Nandaemun Market has been selling all types of goods for more than 600 years. The place has a lot of character and the market traders are very friendly. This is a good place to buy cheap gifts, ranging from ginseng products to glassware.
Food Vendor Alley is open 24 hours and there is a great variety of Korean snacks available.
Nam (³²) is South, Dae (´ë) is great, mun (¹®) is gate: Great South Gate. Just get there and start walking. The market is bordered by massive streets but if you walk in and out of the blocks of stalls and shops you can find some little gems.
If you get a hankering for a real LV bag just go across the street to Shinsege Department Store (near the Bank of Korea building) but better bring a high-limit credit card.
What to buy: Not as organized as Dongdaemun, this market is mostly outdoor with many, many sellers of bags/attaches/purses/luggage and about anything else one could need. Some good knock-offs here as well, but not in the shops...got to go to the more mobile sellers in the street for the best goods. For instance, LV belt (vinyl, but nice looking) 15,000 - 1,000 discount if buying 2 (see: What to Pay).
Also: TONS of clothing, some of which is fake, others are just low-priced.
What to pay: Bargain everywhere. Never pay full price, always 10%-20% should come off. Never take your wallet out until you have the price firm. Never get too excited about an item. Always show flaws or make up some option or color you would prefer (one that they cannot give, thus should give you a discount for not having it). Always buy 2 or more items...should get a 20% discount at least for that. If you get 30%-35% off consider yourself a local.
Have you ever asked yourself where you could go to shop for a pig's head, dry anchovies, and a coat, all without having to make three trips? Well have I got the place for you!
Namdaemun Market had just about everything I could think of Flowers, wigs, coats, food, you name it, it is probably here, and that is just the outside open air market.
Namdaemun also features many stores nearby such as Mesa. Mesa is a fun place to shop. My first memory of Mesa was their bus which had people dancing on it. The bus was driven all over town. It is kind of fun to shop there.
Shinsegae Department Store is also a great place to shop. It is a lot more upscale than the open air market of Namdaemun, but a great place to pick up some finer items in Seoul.
This is a huge indoor/outdoor market that is very crowded and stimulating! Just about every "designer" fake you can imagine is here, with a big emphasis on Loius Vuitton.
There is something for everyone from clothes to Korean knicknacks, shoes,furs and lots of leather goods.
What to buy: "Changsung" or Spirit Posts are a traditional Korean item that were quite large and placed at the entrance of every village to protect from harm and ensure peace and prosperity. Now you can buy them in small wooden replicas easy to toss in your backpack.
Laquer boxes are very well made and come in all kinds of sizes and designs with lovely Korean motifs. These are small and make great gifts!
Open air, all kinds of goods, large number of tourists go to this place to see for them selves
What to buy: Any thing you wish, Including all the label brands too. for almost give away free kind of prices
What to pay: Little as possible
Namdaemun is a big open air flea market. A great place to shop and also to people-watch. I like going to this kind of place because it is where I could really see the locals....how Korean peddlers conduct their business.
What to buy: There is a wide array of goods for sale, a street for each kind....clothes, toys, CDs, shoes, bags and even spices. You need something then most probably you'll find it here.
Namdaemun Market is my favorite place. This Market history was the latter term of Joseon Dynasty.Namdaemun Market located in this area is one of the biggest wholesale and retail shopping districts in Korea. there is 74 shopping malls and 20,000 specialty stores. have plenty of custom about 300,000 over everydays. and Foreigner custom visit about 7,000~10,000 everydays.
This is typical buy a thing at Namdaemun Market of Foreigner customs. Japanese buy to Mushrooms, Ginseng, Gim, Clothes. Chinese buy to Mushrooms, Clothes, Handicrafts. Americans buy to Clothes, Folk Art articles, Handicrafts. Europeans buy to Clothes, Folk Art articles, Handicrafts. Russians buy to Clothes, Accessories. Eastsouth Asians buy to Clothes, Accessories, Korean Handicrafts. Central and Middleeast Asians buy to Clothes, Accessories. Central and South Americans buy to Clothes, Accessories, Folk Art articles, Korean Handicrafts. Living in Korea Foreigners buy to Clothes, Daily Necessities, Personal Ornaments.
