The Myeongdong shopping district is one of the most touristy places in Seoul. As a traveler, if you love to explore local markets and bazaars, you’ll love Myeongdong. It’s a busy yet quaint shopping district, located in Jung-gu, Seoul.
Here are five reasons you should visit the Myeongdong shopping district:
Myeongdong Shopping Street is Huge
Whether you want a cute outfit or some souvenirs for friends and family back home, it’s all available in Myeongdong. The market is huge, spread out across 0.99-kilometer square.
It even has a population of over 3000 people. Therefore, many locals refer to the locality as a city within a city. Many also call it an extra-large department store.
For people living near the Myeongdong locality, the shopping center makes it more convenient to buy necessities.
However, for tourists, the district is a hub, reflecting Korean culture with both its traditional and modern goods.
The area was a residential district during the Joseon Dynasty. After the Japanese invasion, Japanese colonists used the area for commercial purposes.
Today, it’s one of the most developed shopping centers in the country.
There Are Tax-Free Shops for Everything
One of the best parts of Myeongdong shopping is tax-free shops. Most shops offer tax-free items.
Why is this a good thing? Well, this allows you to get returns on refundable taxes. Therefore, you don’t have to pay as much.
All you have to do is show your passport to the shop cashier. You can get up to 10% cash refunds in this way.
Even cosmetic and skincare shops offer these tax returns. The district is actually famous for its skincare and cosmetic shops. Both locals and tourists highly recommend getting your annual makeup stock from here.
However, be mindful; higher-priced products may have special taxes. Consequently, these tax refunds may not apply. If you’re buying something above one million won, you will be taxed.
You Get the Best Discounts at Fashion Boutiques
Now, everyone knows clothes shopping is the best kind. Within Myeongdong, there are several high-end and low-end fashion boutiques, which offer the best discounts to tourists.
These discounts don’t include tax returns. They’re separate, differing from season to season. Many low-end shops are bargain-friendly. Consequently, if you’re a good negotiator, you can get good deals.
These shops sell stuff like bags, hats, scarves, jewelry, dresses, and suits. You can think of them as chic thrift stores.
If you’re looking to splurge on new clothes, Myeongdong is a good place to go.
Myeongdong Shopping Street Has the Best Eateries and Street Food
What’s a shopping day without satisfying street food? Myeongdong, like many business districts in Seoul, is filled with traditional Korean street food vendors.
From grilled abalone to roasted sweet potatoes, Myeongdong offers many food varieties. Locals love the ‘tornado potato’. This is a sweet potato dish, served with cheese, veggies, and chicken bits.
Other popular street foods include Korean egg toast, fishcake, deep-fried squid, spicy rice cakes, and sweet Korean pancakes.
All these items are perfect for filling your tummies after a long shopping venture.
There Are Many Other Things to Do in the Area
Now, the locality isn’t just famous for shopping. There are many other attractions, including the Myeongdong theatres, spas, cathedral, hotels, and guesthouses.
Since it’s a tourist hub, local authorities have prioritized showcasing Korean culture in the Myeongdong shopping area.
For one, Myeongdong’s spas are amazing. Each spa offers a wide range of beauty treatments. They even sell top-of-the-line cosmetics and skincare products.
In this way, Myeongdong is the perfect place for a girls day out.
Secondly, Myeongdong Cathedral is an interesting site for architecture buffs. It was first constructed in 1989. Today, it’s one of the largest Catholic churches in the country. It’s a landmark with its intricate features.
The stained glass, rustic bricks, and Victorian-style columns are gorgeous. The cathedral holds Sunday mass every week. However, it’s open to the public on weekdays.
Lastly, you’ll find the Myeongdong theatre not far from the main shopping street. The theatre is very active, featuring many local art and film festivals.
In essence, you should go to Myeongdong shopping street, especially if you’re on a budget. It’s a good place to get bargains, discounts, and cheap items.
Most people love shopping here because it combines luxury shopping with bargain shopping. Consequently, the area caters to everyone.
However, this isn’t the only cool thing in Seoul. If you’re a nature lover, don’t forget to check out this guide to Seoul Botanic Park, the city’s first indoor park.