Seoul Shopping Districts: Myeong-dong and Dongdaemun


Tourists throng through the streets of Myeong-dong – well known as a haven for shoppers. Plenty of boutique stores, skincare shops and food joints to explore. We tried the famous Myeong-dong Gyoja which didn’t disappoint. We also ordered an interesting dish with noodles in a cold soy milk based soup (if you could call it a soup!). Pricing was pretty decent I think we paid $10-$15 per dish. We popped into the Lotte Department store for a bit but were slightly disappointed that it was pretty much an upmarket department store with premium labels.

Myeong-dong things to do:

  • Eat dumplings at Myeong-dong Gyoja
  • Eat Yoogane Chicken Galbi
  • If you’re interested in high end shopping, visit Lotte Department store
  • Go crazy on skin care shopping (or sampling!) See here for a great Myeong-dong map and some interesting shopping hauls. Most skin care products are reasonably price (for example: $20 for a moisturizer, $10-15 for a toner, $10-15 for cleanser). Primers and moisturizers work fantastically. Korean make-up is quite different to western make up. Only thing I wouldn’t recommend buying is Korean mascara (but I do very much like the Clio pencil eyeliners about $10 and can be found in most pharmacies).

Traveller’s tip: Myeong-dong is full of tourists. If you happen to have a specific and popular skin care product you would like to buy, I would recommend skin care shops in other districts. I had the problem where some skin care shops had already ran out of the product. Better yet, Inchon airport also sells popular skin care products with a discount of 10-15%!!!

Cold noodles in a soy-milk broth
The famous Myeong-dong Gyoja – didnt disappoint!

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Dongdaemun is a huge shopping districts. There’s an outdoor street market. There are a few malls – ranging from cheaper to premium brands. If you’re a hard core shopper, you could easily spend a whole day here. Dongdaemun can be a little overwhelming so find the tourist info kiosk to give you an idea of where you would like to start (especially if you’re time constrained!).

Places to go in Dongdaemun:

  • Tourist Info Kiosk 
  • These malls can be found in this awesome shopping guide:
    • Doota or Doosan Tower (more upmarket mall and yes, check out their bathrooms) and Lotte Fitin
    • Good Morning City mall (the most massive mall of all)
    • Hello APM and Migliore mall (clothing for younger people – lots of cramped stalls in the mall where you can get a bargain
  • Mukja Golmok(Let’s Eat Alley) – between Dongdaemun and Jongno.
  • Dongdaemun stadium – smack bang in the middle of Dongdaemun, awesome structure especially at night!
Dongdaemun stadium all lit up!
Almost looks like it belongs to Star Wars


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