Myeongdong Market Seoul, South KoreaThe Myeongdong Market is mainly a night market. Although there are shops here during the day, the atmosphere really comes alive at night and that's when all the fun happens.
Myeongdong Market Snapshot
Myeongdong Market (or “shopping street”) is a large pedestrian-friendly zone located in the Myeongdong district of Seoul, South Korea. While you can get there a few different ways, I’d say subway is the cheapest and the easiest because you can exit right at the Myeongdong station.
The hours of operation of Myeongdong Market are really dependent upon the stores. Generally, most shops are open 11:00 am – 10:00 pm. However, the streets come alive at night and it’s a lot more fun.
What You'll Find
This is a tough one because all the “good” stuff is usually hidden in a back room somewhere. Everything from purses, to bags to shirts, you name it. I’d recommend going to a shop and just asking where “more” stuff is, they’ll usually guide you to the more hidden rooms.
Bargaining in the Heart of Seoul
It’s always a bit of a challenge to learn the local bargaining culture. In this video, I explore a few different malls and markets in Seoul and attempt to negotiate some good deals while mastering the local bargaining culture.
Everything to Know About Myeongdong Shopping Market
How to Get to Myeongdong Market
Transportation in Seoul
How to Get to Myeongdong Market
The easiest and cheapest way to get there is by subway. You can take line 4 and exit 5/6/7/8 at the Myeongdong station. Or you can also take line 2 and get off at the Euljro station and taking exits 5/6 the market is just a couple minutes walk.
Shopping at Myeongdong Market
What Can I Find at the Myeongdong Market?
The shopping area of Myeongdong is huge and vibrant, especially at night with all the lights and signs. This area is a great place to buy souvenirs when you travel to Seoul.
Korea is known for its beauty products, and you can also find most of the famous Korean cosmetics and skincare products here as well. Many of the stores offer different promotions and sample products to attract shoppers, as well as immediate tax refunds if you spend a certain amount at a store. Some of the popular Korean cosmetic and skincare brands include Innisfree, Nature Republic, The Face Shop, Missha, Etude House, The Body Shop, and TONYMOLLY.
Myeongdong is also popular with fashion shoppers due to the variety of clothing and accessories you can find. Popular apparel brands you can find in the Myeongdong shopping area include Adidas, Nike, Converse, H&M, Forever 21, Uniqlo, Zara, MCM, Guess, Who.A.U, and Mixxo. Then there are the “back areas” where you can find all kinds of good bargains.
You can also find many food kiosk or stalls during night time that sells variations of street foods such as Spiral-cut Potatoes, Fruit Juices, Korean Egg Toast, Roasted Lobster with Cheese, Grilled Scallops, Ice Creams, and Fried Baby Crabs.
Where to Stay in Seoul
There’s a great variety of quality hotels or hostels available all over Seoul for travelers. Here are some of the top places to stay in Seoul I’d recommend checking out, at different budgets.
1. Air Hostel Myeongdong
This hostel includes air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen satellite TV and it is located in the Jung-Gu district. Air Hostel Myeongdong facilities include a shared lounge and kitchen as well as family rooms, free wifi, and American breakfast. There are also some popular spots near Air Hostel Myeongdong such as Jongmyo Shrine, Myeongdong Cathedral, and Namdaemun Market.
2. Myeongdong Rooftop Hostel
Myeongdong Rooftop Hostel is located near some of the famous spots in Seoul such as N-Tower, Namdaemun Market, and Korea House Town. It is also near Myeongdong Subway Station Line 4 and it provides 24-hour kitchen and laundry services. Aside from wooden-floored modern rooms, this hostel also allows guests to use the house’s computers and storage facilities.
3. Lotte Hotel Seoul
If you’ve got some cash to spend, then you might like the Lotte Hotel Seoul. This is one of Korea’s five-star luxury hotels and is located right in the famous Myeongdong district. This hotel has six restaurants that serve a wide variety of international cuisine, a tearoom, luxurious lounges, bakery, salt room spa, high-end gym, indoor pool with hot tubs, and spacious rooms with panoramic city view. Lotte Hotel Seoul also houses the only restaurant with three Michelin stars in South Korea which is the Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul.
