Street markets in Seoul are great places to experience authentic Korean lifestyle, mingle with friendly locals, and browse through a vast range of goods. Most of these markets stay open year-round and are easily accessible via subway trains and buses.

    These street markets cater to locals and tourists with specific shopping needs – visit Dongdaemun Market for trendy apparels, jewelry and accessories, Gwangjang Market for an extensive array of Korean comfort foods, and Noryangjin Fish Market for seafood that comes fresh from the ocean. A visit to Seoul’s most popular street markets is a must-do for every first-time visitor.

    Myeongdong Market is the place to go if you’re planning to hit the shops during your stay in the capital. One of South Korea’s prime shopping districts, it has dozens of department stores, shopping malls, and street side shops. Popular items include inexpensive clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and handbags from local and international brands. There are over 1,000 outlets selling Korean cosmetic and skincare. 

    Unlike other shopping districts In Seoul, Myeongdong Market also has sightseeing spots – iconic landmarks include the Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral and the gothic-style Myeongdong Theatre. 

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    Location: 83-9 Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 10am to 10.30pm (hours vary by store)

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    Namdaemun Market

    Namdaemun Market, founded in the early 1400s, is one of the busiest markets in South Korea. The traditional market was named after Seoul’s Great South Gate, which was the main gate to the ancient city. You can find quality leather goods, clothing, crafts, imported goods, utensils, electronics, and traditional oriental medicines at really affordable rates. 

    During the day, you can see locals shopping for groceries and household items. It’s also particularly famous for its wholesale handicrafts and food sections. Namdaemun becomes a vibrant night market from 11pm until 4am every day.

    Location: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 8.30am to 11pm (hours vary by shop)

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    Dongdaemun Market

    Dongdaemun Market has around 26 shopping malls, 30,000 specialty shops, and 50,000 manufacturers. It’s one of South Korea’s largest wholesale and retail shopping districts, with items for sale ranging from textiles, clothes, shoes, and jewelry, to leather goods, toys, electronics, and office supplies. 

    Dongdaemun Market is also a food haven – Mukja Golmok is an alley dedicated to Korean street food and snacks. The shopping district stays busy well into the night, with festivities, fashion shows, music and dance performances taking place year-round. 

    Location: Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

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    Gwangjang Market

    Gwangjang Market dates back to 1905, and is the 1st permanent street market in South Korea. While it is more known for its extensive selection of fabrics and textiles, you can also find kitchenware, imported products, fruits and vegetables, and dried goods. Many locals visit the market to purchase prayer items for Korean rituals as well as traditional wedding items such as hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) and pyebaek (wedding food that brides prepare for their future in-laws). 

    The ground floor has dozens of food stalls and restaurants, where you can enjoy authentic Korean dishes when you’re shopping at Gwangjang Market. Tailor shops occupying the 1st floor offer folk clothing at reasonable prices. 

    Location: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 11 pm (hours vary by shop)

    Map

    photo by ChongDae (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

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    Gyeongdong Market

    Gyeongdong Market has over 1,000 stalls selling homemade medicines, roots, herbs, and spices. Located in Dongdaemun, this street market is especially popular among Chinese and Japanese tourists as Asian herbs and medicinal products are available at affordable prices. 

    The rich fragrances of herbs immediately greet you as you enter the market - some of the most popular items here include red ginseng for restoring energy, maesil (plum) to improve blood pressure, and chrysanthemum flowers which are brewed to make refreshing drinks.

    Location: 147, Wangsan-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 4 am to 7 pm (hours vary by store)

    Phone: +82-2-967-8721

    Map

    photo by Gaël Chardon (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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    Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market

    Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market is a 15-minute train ride from Seoul Station. The best time to visit this marketplace is around dawn, when seafood auctions take place. There are around 800 vendors selling seafood fresh from the ocean at very affordable prices. The upper levels of Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market has several restaurants serving Korean and Japanese dishes. 

    Location: 674 Nodeul-ro, Noryangjin-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +82-2-2254-8000

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    Seoul Folk Flea Market

    The Seoul Folk Flea Market attracts antique collectors with over 900 booths set up along Hwanghakgyo Bridge and Sinseol-dong Station.  You can find just about anything here, including decorative stones, toys, manual typewriters, and authentic pottery (if you are lucky enough to spot them). Seoul Folk Flea Market is a must-visit for those interested in second-hand items and good bargains.

    Location: 21, Cheonho-daero 4-gil, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 7 pm (closed every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month)

    Phone: +82-2-2232-3367

    Map

    photo by Republic of Korea (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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    Yongsan Electronics Market

    Yongsan Electronics Market is a wholesale mall with around 3,000 electronics stores. You can find a wide variety of gadgets, including office equipment, digital cameras, computers, video games, and DVDs. At some stores, you can test your bargaining skills and get the best deals for the products of your choice. Prices here are about 15% to 30% cheaper than most retail stores in Seoul.

    Location: 15-2 Hangangno 2(i)-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 7.30 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm (hours vary by shop)

    Phone: +82-2-707-4700

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