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5 Best Locations to Shop in Seoul

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So you booked a flight to South Korea already, you plan to visit Nami Island, N Tower and some of the palaces you hardly can pronounce. But there is something you really want to do when travelling overseas, your itching palm and credit card just can’t wait to shop and drop while in Seoul. Here are some ideas on where to do your shopping while you’re in Seoul!


Myeongdong is the place to start for shopping malls, department stores, restaurants and cafes
The surroundings of Myeongdong. | Credit: @rurobani

South Korea is one of the countries with high living expenses compared with Malaysia. But you know what’s cheaper there? Their cosmetic products! This is absolutely the place where to attack if you’re targeting CHEAP cosmetics. Name it all. From Etude House, The Face Shop, Innis Free, Holika Holika and many more. You will surely love this place as there would be two to three shops for the same brand but with different promotion. If you feel the promotion is cheap enough, grab it right at that time. Other than that, you can find H&M, Zara, UNIQLO and also popular Korean brands such as Bean Pole, BSX and BANC. But nah, I’ll bet you’ll go more for that cheap branded makeup. Am I right?

With its free samples here and there, making it as a souvenir to your girlfriends back at Malaysia will assure you to be loved and remembered for a longer time, with a good purpose.


Dongdaemun is a large commercial district in Jongno-gu, Seoull with traditional markets and shopping complex
Dongdaemun is a shopping district filled with multiple high-rise shopping malls. | Credit: @rogeriotomazela

Not to focus on its market or malls they have there, but to talk about it as a whole. It is where to go for domestic Korean Fashion. The fact that it is the largest clothing supplier in South Korea (and it’s open till 5am), you know what to expect once you’re here.

The debut of Korean fashion trends has always come from here. This is where the traditional meets the modern. The best moment to kill your sleepless night is by doing some shopping here. As Korean fabrics are getting famous here in Malaysia for its nice texture and elegant designs, you will surely want to be among the first of your friends to get it in the first hand. It might be a little bit pricey, but it’s Korean made and the quality is pretty decent. No big fuss, right?

Those beautiful fabrics that couldn’t be found elsewhere might be here. Go, create you own Korean-based trends/fashions there. Your coolness will nowhere to be found in Malaysia and will be adored. Girls, just add that extra luggage going back to Malaysia. Let me tell you, it’s more than WORTH IT!

Ewha Shopping Area

Ewha shopping district includes major cosmetics and fashion brands
Major cosmetics and fashion brands are located along this street. | Credit: @habbahh

If you’re a teenage girl looking for some affordable Korean fashion, this is the place where you should really spend the big guns. Located nearby Ewha Woman University, the prices are way more affordable as most of the products sold are meant for students. This is where to get dolled-up ready made clothes, accessories and shoes at a lower cost.

Blue House Sarangchae

The souvenier shop at Blue House Sarangchae offers many cultural products
The entrance of Blue House Sarangchae | Credit: Sura Ark

While some might say, “Hey, its just a museum and galleries there”, wait a minute! It has its own souvenir shop now. Just perfect if you’re having your stay with your family, especially your Mom. This is where to buy cultural products such as craft and design that is originally produced by Koreans. Adding up to its awesomeness, it also sells product from the winner of the Korea Tourist Souvenir Contest. Cool isn’t it? Be prepared as your Mom (or auntie) might take hours browsing through the cool stuff displayed and sell here. (You might get ‘infected’ too) Frankly speaking, this is absolutely a must visit. Feel the excitement of shopping at an added souvenir shop in a museum and galleries in Seoul, South Korea.

Incheon International Airport

Incheon International Airport offers over 90 duty free shops for travellers
Here you can do your last minute shopping before heading elsewhere or back home. | Credit: Phillip Stewart

Did you see this coming, you didn’t, right? This is where I would say when a shopping emergency comes, the Incheon International Airport comes to your rescue. You did too much of sightseeing then you forgot to shop. Good thing you have plenty of time before your flight. With 90 duty free shops, free computer zone, free showers, 2 movie theaters, Spa and Sauna, tell me why it would make your shopping experience any less? No reason! You can just go online after shopping or just take a free shower before your flight if you have some time left. Wouldn’t it be awesome? Definitely one of the best airport you have ever across too.

BONUS! Just Because We Love You Dear Readers…

Some travellers make a short trip to Busan since boarding a train from Seoul to Busan just take mere hours. As you’ve been keenly reading up till here, let me provide you with two more shopping places at Busan. Being another main attraction of South Korea, Busan might be one of the places that you’ll be visiting on your trip.

Seomyeon, Busan

Seomyeon market is one of the largest in all of Busan. It carries a variety of internationally renowned stores and local clothing brands
The atmosphere of Seomyeon at night. | Credit: Angela Gonzalvo

Your lust for Korean street food hunt shall be satisfied here. Perfect for both shopping and eating at an affordable price, this place has always been filled mostly by teenagers as it is to be called as the Youth Street. The day where the weather is good is where the Seomyeon street and market shall be explored or to its underground shopping area when it’s a rainy day. With stores selling cute packaging of accessories and even tea bag, you can buy to make it as a souvenir.

Lotte Department Store, Busan

This is the largest youth-oriented shopping comple in Busan
The building of Lotte Department Store. | Credit: Haniel Francesca

In Busan and you seem lost to find any convenient department store, then Lotte Department Store is the answer. This is the biggest department store in Busan and has a lot of its other chain elsewhere in South Korea. Things to shop will mostly be cosmetics. Yes, as most of it are duty-free. Tell me that you won’t get crazy seeing the price when it is almost 50-75% cheaper than what it will be in Malaysia. Yes, you definitely will, with probability of 99.9% woman. If you don’t mind about the money on your shopping budgeting, you might as well want to grab a pair of trendy fashionable shoes that will captivate the eyes of the looker. Be that lucky person to have one!

Planning to visit South Korea soon? See these articles about Korea to make you lust even more!

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