Popular Neighborhoods in Seoul
Apart from the famous Myeongdong district, the district of Itaewon is considered as a special tourist area in Seoul. Here you can enjoy the vivid streets full of colorful street art, restaurants, and cafes. You can also find many antique furniture shops and one-of-a-kind home decors in Itaewon.
Gangnam is also a famous district in Seoul that’s popular with tourists (as many of us are familiar with the song). The Gangnam district is located along the Han River and known to be one of Seoul’s most upscale areas. It is also home to luxury shops, cafes, and restaurants.
What to Eat
The street food at Myeongdong is a good choice, but personally, I feel like this street is a great place to eat at one of the fancier restaurants. There are a lot of restaurant options in this area that seem like cool places to eat, hang out, grab a drink and then head out shopping afterwards.
Seoul Food Guide
Korean cuisine is mostly influenced by their neighboring countries and cultures. Most of the traditional South Korean foods found in Seoul are a must-try, especially for visitors or tourists in the city. A lot of these dishes can be found in Myeongdong such as the Spicy Korean Ramyun with Cheese, Kimbap or Korean Stuffed Rice Roll, and lots of different varieties of Korean Soup such as Kimchi Soup, Sundubu, and Doenjang Jjigae.
Korean BBQ is also a crowd favorite, and you can’t forget the famous beer and fried chicken combo – known as Chimaek. Korean Chicken and beer is actually a pretty great meal!
Street Foods in Myeongdong Market
Myeongdong Market is full of creative and interesting street food, perfect for photos. Some of the popular street foods include Tteokbokki or Spicy Rice Cake, which is a common menu item in many restaurants in Korea. Hotteok or Korean Pancake is also popular, basically they are pancakes with brown sugar filling. Since the central streets of Myeongdong serve as the street food night market, you will have a lot of street food choices to pick from such as Gimbap, Takoyaki, Tornado Potato, Mochi, Egg Bread, Korean Sugar Candy or Ppopgi, Fish cakes or Odeng, Dumplings, and Grilled Cheese.
History of Myeongdong Shopping Street
During the Joseon dynasty, Myeongdong was known as Myeongrye-bang, a residential area. The name was changed as the Japanese came and it was also turned into a commercial district wheres trades and shops rise. After the war, the demand for cosmetics and fashion increased and the area of Myeongdong was filled with local brands as well as international companies. It was in the mid-1970s that the district was on the height of its reputation as the leading shopping destination of Korea where people all over the country visit not only to shop but also to experience and see the latest of the fashion trends on the street.
Myeongdong was further developed at the start of the 21st century, as Korean Tourism promoted this place as one of its major global and regional tourist spots. The construction of pedestrian streets and improved signage began, as well as the promotion of the area for visitors. Today, Myeongdong is known as the heart of commercialism in Seoul.
Introduction to Seoul
South Korea’s capital, Seoul, showcases the nation’s vibrant history, society, and culture. It is also known to be one of Asia’s most advanced countries in terms of technology where its progress and innovation can be found on the city’s architectural designs and constructions. Being the largest city in South Korea, Seoul has become a place where the mixture of traditional and modern lifestyle and culture is perfectly blended.
History of Seoul
Seoul was founded by the Joseon dynasty over 600 years ago. During the 19th century, the construction of facilities, railroads, water systems and the opening of the port was initiated, however it was soon taken over by the Japanese colonialism where the illegal settlement was formed because of the gradual industrialization over the city. Seoul was converted into a residential zone and was renamed Seoul Metropolitan City in 1945 but the city was destroyed as the Korean War started. After half a century, Seoul developed to be one of the global mega-cities because of its fast economic growth, and the once ruined city rises again from the remains of the war.
The continuous city improvement and beautification paved the way to the hosting of the Olympic Games (1988) and Asian Games (1986). Seoul became one of Korea’s first cities to ensure a high-standard urban lifestyle as it rapidly responds to the demand of the growing population. Now Seoul is one of the top modern city in Asia and was named as the World Design Capital in 2007.
History of Producing and Selling Goods in Seoul
After the Korean War, South Korea was greeted with fast economic growth as they focused on the production of goods for exportation. A huge amount of the country’s exports were manufactured here including goods such as automobiles, clothing, steel, appliances, chemicals, and computers. Rice production and food crops were also an important factor in the nation’s economy and most of the major trades of the country are with the United States, China, and Japan.