Shop Till You Drop in Seoul

If you choose the capital of South Korea as a travel target this season, your trip will not be complete without a visit to Seoul’s incredible retail districts. A bona fide shopaholic’s dream, the massive metropolis is a top destination in Asia.

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Myeong-dong is the main shopping district in Seoul. Since the capital of South Korea is such a big city, save time by choosing wisely where to stay. There are plenty of conveniently located hotels in Seoul to choose from.

Many department stores and top boutiques in Myeong-dong feature clerks proficient in both English and Japanese. The commercial zone is Korea’s trendiest and most expensive shopping area, so you’d better prepare to max out your credit cards. Migliore, Shinsegae and Lotte Department stores are just a few of the upscale malls on hand. The area is served by an eponymous subway station on line 4.

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If Myeong-dong proves too expensive or too crowded, you can make your way to nearby Namdaemun market. Located next to Namdaemun Gate (Great South Gate), this traditional market has been around since 1414 and is one of the largest retail markets in the city. With over 5,400 stores and more than half a million visitors each day, Namdaemun is a major hive of activity. Exclusive items and materials that cannot be found anywhere else are traded here, so the market is definitely worth a visit. Namdaemun is close to Hoehyeon station, on subway line 4.

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One of the most acclaimed shopping venues in Seoul is COEX mall, located near Samseong Station on subway line 2. The largest underground mall in Asia spans over 85,000 square metres of shops and restaurants, with famous local brands and international labels. Apart from two food courts, a cinema multiplex and kimchi museum, COEX also has an impressive aquarium.

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A shopping spree around Seoul can continue with Itaewon, another must-see area of the city. Famous for its tailors, leather and shoe stores, you can also find a number of high-quality jewellery shops and some of the finest art galleries in Korea. The area has more than 1,000 shops to choose from, over 1.4 km2, from the U.S. Army Base to Hannam-dong.  Although many of the vendors speak English and Japanese, a Korean interpreter and haggling skills are recommended if you want the best bargains. Itaweon is reachable from the station of the same name, located on subway line 6.

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For the best deals in electronics, head to Yongsan Electronics Market, on subway line 1 at the Yongsan Station. This huge area contains 20 buildings with more than 5,000 stores. The local products are up to 20% cheaper here than in other outlets, while international brands can be bought at prices 50% cheaper than in any other place in Seoul. While the area has many “traditional” operating stores, with fixed prices and warranties, there are some venues that allow and encourage bargaining, so an interpreter would be recommended here as well.

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3 Comments for "Shop Till You Drop in Seoul"


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