Heading to Seoul this autumn? Instead of heading to the usual fast-fashion stores and mainstream shopping streets like Myeongdong or Dongdaemun market, why not check out some of these lesser-known shopping districts for a more unique, local shopping experience? Here are a few shopaholic hideaways that you may not have heard of!
University Zone - For the young & young-at-heart
Seoul is home to several universities and with universities, there comes a huge trendy and young student population. This is why there are always thriving shopping streets close to local universities that are worth mentioning for their affordable, fashion-forward offerings.
Right next to Hongik University is Hongdae, where you will find a wide variety of affordable and locally-made fashion apparel. What makes this shopping street special is the crowd of young students that patronise this area every day and night, making the Hongdae space extra hip and trendy.
Saturday afternoons at Hongdae are also flea market days, where you can buy handcrafted goods such as accessories and printed tees from the young student entrepreneurs from the local universities. Considering that Hongik University is known for their vibrant arts program, you will definitely not be disappointed with your stylish local designer-made buys found in the Hongdae stores! Check out directions to get to the closest subway station Hongik University station.
Close by to Ewha Women’s University lies a shopping street which caters mainly to young women. In here, you will find little stores offering women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, makeup and many more. If pretty and girly is your favourite look and style, this shopping street is the perfect one for you! You can also check out skincare and makeup from many well known Korean brands in the area such as Holika Holika and Tony Moly. Check out directions to get to the closest subway station Ewha Women’s University station.
Between Hongik University and Ewha Women’s University lies Yonsei University at Sinchon station, which is yet another option for university town shopping. With Hyundai Department Store also located nearby, the young and vibrant Sinchon district is a great place for you to enjoy a good day of shopping and chilling out with friends in its alleys of little cafés, bars, and bookstores.
Indie designer zone - For the fancy & fashionable
For those seeking a more swanky shopping experience, head to Garosu-gil at Sinsa station for your fill of indie designer fashion. You will be greeted not only by familiar international brands, but also many local designer brands that you can explore and experiment with. The hippy side of Garosu-gil is also evident from its hip and modelesque crowd — a great place to be if you want to get some fashion inspiration.
As you stroll down its tree-lined street, you will notice that Garosu-gil is also known for their beautifully-decorated shops — great photo-ops if you want a break from shopping! Don’t forget to check out the many established (and Instagram-worthy) cafes located along the street for a good cup of coffee and yummy pastry.
Underground shopping - For the budget-hunters
Seoul is home to several underground malls that are connected to their respective subway stations. These malls contain a wide variety of smaller shops that offer relatively low prices, and come in handy when you want to go shopping on a rainy day or on a cold winter day during Korea’s harsh winter weather. One of the more notable underground malls is the Gangnam Terminal Underground Shopping Mall situated at Gangnam station. Here, you will find trendy clothing and cosmetics that cater mainly to women.
Another underground mall in Seoul is the Express Bus Terminal Underground Mall. Located at the Express Bus Terminal station, this underground mall offers around 600 shops selling clothing, shoes, furniture, food and accessories, making it the largest underground shopping mall in Seoul. Don’t be amazed at how easy it is to spend half a day getting lost in your shopping here!
No matter what kind of shopper you are, Seoul always has something just for you. And fret not if Korea is not in your travel plan yet, you can still shop the unique brands we have curated on board, from local independent bag and accessory designers to cult beauty brands, from the heart of Korea right to you in Singapore.