5 of the best markets in Seoul
Seoul is an enchanting city and the capital of South Korea, resplendent with stunning state-of-the-art skyscrapers and state-of-the-art digital subways.
From spiritual sites like Buddhist temples and iconic sights like palaces and street markets to sprawling modern malls and an iconic rooftop park, it’s easy to see why the capital is one of the world’s most exciting tourist destinations and the country’s most popular.
South Korea is famous for its open street markets, which can be found in many areas of Seoul and other cities in Korea.
Most of these open markets are open all year round. They are frequented by locals and tourists and are very hospitable to foreigners.
They can be crowded and chaotic, but you can find almost anything you need at these markets.
Here are some of the best markets in Seoul.
- Namdaemun Market
Namdaemun Market is one of Korea’s oldest and largest traditional markets and is located in the heart of Seoul. Namdaemun Market had about 11,000 individual shops and stalls in 2022.
The market is packed with stalls selling everything from Korean spices and dry goods to clothing and accessories.
The market dates back to 1414; however, it was destroyed by fires during the Korean War. South Korea built and renovated Namdaemun Market, which is one of the most popular today.
- Marché de Gwangyang
Gwangjang Market is great for finding traditional Korean foods, from kimchi to bibimbap.
It is the second oldest and largest traditional market in South Korea and is estimated to have more than 1,500 to 2,000 vendors.
It was first called Dongdaemun Market until the market changed its name to Gwangjang Market in 1960.
Today, visitors come to Gwangjang Market to buy local fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and bread, and to eat at the many restaurants and food stalls offering traditional Korean cuisine.
- Noryangjin Fish Market
It is a must for anyone visiting Seoul. Known for its fresh seafood, the market is a great place to shop for bargains on fish and other seafood.
They have all kinds of seafood from king crab to abalone. Live octopus (sannakji) and raw fish are popular items that people visit the market to buy.
Once you’ve bought the seafood, you’ll need to head upstairs to one of the many restaurants where they’ll have it cooked for you for a price.
- City of Tteokbokki
Are you looking for a place to shop and enjoy the best cuisine in Seoul? You have the opportunity to explore the beautiful Korean culture and a variety of its sumptuous meals in Tteokbokki Town.
As the name suggests, this is a popular market for tteokbokki. With dozens of colorful restaurants, tourists come here to mingle with the locals while shopping.
Lovers of Korean culture come from all over the world to participate in the Tteokbokki Festival and Tteokbokki Contest.
- Bamdokkaebi Night Market
Are you the type of person who likes to do things at night, even go shopping late at night? In the romantic city of Seoul, there is a place for people like you to shop and eat even at night – Bamdokkaebi Night Market.
Located along the peaceful and charming Hangang River, this night market in Seoul is used for events such as traditional cultural performances.
There are food trucks serving a variety of international dishes and stalls specializing in local delicacies as well as Chinese and Japanese dishes. You can also buy handicrafts as souvenirs or gifts for your loved ones.
Don’t forget to visit markets when you come to Korea!