Shopping in Seoul

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Seoul is a mecca of shopping with areas that appeal to travelers of all lifestyles and budgets. Here are a few of the most famous shopping districts in Seoul that you should definitely check out, be it for window shopping, atmosphere or great buys.

Insadong

This is the area to head to if you're looking for great souvenirs to bring home with you. The main street is filled with shops and stalls that sell everything from incense to jewelry to silks to antiques. You can pick up some Korean birthday cards or your favourite flavour of tea. There are also art galleries and restaurants galore, not to mention the only Starbucks with its name written in Korean. Bargain with vendors at sidewalk stalls, and expect to pay more inside the shops. In general prices are excellent.

Metro: Line 1, Jonggak Station, Exit 3

Myeongdong

Here you can find four department stores and tons of shops that offer everything for the truly hip. The area caters to Japanese and American tourists, so most shopkeepers will speak your language. Browse shoes, clothing, jewelry and even hip-hop style clothing. Be prepared for everything to be cutting edge and on the slightly expensive side, but it certainly won't break your budget.

Metro: Line 4, Myeongdong Station, Exits 5, 6, 7 or 8

Itaewon

This is the foreigner haven of Seoul. Pubs and restaurants all cater to western tastes, and clothing stores tend to run big in sizes, making it ideal for those not as tiny as the typical Korean. You can also find tailors to make you custom suits, leather goods, knock-off handbags from Chanel and Louis Vuitton, and jewelry. Sports shops where you can find a jersey for your favorite team are also abundant. Prices are definitely a bargain, but steer clear of the Korean knick-knacks that you'll find cheaper in Insadong.

Metro: Line 6, Insadong Station, Exit 1

Sinchon

This fashion forward area is also home to several universities, making it a must-do hangout for college students. The fashion is geared toward younger demographics, with lots of vintage and alternative clothing. There are also tons of amazing restaurants, and Sinchon is definitely the area to go to for nightlife if you're into dance clubs and hip-hop. Prices reflect the fact that it's a college area, but keep in mind that Koreans like their designers, so it's still not cheap.

Metro: Line 2, Sinchon Station, Ewha Station, or Hongik University Station

Yongsan

If you're looking for a great electronics market then definitely head to Yongsan. They have everything from MP3s to digital cameras to heated toilet seats. Generally there's one floor devoted to each type of device. When you get tired of electronics you can head across the way to the I'Park Shopping Center to browse the latest fashions or catch a movie. You can't beat the bargain prices on electronics, but fashion is generally more expensive than in the west.

Metro: Line 1, Yongsan Station

Apgujeong

Apgujeong is the designer central of Seoul. Come here to pick up your Prada, Armani, Gucci and more. The Hyundai Department Store also offers all of the best in watches and jewelry. Be prepared to max out your credit card, but the atmosphere is phenomenal and the merchandise can't be beat.

Metro: Line 3, Apgujeong Station, Exit 2 or 5

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September 18, 2009 change by tiffanymparker

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