Nagwon Arcade offers some of the best retail-therapy opportunities for music lovers in the South Korean capital. This collection of some 300 tiny shops spread across two floors of the building sells a dazzling array of musical instruments and equipment. The fourth floor houses a cinema for independent and specialty films.
Whether you’re looking for a piano, electric guitar, or karaoke machine, you’ll likely find it in Nagwon Arcade, Korea’s largest collection of music stores. Chat with locals who repair and build these incredible pieces and learn about the history of what is arguably one of the largest collections of instrument shops in the world. It’s a fun place to browse no matter your musical talent, as well as a useful place to get instruments repaired or pick up an extra set of strings. Quality can vary significantly from one shop to the next, so do your homework and know what you’re looking for if you plan to make any major purchases.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Nagwon Arcade is a quirky attraction for music lovers.
- The instrument shops can be found on the second and third floors of the building.
- Haggling is part of the shopping experience at this market, especially if you’re buying used instruments.
- How to Get There
- To reach the arcade, take Seoul Subway line 5 to Jongno 3-ga Station and leave through exit 5, or take line 1 to Jongno 3-ga Station and leave through exit 1. A few public buses stop at the nearby Jongno Sauna and Nakwon Market stops.
When to Get There
Nagwon Arcade is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 8pm. Some shops remain open on Sundays.
If you’re in the area shopping for musical wares, be sure to leave yourself some time to explore the nearby Insadong area. This trendy Seoul neighborhood is known for its street vendors, art galleries, chic cafés, craft shops, and traditional Korean teahouses.