The Best Korean Souvenirs & Gifts

Korean Souvenirs Main Image

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If you’re traveling to Korea, you might be curious about what the best Korean souvenirs are to get.

Or maybe you’re thinking about getting a present for a friend and need some Korean gift ideas.

We’ve got you covered! Check out the list below, and grab the Korean gifts and souvenirs that will make someone’s day.

Korean Souvenirs Main Image

We’ll give you our list of top Korean gifts and souvenirs. These can be items you pick up on your next trip through South Korea or something you order as a gift to a friend who is a fan of Korea.

Go through the list, or skip down to the bottom and grab what you need right away!

Best Korean Gifts and Souvenirs

Here are our top picks, and where to get them.

Buchae (부채 | Korean Paper Fan)

If you’ve got a hot season where you live, then you’re going to want to keep cool. Why not do it in style?

While you’re on the hunt for some cool Korean souvenirs over the next couple of weeks, consider the buchae, a fun, foldable Korean fan.

Korean Souvenirs 1 Buchae

They’re inexpensive, easy to find, and your friends will thank you for getting them something practical instead of a trinket that will gather dust in the back of their closet for the next few years. Pick up one for yourself as well to make exploring Korea more enjoyable this summer!

Where to buy in Korea: Itaewon, Insadong or Samcheondong in Seoul.

Our top picks: Traditional design or unique design.

Korean snacks

There’s nothing in the world quite like Korean snacks – from dried squid to fried kimchi, there really is something for everybody!

Korean Souvenirs 9 Korean Snacks

Photo credit: http://koreabridge.net

Bring a little taste of Korea back to your loved ones as an inexpensive, thoughtful gift – just make sure you don’t bring anything TOO addicting (we’re looking at you, pepero) or their gratitude will turn to sadness when they can’t find Korean snacks in your home country!

Where to buy in Korea: Any convenience store.

Our top picks: Pepero (페페로), Choco-pie (초코파이), and Snack Box Variety pack.

Fun Socks

Alright, hear us out – socks? Yes! Korea has taken fun and adorable sucks to a whole new level, which makes them the perfect souvenir for you to pick up for your friends back home. Not to mention that they’re inexpensive, easy to find, and will take up no space in your suitcase – could they be any more perfect?!

Various socks at a shop in Seoul, South Korea

In Korean culture, it is polite to remove your shoes before entering somebody’s home, so Korean designers have extra motivation to design show-stopping socks because they’ll be seen on a regular basis. Take advantage of this trend and pick up some cute socks for you and your friends the next time you’re out and about in Korea!

Where to buy in Korea: Insadong or Samcheondong in Seoul.

Our top picks: Any of these animal characters.

Mobile Phone Cases

If you’d like to go the practical route the next time you’re picking up souvenirs in Korea, you should consider picking up one of the cute Korean phone cases that are for sale at most souvenir shops. These cases often depict Korean art, Korean cartoons, and K-Pop stars.

Smartphone cases at a shop in Samcheondong Seoul South Korea

Your friends will thank you for being thoughtful AND for helping them protect their new iPhone from cracking when they inevitably drop it – everybody wins!

Where to buy in Korea: Local shops, Kakao Friends store, or Design Skin.

Our top picks: Kakao Friends Ryan or Apeach.

Korean Cosmetics

The Korean cosmetics industry has BOOMED over the past couple of years, and fun new cosmetics shops have been opening up left and right throughout Korea. Picking up a brand new BB cream or eyeshadow palette for your friends back home is the perfect way to say you care!

Innisfree and Tony Moly cosmetic shops in Seoul

Korean face masks are also super popular and inexpensive souvenirs – they’re made from all-natural ingredients and have been the talk of the industry because they leave skin feeling soft and taut for days on end after only one application.  Be sure to pick up something for yourself, too – you deserve to be looking your best!

Soju

Soju is a quintessential Korean alcohol made from rice. There’s a reason it’s as popular as it is – soju has a clean, crisp flavor that means it pairs well with a wide variety of dishes. It’s also relatively inexpensive and available at most Korean supermarkets, so you won’t have a difficult time tracking it down!

bottles of cheoeum cheoreom at a grocery store in Seoul, South Korea

Soju is loved by pretty much everybody, so it’s a safe choice for a souvenir that your friends and family will be thanking you for. Just make sure the bottle doesn’t break in your suitcase!

Korean tea

If you’re looking for a souvenir for your underage friends, look no further than the tea aisle in any Korean supermarket. Tea is a big part of day to day life in Korea, so there’s a wide variety of interesting flavors (and beautiful boxes!).

Korean Souvenirs 7 Korean tea

Photo credit: http://www.madeinkorea.com

Tea is also way easier to transport than other beverages – you can just throw the box in your suitcase and forget about it without worrying about leakage. If you really want to go above and beyond, consider picking up a tea-set for friends – maybe they’ll host a tea party in your honor as a ‘thank you’!

Books to Learn Korean

There is so much cultured embedded into the Korean language that it’s hard to learn one without the other!

The great thing about the Korean language is that it’s really simple to learn the alphabet (Hangul). Most people can learn the Korean Alphabet in about 1 hour. After that, it’s up to you how far you want to take it. Grab your favorite Korean language textbook, and have fun with it.

Where to buy in Korea: Kyobo bookstore (교보문고 | gyobomungo).

Our top picks: Sogang, Yeonsei, or the 90 Day Korean Inner Circle.

Electronics

Korean Souvenirs 8 Electronics

Photo credit: http://www.tribute.com.pk

Korea is always at the forefront of awesome new electronics. If you can imagine it, they’ve probably already invented it! If you’re considering picking up electronics as souvenirs on your way out of Korea, you’ll be happy to know that Korea is full of inexpensive, high-quality electronics like phones and MP3 players.

You can also try your luck at bargaining – in many of the larger electronic stores in Korean cities, proprietors are open to bartering and will give you the best price they can. Electronics that won’t break the bank? Sign me up!

Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 60 minutes!

K-Pop Merchandise

If you’re searching for souvenirs for friends that have been swept up in the K-Pop phenomenon, you won’t have to look far! K-Pop posters, t-shirts, and other merchandise are available pretty much everywhere in Korea due to K-Pop’s rise in popularity over the last few years across the globe.

Korean Souvenirs 2 Kpop Merchandise

Photo credit: http://gcastd.org

You can also pick up some of your favorite K-Pop CD’s to give your friends a taste of Korean popular culture. Who knows – maybe it will make them want to join you on your next trip to Korea!

Where Can I Buy Korean Gifts Online?

There are several places, it depends on the gift you want. We’ll give you our picks below each of the items above along with places to buy them. You can go off of our recommendation, or just do an internet search for the item and see if you can find a better place to buy it.

What are some traditional Korean Gifts?

Buchae, Korean tea, and hanbok would be some great traditional Korean gifts.

What are some cool Korean gifts?

Choco-pies, fun socks, and fun smartphone cases top our lists.

What is your favorite souvenir to surprise your friends and family when you return home from vacation? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

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