If I had to choose one place to recommend to my foreign friends for shopping, I’d say Dongdaemun.
Dongdaemun, a place where you can see both the traditional and contemporary sides of Korea, is home to the popular Dongdaemun Fashion Town, known as the country’s shopping mecca and the center of fashion.
With 32 shopping malls, a vast array of markets, and 30,000 stores in all, you can find most any kind of fashion item, clothing and souvenir in Fashion Town. It’s a fun, exciting place full of energy that locals and foreigners flock to. And whether you are a night owl or an early bird, you can shop anytime of day or night at this shopping paradise. Seriously, many places open late in the evening till 5 a.m. or later. And don’t worry, there are plenty of restaurants open at all hours and street vendors are everywhere selling their delicious treats.
However, I don’t think many foreigners experience the real value of this area. Many just buy a couple of items at overcharged prices, try some street food and then head home. That’s it. Because the town is so large, it can be overwhelming to come up with a wise shopping trip plan, even for locals like me.
So, I’m going to show you how to enjoy this area, find bargains and set up a shopping itinerary in advance. So, what are you waiting for, keep reading!
- Dongdaemun Fashion Town
- Dongdaemun Tourist Information Center: Ask questions here and pick up a map! (Purple mark on the map below)
Hours: 10 a.m. – 1 a.m. daily
How to get there
By Seoul Metro
Line 1,4 Dongdaemun St. Exit 6-9
Seongdong Technical High School Parking (Brown mark on the map below)
If you don’t mind walking 8 to 10 minutes, I recommend using this parking lot. It’s the cheapest in the area and has plenty of spots. However, if you plan to shop at malls, parking at one can be a better option. Please check the address and fee of each mall in this article.
Cost: 2,400 won an hour
What to bring
- Bring both cash and credit card. Some wholesale shops only accept cash.
- Wear comfortable shoes and carry a backpack if you plan to buy many items.
- Download Kakao Map or Naver Map so you won’t get lost.
Shopping malls vs. markets
Before I tell you where to shop, I’ll quickly break down the differences between malls and markets in the area.
Retail shopping malls (Green marks on the map below)
These are like the shopping malls you find in the States selling items at normal retail prices. They have luxury interiors, brand shops, restaurants, food courts, and big parking lots. The shopping malls often hold fashion shows, music and dance performances in front of them since this district is known as a fashion mecca.
Hours: 10 a.m. – midnight.
Markets (Red marks on the map below)
Dongdaemun Night Market: This market is known as the most important place for fashion in Korea. The dealers here sell products in bulk at wholesale prices to retail vendors from all over Korea and other countries. You can look around and take in the unique scenes of Korea’s fashion industry, but also do some shopping of your own! Many of the dealers sell single items to individuals. Believe me, it’s a fun place to watch people and take in the hustle and bustle of the fashion industry and buy some fashionable clothes for yourself!
Hours: 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. (Sun-Fri)
Wholesale and retail markets: They mostly sell items at wholesale prices to any type of shopper, so it’s a place where you should try to buy items at bargain prices.
Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. – 12 p.m. (Mon-Sat)
RECOMMENDED SHOPPING PLACES
1. Dongdaemun Shopping Complex
This is paradise for those who love crafts and making their own clothes and accessories.
Items: Clothing materials, fabrics, accessories subsidiary materials, cutting supplies, sewing thread, yarn, handicrafts, curtain material, bedding, beads, traditional costumes (hanbok) and more.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Mon-Fri), 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Sat)
Address: Line 1,4 Dongdaemun Station Exit 8-9, NAVER
2. Dongdaemun Shoe Wholesale Market
– A dong: All kinds of shoes, from low-priced to high-quality handmade ones for men and women.
– B dong: Shoes for children and woman.
– C dong: Fashionable shoes, mostly for women.
– D dong: Women shoes and pet shops selling fish, birds and rodents.
