Dongdaemun Market is a large commercial district comprised of traditional markets and shopping centers that covers the entire area around Dongdaemun (Gate), a prominent landmark in Korea. It is Korea’s largest wholesale and retail shopping district featuring 26 shopping malls, 30,000 speciality shops, and 50,000 manufacturers. All kinds of goods can be found here including silks and fabric, clothes, shoes and accessories, electronics, leather goods, sporting goods, office supplies, pet products and toys.
Not your everyday shopping experience
Although Dongdaemun Market is traditionally famous for its night market, this popular shopping district attracts hordes of shoppers and tourists at all times of day. Like Namdaemun Market, Dongdaemun market sells a variety of products, but unlike Namdaemun Market, it is open 24-hours a day. The powerful appeal of Dongdaemun Market stems from the fact that you can buy everything you need at a reasonable price, in one convenient location and at anytime. Most major wholesalers and retailers are here along with specialist outlets focusing on the youth market, making Dongdaemun Market the best place to find the latest fashions at bargain prices. Dongdaemun’s famous food alley, Mukja Golmok, is also essential for anyone wanting to check out the latest trends in Korean cuisine.
In addition to selling everything under the sun, large shopping malls such as Good Morning City and Freya add an extra dimension to the shopping experience with their own multiplex cinemas, while Doota features a huge outdoor concert hall hosting a range of events including outdoor fashion shows, concerts, modeling contests and classical Korean music for tourists.
Wholesale and retail stores
A major street goes through Dongdaemun Market, dividing it into two sections; Section 1 mainly features retail shops while Section 2 mainly features wholesale shops.
Section 1: Retail stores
Section 1 refers to the area where Doosan Tower is located. Although the shopping malls in Section 2 sell both retail and wholesale goods, most of the stores cater to the general public and offer items at retail prices. Opening hours also cater to general customers, with the malls opening at about 10 a.m. and closing at about 5 a.m. the next day. Major shopping malls in this area include Doota (located within Doosan Tower), Migliore, Good Morning City, Freya Town, LOTTE FITIN and Hello apM. Foreign shoppers should note that many of these shopping malls offer foreigner-friendly facilities such as money exchange counters and information desks with multilingual staff.
Section 2: Wholesale stores
Section 2 refers to the area where Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (the old site of Dongdaemun Stadium) is located. Like the shopping malls in Section 1, the shopping malls in Section 2 sell both retail and wholesale goods, but unlike Section 1, most of the items are only available in bulk. The malls here usually open at about 8 p.m. and close at about 5 a.m. the next day. Younger shoppers usually shop at Designer's Club, Migliore Valley, Nuzzon and Gwanghee Fashion Mall, while middle-aged shoppers tend to prefer shopping at Jeil Pyeonghwa, and Heungin Stardom. Shoppers should note that there are usually no dressing rooms available for the wholesale shops in this area.
Bustling streets of Dongdaemun Market
Night shopping trip
Shinpyeonghwa Fashion Town
Situated in the center of Dongdaemun Market, Shinpyeonghwa Fashion Town is Korea’s largest wholesale market with over 1,200 wholesale stores. It is also one of the oldest wholesale markets in Korea with over 40 years of history. Following extensive restoration work in 1998, the market now features fully modernized facilities and has also become known as the largest wholesaler of socks and underwear in Korea.
Dongdaemun Shopping Complex
Opened in 1970, Dongdaemun Shopping Complex is the largest single market in Asia as well as one of the oldest with over 40 years of history. This traditional market houses many wholesale and retail stores specializing in various fabrics, materials, accessories, and wedding products. As much as eighty percent of all the fabric traded in Korea goes through here, allowing for goods to be sold at reasonable prices. The craft supplies shops on the fifth floor are especially popular with creative types who go there to buy materials for their own projects.
Doota, one of the many large fashion malls located in Dongdaemun Market, has a tax refund system enabling foreign tourists to claim a ten percent refund on goods that they purchase there. Currently about 100 shops are participating, but Doota plans to have all of its shops participate in the near future. When visitors purchase goods at shops displaying the "Tax-Free Shopping" signs, they can be reimbursed for the ten percent VAT at the "Korea Refund" center located on the third floor of the passenger terminal building of Incheon International Airport. Doota also has a center offering information in several foreign languages and a variety of convenient services like call-taxi.
Doota Foreigner Information Center (Refund)
Phone: 82-2-518-0837 (from 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. the next day)
LOTTE FITIN is the country's first shopping cetner to dedicate an entire section for top premium fashion desinger brands. In addition, local boutique designer stores from Hongdae, Itaewon, Garosu-gil, and Dongdaemun that have been acknowledged and successful as a fashion trend leaders in their respective areas have earned their places alonside premium brands. All of Seoul's fashion trends can now be witnessed from one location. Global brands, like ABC Mart, Nike, Adidas, and Polo can also be found around the shopping center.
Outside Good Morning City plaza
Browsing the street stalls
Dongdaemun second-hand book street
Dongdaemun Market is also home to the second-hand book street, located on the first floor of Pyeonghwa Market. If you are looking for an alternative to major bookstores or prefer used books, then this is for you. The bookstores on this street have been around for over 30 years and sell all sorts of publications including novels, essays, poetry, magazines, foreign language titles and rare books, all at 30 - 40 percent off normal retail prices.
Mukja Golmok: Dongdaemun’s food alley
Many of the people who come to Dongdaemun snack on the wide abundance of street food available while they shop, but those that prefer an actual decent-sized meal should head over to Mukja Golmok, located between Dongdaemun Market and Jongno. Literally meaning “Let’s Eat Alley”, Mukja Golmok is a street famous for its various restaurants. Here visitors can try traditional Korean food as well as various fusion and international foods including gimbap, sundae (stuffed pig’s intestines), and fish cakes with soup. Grilled fish and Korean chicken soup are especially popular among tourists.