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budget shopping in seoul | hongdae shopping street

Whether you hit Myeongdong for cheap skincare, Hongdae for affordable fashion, or Namdaemun Market for, well… bargains on pretty much anything – budget shopping in Seoul is a traveler’s dream.

budget shopping in seoul | myeongdong shopping street

The streets of Seoul are a budget shopper’s dream.

There are so many amazing places to shop on the cheap in Seoul, your biggest problem will be finding the time to hit them all!

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Where to Shop on a Budget in Seoul

Cheap shopping districts in Seoul are unique and have their own character, so it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Seoul IS a monstrously big city though, and it can definitely be overwhelming for a visitor to know where to go.

bukchon hanok village

I’ve lived in Seoul for the last 13 years!

And that’s where I come in. I’ve lived in Seoul for the last 13 years, and I’m passing on all my local tips and knowledge of the best places to shop affordably in Seoul in this super comprehensive guide.

Budget Shopping in Seoul Quick Guide

Where to Shop

Address

Best Cheap Things to Buy

Hongdae Shopping Street

121 Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul | 서울 마포구 어울마당로 121

Korean fashion, streetwear, accessories

Myeongdong Shopping Street

Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 중구 명동길 (명동1가)

Korean skincare and cosmetics, clothing

Dongdaemun Shopping District

266, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 종로 266

Clothing, accessories, textiles, electronics

Goto Mall

Jiha 200, Sinbanpo-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 서초구 신반포로 지하 200 (반포동)

K-fashion, decor, jewelery, plants

Gangnam Station Underground Mall

B1, 396, Gangnam-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 강남구 강남대로 지하 396

Mobile accessories, trending fashion

Namdaemun Market

21, Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 중구 남대문시장4길 21

Souvenirs, eyeglass, ceramics - everything!

Gwangjang Market

88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 창경궁로 88

Vintage clothing, hanbok, street food

Insadong Street

62, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 인사동길 62

Traditional goods, souvenirs, candy

Affordable Shopping Tips for Korea

For the most successful cheap shopping extravaganza ever, memorize these useful Seoul shopping tips. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

budget shopping in seoul

Budget shopping in Seoul will be easier with these tips!

1
Clothing sizes in Korea are smaller than in the West. A large in Korea could be equivalent to a small or medium in America, so make sure to try items on before buying (if you can).
2
Budget shopping in Seoul for clothing can be a little challenging if you're not a typical Korean size, because some shops won’t let you try on items in-store. Koreans budget shop by knowing their measurements and examining the clothes in detail before buying.
3
Almost every place, from street stall to big box retailer accepts credit card these days. However, it's wise to carry some cash with you in case your international card doesn't work, or for small vendors that don't accept credit cards.
4
When budget shopping in Seoul, you may be able to bargain more or get a better price if you offer to pay for your items in cash.
5
Return and exchange policies are different for every store. It's important to check details - particularly if you're bargain shopping in Seoul - as they may not accept returns. Use Papago or another translation app to make sure there are no ``lost in translation`` moments.
shopping in seoul

You’ll find all the bargains while shopping in Seoul!

Best Places for Budget Shopping in Seoul

You’ve got your plane ticket, booked the perfect hotel, and sorted out your Korean travel visas. You are GOOD TO GO, and that money is literally burning a hole in your pocket.

Fortunately, you’re going to the right place. With some of Asia’s most popular fashion brands, K-beauty products galore, and addictive Korean snacks, budget shopping in Seoul is an absolute pleasure.

budget shopping in seoul | myeongdong shopping street

Myeongdong is a traveler’s hub and great place to shop for cheap.

Read on, shopaholic friend, to find out about the best places to search out stellar deals, and shop affordably in Seoul.

Hongdae Shopping Street (Eoulmadang-ro) | 홍대 어울마당로

Address: 121 Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul | 서울 마포구 어울마당로 121

Hongdae is one of the most popular areas in Seoul for affordable shopping. Named for the nearby Hongik University, it attracts students and young people looking for the latest trends.

You can count on finding the latest K-fashion, cool accessories, and streetwear at incredible prices in Hongdae.

budget shopping in seoul | hongdae shopping street

Count on the latest trends at affordable prices in Hongdae.

There’s a lot more to do in Hongdae than just budget shopping in Seoul though, so make sure you stay into the night. With live busking performances, and amazing nightlife, including clubs, pubs, and karaoke, the atmosphere is truly electric.

Directions: Hongik University Station (Hongdae), Line 2, Exit 9 OR Hongik Univ. Station, AREX Airport Railroad / Gyeongui–Jungang Line, Exit 7

budget shopping in seoul | hongdae

Affordable shopping lines the streets of Hongdae in Seoul.

