With the rising of the Hallyu wave around the world, many are interested in visiting the homeland of all the handsome oppas and beautiful unnies – South Korea!! As much as we might be doing some Seoul(soul) searching there, shopping is often listed in our itinerary for every trip. So here are the shopping areas you should stop by when you are visiting Seoul.
1. Hongdae Street
During my trip, I happened to reside nearby the HOT
Hongdae Street. I visited this area almost every night for the street food and the entertainment by the amazing performers. There are many things you can find here; be it facial products, clothing, women’s accessories, phone accessories and many more. I got myself a pretty tote bag and to me, it is worth it. Plus, you can find Korea’s cosmetic brands and they are quite affordable. Be sure to look out for the discounts or offers! It is located close to Hongik University. So you can use the subway and stop at Hongik Station
or Sangsu Station
. I highly recommend visiting this street in the evening and at night to fully experience the nightlife here. You will be able to catch many talented performers along the street or drop by the clubs and pubs. There are also other activities you can enjoy such as Noraebang (karaoke), VR (e.g. shooting, archery) and many more while taking a break from shopping.
If you happen to visit this street in the afternoon, you might want to consider doing some cafe hopping. You can check out a Meerkat Cafe in the area. I went there and I love that I could interact with meerkats, racoon, wallaby and cats.
2. Myeongdong Underground Shopping Center
If you are a big K-POP fan, I highly suggest you come down here. If you are not, then you should still visit here and get some souvenirs for your friends. You can find a selection of albums and drama OSTs and merchandises of your favourite idols and celebrities at a cheaper price. There are posters, keychains, stickers and others that you can name. Besides that, you can find cute and cheap socks as souvenirs in a bundle for your loved ones or maybe just for yourself. They sell clothing at affordable prices. The nearest subway station is Myeongdong Station
(I mean the name of the place says it all). Please remember to prepare your heart and breath before tapping out of the subway gantry!
3. Myeongdong Street
After exiting the Myeongdong Underground Shopping Center, you should drop by Myeongdong Street. Over there, you can find facial products, packeted snacks, clothing and many many
facial products. Along the way, you can even get your hands on plenty of free samples. There are offers for most of the stores so you might want to walk around the area first before deciding on which store to get your shopping treats from. The prices of the items there are quite cheap and affordable. Seriously, you should do more shopping in this area (especially for those items that are for your face). Just like Hongdae Street, you should visit here in the evening if you want to have a good taste of street food. It should be the best time for you to experience both shopping and street food cuisine.
Here’s a piece of advice; you might want to bring a big haversack or get another shopping bag because there is a high chance that your hands will be full while you are at Myeongdong (just like me).
4. Lotte Young Plaza
Here is another shopping place that is within walking distance from Myeongdong Street. (I told you that you should get a shopping bag while you are at Myeongdong.) Well, this place is a little bit more on the pricey side. That’s because you can find Korea’s well-known brands such as 3CE, BT21 (take note ARMYs), KAKAO Friends Store and etc. For YG fans, you can find the YG pop-up store here. It was like heaven for my friend who is a big YG fan. But you should make sure that you have enough money if you want to splurge here (and pray for your credit card).
5. Ewha Womans University Street
For a place near an all girls school, you can most definitely find products that are mostly for the ladies; clothing and face products. I didn’t manage to explore this area properly (because I had a stomachache) but in a glimpse, I spotted many women’s accessories. I managed to get a big photo album to replace my parents’ worn off wedding album at ARTBOX. The album designs there are eye-catching and I am satisfied with my purchase. You can easily reach this place by taking the subway to Ewha Womans University Station
. You should be able to get a map of the street from a Trip Informant once you exit the station.
6. Kyobo Bookstore
For all the book lovers out there, Kyobo Bookstore is definitely a place for you. When I visited the place, they were having a discount for Art-related books. I can tell you this; the book collection here is amazing. Even though most of the books are in Korean, they have a section for Foreign books. I managed to grab myself some classics as they were quite cheap. My bookworm heart was chirping like a bird. You should drop by and maybe you can catch some offers and discounts to add to your own collection. Oh, I also got myself a sketchbook here and I am so glad I did this purchase. You can easily access this bookstore by stopping at Gwanghwamun Station
Bonus: Convenience Stores!
When you are simply hungry during the trip, just go and visit the convenience stores. You can find plenty of convenience stores for every 5 minutes of walking. Get yourself some snacks or processed food. You can even get some groceries here if you decide to cook a simple meal. My favourites are yoghurt drinks and triangular kimbap. Oh! You should try the BANANA MILK too!