Seoul: Guide to Shopping in Myeongdong

Myeongdong is one of the most popular shopping districts in Seoul, especially for K-beauty fanatics. Apart from beauty brands, there are also tons of fashion boutiques, restaurants, cafes and street food that you should definitely visit and try. In this post, I will be sharing some tips on maximizing your time while in Myeongdong! smile

How to get to Myeongdong

  • Myeongdong Station: Line 4 (Blue Line), Exit 5/6/7/8
  • Euljiro 1(il-ga) Station: Line 2 (Green Line), Exit 5/6

Click ➨ Seoul Subway Map

Beauty brands you will find here

Etude House, The Face Shop, Laneige, Innisfree, Mamonde, Belif, Holika Holika, Tony Moly, Clio, MISSHA, Nature Republic, Beyond, VDL, The SAEM, Banila Co., ONL and more.

Beauty stores you will find here

Olive Young, Aritaum (Amore Pacific brands like Laneige, IOPE, Sulwahsoo), Lotte Department Store, Lotte Young Plaza and more.

Looking at the huge list of beauty brands, you will definitely go crazy here. We visited Myeongdong at least twice during our trip and it wasn’t enough to be honest! tongue

Bring a huge shopping bag

There are simply too many things to buy and it will be very convenient if you could bring a bag to dump all your shopping stuff inside. Usually I would bring large recyclable bags cos it’s very easy to fold and pack into the luggage.

You can get tax-free claims

If you spend at least 30,000 won, inform the cashier that you want to have tax-free privileges and they will issue you a receipt together with the form to fill in. Sometimes, they will try to encourage you to get their free gift instead. I’m not sure why but I usually don’t cos I would prefer getting a rebate.

However, claiming your taxes at the airport is quite a hassle. We met with a rude counter staff who refused to help us when we asked questions and she simply brushed us off to the self-help machine instead. I heard that they used to check your bags to verify your loots but no idea why they don’t do that now, not that I’ve encountered though.

Almost every store has a Chinese speaking staff

It’s a blessing for people who speaks Chinese, like myself. Sorry for those who don’t. It’s probably due to the large number of Chinese tourists in the city. For those who don’t speak Chinese, it is ok as we have a common language called “gesture language”. tongue

They will lure you in with free gifts

Annoying but effective. Some will try and shove it into your face. And if you left the store empty-handed, they will take it back lol! Happened to us, true story. angry

Look out for good deals

Cosmetics in Korea is generally about 30% to 40% cheaper than in Singapore. Do look out for bundle deals, 1-for-1 or items which are going at 50% discount.

Take your time to shop

Chances are you will find a similar store selling the same items at every corner. So do not rush into buying things and take your time to shop and decide.

Skip the Lotte Department Store

Don’t bother going. We nearly couldn’t get out of the place cos it was soooo crowded with tourists, shouting, pushing and shoving everywhere and we got out after 10 minutes. The staff there were not helpful either as they generalized everyone as the same kind of shoppers. It was crazy. Thank god we managed to escape alive. angry

Try the street food

The street hawkers will set up their stalls around 5pm in the evening. You will find things like crepes, fried squid, fruit juices, grilled cheese, egg bread and many more! I loveeee the egg bread! heart It was soooo good that I regretted buying more. sad

To sum up, Myeongdong is a must-visit if you are ever in Seoul. Don’t forget about the above tips and have a fruitful one if you ever visit this bustling little street! smile

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heart Seoul: Exploring Gyeongbokgung with Oneday Hanbok
heart Seoul: Guide to Shopping in Myeongdong
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