Myeongdong Shopping Street | 명동

Address: Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 중구 명동길 (명동1가)

Myeongdong is the budget shopping district in Seoul to hit if you’re on the hunt for the best K-beauty deals. There are literally too many skincare and cosmetic stores lining the streets of Myeongdong Shopping Street to count – including Etude House, Banila Co, and Laneige to name just a few.

budget shopping in seoul | k-beauty stores on myeongdong shopping street

K-beauty stores line the streets of Myeongdong

Best of all, most skincare shops in Myeongdong offer freebies to entice you inside to take a look around. Don’t be shy about grabbing that basket of goodies. They really are free!

Aside from being the budget skincare mecca of Seoul, you’ll also find mainstream Korean and international brands like 8seconds, SPAO, and Zara on Myeongdong Shopping Street, as well as supermarkets, an HBAF, and the Olive Young flagship store.

budget shoppingin seoul | myeongdong

You can shop for pretty much anything in Myeongdong.

Don’t forget to check out all the delicious restaurants, and the truly epic Myeongdong Food Street while you’re there.

Directions: Access via Myeongdong Station, Line 4, Exit 5, 6, 7, or 8 OR Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station, Line 2, Exit 5 or 6.

Gwangjang Market | 광장시장

Address: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 창경궁로 88

Gwangjang Market has been around for well over 100 years, and it’s one of the most affordable places to go to eat Korean street food in Seoul. It’s become incredibly popular with travelers since its appearance on Netflix’s Street Food Asia, so be prepared for crowds.

budget shopping in seoul | gwangjang market

Do you recognize this famous lady?

Weave your way through narrow food alleys, and sit down at any stall that tempts you. Gwangjang Market is a great place to try a whole bunch of different dishes, without breaking the bank.

I recommend trying bindaetteok, tteokbokki, mayak kimbap, twiggim, kalguksu, and mandu. For dessert, make sure to join one of the super long lines for gwabegi – a Korean twisted donut. They’re light and delicious, and worth the wait!

budget shopping in seoul | gwangjang market

All the Korean street food at Gwangjang Market.

When your belly is filled to maximum, be sure to wander into other parts of Gwangjang Market. Budget shopping in Seoul is a breeze, with many bargains to be found, including hanbok, bags, blankets, produce, and much more.

Directions: Euljiro 4(sa)-ga Station, Line 2 or 5, Exit 4 OR Jongno 5(oh)-ga Station, Line 1, Exit 7.

budget shopping in seoul | gwangjang market

Gwangjang Market © Seoul Metropolitan Government/Penta Press

FOOD TOUR  |  Eat your way through Gwangjang Market with a local guide. Bring your bravest taste buds, and sample 10 – 12 unique and delicious Korean dishes. Check info here.

Goto Mall (Express Bus Terminal Shopping Center) | 고투몰

Address: Jiha 200, Sinbanpo-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 서초구 신반포로 지하 200 (반포동)

Goto Mall is short for Gangnam Terminal Underground Shopping Center. The name of this cheap shopping haven in Seoul can be a bit confusing for travelers however, because it ISN’T actually connected to Gangnam Station (hence why I’ve called it Express Bus Terminal Shopping Center).

budget shopping in seoul | goto mal

Goto Mall is one of the top places to shop cheap in Seoul © Lee Bumsu, Korea Tourism Organization

No, to reach the hundreds of affordable shops at Goto Mall, make sure to go to Express Bus Terminal Station. This is a major transfer point, where Seoul subway lines 3, 7, and 9 intersect.

You’ll find over 600 stores selling clothing, accessories, plants, and interior design products. Goto Mall really is one of the top places for budget shopping in Seoul, so definitely don’t miss it!

budget shopping in seoul | goto mall

Access Goto Mall from Express Bus Terminal Station on Lines 3, 7, or 9 © Lee Bumsu, Korea Tourism Organization

When you’re done grabbing all those deals, make sure to check out the nearby Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain show. It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records!

Directions: Express Bus Terminal Station, Line 3, 7 or 9, Exit 8-1

banpo bridge rainbow fountain at night

Don’t miss the Banpo Bridget Rainbow Fountain nearby © Photo by 서울특별시 소방재난본부 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Dongdaemun Shopping Complex | 동대문 종합시장

Address: 266, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 종로 266

Dongdaemun is an absolutely massive retail and wholesale shopping district in Seoul that’s been around for over 40 years. There are an incredible 26 different shopping malls, with 30,000 stores, 50,000 brands, designer outlets, and even a K-food alley.

