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news Best places to shop in Seoul, South Korea

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Undoubtedly one of the best and most famous shopping destinations in Asia, South Korea presents a plethora of shopping pleasures – bargain your way from subway vendors and street carts, to giant fashion malls and vibrant night markets! Skyscanner presents the five best shopping destinations in Seoul for you to shop 'till you drop.

1. Myeongdong

Myeongdong is undisputedly Seoul’s most famous tourist spot in Seoul, popular with the young and trendy crowd. Indulge in yummy street bites and shop along the glitzy rows of shops, and shops lining the streets. You’ll find the largest selection of international brands like H&M, Zara, UNIQLO, alongside homegrown Korean names.

Featuring such an extensive variety of lifestyle brands and products, Myeongdong is also one of the best places to stock up on famous Korean cosmetic brands like Laneige, Skin Food, Tony Moly, Etude House, Missha and Nature Republic. Prices are almost half of what you’d pay in Singapore, and the shops are very generous with free samples and gifts with purchases.

Address: Myeong-dong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul Nearest station: Myeong-dong Station

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Myeong-dong is undisputedly Seoul’s most famous tourist spot. Photo credit: Ha Jeong Jeong / Flickr

2. Dongdaemum Market

Dedicated to Korean fashion, it’s an open secret that most Korean fashion vendors get their spoils here. Doota and Migliore are the two reigning malls in the Dongdaemun area. Located side by side, Doota is the more upmarket and expensive trendy fashion mall offering unique, high-quality products at reasonable prices, while Migliore is the popular “one-stop shopping mall” for bargain-hunters.

In Migliore, expect a huge variety of clothing items and styles at lower prices than department stores. The first few floors cover everything for women, with a fourth floor for the men, while the fifth and sixth floors stock shoes, bags, accessories and souvenirs. If you’re hungry, a food court on the ninth floor awaits. Best of all, there’s Dongdaemun Night Market, where the street vendors come alive at around 9pm for more shopping!

Doota Address: 275 Jangchungdan-ro, Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul Opening Hours: Monday–Saturday 10:30am–5am; Sunday 10:30am–12am Nearest station: Dongdaemun Station

Migliore Address: 18-185, Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea Opening Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10:30am–4:30am; Monday closed Nearest station: Dongdaemun Station

3. Hongdae (Hongik University)

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It’s common to find the same clothing item for cheaper in college towns. So head straight to Hongdae in Hongik University for trendy fashionable pieces at even friendlier prices. There’s even a weekly free market every Saturday, promising quirky pieces at affordable prices. Other noteworthy college towns include Shinchon Station or Ehwa Woman’s University Station, or Gyeondae University Station (Line 2), or Sookmyung Women’s University Line (Line 4), or Anam Station (Line 6).

Address: 19-3 Wausan-ro 21-gil, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul Opening hours: Saturdays 1pm–6pm, March to November Nearest station: Hongik University Station Website: Hongdae Free Market

4. Insadong

For souvenirs and traditional gifts, make a beeline for Insadong, the place to start at for all sorts of knick-knacks, pottery, arts and crafts, to hanboks (traditional Korean costumes), and Hanji (traditional Korean paper).

5. Lotte Premium Outlets (Paju Branch)

Looking to score designer goods at a steal? Make a beeline for Lotte Paju Premium Outlet, Korea’s largest premium outlet, which stocks more than 200 international and Korean luxury brands at wallet-friendly prices. Located about 45 minutes out of Seoul, and easily accessible by subway and bus, the suburban outlet mall is spread out over four blocks to combine both shopping and cultural experiences. If you’re tired of shopping, explore the cultural center, cultural gallery, or catch a movie and stock up groceries by the supermarket!

Address: 200 Pilseung-ro, Tanhyeon-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do Opening hours: 10:30am–9pm Nearest station: Hapjeong Station Website: Lotte Paju Premium Outlet

Lotte Premium Outlet is Korea’s largest outlet. Photo credit: Bobby’s Awesome life.

More shopping tips!

  1. Duty-free shopping in Seoul: Lotte Department stores offer duty-free shopping, where you can conveniently purchase and pick up your orders at the airport.

  2. Tourist discounts: Don’t forget to bring your passport out! Many stores in popular tourist districts like Myeongdong offer discounts for tourists.

  3. Tax free shopping: Shopping is even sweeter with the 10% Value-Added Tax refund at participating stores, usually with a minimum purchase of 30,000Won. Keep your purchase receipts and enquire about the refund process at the stores.

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So why wait? Korea’s calling! Book cheap flights, hotels and car rental via Skyscanner today, or download our free mobile app for easy browsing and booking on the go.

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Originally published on 10 May 2016 and updated in June 2017. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.

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