Your trip to Seoul might take you to see the museum at Gyeongbokgung Palace (tours are available as well), to Lotte World, where you’ll have plenty of fun at the amusement park and while visiting the aquarium or perhaps to Changdeokgung during the daytime hours, but have you given any thought to how you might spend your evenings? While there are a large number of night clubs you could visit, you might also consider checking out one or more of the many night markets that pop up after the sun goes down. Be sure to read on to find out more about the best night markets to shop at while visiting Seoul, South Korea.
1. Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market
Seoul Bamdokkaebi is a unique night market in many aspects and that alone makes it worthy of a visit. You’ll find that it is only open between March and October on Fridays and Saturdays, and it has only been around since 2015, so it is a relative newcomer to the night market scene. What further differentiates Seoul Bamdokkaebi from other markets is the number of locations it encompasses; in 2016, the number had expanded to four separate venues, and 2018 saw the market spread to a fifth locale. Having so many locations allows visitors to have a different experience in each place, as each site typically sells slightly differing merchandise.
Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market
Address: 8-4 Euljiro 7(chil)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Website: Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market
Opening hours: Friday - Saturday: 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm (March - October)
2. Namdaemun Night Market
Open both day and night, Namdaemun is quite popular and said to have everything you may want to purchase, from clothing, shoes, and accessories to hardware and electronic appliances. This market dates all the way back to 1964 and is considered to be the largest market of its type in South Korea. Some of the stores you might want to check out as you peruse the market include the Sungyemun Imported Goods Shopping Centre, Daedo Shopping Centre, and Daedo Arcade. If your shopping excursions leave you feeling a bit peckish, be sure to visit one of the many food vendors that line the street of Namdaemun. Here, you’ll find foods of all types including bibimbap, soups, noodles, and various other seafood fares.
Namdaemun Night Market
Address: 21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Hoehyeon-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Website: Namdaemun Night Market
Opening hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 am
3. Cheonggyecheon Night Mаrkеt
Visit the market that is considered by many to be the most “Korean” of the night markets in Seoul. The market is held along the banks of the stream with which it shares its name, in the heart of downtown. One of the better-known features of the market is the Pungdeung Parade, which is held every Saturday starting at 7:30 pm then again at 8:30 pm. Participants carry a pungdeung, or a wish lantern, as they walk along the banks of the Cheonggyecheon stream. As with most other night markets, you’ll find plenty of food trucks available on-site, as well as vendors selling items such as clothing and toys.
Cheonggyecheon Night Mаrkеt
Opening hours: Saturday: 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm; Sunday: 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
4. Dongdaemun Market
If you are looking to find some great clothing, Dongdaemun Market is the market for you. Wholesalers from across the country show up at Dongdaemun to sell their wares, making this street market one of the most famous in Korea for its fashions. You’ll find a nice mixture of both modern and more traditional stores here, giving you a wide variety of options. Shop around and you’ll find special fabrics that you aren’t likely to come across anywhere else as well as all sorts of accessories. In fact, many simpler accessories can often be made for you on-site. Currency exchange desks and information stations are available in the market to keep your shopping experience easy and pleasant.
Address: Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Website: Dongdaemun Market
Opening hours: 24 hours
5. Yeouido World Night Market
Yeouido is part of the Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market complex, and it enjoys an ideal location on the banks of the Hangang River. If you and your crew have spent the day along the river and are looking for a delicious meal before hitting the shops, Yeouido has you covered. Food trucks line the streets along Yeouido Han River Park and offer a wide variety of food items that you’re sure to scarf down happily. Yeouido features the Handmade Zone, which is an area of the market where you can find one of a kind art pieces that have been handcrafted by local artists.
Yeouido World Night Market
Address: 330 Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: Friday: 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm; Saturday: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
6. Gwangjang Market
Stop by and visit the oldest market in Seoul! Gwangjang was established back in 1905 and is a quiet go-to for locals; in fact, Gwangjang is one of the markets fewer tourists frequent. At the higher level of the market, you’ll find a large selection of textiles and fabrics, as Gwangjang is well-known for selling traditional Korean clothing. The lower level of the market features what is known as the food alleyway, where it is nearly impossible to leave hungry. Try out the delicious foods available here that vary from dumplings and seafood to spicy rice cakes.
Address: 8 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 4(sa)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening hours: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
7. Myeongdong Night Market
Myeongdong is one of the best-known shopping districts in Seoul, and while it isn’t quite like the other night markets in town, it is open well into the evening hours and has plenty of shopping opportunities. Two of the biggest department stores in South Korea, Lotte and Shinsegae, anchor the market and there are loads of other clothing stores in the area, ranging from local Korean stores to international stores such as Forever 21. There are numerous food stalls around to tame your hunger, as well as restaurants up and down the street.
Myeongdong Night Market
Address: South Korea, Seoul, Jung-gu, Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, 8-3-ga
Opening hours: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Stay out late shopping
There is a certain magical feeling you get when shopping long after the sun has set and one can even enjoy watching other tourists and locals alike doing the same. Be sure to stop by at least one of these markets while traveling in Seoul, you’ll be glad that you did!
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