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Dongdaemun Market, Seoul

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Dongdaemun Market in Seoul

A scene from the Dongdaemun Market in Seoul

A visit to the commercial area of Dongdaemun Street is quite awe-inspiring, owing to its sheer size and range of products available in the numerous shops here. Moreover, it is the best place for shopping at even the wee hours of the night. A market in the Jung-gu locality of Seoul, Dongdaemun is a paradise for shoppers from near and far. It is, in fact, a must-visit attraction for visitors to the city and South Korea.

During a walk across the Dongdaemun market, you can expect to see a large number of huge shopping malls as well as traditional open-air street stalls selling an incredibly wide range of products, from the latest fashion trends to electronics to plumbing equipment to even pets.

Dongdaemun is basically a street with two areas catering to shoppers of different types. The area in and around Doosan Tower has a large number of retail stores, mostly catering to foreigners. You can visit the large shopping malls, like Migliore, Freya Town, Lotte FITIN, Doota, and Good Morning City, in this area. Shops here may have trial rooms, money changing counters, information-providing desks, taxi calling service, and other facilities for the visitors’ shopping comfort. Many of the shops in the Doota Mall have a tax refund system as well. You will need to look out for the sign “Tax-Free-Shopping” to know that they will provide 10% tax-refund. While in the market, you must see the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. This Seoul landmark, near the Lotte FITIN Mall, features the Seoul Fortress, Sports Memorial Hall, Design Gallery, and a History Hall.

Another area, which is around the Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, is the hub for wholesalers and manufacturers. The shops in the market mostly deal with selling in bulk, and allow great bargains. You can find a number of shopping malls here as well, like Gwanghee Fashion Mall, Designer’s Club, Heungin Stardom, Migliore Valley, and Nuzzon. Due to the sellers’ intentions in bulk selling, you might not find any trial rooms in shops here. Foreigners may also have difficulty communicating with the local sellers here.

If you are a book lover and wish to buy books at lower prices, you can roam around the first floor of the Pyeonghwa Market. It has numerous shops selling secondhand books in a variety of genres. You may also find some very rare books here.

Apart from the extraordinary retail experience, Dongdaemun has a number of non-retail features, like movie theaters, and outdoor concert hall. The concert hall is located in Doota. If you are hungry while shopping, you can head towards Jong-no, for the Mukja Golmok, the food alley that serves an array of Korean and international delicacies.

Explore : Things to do in Seoul

Dongdaemun Market Map

Location map of Dongdaemun Market in Seoul

Location map of Dongdaemun Market in Seoul

Facts about Dongdaemun Market

  • Dongdaemun opened for the first time in 1905, and started its transformation into a “Fashion Mecca” in the 1970s.
  • The Dongdaemun Shopping District is the largest retail destination in Korea. The district constitutes 26 shopping malls, products of about 50,000 manufacturers, and around 30,000 shops selling specialty items.
  • The largest and oldest wholesale market in Korea is situated in Dongdaemun. It is called Shinpyeonghwa Fashion Town, and has more than 1,200 shops.
  • The Dongdaemun Design Plaza opened in May 2013 has already become a prominent attraction in Seoul for its futuristic design, created by world famous architect Zahad Hadid. It has also led to the increase in business of the nearby Lotte FITIN Mall by 20%, in just a year.
  • Even though Seoul has a number of shopping districts and malls around the city, the Dongdaemun night market is unique for its timings, expanse, and array of wholesale products, especially garments and fashion goods.

Where is Dongdaemun Market?

The Dongdaemun Street is situated in Jung-gu. The entire area is quite vast and it can be accessed from two sides. You can take the subway train to either Dongdaemun Station and walk for five minutes from Exit 1 or 14 towards the Dongdaemun Gate to reach the area around Doosan Tower, or Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station and get out from Exit 8 to reach the wholesale sellers area.

The following buses can take you to the Dongdaemun :

  • Blue Bus : 105, 144, 152, 261, 301, 407, and 420
  • Green Bus : 2012, 2014, 2015, 2233, 7212, and 8620
  • Red Bus : 9403

You can also find a number of cabs to take you to the Dongdaemun Market.

Address : 253, Jangchungdan-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

 Best time to visit Dongdaemun Market

Seoul has four seasons – cold winter, cool spring, hot and humid summer, and warm pleasant autumn. The buzz in Dongdaemun is although throughout the year, especially at night. So, no matter when you visit Seoul, you must visit Dongdaemun at least once.

If you wish to attend the Dongdaemun Fashion Festival and take advantage of the high discounts and live performances, the best time to visit is in September.

Dongdaemun Market Hours

The retail store area of the Dongdaemun Market (in and around Doosan Tower) is generally open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. the next day, whereas the wholesale market area (around Dongdaemun History and Culture Park) is open between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.. Avoid visiting on Mondays and holidays as you may find most of the stores closed.

Dongdaemun Market Tickets

Shopping costs, but there is no ticket to enter the Dongdaemun Market.

More on Dongdaemun Market

What are the coordinates of the Dongdaemun Market?
37.5704° N, 127.0090° E

Which are the attractions in the city of Seoul?
Heunginijimun Gate, Myeongdong, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Namdaemun Market, Chungmu Art Hall, National Theater of Korea, Lotte World, and Jong le Nara paper Art Museum.


Also read: An Insider’s Guide to Shopping in Seoul


Image credit : Neaners



Published On: Tuesday, August 5th, 2014