Hours: 3 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
Address: Line 1&4 Dongdaemun Station Exit 7, NAVER
3. Nampyeonghwa Market
Items: All kinds of bags and purses, from low-priced to high-quality ones.
Hours: Midnight – 12 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
Address: Line 1,4 Dongdaemun Station Exit 7, NAVER
4. Jeil Pyeonghwa Market
Items: All types of women’s clothes and fashion items (shoes, bags, accessories and more).
Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Mon-Sat), Night Market: 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. (Sun-Fri)
Address: Line 1,4 Dongdaemun Station Exit 7,NAVER
5. Pyeonghwa Market
Items: Fashion items (scarfs, hats, bags, belts, socks and more), umbrellas, clothes for middle-aged men and women.
Hours: 10 p.m. – 6 p.m. (Sun-Sat), Closed: Saturday night
Address: Line 1,4 Dongdaemun Station Exit 8, NAVER
6. Sinpyeonghwa Fashion Town
Items: Socks, underwear, pajamas, stage costumes, clothes for men and women.
Hours: 9 p.m. – 5 p.m. (Sun-Fri)
Address: Line 1,4 Dongdaemun Station Exit 7,NAVER
7. Dongpyeonghwa Fashion Town
Items: Socks, underwear, pajamas, clothes for men and women.
Hours: Midnight. – 6 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
Address: Line 1,4 Dongdaemun Station Exit 4, NAVER
Most products in this mall are trendy fashion clothes and items for youth. Although this is a shopping mall, Migliore has similar types of shops to wholesale & retail markets, so prices are reasonable and you can try to bargain with store staff.
Items: Trendy fashion items, accessories for youth and casual, fashion clothes for women and men.
Hours: 10:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Address: 263, Jangchungdan-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, https://naver.me/5IFLPgtK
Parking: 3,000 won per hour.
Once you purchase something at a shop, you’ll get a coupon for 30 minutes free parking. You can use a total of 6 coupons (3 hours).
2. Doota Mall
This mall is known for luxury brand stores, designer shops, interesting stores, good restaurants and food court. You’ll be able to check out the latest fashion trends at this mall.
Items: Fashion accessories, casual, fashion and sports clothes, souvenirs and more.
Hours: 10:30 a.m. – midnight (Mon-Sun), Closed: National holidays only
Address: 275 Jangchungdan-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, https://naver.me/x35mVk1U
Parking: 4,200 won per hour
(2.5 hours of free parking with total purchases over 100,000 won)
3. Dongdaemun Hyundai City Outlet
Like Doota Mall, it also has a lot of brand shops and good restaurants. They sell a lot of brand products at discounted prices and hold many seasonal sale events.
Items: Fashion accessories, casual, fashion, sports clothes and more
Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Mon-Sun), Closed: National holidays only
Address: 20, Jangchungdan-ro 13-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, NAVER
Parking: An hour is free and a purchase of 10,000 won gives you another hour of free parking.
1. Cheonggye 6-ga Underground Shopping Center
Items: Clothes, shoes, bags, fashion items (hats, watches, accessories).
Hours: 10:20 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Closed: Last Monday of every month
Address: Line 1,4 Dongdaemun station exit 8, NAVER
2. Dongdaemun Underground Shopping Center
Items: Hanbok, beddings
Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Closed: Tuesday
Address: Inside of Line 4 in Dongdaemun Station Exit 8, NAVER
1. Sunday Market
It’s the cheapest wholesale market in the area. There is no official name for this street, so people usually call it Sunday Market, which makes sense because it’s only open on Sundays! Items that weren’t sold at wholesale prices to online malls or indoor markets are sold here. Most items here are extremely affordable, ranging from 1,000 won to 10,000 won! This is a great place for bargain hunters! It’s so much fun shopping here!
Items: Fashion items (hats, accessories, scarf, watches, socks, belts), bags, shoes, pet clothes & toys, clothes for all ages, jackets, coats, vintage clothes, bedding and more.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Only Sunday)
Address: Line 1,4 Dongdaemun station exit 7