What to buy: You're to find by sale items is Four Seasons whether Clothes, Personal Ornaments, Kitchenware, Accessories, Sunglasses, Leather products, Agricultural and Marine products, Food miscellaneous, Daily Necessities, Alcoholic liquors and Beverages, Import items, Digital Cameras, Korean handicrafts and etc
One of the most vibrant markets in Seoul is the outdoor Namdaemun market. A maze of narrow alleys lined with stores, Namdeamun always seems crowded. The northernmost section is reserved for food vendors selling Korean staples like kimchi, soup and other unrecognizable dishes (I'm sure you can get soju or beer to wash down your quick meal). Most of the other stores sell clothes, handbags and everyday items. If you're looking for gifts to bring back home, you may find some here but you'll have to do some hunting. You'd have better luck shopping at Insadong or Itaewon.
Namdaemun area is famous for budget shopping. You can find everything you need in several streets and alleys. Prices are reasonable, but there is still some room for bargain. You can spend hours in Namdaemun if you are into shopping. There are also food stalls serving noodles and other local delicacies. To feel the vibrant daily life in Seoul, you have to visit this market.
What to buy: Souvenirs, T-shirts, Local products
What to pay: Prices are reasonable
I was there twice.
One in the morning and one late noon.
What can I say about Namdaemun market,well in the late noon forget to look the floor because you can´t see it, so you can figure how packed it is.
But is a shopper paradise, lots of faked items, very good imitations but expensive too.
For me socks and belts was my way of shopping in Namdaemun.
There were 6 or more alleys of Namdaemun market selling clothes, grocery, food, medicines, bags and shoes. This is the biggest flea market in Seoul and perhaps the one that offers the cheapest goods compared to Dongdaemun and Myeongdong (more fashionable).
Try sampling Korean street food while you're here.
I even tried to exchange dollars into won in the nearby KB star bank
What to buy: T-shirts and blouses - start at 5000 W
Shoes - start at 10,000 W
This is Korea's largest market. I love this place as you can find almost anything that you can think of here. Bargaining is necessary to get great deals. The most interesting aspect is the amount of black market goods that have been obtained from the US military.
Seoul's Namdaemun Area has hundreds of small shops selling everything from clothes and housewares to souvenirs at discount prices. There are also several decent restaurants on "food vendor alley."
This is one of the largest and most traditional markets in Seoul and it offers a wide variety of goods from authentic Korean pottery to knock-off American clothing. Just walking through the area is an adventure, whether you're buying anything or not. In my many visits to the area, I only bought a few small kitchen items, but I also stopped at shoe repair shops and a few of the great little restaurants.
During my 2013 visit, the streets of the area were decorated with small flags of the world. We really enjoyed the massive jewelry building with hundreds if not thousands of small vendors and manufacturers. We also had a great lunch of bebimbap at a small restaurant.
Namdaemun Market is the largest and best general wholesaler market in Korea. It's here where you'll find probably every product imaginable: clothing, textile, household items, food, handicrafts and accessories...name it they have it! And the best thing of all is that they're so inexpensive! (well okay, it was still quite expensive considering that I come from the Philippines and was busy converting money).
Namdaemun is not just a shopping area but also a tourist destination if you want to get a feel of Korean culture and everyday life as even the ordinary folks come to Namdaemun. It is said that the best time to go is between 10:30pm until the wee hours of morning when retailers descend on the market to get the best wholesale deals.
What to buy: Shoes are a must as well as sweaters, coats and jackets. I think Koreans love their winter wear and you'll find the most stylish coats and jackets in Korea.
What to pay: i can't remember exactly but i do remember that haggling can be done!
If shopping is what you are after, then head to Namdaemun market, which is easily reachable by the metro. The Namdaemun market is located right next to the Southern Gate, which is well worth a visit while you're there. There is no entry to the gate, but you can still admire it and take pics. This market not only offers a vast array of shopping potential, but also has many restaurants to appease your stomach. I had a tasty fish dish for lunch.