Seoul has plenty to offer visitors with streets filled with food, music, and of course, shopping. Here’s a quick guide to the main shopping districts of Seoul, from luxury to bargain buys. Prepare to shop til you drop!
Hyundai Department Store
Apgujeong is a neighborhood known for its wealth. With cosmetic surgeons, fancy cars, and high end brands everywhere you look, you know this is the place for a luxury shopping trip. Your best bet is to visit the Hyundai Department Store where you can find all the luxury brands you can think of. Then, when you’re done, head to the basement for their world-class food court that serves everything from hamburgers to lobster.
Cheongdam and Dosan Park
Cheongdam and the surrounding area is where most entertainment companies are found. That means this is the center of the celebrity world, and the area thus caters to the rich and famous. Here you’ll find stores like Hermes, Ralph Lauren, and Prada, along with small boutiques that you can’t quite see into so that celebrities can shop there in peace. The shops around Dosan Park, like Hermes, are especially peaceful thanks to the greenery everywhere. Spend the day wandering around this area, and if you do get hungry, don’t worry, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the area for you to take a break in.
Galleria Department Store
Just from looking at the building, you can tell you’re in for an experience at the Galleria. The huge structure is covered with what looks like golden scales from top to bottom and, when the sun sets, they illuminate into a gorgeous light show! In this department store you can find all the luxury brands as well as high end Korean designers. Their luxury grocery store, food court, and bakery can all be found in the basement.
Myeongdong is without a doubt the shopping center of Seoul. It is filled with more skincare shops than you can count along with boutiques and big name brands. This place is constantly crowded, so be prepared, but if you’re a true shopper at heart Myeongdong will be paradise. For real bargains, head into the Myeongdong subway station and shop in their underground mall!
Gangnam might be best known for Psy’s song “Gangnam Style”, but it’s much more than just that. Gangnam’s main street is filled with Korean and international brands from UNIQLO to 8seconds. The ever-present skincare and makeup shops are of course all over the place too! Go back one street from the main street and you’ll find more boutiques and accessory stores. Like Myeongdong, head to the subway station for the best deals. The underground shopping area is almost better than what’s above ground!
Starfield COEX Mall
I’m pretty sure you could live in this mall for months and never get bored. COEX Mall has all the stores you can imagine, from international brands like Armani, to small Korean boutiques. There’s also an aquarium, a movie theatre, a VR arcade, multiple food courts, and a brand new library that’s huge to boot. If you need to get all your shopping done in one place, this is where to go!
Located in Yeoudio, a popular picnic destination during summer and the center of the cherry blossom craze in spring, IFC has plenty of natural light which makes your shopping experience that much more pleasant. The mall has all your favorite stores like Hollister and H&M, a massive food court, and a movie theatre too. It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon.
What’s Hot Right Now
Better known for being the best place for cafes and romance, Garosugil has more recently transformed into a great shopping district. You’ll find all the big names like Zara or Aland, but you’ll also notice plenty of thrift stores, usually on the basement level of cafes. They may be a little on the pricey side, but they’re definitely unique and trendy!
Hongdae is Seoul’s young artist district and has a funky youthful style. Just off of the main shopping street, you’ll find tons of vintage and thrift stores filled with great pieces. Also, make sure to visit Hongdae’s playground so that you can grab some handmade accessories from local artists. Be one of a kind! The shopping street is a long stretch of stores that tend to carry similar things, so walk around a bit and ask about prices before committing to one item. Stores might also give you discounts for paying in cash, or for buying multiple items. It never hurts to ask!
Edae’s Shopping Street
This shopping area surrounds Ewha University, an all girls school. Because of this, Edae stores tend to focus on cute clothes, shoes, accessories, and makeup. If you’re looking for the latest trends for young women here in Korea, this is where to go. Pro tip: never take the first offered price when it comes to shoes. Always ask for a discount! In clothing stores though, many prices are listed and, in that case, you’ll most likely just pay the price that’s stated on the tag.
This five-story building in Insadong is filled with unique shops selling handmade goods from local artists. Whether you’re looking for jewelry, clothing for your dog, or original artwork, this is the place. It even has interesting gifts for people here in Korea, such as plants and different food items. Plus, the view from the top is amazing. The area surrounding Ssamzzigil also has plenty of small shops, so make sure to spend some time wandering around.
Housing a movie theatre, gallery, music hall, and large gift shop, Sangsangmadang is a great place to visit in Hongdae. The store features lots of fun artistic gifts like stationary, wall art, and plenty of things you can’t even imagine! If you’re looking for something original, artistic, and modern, be sure to shop here.
Goseok Bus Terminal
Goseok Bus Terminal is the best place to find cheap but trendy clothing here in Seoul. It’s popular with the locals, especially students, because it has all the hip clothing like Gangnam Station, but for probably half the price. Plus shopkeepers will give you discounts for buying more than one item!
Dongdaemun Market is shoppers paradise, but it can be overwhelming on your first visit. Dongdaemun’s markets are located in multiple buildings, usually separated by category. You can find anything from clothes to jewelry supplies to fabric here! Be prepared for shopkeepers to immediately approach you when you walk by and try to coerce you into making a purchase. Just be strong and hold out for something you like!