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One thing you must have heard of Seoul by now is that it’s a city that operates around the clock, even if it’s public transportation doesn’t. Many people take this chance to stay out all night enjoying the various clubbing and drinking opportunities, but every once in awhile, it is also fun to check out what else Seoul has to offer.
Have you yet visited a Seoul night market? If not, here are a few night markets in Seoul (야시장 | yasijang) highly recommended by us for you to check out!
#1 DONGDAEMUN NIGHT MARKET (동대문야시장)
If your shopping buds are still tickling by the time the clock hits 10 p.m, head on over to Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station, which boasts several tall buildings all there to serve your shopping needs. Floor after floor after floor you’ll find women’s clothes, men’s clothes, shoes, bags, other kinds of accessories, and even food. Be sure to brush up on asking “how much” in Korean. Then load up your wallet with cash and be prepared to haggle your way to cheaper prices! And that’s not even where it ends!
Outside, by Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station’s exit 4 and under the bright yellow tents, you can find different kinds of items ranging from clothes to leathery goods to accessories to satisfy your shopping itch. There are also wholesale options by exit 2 of Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station. Be sure to also take a break between your shopping expeditions to indulge in the tasty food options available!
Tucked away inside the area is also a theme park ride called Disco Pang-Pang, which we bet you’ll love too. Just be sure not to eat right before you ride!
#2 NAMDAEMUN NIGHT MARKET (남대문야시장)
This market is located conveniently in the middle of the city, open both day and night. From 10 pm until 5 am the next morning, you can browse around its night market, which is one of the most famous ones in Seoul. You can find just about anything your heart desires at this market, including amazing food to wash down with some drinks.
However, take into account that some vendors might operate on their own schedule, instead of the regular 10 pm to 5 am, and that a lot of shops close on Sundays. Also, take into account that not all the shopping opportunities are located outdoors – there are also shopping centers such as the Sungyemun Imported Goods Shopping Centre from where you can find more goods to shop for.
#3 GWANGJANG MARKET (광장시장)
Having been established in 1905, Gwangjang Market is Seoul’s oldest market. As it is located close by to Dongdaemun, you may even check out both of them on the same night!
This market is known for selling hanbok, the traditional Korean clothing, but its best part is perhaps the street level. Here, fabric shops and food stalls come together to offer you the best of both worlds in one fell swoop. If there’s one place where you’ll definitely want to explore all the Korean street food available, it’s right here! The best part is, it’s open all night!
#4 BAMDOKKAEBI NIGHT MARKET (밤도깨비야시장)
Although this night market was originally opened in just one location in Yeouido, it has since expanded to four locations around the city. On some Fridays and Saturdays, between March and October, you can find this market at one of its different locations: Yeouido, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Mokdong Stadium and Cheonggye Plaza. And with a different location comes a different atmosphere and experience for the night market.
At Yeouido, you can find a traditional and cultural experience, with not only lots of food on offer, but traditional performances from different corners of the world to be enjoyed as well. You can also find Korean handicrafts for purchase.
In contrast, Dongdaemun Design Plaza’s night market is more modernly vibrant. You’ll find a great mix of food, handmade items, and even fashion and dance shows. The younger crowd especially loves visiting this night market.
If you visit the one at Mokdong Stadium, you’ll find a very sports themed night market. Here locals can buy and sell different kinds of sports equipment, and even get their broken sports items repaired. In addition, you can view showings of extreme sports, all the while munching on healthy and tasty food.
Lastly, Cheonggye Plaza’s market is offered in May, July and September, all of which offer a different season of foods, handicrafts, and performances. It is especially great if you’re going with your family.
#5 MYEONGDONG NIGHT MARKET (명동야시장)
While not a traditional night market, as in it is open in the evening rather than at night, checking out Myeongdong is definitely worth the trip. Not only are the two biggest department stores – Lotte and Shinsegae – located right by the area, the streets are filled with clothing stores, ranging from small Korean shops to big international brands such as H&M and Forever21.
And what if you get hungry? No problem! There are several food stalls spread across the streets of Myeongdong to get your tummy full of yummy. In addition to the food vendors, there are also tons of restaurants in the area to soothe your dining needs, even after the shops have already closed for the night.
Next time you’re planning a night out, you just might want to add a night market in Seoul to your plan as well. If you are feeling inspired by all this talk of Korea to test your Korean language skills, you can try our 90 Minute Korean Alphabet Challenge!
What’s your favorite night market in Seoul? Any great food stall or souvenir recommendations? Please share with us in the comments below!
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