There are many reasons that the capital city of Seoul, South Korea is one of the most popular destinations in Asia. For the Jewish traveler, there is a growing Jewish community and a Chabad House. For the history buff, there is a huge variety of significant historical landmarks. For the photographer, the city is filled with amazing sights and colorful scenery. And for the shopper, the city is quite simply heaven here on earth.
Yes, Seoul is definitely known as the shopper’s paradise. If this sounds like an ideal way to spend a vacation to you, here are some of the best places to go in Seoul:
Namdaemun Market- Namdaemun Market is the oldest market in Korea, and here you can find pretty much anything you are looking for. In fact, the market is famous for selling “anything under the sun.” One of my favorite things to shop for here is quality teas. You can find a huge variety, including healthy green tea, fragrant jasmine tea, and energizing tea made from local ginseng root. This market is also a good place to shop for a wide variety of souvenirs such as Korean dolls, chopsticks, tea sets, and statues. You will find dozens and dozens of shops selling apparel items, jewelry, and bags. There is enough at Namdaemun Market to fulfill an entire day of shopping.
Myung-dong- The street of Myung-Dong has a variety of nicknames, including Mecca of Fashion, Young People’s Street, and Golden Place. If you are on the prowl for brand name goods, such as Prada and Fendi, then the stores of Myung-Dong are a good place for you to shop. You’ll find a variety of high-end designer fashions available here. Myung-dong is also the famous site of fashion shows and festivals each spring and fall.
Itaewon Market- Itaewon Market is a very popular spot for tourists in Seoul. Because of this, many of the vendors speak some English, and will even accept credit cards. The stores here are open very late, so you can continue to shop here until the wee hours of the morning. Within Itaewon Market you’ll find about 1,200 shops, including 100 shoe stores and 600 clothing stores. That is a whole lot to choose from!
Yongsan Electronics Market- The Yongsan Electronics Market is the largest electronics market in all of Asia. It includes 5,000 electronics stores that are housed in 22 buildings. This is one of the best places in all of the world to shop for the latest and most modern electronics, particularly for computer parts.
Insa-Dong– In contrast to the high-fashion modern goods that you will find at Myung-Dong, Insa-Dong is more of a place to browse and buy traditional Korean art and goods. Insa-Dong is the antique and art district of Seoul. Here you will find dozens of art galleries and shops selling handicrafts and antiques. On the weekends, the street is closed to vehicular traffic, so it is a nice place to be able to browse and amble at a leisurely pace.