If you are looking for the best place to shop in Seoul where you can get everything you need in one place, I present you Myeongdong Shopping Street. In this guide, I will break down what to buy, where to shop, and basic Myeongdong Street Food. Myeongdong is filled with tourists and foreigners constantly throughout the year. You can enjoy what Korea is all about: the food, skincare, and shopping.
Myeongdong Shopping Street | What to Buy and Where to Go
Korea is known to become one of the meccas for skincare and beauty. They are increasingly becoming more popular in fashion as well because of K-Dramas and K-Pop.
What is Myeongdong Shopping Street famous for?
Myeongdong is mostly famous for street food and shopping. There is a bit of nightlife there when it comes to shopping and food, but not with partying. I’d suggest you go do to Hongdae or Itaewon for nightlife in Seoul.
What should I buy at Myeongdong Shopping Street?
There are a lot of things you could buy in Myeongdong shopping street, why you should buy is completely depending on you and your lifestyle. I’ve listed the most popular things to buy in Myeongdong Shopping Street below.
Some of the most popular things you can find in Myeongdong are:
- Face Masks – Korea offers a variety of different types of Face Masks from sheet masks to clay masks, the sheet masks are among the most popular and most affordable as well. Korea focuses on trying to enhance your skin rather than stripping it away. So with these face masks, they are filled with vitamins, moisturizing, and collagen products to make your skin smooth, shiny, and renewed.
- Face Lotions – Skincare is a huge thing in South Korea, so facial lotions are big for Koreans. They love to keep their faces hydrated and glowing. Sheet masks are helpful with their extensive skincare routine, however facial lotions are what is more important in their daily routine. They have several different types from night creams, anti-aging, day time, hydrating, and more.
- Face Serums – Serums are popular among Koran skincare. Usually, you will apply this prior to applying the facial lotion. The serums work well for anti-aging and help with providing nutrients to the skin after cleansing.
- Makeup – Typically eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow. Unfortunately, a lot of foundation can be light in color and hard for darker skin tones.
- Socks – Socks are really popular to buy in South Korea because they are so affordable and they have so many cute designs. Many socks are made in South Korea.
- Street Food – If you want to try Korea’s most popular street food, Myeongdong is the place to get it. There are a ton of street food options here and you can also continue to many of the other markets in Korea as well.
- Brand Clothing – Koreans love shopping for American brand clothing. So if you happen to have any issues getting it from the United States, you can easily grab some items in this area or some of the major malls in South Korea.
- Souvenirs – Although it’s probably not the most popular for traditional souvenirs, you can still find some here.
Where should I shop in Myeongdong Shopping Street?
There are a lot of stores in Myeongdong shopping street which makes it quite overwhelming. It can be difficult to navigate around with so many alleyways and areas to explore. You can easily spend an entire day looking at all of the stores in Myeongdong. I have split the post into different categories of where you should shop in Myeongdong Shopping Street.
K-Beauty Stores in Myeongdong
- Innisfree – This popular Korean Beauty Store sells makeup and skincare that focuses on its natural ingredients. They often highlight that many of their products are made from natural products that are produced on Jeju Island.
- Nature Republic – This store is known for its natural products made from raw ingredients. They want you to embrace your natural beauty and believe their products are for everyone and all-inclusive.
- The Face Shop – Now, unfortunately, many of these stores have been closing all over Korea but I think they are rebranding themselves to the Nature Collection. Like the Nature Republic, they embody beauty assortments for natural beauties.
- Tony Moly – I usually tend to go to Tony Moly for makeup cosmetics rather than skincare products, although they do offer both. They believe in ethical practices, quality, and stylish products.
- Aritaum – Another store I primarily go for makeup, but they also offer skincare products. Their goal is to provide many on-trend products that you can easily get in one place.
- Skin Food – This popular skincare chain in Korea offers some of the best scrubs in Korea. The most popular being the black sugar scrub and the rice scrub. It will help with making your skin feel baby soft and smooth afterward.
- Etude House – Etude House is a shop that geared more toward the younger generation. They have more products like lip balms, nail polish, skincare, and more. Their cute packaging often brings in a lot of customers. It’s a great place to start or get some basics.
- Sulwhasoo – This is going to be one of the more expensive Korean skincare places. They are pretty popular among the older generation with a lot of products that help with anti-aging, wrinkles, and more. It’s also good for the younger generation, however, this product has been around for quite a long time in Korea. This is a very established company.
