If LA is a great big freeway, then Seoul is a great big market. Above ground or underground, there is no dearth of choices. The only limit is how deep your pocket is.
Subway line 2 at Euljiro 1(il)-ga station or line 4 at Myeong-dong station.
|Namdaemun Underground Market|
When it's summer in Seoul, it's best to dive into the underground markets. These markets are sparkling clean and air conditioned. We passed through this aisle in Namdaemun which is devoted to stationery items though the shoe store took prime corner space. Haggling is key. And calculators will change hands before a deal is reached.
The Namdaemun market is the best place to buy women's and children's clothes and jewelry. I bought a couple of blouses here. It's actually cheaper to buy than to send your clothes to the hotel laundry and dry cleaning. There were so many stylish and well made blouses to choose from and the salespeople indulged our elementary bargaining skills.
Subway line 4 at Hoehyeon Station, exit 4 or 3.
Good bargains can be found in Insa-dong particularly in handbags, backpacks and souvenirs. After using only stainless steel chopsticks at all the restaurants we visited in Seoul, I had to buy my own stainless steel set. I got them at Insa-dong. They will come in handy since I love to eat Asian cuisine.
Insa-dong can be reach by subway line 3, Anguk station.
|Shinsegae Food Hall - Tea shop|
Shinsegae Food Hall is one busy market especially during lunch hour. It's food court/restaurants are packed full of office workers from the number of businesses nearby. But there are other options for the hungry or the gourmand. There's a cheese and deli counter, a bakery, a wine cellar, a gourmet grocery store, a tea shop, and a dessert station. The main Shinsegae Department Store is on Sogung-no 63, Junggu in Myeong-dong. Metro station is Hoehyeon from subway line 4, exit 7.
|Hoehyeon Underground Market|
Hoehyeon connects to Shinsegae Department Store. Vinyl, collectible stamps, electronic gadgets and stylish clothes can be found at Hoehyeon underground market. Happy shopping!
|Hongdae Night Market|
Hongdae market is in the university district. It is the go to market of the young and hip with prices to match their budget. Lots of restaurants and bars. Was delighted to listen to talented street performers on the streets in Hongdae. We watched an aspiring singer dish out a ballad and accompanying himself on the guitar.
If you're coming from the center of Seoul, take the metro to Hongdae from City Hall. There's a surcharge when taking the metro late at night. Subway line 2 goes to Hongik University Station, Exit 8 or 9.
When in Seoul, treat yourself to some retail therapy.
Images by TravelswihCharie