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Why Namdaemun Market is special ?
Namdaemun Market is the largest traditional market in Korea with over 10,000 stores that line the streets around Namdaemun (Gate), the main southern gate of the old city wall. It boasts one of the largest distribution structures in Korea, providing local products, daily living essentials, food products, medical supplies and more to retailers and consumers across the country. Due to the wholesale nature of the market, shoppers can comparison shop for the lowest prices on all sorts of goods. Namdaemun Market is also packed with interesting things to see and eat, making it a popular destination for both locals and international visitors alike. So whether you’re looking for traditional oriental medicine or imported drugs, traditional Korean food or imported snacks, hanbok attire or a Halloween costume, Namdaemun Market is the place to go.
What to explore at Namdaemun Market?
The market specialises in cheaper-range clothing and accessories for all ages and styles, but you can find anything under the sun here – from food and flowers to spectacles and seaweed. Alpha has two floors of toys and two floors of stationery. Samho has a jaw-dropping amount of fashion jewellery spread over two shopping sections, with some of it made on the premises. Mesa Family Fashion Mall , the market’s first high-rise mall, has over 1000 shops on 16 floors. For food, Noodle Alley has a dozen stalls selling sujebi , homemade kalguksu noodles and bibimbap. Restaurant Alley has a huge range of Korean food – all with plastic replicas outside to make choosing easy. A very popular wangmandu stall sells these large dumplings freshly made at a bargain price, while a little further on Jungang Jokbal sells great-tasting pork hocks. It comes with vegetable soup, lettuce wraps, a salad and side dishes. In complete contrast to the raucous hustle and bustle of the market, wrap yourself in luxury inside Shinsegae Department Store . Down in the basement is the opulent supermarket with one food court, while another is up on the 11th floor together with Starbucks and a garden with seats to relax in after footslogging around the market below. In the Hoehyeon underground arcade, shops selling secondhand LPs, CDs, cameras, stamps and coins are mixed in with boutiques, money-changers and shops selling bargain spectacles.
How to get to Namdaemun Market?
RAILWAY : 5 minute walk toward Namdaemun after Express Train
SUBWAY : Hoihyun (Namdaemun) Station of Subway Line No.4
BLUE BUS : 130, 104, 105, 143, 149, 151, 152, 162, 163, 201, 202, 203, 261, 262, 263, 406, 500, 501, 502, 503, 504,
505, 506, 507, 604, 701, 702, 704, 708
GREEN BUS : 0013, 0014, 0015, 0211, 7011, 7013, 7017, 7021, 7022, 7023
RED BUS : 2300, 2500, 9411
AIRPORT BUS : 605-1
- Cheapest Prices in Seoul
- Shopping heaven
- Good Place to Shop For Clothes and Local Products
- Amazing cheap deals and food
- Nice market with nice thing
21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
Tips for you
Namdaemun Market is very big and is a convenient stop if sightseeing around Sungnyemun Gate (commonly known as Namdaemun gate). Also near the palaces, Namsan, myongdong.... It's a bit overpriced as it's sort of a tourist trap. This is a place to haggle. If you don't look Korean, expect to be overcharged...a lot. If you're savvy you can get some good deals. Be warned, some of the vendors are tough to negotiate with. If you feel the vendor is difficult to negotiate with, move on. You can find just about anything you need here from baby clothes to glasses to pots and pans. You can get souvenirs here, usually the same stuff sold in any of the other tourist stops and usually for a lot cheaper. I saw some people buying paper handheld fans in one of the shops at changdeokgung palace for 12,000 krw. They sold the same ones at the market for 3,000. Again, haggle! When going through the main entrances look for people in red vests that help out tourists. They are with the government and are very helpful. They will have maps and many speak English as well as other languages. The market is generally divided into sections like a department store. The food alley is pretty good. But it's a mad house during mealtimes. There are also some underground and indoor market areas that are worth checking out. If you like streetfood there are many stalls selling the regular types found around Seoul. Be conscious of your wallets and bags. While I believe it's relatively safe, it's usually very crowded, especially on weekends and I've heard thieves will target tired and confused tourists (as in any country). There aren’t many places to rest unless you’re in a restaurant. Like many markets around the world, it’s not super clean. Also, the locals spit a lot. Seems disgusting to me but it’s common. Therefore wear appropriate clothes and footwear. I would avoid flipflops in the market during summer. There are bathrooms but use the ones in the subway or a nearby office building, It'll be cleaner. Seriously. Lastly, the market is across the street from Sungnyemun Gate. Since Sungnyemun is a Korean icon it’s worth checking out (for about 5 minutes).
A great place to shop with the locals but the real star for me—if you can find it—is "Kalguksu Alley" where you can have a super fresh boribap, kalguksu and bibim naengmyeon lunch for next to nothing.