Myeong-dong is Seoul’s shopping mecca and is a must-see for tourists, but it is not just a shopping destination; Myeong-dong is also a center of commerce, banking and culture with a daytime population of 1.5-2 million. For shoppers there is a mixture of street stalls and retail outlets selling everything from high fashion to casual attire as well as many Korean cosmetics stores offering high-quality products at competitive prices.
Myeong-dong is very popular with international visitors and fills with Japanese tourists during the Japanese holiday period known as “Golden Week” which runs from the end of April to the beginning of May. Part of Myeong-dong’s popularity stems from the more affordable prices here compared to Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong.
Myeong-dong is full of beauty outlets. TODACOSA is a cosmetics chain stocking a wide range of brands and is Korea’s first large specialized cosmetics store. Since opening in 2000, TODACOSA has prided itself on unprecedented levels of service, allowing customers to sample any product before purchasing and offering a special make-up corner to test foundations, eyeliners, lipsticks, et cetera.
Olive Young, which opened in 1999, is a health and beauty concept store stocking product lines ranging from cosmetics to health foods and has proved popular with women of all ages.
Myeong-dong is also home to several Korean big-brand shops including The Face Shop, Etude and Missha which draw in many overseas visitors.
A mall lover’s mecca
For people who love mall shopping and following the latest trends, Myeong-dong has it all. The eye-catching glass exterior of M Plaza draws in passers-by to its big-name stores including Spanish fashion chain, ZARA and Forever 21. On the 5th floor is Haechi Hall, a performance space where you can catch a concert or a musical and M Plaza is also home to the Seoul Culture and Tourism Center.
Active types will like Noon Square which specializes in sports and casual wear shops as well as having a cinema and seafood restaurant.
Migliore, easily accessible via Exit 4, Myeong-dong Subway Station, is a Myeong-dong landmark in the heart of the commercial area and offers tax refunds and multi-lingual information (in English, Chinese and Japanese) for international tourists.
Global brands like Forever 21, ZARA and GAP cluster together in Myeong-dong.
Myeong-dong’s street stalls are a real tourist attraction selling all kinds of items including belts, watches, ties and T-shirts. There are also street food stalls serving traditional Korea delicacies such as fish cakes, tteokbokki (a stir-fried dish made of rice cakes with vegetables in hot sauce) and soondae (steamed pig’s intestines stuffed with bean curd, soy bean sprouts, green onions, starch noodles and mushrooms).