In spite of the great development in the city of Seoul, where multi-lane highways and skyscrapers are the order of the day, you will still find a taste of the ancient culture in a variety of places and ways. The city has been the capital of Korea from the 14th century, and it currently has a population of approximately 10 million people.
There are many shopping centers that make Seoul a delight for lovers of shopping. In Seoul, you will find the rare combination of high quality products and fair prices. Beware, however the huge crowds of fellow shoppers that you are sure to encounter. In spite of the fact that people are generally polite, some shoving is to be expected.
The following are some of the popular shopping destinations where you can satisfy your needs.
– Namdaemun Market
This downtown market, also known as The Great South Gate Market, is the largest traditional market in the whole country, covering an area of about ten acres. You will find almost anything here, from ginseng to military uniforms! The popular products in this great shopping paradise include clothes, fabrics, shoes, flowers, tableware, watches and ginseng products.
The prices At Namdaemum Market are generally low, because many of the shops belong to the respective manufacturers. You will therefore save between 10% and 20% here as compared to other shopping centers.
Different stores have different operating hours, and you will need to plan appropriately. Retailers usually operate between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, and many do not operate on the first and third Sundays of the month. However, you will still find many street vendors if you choose to visit on these days or at off-hours: wholesalers usually open their stores between midnight and six in the morning.
– Yongsan Electronics Market
A number of small electronic dealers joined together to establish the Yongsan Electronics Market. It is currently the largest electronic shopping center in the East, covering an area of 78,650 square meters.
Yongsan Electronics Market is made up of 24 shopping centers having over 7,000 shops. You can find the latest releases of different kinds of electronic products here, ranging from lighting equipment to computers. The prices of products made in Korea are between 10% and 30% lower while the imported products go for as much as 50% lower than their retail prices. Special discounts are also usually available at the start of the year. Most of the stores are opened between 10:00 am and 8:00 pm.
This is the place to buy antiques. Art galleries and antique stores line a narrow street, where you will also find second-hand bookstores and traditional teahouses. Whether you are looking for paintings, calligraphy or assorted antique items, this is the place to visit.
Perhaps you are not interested in antiques or brand new items but just want some great bargains. Then head to Itaewon, where you will have the opportunity to dig through another man’s trash to find your treasure. Do not think for a moment that you will get low quality products: the products are not often rejected because of poor quality but due to other factors like odd or irregular sizes.
Other great shopping destinations include Techno Mart, Apkujong, and Shinch’on.
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