Korea has become a fashion mecca. People want to incorporate Korean fashion into their own wardrobe. Myeongdong is at the heart of Korea’s retail economy, but other neighborhoods offer styles as unique as their residents. Shopping in Seoul is an experience like no other.
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Yuppie Trendsetters and Bohemians
Blair Waldorf would be in heaven walking the streets of Garosugil. This neighborhood embodies all things Gossip Girl. Young people with extra cash to blow come here to indulge in the most popular trends.
People shopping here desire clothing that flaunts their knowledge of haute couture rather than the need for brand names. This is changing as stores like Zara, H&M, Forever 21 and Massimo Dutti have made the area their home. Yuppies will find one-of-kind ensembles and custom shoes in designer boutiques.
Garosugil’s vintage shops and handmade accessories make it paradise for bohemian-style lovers. Kim’s Boutique is the go-to store for vintage and bohemian shopping. All designs are made by the brand’s owner and are sure to leave customers the envy of their peers.
Apgujeong and Cheongdam
Classy Professionals and Sophisticated Jet-setters
These sister districts have a plethora of choices for those in their careers. There is no shortage of the best designers around.
Apgujeong is the place to find specialty shops and department stores. Louis Vuitton, Moncler, Lululemon, and Valentino are some of the stores that call this neighborhood home.
Apgujeong’s Rodeo Street, named after Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, is home to the Galleria. This enormous, pearly-scaled building is one of Korea’s most identifiable attractions, and hosts various high-end stores.
Across the way from Apgujeong is sister neighborhood, Cheongdam. This neighborhood is home to major Korean entertainment companies and luxurious salons and boutiques. Its specialty shops and department stores set it apart from Apgujeong.
Creative D.I.Yers and Night Owls
This district is a gift that keeps on giving. It is separated into two areas that come alive during respective hours. Tourists and locals can choose among 26 shopping malls and 30,000 specialty shops for retail therapy between 10 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Do-It-Yourself-ers can bask in the many options for projects between 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. The Dongdaemun Night Market offers many vendors to get fabrics from.
The best time to tackle Dongdaemun Market is during the middle of the week to beat crowds. You will also learn how to work vendors to get what you need. Items change as fast as people change underwear, so give yourself options in case something you want is not available.
When it comes to the Dongdaemun Market, it is important to be confident and know what you want when it comes to looking for fabrics. You can also search racks outside of the stores.
Cutesy, Preppy Student and Bargain Hunters
Edae is home to Ewha Women’s University and feminine looks. Shoppers can find cute, preppy clothing or saucy pieces for a night out on the town.
There are a lot of shops that offer clothes for around 10,000 won. This is perfect for students on a budget. There is also a mix of more expensive clothing closer towards the 80,000 won mark.
Edae is also home to Ahyeon-dong Wedding Street. Women can purchase custom-made wedding dresses. This allows a smooth transition from college student to bride without going too far. When shopping in Edae remember: every street corner is home to a good bargain.
Hipsters, Clubbers, and Urbanites
The coolest of the cool gather in Hongdae to experience life in fast lane. Clothing selections here are as varied as the pubs in the area. Hipsters can be ahead of their peers with the latest graphic tees. They can express their non-conforming attitudes.
This area of Seoul mostly consists of students, so young people all around flock here to partake in the exhilarating nightlife. There are plenty of shops to pick out that perfect outfit for the night out with the girls or fellas. Accessories are readily available to add an extra oomph to your outfit.
The booming hip-hop culture in Hongdae makes it an ideal spot for those seeking urban swagger. Supreme, ODD GALLERY, and ALAND are a few stores customers can purchase the urban look.
Thespians and Foodies
This area is known for being the original home to Seoul University and various theaters, such as the Parangsae (Blue Bird).
Daehangno is as rich in fashion as it is performing arts. Stores like 10×10 offer clothing that would leave any performance or visual art lover in awe. They are relatively inexpensive and a breath of fresh air from Korea’s saturated urban and overly preppy trends.
There is no shortage of accessory and shoe shops that will add the finishing touches to an outfit.
Shopping is exhausting, but Daehangno offers a plethora of food choices. Foodies can choose to eat at various street food stands, cafes, or the Filipino Market. Shop hard and eat more.
Gwangjang is famous for the Gwangjang Market, but its Vintage Market is worth getting the worm. Gwangjang’s vintage market is real vintage items for prices that will have shoppers wanting to buy a bit of everything.
Gwangjang delivers vintage pieces are experimental and a refreshing touch to any wardrobe. Shoppers can score that retro bag for a decent price along with other items. You could get an expensive gift for a loved one back home for an inexpensive price.
The deals here are great, but the market closes earlier compared to others. Get there before 7 p.m. to do some vintage shopping.
Munjeong-dong Rodeo Street
Anyone shopping in Seoul is in a discount landmine, but Munjeong-dong Rodeo Street is a foreigners dream come true. Those who are yearning for a new pair of Levi’s or Nike Pro Fit tights minus the Nike price are guaranteed to find them here.
This shopping area is ideal for families and penny-pinchers because items can have up to eighty percent discounts.
All items are from previous seasons, so you’ll want to purchase staple pieces. Shoppers should thoroughly inspect their items for damage before purchasing. Items tend to be non-refundable but are exchangeable.
Munjeong-dong’s Rodeo Street has a little bit of everything for all age groups.
Incheon is home to the Bupyeong station underground shopping mall. Shoppers have over 1,000 stores to choose from. The mall has colored passageways to guide customers seamlessly through the area.
The seven-sectioned mall has everything and anything a person could need or want throughout his or her stay in Korea. Cosmetic stores, perfumes, accessories and eyewear stores are at shoppers’ fingertips. Although you can find these stores in Seoul, the Bupyeong station underground shopping mall has it all in one place without the anxiety of a market.
Times Square Mall
Classic-Brand-Lovers and Fun Seekers
As one of Seoul’s biggest shopping complexes, Times Square provides an experience where anything and everything can happen. Customers can shop ’til they drop at major departments like Shinsegae Department Store and enjoy views from Asia’s largest Atrium.
Times Square also holds cultural events throughout the year, so shoppers can learn while buying. This mall has also been known to hold autograph sessions for Kpop stars and red carpet premiers.
Tourists and Sightseers
This mall holds five floors of exploration, but most of its clothing retail is on the first and second floors.
Men can find sharp suits for discounted prices. Sportswear and casual wear are also available. Hanboks, Korean traditional wear, can be purchased here for those who do not want to fight the market crowds.
Shopping in Seoul is a rare experience all should engage in. It is fun, quirky, and extraordinary. Get your pocket book ready and enjoy all the shopping Seoul has to offer.