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A Guide To Shopping In Seoul: From Luxury Brands To Local Markets

Are you a shopaholic who loves to explore different markets and shopping destinations? If yes, then Seoul is the perfect destination for you. With its diverse range of shopping options, from luxury brands to local markets, Seoul has something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion or unique souvenirs, Seoul has it all. From sprawling department stores to underground shopping malls and traditional Korean markets, the city offers a plethora of options that will satisfy your inner shopaholic. In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the best places to shop in Seoul and share tips on how to make the most out of your shopping experience in this vibrant city.

High-End Shopping

If you’re looking for high-end shopping in Seoul, you won’t want to miss Gangnam and Myeong-dong. These areas are known for their luxury designer shops, offering everything from the latest fashion trends to must-have accessories. Whether you’re a fashionista or just love to browse, these shopping destinations are sure to impress.


When you’re in Gangnam, you’ll find an abundance of high-end designer stores and luxurious shopping centers at every turn. Here are four must-visit places to add to your list:

  1. The Galleria Department Store: This upscale shopping destination boasts a wide range of luxury brands, including Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. The store also features a food court with Korean cuisine options for those looking to take a break from shopping.

  2. COEX Mall: Connected to the underground subway station, COEX Mall is one of the largest underground malls in Asia. With over 250 stores selling everything from fashion to electronics, it’s easy to lose track of time here.

  3. Club Octagon: If you’re looking for a night out after a day of shopping, head over to Club Octagon – one of Seoul’s top nightlife spots located in Gangnam. Expect live performances by popular DJs and an energetic crowd.

  4. Garosu-gil: This trendy street is lined with designer boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants that cater towards younger crowds seeking unique experiences.

Transitioning into the next section about Myeong-dong – another popular shopping district that contrasts Gangnam’s high-end atmosphere – let’s explore more affordable options for those on a budget.


You can’t leave Seoul without visiting Myeong-dong, a vibrant shopping district filled with affordable fashion and beauty options. This bustling area is home to some of the city’s best street food stalls, offering delicious Korean snacks such as tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) and hotteok (sweet pancakes). You’ll also find plenty of sit-down restaurants serving up Korean barbecue and other traditional dishes.

After satisfying your taste buds, it’s time to hit the shops. Myeong-dong is a mecca for fashion lovers looking for trendy clothing at reasonable prices. You’ll find everything from cute graphic tees to stylish coats and jackets. And if you’re in the market for skincare or makeup products, be sure to check out one of the many cosmetics stores lining the streets. As night falls, Myeong-dong comes alive with even more shopping and nightlife options – so don’t miss out!

As you explore Myeong-dong, keep in mind that this district isn’t just about affordable finds – there are also plenty of luxury designer shops if you’re willing to splurge a bit.

Luxury Designer Shops

Indulge in the high-end fashion scene at Myeong-dong’s luxury designer shops, where you can find exquisite pieces to elevate your wardrobe. These shops offer a vast selection of designer brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada. You’ll also discover unique designer collaborations and vintage finds that are not available anywhere else.

If you’re looking for something exclusive to add to your collection, head over to the Shinsegae Department Store’s Luxury Hall. Here, you’ll find a curated selection of high-end international brands like Fendi and Saint Laurent. Don’t forget to check out their limited edition items that are only available at this location!

Department Stores

Explore the vast selection of luxury brands and local designers at Seoul’s department stores. Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion or affordable finds, there’s something for everyone at these Korean department stores. Here are three reasons why you should add them to your shopping itinerary:

  1. Tax-free shopping: Many department stores offer tax-free shopping for foreign visitors, which means you can save money on your purchases. Just make sure to bring your passport with you when you shop.

  2. Wide variety of products: Department stores in Seoul are known for their huge selection of products, from cosmetics and skincare to clothing and electronics. You can easily spend an entire day browsing through all the different floors and sections.

  3. Local designer boutiques: In addition to international luxury brands, many department stores also feature local designer boutiques where you can find unique pieces that aren’t available anywhere else.

After exploring the department stores, head underground to discover the bustling world of Seoul’s underground shopping malls.

Underground Shopping Malls

Discover the hidden world of Seoul’s underground shopping malls, where you can find a plethora of unique and affordable products. These underground shopping malls are not only convenient but also provide an exciting experience for bargain hunters and those who love discovering hidden treasures.

One of the most famous underground shopping malls in Seoul is the COEX Mall located beneath the COEX Convention & Exhibition Center. This mall offers a wide variety of shops ranging from luxury brands to local boutiques. You can find everything from trendy fashion items to gourmet food products all in one place.

Another popular underground shopping mall is the Gangnam Terminal Underground Shopping Center which is connected to the Gangnam Bus Terminal Station. This mall is known for its affordable prices and a great selection of Korean cosmetics, accessories, and clothing items.

If you want to experience something truly unique, head over to Namdaemun Underground Shopping Center which is located beneath one of Korea’s oldest traditional markets. Here, you will find more than 600 shops selling everything from souvenirs to traditional Korean hanbok clothing.

Now that you have explored Seoul’s underground shopping scene, it’s time to step into a different world – traditional Korean markets. These markets offer an authentic glimpse into local life and offer everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.

Traditional Korean Markets

For a true taste of Korean culture, you can’t miss out on the traditional markets scattered throughout the city. These markets offer an authentic experience that is hard to find anywhere else. Here, you’ll get a chance to mingle with locals and witness their way of life.

One of the must-visit traditional markets in Seoul is Gwangjang Market. This market has been around for over 100 years and offers everything from handmade clothing to fresh produce. But what really draws people here are the food specialties such as bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes) and mayak gimbap (addictive seaweed rice rolls). Don’t be afraid to try new things – it’s all part of the experience!

