Dongdaemun Market picture
Kaizer Rangwala/Flickr

Key Info

18-12 Ulji-ro 6 Ga, Jung-gu

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.1

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Dongdaemun isn't just a market – it's a shopping mecca. Encompassing 10 city blocks, Dongdaemun features 26 malls, 30,000 specialty shops and scores of wholesale stores, making it place to go if you need, well, anything. Make sure to get a map of the district. With all the options available, there's no way you're going to be able to navigate this overwhelming, multi-street shopping complex without some guidance. Though if you want to try, you'll have plenty of time: Dongdaemun Market is open 24 hours per day and many shops stay open till as early as 5 a.m.

Most of the malls in Dongdaemun feature a mix of retail and wholesale shops, though it's good to know which sell the most of what. The best way of navigating this mammoth fashion hub is to split the area up by Jangchungdan-ro, a big street that runs through Dongdaemun Market. West of Jangchungdan-ro, you'll find malls that appeal more to tourists. Doota (located in Doosan Tower), Migliore, Good Morning City and Hello apM sell a mix of retail and wholesale items but have multilingual information desks and currency exchanges. East of Jangchungdan-ro, you'll find more malls that sell more wholesale than not. These include Designer's Club, Gwanghee Fashion Mall and Nuzzon. Though if all you're after is wholesale, hit up Pyeonghwa Fashion town north of the Doosan Tower. When your stomach starts to rumble, head over to Mukja Golmok, which translates to "Let's Eat Alley." There, you can find a smorgasbord of Korean cuisine.  

Recent travelers were overwhelmed by Dongdaemun Market and had mixed reviews about the shopping. Some found the clothes to be expensive while others found them to be cheap, and others said the prices you find at the mall can easily be found elsewhere. Some visitors say more affordable wares can be found in the stalls that dot the shopping area, while other visitors said you'll score the best discounts if you buy in bulk. Either way, visitors say this is a must for fashion lovers, but if you don't like crowds, you might want to skip this attraction.

The closest subway stops to Dongdaemun are Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station on Line 2 and 5 and Dongdaemun Station on Line 1, exit 7 and 8. If you take exit 14 from the Dongdaemun History & Culture Park, you'll find a multilingual information center for the mall in front of the station. For more information, visit the Korea Tourism Organization's official website.

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#1 Namsan Park and N Seoul Tower

Home to five warning beacons and a protective city wall during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Mount Namsan now hosts a park and a smattering of tourism sites like an aquarium, a library and a bevy of beautiful walking trails.

But most people visit Namsan Park for its panoramic views of Seoul. To scope it out for free, visit Palgakjeong, an octagon-shaped viewing pavilion that boasts alluring vistas of the city. For an even more breathtaking sight, shell out a few won to get to the observation platform atop N Seoul Tower, Namsan Park's real showstopper. Recent visitors said that on clear days, the view from 1,574 feet up is spectacular. Out on the sky deck, you can't miss the thousands of padlocks attached to the fence; couples lock them there as symbols of everlasting love (bring your own lock if you're feeling romantic). For an extra-special experience, reserve a table for dinner in the rotating French restaurant, n.GRILL, on the tower's top floor. 

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