Myeongdong has earned its name as a shopper’s paradise. This does not come as a surprise since most tourists visit Korea for shopping! Out of the places for shopping in Korea, Myeongdong currently ranks as number 1.
Fun note: Do you know that Myeongdong is not frequent much by locals? Even though Myeongdong is located near the the middle of the city, and there are many offices around! Myeongdong is known as a tourist attraction to local Koreans.
Why is Myeongdong a must visit for tourists?
For one, it is huge! Myeongdong spans 99ha which is 990000 square metres. That is equal to about 138 football fields! More importantly, it is a one size fits all for shoppers. Other well known shopping locations like Express Bus Terminal and Dongdaemun cater to a specific group of shoppers.
But, Myeongdong is the place where you can find everything all in one place.
Let’s look at the 5 best things to do at Myeongdong.
1. Shop till you drop at Myeongdong
In short, Myeongdong has everything all under one roof. You can tick everything off your shopping checklist here at Myeongdong!
Spree for branded goods at Myeongdong departmental stores
Big departmental stores, checked. You have the Shinsegae Department Store and Lotte Department Store. (Note: Duty free shop section is located on its 8th-12th floor in Myeongdong Shinsegae Department Store and 9th-12th floor in Myeongdong Lotte Department Store.) We recommend korean brand bags and clothing, ginseng and cosmetics! Some popular Korean fashion items to get here are MLB, Acme de la vie, AQO Studiospace, Find Kapoor, Samsonite.
Shop for these korean fashion brands at styleupK at the comfort of your home! Worldwide shipping.
Male Fashion. Image credit: @melvinoyx
Korean fashion for guys?
The opposite side of the departmental stores is the hype about Myeongdong! You will see international brand shops like Forever 21 and Zara, to Korean fast fashion shops like SPAO and 8 seconds. There are also smaller shops selling Korean style clothing ranging at 15,000 - 30,000won (SGD 18-36). The korean clothings here are like those sold at the Express Bus Terminal Station. But, Myeongdong is not a shopping place for women. In fact, Korean fashion is also catered for men. Guys can check out international brands like Nike, Adidas to fashion brands like National Geographic and The North Face.
Korean Cosmetics Store in Myeongdong. Image credit: @asiaone
Stock up on korean cosmetics at Myeongdong
Other than shopping for clothes at Myeongdong, do also buy your Korean cosmetics here! Korean skincare and cosmetics are of such good quality. And the prices of the Korean skincare products at Myeongdong are very affordable. It is much cheaper than their prices in Singapore. Plus they always throw in samples too!
You will be able to find all major Korean cosmetic brands, including Innisfree, The Face Shop and Etude House. In fact, the main street of Myeongdong subway station welcomes its shoppers with a line of cosmetic stores!
Myeongdong snacks. Image credit: @anakjajan
Myeongdong snacks are cheaper than Lotte mart
While you at Myeongdong, check out the Korean marts where they sell Korean snacks at cheap prices. One of the must buy is the Korean almonds! It used to be only honey butter almonds, but they have released many more flavors this year. Our favorite is the Tom's Farm Cookies & Cream Almond. It is a must-try for Oreo fans. A thick slap of milk and Oreo combination! It is not easy to find an Oreo mixture done with the right amount of sweetness and creaminess and this is just right! Other recommended flavors are the Toms Farm Wasabi Favored Almonds and the Hot Chicken Almond nuts.
Check out this blog for recommendations on what to buy in the Korea marts in Myeongdong.
Biggest daiso store in myeongdong. Image credit: @qtKitchen
Biggest Daiso store in Korea
Lastly, drop by the Korean pharmacy Olive Young to get more Korean hairstyle products. Before leaving Myeongdong, get your daily essentials from Daiso Myeongdong! It's a whopping 8 story tall, and the biggest in Korea! Sometimes, Daiso Korea releases cute seasonal items like the Daiso Pooh and Daiso Sakura collection! You might be able to catch it if you are in luck!
Moneychanger in Myeongdong. Image credit: @starsofheaven
Best currency exchange rate at Myeongdong
If you have bought too many things, drop by the Myeongdong post office to send your items home by EMS. On the way, pick up some BTS, Blackpink, Twice items from the many kpop goods stores along the way. After the visit to the post office, stop by the Myeongdong money changers for a second round of shopping! They give the best rates anyways!
Tip: the two money changers located near the Chinese embassy in Korea give the best rates. Identify the Chinese embassy by its big red doors!
Myeongdong streetfood. Image credit: @koreatodo
2. Try streetfood at Myeongdong
Myeongdong is not only Seoul's shopping paradise, it is also a street food heaven for food lovers. The streets are lined with rows of delicious street food. Don't miss out the food carts that sell the popular tteok-bokki and kimbap. Other than the common korean streetfood, try grilled lobsters and clams street style! The long tornado potatoes is a must try for potato lovers and gyeran bbang (koreanegg bread) is fluffy and soft. End the streetfood tour with desserts such as chocolate-coated strawberries. Hotteok (Korean sweet pancake) is a favorite too with its sweet honey filling. Their average price is about 4000won (~SGD 5).
