Not only is Seoul a fun historical city to visit or live in, but there are also tons of places you can go shopping! Shopping in Seoul has to be on the top of most tourists to do lists while visiting Korea and a highlight of any expat living here. From huge shopping malls with international chains to small local boutiques, Seoul has got you covered. We are almost overwhelmed on a daily basis on how much shopping this city has to offer, so we’ve put together a list of what we think the best shopping in Seoul is.
Super Mega Malls
The shopping malls in Seoul are freaking huge and have everything you need plus more, hence the name I gave them, Super Mega Malls! All of the malls here are equipped with huge food courts, loads of restaurants, really nice movie theatres, and some even offer entertainment option like an aquarium! Here are the three malls (out of the many to offer) we enjoy shopping in Seoul the most.
Lotte World Shopping Mall
We just visited this mall recently and were blown away. The shopping selection includes local and international chain stores, huge department stores, and you’re connected to one of Korea’s most beloved indoor/outdoor theme parks, Lotte World!
Subway Line 2 Jamsil Station
Times Square Mall
Located in Yeongdeungpo just south of the Han River, Times Square mall offers floor after floor of different shopping options including local and international chain stores and our favorite, the CGV Starium 4DX movie theatre. If you you’re not all shopped out after exploring this mega mall then walk about 10 minutes to D Cube City where you can continue to shop until you drop.
Subway Line 1 Yeongdeungpo Station (Times Square Mall)
Subway Line 1&2 Sindorim Station (D Cube City)
COEX mall is located in Gangnam under Korea’s World Trade Center and has to be Seoul’s most famous malls. COEX actually happens to be Asia’s largest underground shopping malls! Pretty neat! This mall is full of local and international chain stores as well as a 16 theatre Megabox cinema, aquarium, arcade, and even a kimchi museum. If you are feeling adventurous afterwards you are about a 5 minute walk from Bonguensa Temple!
Subway Line 2 Samseong Station
Underground shopping has to be the best shopping experience if you’re on a tight budget. Located underground, usually connected to the subway, these underground shopping meccas carry tons of small retailers carrying various cosmetic, clothing, and accessories stories at low prices. You may have to watch out for “free size” clothing, which means one size and rules out a lot of clothing for us since we are both tall. Here are some of the most popular underground shopping locations in Seoul:
Subway Line 2 Gangnam Station
Myeongdong Underground Shopping
Connecting Myeongdong, Eujiro 1, and City Hall through the underground shopping plaza.
Subway Line 2 Eujiro 1 Station, Subway Line 1 & 2 City Hall Station, and Subway Line 4 Myeongdong Station
Subway Line 1 Yeongdeungpo Station
Jamsil Underground Shopping
Subway Lines 2 & 8 Jamsil Station
These shopping streets are pretty much everything you can get in a mall, but scattered throughout one main street and or alleyways. Some include huge international brands and other streets are for local artists and boutiques. We love going to these areas for a meal then spending the rest of our time checking out the different shops!
Garosugil looks less like most of your shopping in Korea since it’s shopping isn’t located underground or in tall buildings. All of these stores and specialty shops are located on an outdoor promenade on a tree lined road. You will find chic boutiques with the latest fashion trends as well as tons of cafes and restaurants.
Subway Line 3 Sinsa Station exit 8 or Subway Line 3 Apgujeong Station exit 5
This is where the elite shop, we say this because this is where you will find your Louis Vuitton and other designer labels most people can’t really afford. Don’t let that deter you from visiting though, there because you are just a short walk away from Garosugil’s shopping street!
Subway Line 3 Apgujeong Station exit 2
This shopping street is bustling in Seoul. Full of big international and domestic brands the stores in Gangnam tend to be huge and multilevel. There are also tons of cosmetic and accessory stores here as well. Gangnam is also famous for it’s clubs and nightlife as well as delicious food options. You can find a giant “Gangnam Style” photo spot that plays PSY’s famous song to take a quick pic in too!
Subway Line 2 Gangnam Station Exit 10 & 11
Myeongdong is probably the most famous shopping area in Seoul. There are several department stores, huge international labels like Nike, H&M, Forever 21, etc. as well as local brands. This is also the best place for Korean beauty products as a lot of Korea’s best beauty brands have their flagship stores in Myeongdong. Shopping here can be a bit overwhelming, but you have endless shopping and food options to choose from!
Subway Line 2 Eujilro 1 ga Station exit 6 or Subway Line Line 4 Myeongdong Station exit 6
Dongdaemun is a famous spot to find local Korean fashion. The department stores are full of local designers and boutiques. You can even shop late at night until the wee hours of the morning here, there’s even a department store named after it’s late night shopping hours called AMPM. If you need hiking, athletic gear, shoes, stationary etc. you can continue exploring Dongdaemun’s specialty districts which are alleyways full of any specialty good store after another. They have this for anything from stationary to shoes to camping gear. While you’re in Dongdaemun don’t skip out on visiting Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) the interesting space ship looking building. Inside there’s more novelty and gift shopping!
Subway Line 1&4 Dongdaemun Station Exit 8 or 9
Samcheong is conveniently located next to Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village. These adorable, tree lined streets are chocked full of small, independent boutiques as well as cosmetic stores, restaurants, cafes, and museums. This happens to be one of our favorite places to shop for a unique gift or just to grab a cup of coffee with a pleasant view.
Subway Line 3 Anguk Station Exit 1
Insadong is a great spot to pick up a souvenir from Korea as well as shop at local, independent gift stores. Through the streets of Insadong you can find local antiques, traditional paintings and artwork, tons of galleries, and one of the only areas in Seoul you can really find souvenirs that say Korea on them. There’s also a small shopping mall called Ssamziegil in the middle of Insadong offering tons of local specialty boutiques as well as cafes, restaurants, and even museums. You can check out Seoul’s famous poop café here too!
Subway Line 3 Anguk Station Exit 6
Anywhere where large groups of young adults gather or live in Seoul you can guarantee there will be great shopping! Nearby university campuses are streets after streets of local boutiques, international brand name stores, cosmetic stores, and also tons of food and night life options! Some of our favorite local universities to shop near are below.
Hongkik University or Hongdae is one of Seoul’s best spots for shopping and nightlife for young adults. There are tons of clothing, accessory, footwear, and specialty boutiques here along with tons of street food, cafes, restaurants, bars, and clubs! You can see some of our favorite places to check out in Hongdae here!
Subway Line 2 Hongkik University Station Exit 9
Ewha Women’s University
Also known as Edae, this area is full of shopping! Explore the main street and alleyways for different cosmetic stores, independent retailers, accessory stores, and for foreigners this is a great area to find a hair salon! You also have tons of food and drink options here too!
Subway Line 2 Ewha Women’s University Exit 2 & 3
Located right next to Yonsei University and located smack in the middle both Hongdae and Edae, Sinchon hosts plenty of options for shopping including small clothing stores to big retail brand stores. Like the other two university areas mentioned there are tons of food and drink options in this area as well!
Subway Line 2 Sinchon Station Exit 2 & 3
Don’t let the amount of options for places to go shopping in Seoul overwhelm you, especially if you’re short on time! Alot of the mega malls carry a similar selection of stores, so if you visit one you’ve pretty much seen them all. If you’re looking for more unique items to Korea we recommend visiting the smaller shopping streets like Insadong or Samcheong. If you’re looking for local designers check out Dongdaemun’s department stores for local designers! If you have a tight budget or want entertainment mixed in with your shopping then check out the universities! No matter where you end up shopping, Seoul has got tons of options!
Do you have anything to add to this list? Let us know your favorite shopping in Seoul in the comments below!
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