One of the things that I like most about Seoul city is their shopping street. Seoul is a shopping mecca, covering anything from small boutique shops and market to enormous shopping centers. The city is really full of vibrant shopping street that you can explore and each of them have their own characteristic. Myeongdong, Hongik, Ehwa, Dongdaemun, Gangnam are some of the area in Seoul that have nice shopping street. But among them, few had become my favourite spot. Which one?? Below I listed the top 5 shopping street in Seoul that I loved most..
No 1 : Myeongdong Shopping Street
I love Myeongdong. I’ve stayed at Myeongdong area every time I travel to Seoul, and will visited the shopping street almost everyday after our sightseeing. Even though it was sooo crowded and hectic especially at night, if you need to do cosmetic or accessories shopping, this is the place to be! I love the fact that we can find everything here. Myeong-dong is a massive shopping district, around 1km long and extends from Myeong-dong Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No. 4) to Lotte Department Store at Euljiro. All kinds of brand name shops and department stores are clustered along the streets and alleyways. You can purchase various products such as clothes, shoes, and accessories. They also have tons of restaurants and coffee shops if you get hungry while shopping. I love the energy of this place as you walk around. You can honestly walk around for hours and not buy anything and it’s still fun!
Ladies, buy your cosmetics and skin care here. You will be swapped away by the whole street of shops of cosmetic, skin care products. Nature Republic, Faceshop, SkinFood, Tony Moly, etc. you name the brand and you will definitely get very good quality bargain products. And the best part, they are so generous with their free sample packs and gifts compared to other shopping street area. Service is much better and u get loads of freebies.
I also love the fact that Myeongdong Street located at the city center within walking distance from most of the sightseeing area in Seoul City. Namsan Park, N Seoul Tower, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Cheongyecheon Stream.. You can always come to Myeongdong after your sightseeing. Many coffee shops too, in case you’re too tired after sightseeing and shopping. Although the shops and stalls started to close at 10.30pm, some of the coffee sho , and they closed quite late, even some of them were opened 24hours.
So, if you’re a shopaholic, this place is definitely for you…if you’re not, it’s still worth a visit during your trip!
No 2 : Ewha Womans University Shopping Street
Why this shopping street is number 2 on my list ???.. What I like most about this place is they have a lots of cute items. This shopping area, also called ‘Edae’ is very near the Ewha Womans University area, so it is packed with students and and youngsters. This area main characteristics are the range of affordable girls clothing in VERY modern, feminine, or earthy/hippie-style/relaxed styles. Yes, if you want to be up with the latest trends this is a great place to shop and grab what you need fairly cheaply here! Competitive price, supposedly for university students. Hongdae is cheap but ewha is cheaper! You can even get a t-shirts and tops for 2,000 won or RM6 per piece !! Cheap is it? The trick is u have to walk deep into the street stalls.
The streets also full with nice accessories and stationery stores with local design. They also have lots of food and cafe, and cosmetics stores,the usual Korean brand makeup shops and chains scattered around (Face shop, Etude, Tony Moly, Holika Holika, etc) . The best shopping is in the back streets to the left of the main road~ they are small, crammed, and weave in every direction so its fun to explore and things are always changing. You gotta have patience to weave through every alley. You never know what you’ll find!
And a shop you must absolutely visit… KOSNEY! I just like to look at stuff there. It’s all so pretty
No 3 : Hongik University Shopping Street
What I like most about this area is not the shops, but it cafes. Hongik University area, also called as Hondae is also well-known for its many cafes. Lots of interesting cafes in this area to cater to the huge number of caffeine addicts like me.. hehehe.. There are more coffee shops per square meter in Hongdae than any other place in Korea. Just walk 30m few meters and you will see a few cafes right in front of you. Look further deep in and you might find another two. On every street, around every corner there is an independent, cute, themed coffee shop. Most of them are the local korean cafes and they have really interesting themes and all of them look very cute and attractive. A dog cafe, a cat cafe, a Hello Kitty Cafe or even a sheep cafe; Hongdae has it all..
It’s the area near Hong-ik Univ, which has good reputation for art and design. The Hongdae area has a little something for everyone, and for those who know, it is the artistic heart of Korea. There is art painted on every wall: murals, graffiti, and advertisements alike. Aside from graffiti, Hongdae is famous for catching live performances from new artists and indie groups. During the day you may see a group of High School boys playing soft songs on guitars, and after the sun goes down in another area you may come across a group of performers playing rock music or even beat-boxing. Nights (especially weekends) are never dull here and come alive with creative people. If you come on a good night you can see a dozen small performances throughout the area.
The nightlife there is really happening! The place doesn’t sleep at all. Even at 1am, clothes shops and cafes, restaurants are still open.
No 4 :Namdaemun Market
This is the place where I shop for souvenirs. Cheapest compared to other shopping area. I would recommend you to buy souvenirs inside the Daedo shopping complex, which located in the middle of Namdaemun Market, but a bit difficult to find. Its cheaper inside the shopping complex than outside.. At the stalls along the shopping street, you can even get 4 shirts for only 10,000krw. But bare in mind the quality you get compare to 10,000won per shirt. If you looking for souvenir, they sell really cute bookmark which cost around 1000-2000won per piece.
For those who want to visit a local traditional market in Seoul, this is the place that you want to be.. The Namdaemun Market is the largest traditional market in Korea with various goods in store. All products are sold at affordable prices and the stores in this area also function as a wholesale market. Most of the goods are made directly by the store owners, sells a variety of clothes, glasses, kitchenware, toys, mountain gear, fishing equipment, stationary, fine arts, accessories, hats, carpets, flowers, ginseng and imported goods.
No 5 : Insadong
Many people will said that this street is a tourist trap.. well… For me, I just love the ambiance. Insa-dong Street, is an important place that represents the focal point of Korean traditional culture and crafts, an important place where old but precious and traditional goods are on display. Stores in Insa-dong specialize in a wide variety of goods that can only be purchased or appreciated in Korea: hanbok (traditional clothing), hanji (traditional paper), traditional teas, pottery, and folk crafts. There is one main road in Insa-dong with alleys on each side. Within these alleys are galleries, traditional restaurants, traditional teahouses, and cafes. The galleries are the heartbeat of Insa-dong. There are about 100 galleries in the area and you can see every example of traditional Korean fine art from paintings to sculptures. The window shopping in itself can be very entertaining.
There’s always a place to shop for everyone in Seoul… Either the Dongdaemun to shop for clothes, Yongsan for geeky high-tech stuff, Ahyeon-dong for lovers to find wedding stuff, Rodeo street for the fashion geeks, or Apgujeong for the latest high fashion stage, … Seoul has it all…