Seoul’s answer to Fifth Avenue in New York, Myeongdong Shopping Street teems with affordable brand name shops and department stores selling all varieties of clothing, shoes, and accessories. This retail mecca stretches from Myeongdong Subway Station to the Lotte Department Store and encompasses many of the surrounding streets and alleyways as well. For shoppers who’ve worked up an appetite, the area’s restaurants specialize in Korean pork cutlet (dongaseu) and noodle soup (kalguksu).
The daytime population of this commercial hub in the heart of Seoul swells to near 2 million people who come to shop, eat, work, and play. While many Seoul sightseeing tours include Myeongdong, you could easily dedicate an entire day to this vibrant neighborhood, either independently or with the help of a tour guide. Travelers in need of some retail therapy can opt for a shopping tour of the city, with time to browse in Myeongdong, Namdaemun Market, Gangnam, or Dongdaemun depending on the option chosen.
Things to Know Before You Go
- This street is a must-visit for shoppers and fashionistas.
- Lockers for storing purchases are available in Myeongdong Station.
- Most retailers in Myeongdong accept major credit cards, but it’s a good idea to carry some cash on you as well.
- If you’re making big purchases, ask for a tax-free receipt at checkout.
How to Get There
The most convenient way to get to Myeongdong Shopping Street is to take the subway to Euljiro 1-ga Station (Exits 5–7) or Myeongdong Station (Exits 5–8). Numerous buses also stop in the area at either the Lotte Department bus stop or Euljiro 1-ga Station.
When to Get There
Depending on the experience you’re looking for, Myeongdong is worth visiting before or after dark. At night, a street market takes over with bargain prices on clothes, accessories, and handbags. Try to avoid visiting during China’s Golden Week holiday in spring, as many Chinese tourists come to Seoul to shop during this time, and the street can get very crowded.
Things to Do Around Myeongdong
If you need a break from the shopping, there’s plenty more to do in the Myeongdong area. Visit the Myeongdong Cathedral; strike a pose at the 3D Black Art Museum; brush up on your civic trivia at the Korean Postage Stamp Museum or Bank of Korea Museum; take aim at the Korea Shooting Club; or laugh it up with some non-verbal comedy at the NANTA Theatre.