shop in Seoul and some shopping tips for Seoul. Do let me know if you have any questions, I’ll try my best to answer them. All of this information came from my two and a half year stay in Seoul, South Korea!