Seoul shopping guide: The best places to buy every type of product

If you’re planning a trip to Seoul, you probably have a list of things to buy from there already. Seoul shopping can be an all day-all night affair because there is just so much variety and so many great deals— where do you begin? Here, with this quick guide.

It tells you where to get the best deals for each type of product so you can save time (as well as money on transport).

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Street Food

Seoul - Mukja Golmok
Credit – Korea Herald

Street food is pretty easy to find in Seoul but few areas can match the sheer variety that you will encounter at Mukja Golmok. The name translates to “Let’s Eat Alley” so you know they aren’t playing around.

Mukja Golmok is part of Dongdaemun Market, which isn’t just one the biggest wholesale and retail centres in Seoul but the entire country. It’s a vibrant place, courtesy of the music and dance performances, fashion shows and other incessant activities, particularly in the evening. A wonderful place to explore with street food in hand.

You’ll get the classic favourites such as tteokbokki to jeon to hotteok but grilled fish and chicken soup are apparently the most popular. If you’re in Seoul shopping, this is the best place to refuel between bursts of retail therapy.

Honourable mention: Gwangjang Market

Address: Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul


Seoul - Myeongdongjpg
Credit – Korea Herald

Myeong-dong. Every Seoul shopping guide will always recommend Myeong-dong for Korean beauty products. If you are even remotely interested in cosmetics, you will know that this central Seoul district is home to, literally, hundreds of cosmetics stores. From tiny boutiques with a couple of aisles to massive flagship stores that occupy entire multistorey buildings, you’ll find every brand, every product and every variety here.

They are famous for plying you with heaps of samples when you make a purchase. If you are a major spender, you may even earn yourself one of the hardcase cabin bags on display. However, it’s the crazy-low prices that are the biggest draw.

As we said in our Seoul guide, “The prices are insanely low! I know of people who purchase extra baggage allowance before they go to Myeongdong. They make a killing reselling the stuff back here in Singapore. While I’m not sure that’s entirely legal for taxation purposes, I know that my personal haul cost me about 20% of the price it would have in Singapore.”

Also here: Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral and Myeongdong Nanta Theatre

Address: Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea


Seoul - SBA Seoul Animation Center
Credit- SBA Seoul Animation Center

Every Korean comic book fan is intimately familiar with the name ZAEMIRO, commonly known as Seoul Comics Road. It is in the Myeongdong area, so you just may be able to convince your significant other to let you wander off to explore while she makes her large-scale cosmetics purchases.

You’ll know you have arrived by the colourful statues of comic characters which adorn the streets, sometimes at seemingly random places. The street art, architecture and even the design of outdoor items such as bus schedule listings incorporate vivid artistry.

Zaemiro is also home to SBA Seoul Animation Center, where you can discover more about the local industry. Comic book stores abound and teem with both local and international publications. For me, this place is heaven!

Address: Toegye-ro 18-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul

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Seoul - Yongsan Electronics Market
Credit – Expedia

No, not just Samsung. With more than 5,000 individual stores spread across over 20 buildings, Yongsan Electronics Market is the place to be in Seoul shopping for anything and everything electronic and digital.

Because they are independent stores with lower overheads than electronics chains, their prices are commonly between 20% and 50% lower. However, don’t expect something like Sim Lim Square, where everything is in one place. Rather, you have to know which shops to go to or you will end up disappointed (like many tourists who don’t do their research).

Looking for obscure components for outdated electronics? Yongsan Flea Market which occupies part of Najin Mall and the area outside Sunin Plaza is your best bet for obscure and second-hand components.

Address: 15-2 Hangangno 2(i)-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

High-end fashion

Seoul - Cheongdamdong
Credit – Korea Herald

What Garosu-gil lacks in size, it makes up for in heavyweight brand names and designer wear. Stretching just 650 metres, this ginkgo tree-lined street compresses some of the most well-regarded names in the country to a relatively small space. It is one of the places in Seoul where you are most likely to run into a celebrity.

The Apple store here was the first in the country. Kim’s Boutique, Perche Shoes (only Seoul outlet), and the flagship store of premium leather brand MCM all have a presence here. For several premium brands under one roof, head to Koon with a View (Balmain, Michael Bastian, Limi Feu, Greyhound & others) and Hats On (hats from Jill by Jill Stuart, Elstinko, & others).

Address: Shinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Haute couture

Seoul - Garosugil

For the very high end of the fashion spectrum, few places outside of Europe embody haute couture better than Cheongdamdong Luxury Shopping Street. You will find Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo and Saint Lauren Paris all here.

The stretch begins at Galleria Department Store near Rodeo Station and ends near Cheongdam-dong Junction along the Apgujeong-ro main road.

Akin perhaps to Paris’s Avenue des Champs-Élysées in terms of the sheer number of A-list names, this is the place to shop if you sleep on a pile of money every night. The rest of us can wander over to gawk at the exquisite creations in the windows and the gorgeous creatures who wear them.

As with Garosu-gil, this strip is frequented by celebrities and is a great place to people-watch and snap photos.

Address: Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Cheap clothes

Seoul - Namdaemun Market
Credit –

If bargain clothes shopping is your thing, there is always the wonderful, sprawling Namdaemun Market. While affordable clothing is everywhere here, this market is also known for selling virtually everything at prices lower than you’d find in the rest of the city.

If you’re one of those people who needs to browse at 2 dozen shops before going back and buying it at the first place you looked, this is paradise. For all the people (guys) who will be forced to tag along, bro, I feel you.

All that legwork is sure to work up your appetite and the food at the market is quite reasonably priced, too. The eomuk, mandu and sannakji are apparently the best of the local fare. Do note that many Namdaemun Market stores work on a cash-only system, so be sure to carry enough for the day.

Honourable mentions: Street markets near Ewha Women’s University and Hongik University.

Address: 21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul


Seoul - Insadong
Credit –

I love Insadong! It’s the heart of the city’s artistic pulse and is teeming with everything artsy & crafty. You’ll come across everything from huge art galleries with works worth tens of thousands of dollars to small, independent shops selling affordable handmade trinkets.

Some of the most interesting pieces that I came across were traditional hand-painted masks and elaborate wind-up almost-perpetual machines. Our Editor-in-Chief, Pavin found herself loving the make-your-own-phone case when she visited. Really, there is no end to what you might find here just as there is no end to artistic creativity.

If you are an artist looking for inspiration, a walk around Insadong is one of the best things to do with your day. If you’re in Seoul shopping for uniquely artistic gifts for your home, this place is unmissable.

Address: Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

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