I'm not sure if you can answer this, but do you know any places to shop in Korea? I'm going next month and wanted to know the best places to go!
Oh jealous! I love Korea…the shopping, the food, the energy…like I said, jealous.
It’s been a few years since I moved back to the States so, my level of expertise is probably a bit outdated in that Korea is changing by the minute, but I’ll try to provide a few decent areas to help you start…Oh by the way, I only know places in Seoul, so hopefully that’s where you’ll be heading.
1. Myeongdong: Even though it’s hectic and crowded, it’s a good place to start. Also, great street food.
2. Garosugil: When I was living there, I loved the boutiques and cafés they had on that street, but I heard lately it got really commercialized, ie. a F21 set up shop, and the wonderful quaint atmosphere (what I loved about it most) is no longer there…but I’d still check it out.
3. Hongdae: It’s a college area and lots of artists live/hang out there. I had a lot of fun shopping for unique items there. Also, a great place to grab drinks and enjoy indie bands.
4. Insadong: Great for first time tourists. It has an awesome traditional Korean feel to it, great place to shop for souvenirs.
5. Apgujeongdong: This part of town (especially Rodeo) used to be my old stomping grounds, but I heard lately it’s a bit passé…but who knows maybe not?
6. Dongdaemun: Night-shopping at its best! It’s a bunch of buildings huddled together and each building has several floors chock-full-o endless merchandise. They hold little concerts on the streets, people walk around and eat street food — it’s all very energetic.
7. Samchungdong: Not really a hotspot for shopping, but it’s a super cute place to chill and walk around and enjoy the old/new school feel of the streets there.
8. The malls? When I was there Coex was one of the biggest, but I know that now there’s a huge one that was erected not so long ago.
9. Itaewon: The shopping sucks there, but the food is great. Seoul’s been really upping their international food game, so hit it up. Apparently, this is the place to chill these days. Lots of bars, cafés, and restaurants.
10. Gangnam, Jamsil, Gosok Terminal, Yehwa Stations (to name a few): OK, so this might sound weird, but they sell some legit stuff underground in the subway stations, at least they were when I was there.
Tips: I’d steer away from spending too much time and money at department stores. They mostly sell whatever styles, and if they sell imported/western brands the prices are crazy inflated. Also, try shopping near universities (like Hongdae and Ehwa). The prices are reasonable and the styles are young and fun.
Hope this helps! Have a great time in Korea. Tell her I say hi.