When I say massive, I mean massive. There are so many stores here, you could spend days and days there without seeing it all.

budget shopping in seoul | dongdaemun market

Dongdaemun Market is beyond massive © Seoul Metropolitan Government/Penta Press

It’s definitely one of the best places for budget shopping in Seoul, with everything from fabrics to clothing to electronics all in one place. Many sellers at Dongdaemun Market are independent, so this is a good place to bring cash, to try bargaining for discounted prices.

affordable shopping in seoul | dongdaemun shopping complex

Try not to get lost inside! © Seoul Metropolitan Government/Penta Press

When you’ve gotten your fill of affordable shopping in Seoul at Dongdaemun Complex, make sure to explore the futuristic DDP nearby. It’s an iconic landmark in the city, with its own wonderful places to see.

Namdaemun Market | 남대문시장

Address: 21, Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 중구 남대문시장4길 21

Namdaemun is Seoul’s oldest and biggest traditional market. It’s been around in some form since Joseon Dynasty times, and it’s an experience you won’t want to miss when visiting Korea.

budget shopping in seoul | namdaemun market

Namdaemun Market is named for Namdaemun (Grand South Gate) at its entrance

Wind your way though a maze of narrow laneways in search of anything you might need… because Namdaemun Market really has got it all. From  kids’ clothing to toys to accessories to electronics, and even eyeglasses, the prices are some of the most affordable in Seoul.

Namdaemun Market is a great place to look for souvenirs of your trip to Korea!

budget shopping in seoul | namdaemun market

Shop for souvenirs at Namdaemun Market © Seoul Metropolitan Government/Penta Press

With many products made by individual stall owners, Namdaemun also functions as a wholesale market overnight from 23:00 to 4:00. Head there at the break of dawn for an unforgettable scene, as retailers from all over the country leave with their purchases.

budget shopping seoul | namdaemun market

Enter the bedlam of Namdaemun market © Neoteny Studio, Korea Tourism Organization

If you need to take a break after all that budget shopping in Seoul, find your way to one of the many food stalls inside Namdaemun Market for traditional Korean foods at super cheap prices – including sannakji (live octopus), tteokbokki, and eomuk.

Directions: Hoehyeon Station, Line 4, Exit 5. Walk 3 minutes. OR City Hall Station, Line 2, Exit 8. Walk 15 minutes.

namdaemun market food stalls

Food stalls at Namdaemun Market are very affordable © Seoul Metropolitan Government/Penta Press

NAMDAEMUN MARKET AND NORTHERN ATTRACTIONS TOUR  |  Want a little historical background, and a guide to take you to the best spots, and demystify what you’re seeing? Check options here.

Gangnam Station Underground Mall | 강남역 지하도상가

Address: B1, 396, Gangnam-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 강남구 강남대로 지하 396

As a major transit hub with connections to Suwon, you’ll likely end up at Gangnam subway station at some point in your travels anyway. And when you do – make sure to check out the incredible deals at the Gangnam Station Underground Mall.

seoul affordable shopping | gangnam station underground mall

Gangnam Station Underground Mall has the latest trends at budget prices.

Don’t confuse Gangnam Station Underground Mall with GoTo Mall, despite the very similar names. This one is located on the B1 level of Gangnam Station, and accessed via Seoul subway Line 2 or the Shinbundang line.

budget shopping in seoul | gangnam station underground mall

Deals galore at the Gangnam Station Underground Mall.

It’s perfect for teens and people in their 20s and 30s, because it’s an excellent place to shop on a budget in Seoul for the latest fashion trends, jewelry, and skincare products. There are also a ton of budget phone accessories, and places to grab snacks too!

Directions: Gangnam Station, Line 2

FACIALS AND MORE  |  Gangnam is the place to look for facials, beauty treatments, personal colour analysis, and K-pop tours! Check options here.

Budget Shopping in Seoul: FAQs

1
Is Seoul expensive for shopping? The sky's the limit when it comes to buying things in Korea, but there are also a ton of places to shop on a budget in Seoul. Check out local markets, vintage stores, and underground malls for the most choice.
2
Are clothes cheap in Hongdae? The area around Hongik University, with its influx of students, is one of the best places for budget shopping in Seoul. You'll find great deals on clothing and accessories on Hongdae Shopping Street.
3
What are the best places for affordable shopping in Seoul? For shopping on the cheap in Seoul, head to underground malls like Goto Mall, Gangnam Station Underground Mall, shopping streets around universities like Hongdae or Edae, and markets like Namdaemun and Gwangjang.
4
Where's the best place to buy cheap souvenirs in Korea? The best places to buy cheap souvenirs in Seoul are Insadong Street, and traditional markets around the city.

Now you know all the best places for budget shopping in Seoul. Ready… set… shop till you drop!

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