Seoul known as shopper’s paradise provides a truly delightful shopping experience. From departmental stores to multi-storied malls, from open air markets to flea markets, from fancy boutique shops selling latest apparels and accessories to the traditional shops selling souvenirs, Seoul has it all. The Insa Art Center has multiple art galleries and shops. The Gwangjang market – the first traditional market in Korea, the Namdaemun Market – the largest traditional market, Dongdaemun market for night shoppers are truly a blessing to shoppers. Specialty markets like Yongsan Electronic Market have specialty in selling of electrical goods.
Other than these, there are several flea markets like Daehangno Philippine Market, Gwanghwamun Flea Market, Hongdae Free Market, Hwanghak-dong Flea Market, N Generation Flea Market, Seocho Flea Market, Seoul Folk Flea Market, TTukseom Flea Market and Yongsan Flea Market provide a good bargain. These are weekly open air markets that attract masses of crowd in search for buying or selling second hand mobile phones, CDs, DVDs, fruits, vegetables, groceries, cooked food and what not!
Some markets like Hongdae Free market have pristine handicrafts made by the amateur and adept students on the list while you enjoy the impromptu live performances nearby. Some markets focus on selling – purchasing of second hand products especially electronics. One can also find used computers or computer accessories at unbelievable prices when compared to the retailers. While some markets have registration or participation fee to put up the stall while other markets do not obligate, yet encourage the participating stall owners to contribute some part of their profit to the help the under privileged part of society.
Namdaemum Market is an open air market located in the heart of Seoul and has over ten thousand small and big shops. It is known for its exquisite range of traditional art and souvenirs. With its long splendid history of changing ownership’s and devastating fires, most of the shops today are renovated into beautiful outlets selling a range of apparels, foot wears, household items, sport goods, antique shops and virtually everything one can think of. The market is mostly packed with a long list of restaurants serving local delicacies to the visitors and shoppers.
The prices are quite reasonable but still there is some room for bargain. The products are imitated so perfectly that one can spot the difference at one go. The market is open 24 * 7 with individual shops having their own timings. Most of the products are produced in the market itself and sold to the retails at night at wholesale rates. Yet, it is quite reasonable to the end customer too. The recent Messa Mall, the huge multi-storied mall with over 32 floors is a huge retreat with other similar projects springing up in the market.
The Dongdaemun market is the centre of attraction for all the stylish ladies and fashion lovers. Over the years, it has become a must visit market to its visitors with its latest trends, fashion apparels and accessories in retail and wholesale shops. Many shopping malls have also sprung up in this market and have thus brought modernity meet traditionalism with it small traditional shops earlier. Along with the leading brands, the market has much to offer from its own designers. Frequent visits by designers and a host of fashion shows in this area make it so popular among the young crowd. The market is open all day and night but to best capture the essence of this market, it is recommended to visit it in night and watching people buying from small and big shops lightened throughout.
Thus, these open air markets in Seoul are a must visit to best taste the Korean flavor as it is rightly said that Korea resides in its marketplaces. The experience is truly enriching with your heart pondering to visit again to enjoy the glare of these markets