Visit at night for an authentic food tour
The myeongdong food vendors usually start operations from afternoon. But, the buzz starts at night when the Myeongdong shopping street is filled with food carts everywhere. Although the price of Myeongdong streetfood might be a bit on the high side, it is a good way to taste the Korean snacks. Also, you will will need the energy for shopping at Myeongdong!
Myeongdong Kyoja. Image credit: @tripadvisor
Dinner at Myeongdong Kyoja
For dinner, visit Myeongdong Kyoja (명동교자). It is a popular Kalguksu (noodles) restaurant known for its rich broth, smooth handmade noodles and dumplings. We also love the systemic order in the restaurant. It might be a famous restaurant, but the queue is short and the Kalguksu noodles are usually served within 5 minutes! Their business is so good that they have opened a second Myeongdong Kyoja branch at Myeongdong!
mMyeongdong Haidilao. Image credit: @timeout
Or Haidilao Hot Pot for good service
Another must-go restaurant is the famous Haidilao Hot Pot. Until recently, local Koreans notion of Chinese food is usually mutton skewers and Jajangmyeon noodles. But recently Mala Hotpot and Chinese style hotpot are gaining popularity in Korea. Unlike shabu shabu, the Chinese hotpot has a wider assortment of food choices. You can choose from a variety of meat, tofu, vegetables and noodles to place into the broth. Known for its fresh ingredients and exemplary service, Haidilao Hotpot is a popular restaurant. You might have to wait in the queue to get the seat in the Hailidao restaurant in Korea!
3. Get a new hairstyle
Do you want to get a dazzling new look in South Korea? Myeondong is the best place to pamper yourself with a new hairstyle to look like the korean celebrities on television. Our top picks in Myeongdong are foreigner friendly too!
Gaggum hair dream in myeongdong. Image credit: @trazy
Gaggum Hair Dream
Located 5 minutes from Myeongdong subway station, Gaggum Hair Dream is popular to locals and foreigners. The hair stylists are also proficient in English, Chinese and Japanese too! The hair stylists are experienced in providing quality hair treatments such as hair coloring and perming.
Juno hair outlet in Myeongdong. Image credit: @lottehotel
Juno Hair Myeongdong
Juno Hair is a well-known hair salon franchise which has 50 over branches in Korea! The Juno Hair Myeongdong branch has English speaking hair stylists who are proficient at haircut, dyeing and perming. Haircuts start at about SGD30.
Amaze your friends with a brand new haircut at Myeongdong!
Tip: bring along a picture to show the hair stylists.
Myeongdong cathedral. Image credit: @visitseoul
4. Visit the Myeongdong cathedral
Myeongdong Cathedral is a historic landmark as it is the birthplace for the Roman Catholic Church community in Korea. It is the first Gothic building built in Korea and was registered as the Historic site No. 285 of Korea. Unlike most Gothic buildings, Myeongdong cathedral was made of bricks rather than stones. The design of Myeongdong cathedral is breathtaking, and it is larger than other catholic churches in Korea. The church has beautiful high ceilings as well as arches between the magnificent inner pillars of the church building. At the basement, there is a small sanctuary where the remains of the martyrs are enshrined, and visitors can pay their respects. Also, do remember to visit St. Mary’s Garden which offers pretty photo spots.
5. Stay at a Myeongdong hotel
Many tourists love to stay in Myeongdong for its convenience. It is located near the city center, and is close to major Korean attractions like N Seoul Tower and Gyeongbokgung Palace. You can also locate subway line 2 and 4 at Myeongdong which bring you to Hongdae and Gangnam within 30 minutes.
Myeongdong accommodation range from high-end 5 star hotels to affordable hotels and guesthouses.
Aloft seoul myeongdong. Image credit: @tripadvisor
Live in style at Aloft Seoul Myeongdong
This 4-star Marriott International hotel is one of the top luxurious hotel options in Myeongdong. Its theme is modern and stylish, and provide visitors with a good night sleep. The beautiful hotel blends in nicely with the bustling Myeongdong neighbourhood.
Nine tree hotel myeongdong. Image credit: @agoda
Enjoy a good night sleep at Nine Tree Hotel
Nine Tree Hotel is located at a quieter street of Myeongdong. It is good for people who are sensitive to noise. The rooms are clean and simple. And it offers a no frills experience overlooking the Myeongdong streets. Its strength lies in its superior location, which is near to the bustling center of Myeongdong shopping streets. The prices are kind on your pockets too.
Myeongdong rooftop hostel. Image credit: @booking.com
Mingle with others at Myeongdong Rooftop Hostel
This hostel is located near Myeongdong shopping streets and the subway station. The rooms are spacious, toilets are clean, and the staff are friendly too. Family rooms for 6-10 pax are available too. Recommended for solo trip-goers a trip with friends.
Myeongdong is a definite must-go Korean attraction and a highlight of your trip to Seoul. Remember to reserve at least a day visit on your next trip to Korea. To shop for Korean fashion, visit styleupK. Worldwide shipping. Free shipping to Singapore and Malaysia above SGD80.