Namdaemun Market, South Korea’s biggest market, serves up a colourful mix of food, handicrafts, kitchenware, clothing, gadgets, novelties, ginseng, souvenirs and more – all at very reasonable prices. The market has been bustling day and night since 1964. Get ready to snag a bargain at this Seoul shopping extravaganza.
This marketplace of epic proportions boasts 66,000 square metres of market stalls, features more than 10,000 shops and greets a whopping 400,000 every day – most of them locals. It’s the market that never sleeps, too, with wholesalers trading through the night and retailers taking on the daylight hours.
Clothing and accessories abound here, but it’s also a great place to snap up gifts for the folks back home or mementos for yourself, such as traditional ceramics, utensils, and embroidery. What’s more, you can satisfy your appetite for delicious local cuisine here. Many of the restaurants have been around for generations, catering to the market’s throngs. Then there are the street carts that dish up authentic meals and snacks such as bibimbap (warm mixed rice, meat and vegetables), buchimgae (a vegetable pancake) and kalguksu (handmade chopped noodles).
You’ll find Namdaemun Market near Seoul’s buzzing downtown district. Take the subway to Hoehyeon (Line 4) and come out at Exit 7. From there, it’s roughly a 400-metre walk. If Namdaemun Market is still not enough to satiate your shopping appetite, the Dongdaemun night market is another great bet. Take the subway to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station for continued retail therapy.