Myeongdong (명동/明洞) district is a great shopping area in downtown Seoul (서울/首尔/首爾/ソウル). There are plenty of cosmetics stores, fashion brands, street foods, restaurants, and coffee shops.
If you are in Seoul for shopping, it is strongly recommended to visit. All kinds of shopping, dining, and money changers are packed in this area. But it is always busy and buzzing with tourists and young people even in the bad weather. So, if you don’t like crowds, DON’T come here.
1. Myeongdong District (Myeongdong Neighborhood)
Shopping Heaven for Women
Myeongdong is a paradise for shoppers in Seoul, especially for girls and women. You can get a lot of Korean trendy cosmetics and apparels. Every Korean cosmetic brand is here. It is surrounded by tons of beauty product stores. And many clothing brands and accessory shops can also be found here. Actually, it’s not the cheapest for shopping, because Myeongdong is a tourist area. But you can buy at a reasonable price.
Good Place to Hang Out
Even though you are not a shopping person, you can still come here. It is also a good place to hang out with friends or family. There are lots of things to see and eat. The atmosphere is lively, especially in the evening. You can walk around just to get a feel of how locals shop, and to also check out the various street stalls and food options around. You can try some street foods, have dinner at a local Korean restaurant, or chat at a cafe.
At night, the streets are filled with foods stalls selling different types of snacks, such as
Tteokbokki(떡볶이/spicy rice cakes/辣炒年糕/トッポッキ), Sundae(순대/blood sausage/糯米腸/スンデ), Oden(어묵,오뎅/fish cakes/蒲鉾/おでん,かまぼこ), Twigim(튀김/fried snacks/天婦羅/天ぷら), Japchae(잡채/stir fried noodles/雜菜/チャプチェ), Bungeoppang(붕어빵/fish-shaped pastry/鮒パン), Hotteok(호떡/Korean pancake/ホットク), Gyeranppang(계란빵/Egg bread/ケランパン), Strawberry Mochi(딸기모찌/イチゴ餅/草莓麻糬), Strawberry, Grilled Squid, Grilled Octopus, Steamed/Roasted foods, Baked Sweet Potato, BBQ Beef, Grill Scallops, Fresh Juices, Waffles, Deep Fried Chicken, Steak, Kebab, and so on.
Best Night Market : Dongdaemun Market vs Myeongdong
Typically, Dongdaemun Market (동대문시장/東大門市場/トンデムンシジャン) district is well known as the best night market in Seoul. It is a 24-hour shopping spot, which is full with shopping malls, numerous traditional markets, wholesale markets of fabrics and clothing, and food stalls. You can get cheap clothes here. Your bargain skill is useful to be a clever shopper at the markets. Basically, it is the best place for clothing retailers or fashion designers to buy materials to make clothes in Korea.
In contrast, Myeongdong shopping zone is full with retail stores (or flagship stores) of trendy fashion brands and cosmetics, department stores, restaurants, and street foods. Shops open in the morning until late at night. Actually, it is not a night market. Most stores are closed before midnight except pubs and bars. But, it is very lively and busy in the evening and night time. (Stores normally open in late morning around 10 am. Recommended to visit during night or after noontime. DON’T come here for having breakfast.)
Which place do you prefer? It depends on your shopping style. For me, Myeongdong is better.
Address : Myeongdong, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea (View in Google Maps)
3. How to Get There by Subway (Seoul Metro)
Myeongdong is very easy to access by subway or airport bus. That is why many tourists choose hotels located here. There are 2 subway stations.
- Myeong-dong Station (명동역/明洞站/ミョンドンえき) on Subway Line 4, Exit 6 (or 7)
- Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (을지로입구역/乙支路入口站/ウルチロイックえき) on Subway Line 2, Exit 5 (or 6, 7, 8)
4. See Also
- Tripadvisor Reviews : https://www.tripadvisor.co.kr/Attraction_Review-g294197-d553546-Reviews-Myeongdong_Shopping_Street-Seoul.html
- Instagram Photos : at Myeong Dong – Seoul / 明洞 – 首爾 , at Myeong Dong Street, Seoul , #myeongdong