When shopping at traditional markets, bargaining techniques are key. Haggling is expected, so don’t be afraid to negotiate prices with vendors. If you buy multiple items from one seller, they may even offer you a discount. Remember that being friendly goes a long way in these situations.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, head over to Insadong Ssamziegil or Namdaemun Market where street vendors line up along narrow alleys selling souvenirs and snacks. From traditional Korean fans to cute trinkets, there’s something for everyone here. And if your stomach starts growling, grab some hotteok (sweet pancake) or tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) from one of the many food stalls.

Traditional Korean markets offer an unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime. But if street markets are more your thing, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

Street Markets

You can’t visit Seoul without checking out the vibrant street markets that line the city’s bustling streets. These markets are a hub of activity, with locals and tourists alike flocking to them for their unique offerings. From clothing and accessories to souvenirs and delicious street food, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

One of the most popular street markets in Seoul is Namdaemun Market. This market has been around since the Joseon Dynasty and offers a wide variety of products at affordable prices. The market is divided into different sections, including one dedicated entirely to food stalls. Here you can sample traditional Korean dishes like tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) and hotteok (sweet pancakes filled with cinnamon sugar).

When visiting these markets, it’s important to have some bargaining techniques up your sleeve. Many vendors will start with a high price, so don’t be afraid to negotiate for a better deal. It’s also helpful to know some basic Korean phrases for bargaining, such as "Eolmayeyo?"which means "How much?"

As you wander through the colorful stalls and sample delicious treats from the food vendors, keep an eye out for unique souvenirs that will make great mementos of your trip to Seoul. In the next section, we’ll explore some of these one-of-a-kind items in more detail.

Unique Souvenirs

When wandering through Seoul’s bustling street markets, don’t forget to keep an eye out for unique souvenirs that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Handmade crafts are a great option for those looking for something truly special. From pottery and ceramics to traditional Korean textiles, these one-of-a-kind items make the perfect gift or memento of your trip.

Another must-try while shopping in Seoul is the local food specialties. Whether it’s a jar of gochujang (Korean chili paste) or some delicious dried seafood, there’s something for every foodie at these markets. Be sure to sample some of the street food as well – from tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) to hotteok (sweet pancakes), you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

If you’re looking for a more upscale souvenir, head to Myeong-dong or Gangnam where you’ll find luxury boutiques and department stores. However, even here you can find unique gifts – look out for trendy Korean beauty products or stylish fashion accessories that will remind you of your time in Seoul.

No matter what kind of shopping experience you’re after, Seoul has something for everyone. Just remember to bargain at the street markets and don’t be afraid to try new things! With so many options available, it can be overwhelming – but following our tips for shopping in Seoul will help ensure you leave with all the best souvenirs and memories from your trip.

Tips for Shopping in Seoul

Get ready to explore the vibrant shopping scene in Seoul with these helpful tips! Shopping in Seoul can be a thrilling experience, but it’s important to keep some shopping etiquette in mind. Always greet the shopkeepers politely and try to speak some basic Korean phrases like "annyeonghaseyo"(hello) or "kamsahamnida"(thank you). Also, avoid touching items unless you plan on buying them as this is considered rude.

When it comes to bargaining tactics, it’s not uncommon for vendors at local markets to haggle over prices. However, bargaining is generally not accepted at department stores or luxury brand shops. If you want to bargain at a market, start by offering about half of what the vendor asks for and negotiate from there. Be friendly and respectful during negotiations and remember that walking away is also an option if you can’t agree on a price.

It’s worth noting that many shops in Seoul offer tax refunds for tourists, so keep your receipts handy if you plan on making any big purchases. You’ll need your passport and proof of purchase when claiming your refund at the airport before departing Korea. Also, most shops accept credit cards but it’s always good to carry some cash just in case.

Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from locals or fellow travelers on where to shop. They might have insider tips on hidden gem stores or markets that offer unique finds. With these shopping etiquette tips and bargaining tactics under your belt, get ready to indulge in all that Seoul has to offer!


So, there you have it – a comprehensive guide to shopping in Seoul. Whether you’re looking for high-end designer brands or unique souvenirs, this city has something for everyone. Department stores like Lotte and Shinsegae offer luxury fashion and beauty products, while underground shopping malls like COEX Mall and Gangnam Terminal Underground Shopping Center provide a more affordable option.

Don’t forget to explore traditional Korean markets like Namdaemun Market and Gwangjang Market for authentic local goods, as well as street markets like Myeongdong Street and Dongdaemun Fashion Town for trendy fashion finds. And with these tips in mind, including knowing your budget and bargaining skills, you’ll be sure to make the most out of your shopping experience in Seoul. Happy shopping!

James Yeong
James Yeong

Once a quaint dweller of the English countryside, James is now a vibrant voice narrating his adventures in the bustling heart of South Korea. Since relocating to Seoul in 2019, James has immersed himself in the dynamic tapestry of Korean culture, from the serene temples tucked away in mountainous terrains to the neon-lit streets of modern cities.

This blog has become a haven for those seeking an outsider's yet intimate perspective on South Korea, often shedding light on hidden gems and local favourites rather than just the typical tourist hotspots. With a keen eye for detail and a writing style dripping with wit and warmth, James has managed to amass a devoted readership from all corners of the globe.

Whether you're planning a trip to the Seoul, the surrounding cities or just vicariously traveling from the comfort of your couch, Jame's tales of exploration and discovery are sure to ignite a passion for the Land of the Morning Calm.

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