Shopping in Seoul




Seoul is a shopper’s paradise, and attracts tourists from around Asia and the world for the quality of the shopping (and the bargains!).

With the rapid increase of middle-class income in Korea, there has been a huge increase in both the quality and range of goods (particularly fashion goods) available.  Whether you are looking for cheap-and-cheerful knock-offs or the latest fashions from Paris, you can find exactly what you’re looking for in Seoul.


Here are some hints for shoppers:


Shopping districts


Myeongdong - 명동


More than 2 million shoppers a day visit the Myeongdong district of Seoul, most looking for the latest clothing fashions or cosmetics.

Brands such as Uniqlo, Mook and Ssamzie are always popular, and there are a vast numbers of sports shops including Adidas, Nike and others.

Myeongdong is also a great option for those looking for accessories and sunglasses.


Insadong - 인사동


Nestled among the skyscrapers of the Jongro district, Insadong is a traditional area catering mostly for tourists.  Among the tacky souvenier shops are a great selection of fine craft stores, many specializing in traditional handicrafts and art.


Apgujeong and Cheongdam - 압구정, 청담동


If you’re more of a ‘brand’ shopper, it’s hard to go past the Apgujeong district.  Look for luxury goods shops such as Jimmy Choo, Armani, Valentino, Gucci and Chanel, but expect to pay ‘global prices’.



Department Stores


There is just about nowhere in Seoul where you won’t find huge department stores, ranging from the very high-end (such as Hyundai) to the everyday (such as Lotte).

Among the best of the malls are at COEX (Samsung Station) and the area around Jamsil Station.

In recent years there have been a huge increase in ‘discount’ superstores such as Home-plus, Costco and E-Mart.  Prices at these stores are very low by international standards, even for the latest electronic gadgets.





Dongdaemun - 동대문


Dongdaemun (or ‘East Gate’) is an almost incomprehensibly large area of shops, with more than 26 malls, 30,000 specialty shops and 50,000 manufacturers in the area.

This is a great area to find silks, clothing, shoes, sporting goods, electrical supplies and electronics.

Even the most casual of shoppers should leave a whole day to discover even a small fraction of the Dongdaemun area.


Namdaemun - 남대문


Namdaemun (or “South Gate”) is located near the Jongro area, and is Korea’s largest wholesale market.

With around 1,000 shops focused mainly on clothing and fabrics, Namdaemun is a great place to scoop up a bargain…or perhaps discover the next big thing!


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