Are you looking for a shopping paradise for an unbridled shopping experience? From high-end to affordable shopping experience, Seoul has got you covered! One of the best cities to go shopping in Asia, Korea’s capital has no lack of shopping districts, each with different features and product selections catering to a wide range of consumers. Fly to Seoul for your next shopping spree! Whatever your ideal shopping may be, you are guaranteed to return home with more than a handful of booty. Here’s our pick of top five places to go shopping in Seoul:
- Myeongdong Market
Myeongdong is the most prominent shopping district in Seoul, with a vast amount of shopping options including department stores, shopping centers and boutiques, where you will be browsing through affordable clothing items, accessories, footwear and handbags. Apparel chains such as H&M, Forever 21, Zara, Uniqlo and so on make up the lineup of stores in the area. The district is also home to many high-end and well-known Korean cosmetic and skincare brands, with some offering exclusive discounts, including innisfree, TONYMOLY, Aritaum, etc. By night, the main street will turn into a food market, with hawkers setting up their carts on the two sides of the street, selling local snacks and delicacies, such as grilled scallops, ice cream, spiral-cut potato, and even roasted lobster! The delightful snacks are great for a quick meal so that you can continue your shopping without being interrupted by a regular meal.
Located next to Hongik University, Hongdae is a more youthful shopping district with art galleries, affordable fashion outlets, cafes and bars. The Trick Eye Museum Seoul is also located in the district. You will have great fun taking illusion photos. Along the shopping streets, you can find many local big names in the fashion industry, such as Stylenanda and other beauty brands such as VDL and Too Cool For School. If you want to discover unique items made by local artists, head to the Hongdae Free Market! There, local artists sell their products in the open-air market. It is a great place to get some special souvenirs for your friends and families. If you love animals, do not miss out on The Meerkat Cafe! Besides taking a sip of coffee, as its name suggests, you can freely interact with adorable meerkats in the cafe! For safety reasons, guests under 15 years old are not allowed to enter. Plan ahead if you wish to go!
- Sinchon & Ewha Woman’s University Shopping Street
As its name suggests, the shopping alley in Edae is situated next to the Ewha Woman’s University. Divided into the two sections (one near Sinchon Station and another near Ewha Woman’s University Station), the shopping district is popular among young women and offers affordable cosmetics and clothings. Unlike Myeongdong, this area has many boutique and small clothing stores, which are ideal for discovering some unique, hidden gems! In fact, this area is very trendy, so it’s safe to say that fashion items here follow the trend closely. Besides apparels, there are also many cosmetic brands here, such as Missha, Holika Holika and many more. You do not have to worry about breaking the bank and can shop to your heart’s content here!
Itaewon is the most ethnically diverse region in Seoul, as many expats from different countries around the world reside in this area of Korea. Itaewon is particularly busy during the night, with many bars and clubs frequented by foreigners and locals. A wide array of restaurants serving Asian, European and South American cuisines can also be found here. Itaewon is also home to over 100 antique stores and boutiques selling various clothing items and souvenirs, specializing in leather and fur items, as well as antique jewels and furniture. If you are looking for custom-made clothes, local tailors in the area are your best bet. Alternatively, for those who love a good perfume, you can create your own perfume at G.N. Perfume Studio! It offers more than 100 perfume bases with which you can create your own scent. With so much to explore, you can easily spend a day here. The culturally vibrant district is a must-go during your shopping trip in Seoul!
Insadong is one of the busiest districts in the city, where you can find many teahouses, bookstores, gallerie and other stores. Street foods are also served here by hawkers who line up the streets here. If you are feeling peckish, try out the delicious dumplings, hotteok and other local delights here. Shopping in Insadong is also convenient and satisfying, whatever your retail pleasure. Strolling down the 700-meter long Insadong Street, visitors are greeted with antiques, pottery, vintages, and other souvenirs for your family and friends. Also in the area is the 4-storey shopping center Insadong Ssamziegil has a wide range of apparel stores and restaurants. If you love art, be sure to stop by Kyung-in Art museum which holds exhibitions throughout the year. The outdoor stage of the museum is sometimes taken up for concerts and other performances. It is no wonder that Insadong is a beloved shopping area.
If shopping is an integral part of your trip, Seoul is your perfect destination as it offers myriad budget-friendly, fashionable locations perfect for an unbridled shopping spree. Fly with Cathay Pacific on your next trip to Seoul! With its generous baggage allowance, bringing all the loot home is hassle-free. Embark on your shopping trip in Seoul, which is less than a 4-hour flight from Hong Kong! With so many possibilities to satisfy your retail pleasure, Seoul could be the answer for many of your spending urges. Happy shopping in Seoul!