- Holika Holika – This is a great place to get makeup. They focus on enhancing your already beautiful qualities and make you feel confident and help you find your inner charm and beauty. They want to help you reach your beauty potential.
- Tony Moly – This is another popular makeup store. Many people will rave about their eyeliner and lipstick here. They also sell the popular egg packs masks that are perfect for your nose. I found the blackhead one to be fairly comparable to the glam glow product. However, the product does start to dry up so be sure to use it within 6mos to a year.
- Missha – This company believes that quality should be affordable. They offer a variety of different products and are popular for their cosmetics line from beauty to skincare.
- Clio – This is probably my go-to makeup store in Korea, I absolutely love their waterproof eyeliner, they actually have a liquid foundation for my medium tan complexion, and their eye shadows are absolutely stunning. They remind me of a Korean brand of Urban Decay.
- Olive Young – This hands down is probably my favorite “drug store” for skincare, beauty, and everything in between. Olive young is like the CVS, Rite Aid, or Walgreens of South Korea when it comes to cosmetics. They don’t have their own brand, they just sell several brands. You can easily find many of the popular Korean and American brands here.
- Dr. Jart+ – Dr. Jart is the “fusion of skincare, science, and art”. A lot of their products are very interesting and work well. One of my favorite products is their peeling masks which makes you feel like you have a ton of dead skin coming off of your face. I also really like their hand creams.
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Fashion Stores in Myeongdong
- 8 seconds
- Forever 21
- New Balance
- Lotte Department Store
- Shinsegae Myeongdong
- ABC Mart
Popular Stores in Myeongdong Shopping Street
- Artbox Myeongdong shopping street – This is my favorite store in all of Korea, hands down. I love any and all Artbox stores in South Korea. They provide a variety of cute products from stationery, souvenirs, interesting things you didn’t know you needed, and more. Honestly, these products are what remind me of shopping in target, minus the clothes and food. They just have interesting products and gifts perfect for an array of people.
- Daiso Myeongdong – The dollar store of Korea which originated from Japan, is popular among all of South Korea. You will pretty much see this store everywhere and it’s totally worth checking out. There are a lot of products that you might need are very affordable. Usually, the most expensive product in the store is about 5,000KRW, but most are cheaper than that. Just be sure to check the packaging.
- Line Store Myeongdong – Line is a popular messaging system in Korea but not quite as popular as Kakao. Line characters are some of the cutest characters which make their stores and cafes some of the popular ones around Seoul.
- Kakao Store Myeongdong – There is a debate between Line characters and Kakao characters. I honestly prefer the Kakao characters over Line only because I really love Peach. Peach is so cute and looks like a butt haha. Kakao is also a more popular messaging system in Korea rather than Line. There is a running joke that any guy who tries to add you on Line is someone who is already in a relationship trying to hide you from their Kakao.
Myeongdong Underground Shopping Center
If you want to get away from the traditional Myeongdong shopping street, you can also check out the Myeongdong Underground Shopping Center. You can find a variety of different things, souvenirs, snacks, and more. It can typically be a bit cheaper than the products that are offered by vendors above ground. Many products you will find are similar or the same as well.
- To get to the Myeongdong Underground shopping center, take exits 12 -15.
- Operating hours are 9:00am – 10:00pm.
I’m not going to go into much detail about Myeongdong Street Food because I have a post that describes everything you need to know here. Here is the most popular Myeongdong Street Food you should get in Myeongdong Shopping Street.
- Tornado Potato
- Roasted Chestnuts
- Sweet Potatoes
- Dragon’s Beard
How do I get to Myeongdong shopping street?
Take the subway line 4 to Myeongdong Station and take exit 6.
Insider Tip: This subway can be very crowded during the evening rush hour. I suggest you arrive in Myeongdong before 5 pm on weekdays to avoid this.
What time does Myeongdong Shopping Street close?
Myeongdong shopping street hours are typically from 9:00 am – 10:00 pm, however, some of the street food vendors don’t usually open until around 11:00 am or 12:00 pm. Many stores, restaurants, and even some cafes in Korea usually do not open until about 9:00 am. Some vendors in Myeongdong also stay open later, however, to guarantee shops to be open arrive before 9:00 pm.
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