With the increased popularity of K-pop, K-drama, and all things Korean, South Korea has definitely become one of the top destinations for tourist all around the globe. However, Seoul is quite a big place to travel with lots of places to visit, but if you want to focus on food and shopping, here’s the ultimate guide for you.
1. Dong Dae Mun
This is Korea’s largest wholesale and retail shopping centres including Good Morning City, am pm, Migliore, and Dotta. It’s open from 10:30 am to 5 am except for Mondays and public holidays, so if you’re a shopaholic then this is the place for you to shop until you drop.
2. Myeong Dong
If you want to shop for clothes and Korean cosmetics and also indulge yourself with Korean food, then Myeongdong is the perfect place for you. From traditional food stalls to restaurants, Myeongdong has a wide variety of food for you. There are also lots of choices for your shopping decisions, from shops like Zara, Mango, Uniqlo, SPAO, and others. For those who are looking for designer brands, there’s also Lotte Department Store and Lotte Young Plaza where you can splurge on designer items.
3. Edae (Ewha Women’s University)
Unlike Myeongdong and their big shops, Ewha Women’s University has smaller shops selling clothes that are made in Korea. Since it’s close to a women’s university, there are also Korean cosmetic shops around, like Face Shop, Nature Republic, Holika Holika. A wide array of foods are also available here for a cheaper price than Myeongdong.
4. Hongdae (Hongik University)
Similar to Edae, Hongdae is known for its shops and food. However, compared to Edae, Hongdae has a better price range, especially for backpackers. It’s also known for its nightlife, so for youngsters, this is definitely where you want to be.
Insadong is basically Myeongdong without the shops. It’s mostly known as a place where you buy souvenirs or weird Korean snacks like kimchi flavoured seaweed. There are also different restaurants and food stalls, just like Myeongdong.
6. Namdaemun Market
This is a traditional market quite close to Myeongdong area where you can buy anything from foods, clothes, jewelry, to imported goods. They also sell souvenirs that are cheaper than those you might find at Insadong, since Insadong is a more touristy place. If you want to see the look of a traditional market is in Korea, then Namdaemun is the place for you.
This neighborhood is filled with restaurants that serve different cuisines from all around the globe — Turkish, Greek, Ethiopian, and so on. There are also trendy bars and clubs and of course souvenirs and clothing stalls.
8. Gangnam District
As the song Gangnam Style suggests, Gangnam is all about the high-end luxury. Big shops like Galleria Department Store, Lotte Department Store and Coex Mall are located around the district. There are also pretty cafes and fancy restaurants around Apgujong and Garosugil area for those who enjoy good food and high-tea.