I tried to find photos of places that I shopped, but I realized that most of the times I just went there and shopped for half of the day, and even forgot to take any photos. Anyway, here are the places that I went shopping in Korea.
Underground Shopping malls
I usually spent almost half to one day for underground shopping malls. There are multiple underground shopping locations in Seoul that is really close to the subway station. You can imagine how crazy I am that I basically didn’t take any photos…
Most of the clothes/bags/shoes are made in Korea (Make sure you still check the label of the clothes before you purchase any clothes tho). They usually cost around 10,000 won to 20,000 for ladies clothes. However, I have to admit that 90% of the clothes their are for female.
Note: I notice that at some Asia countries, you can negotiate for price, but you can’t really do this here (Unless there are no price tags on the clothes). They don’t have a changing room as well, you can’t return your clothes after you purchase them. (That’s why they are cheap)
The reason why I always go shopping at the underground shopping mall is that they have a huge selection of clothes that are Made in Korea, most of their clothes have a really good texture but prices are also reasonable. I actually purchase many of my working clothes here, they usually cost around 20,000 won, but definitely looks great for work.
Express Bus Terminal Underground Mall is the underground mall that I first visited, it is HUGE with more than 600 stores (Yes, it is like a maze there). Newly renovated in 2012, there won’t be too many people on the weekdays, but tries to avoid the weekends since even local Koreans will shop there! There is also Shinsegae Department store around the area, so you can always shop for luxury clothes and find restaurants around the area.
Address: Express Bus Terminal Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, 7, 9), Exit 8.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Closed on third Thursday of every month)
Yeongdeungpo Underground Mall is another underground shopping mall that is close to the heart of Seoul. Compare to Express Bus Terminal, this underground mall has more local Korean teenagers and there are more clothing stores for male. This mall is close to a mega shopping mall “Times Square” and the Lotte Department Store, which makes the area even more popular.
However, I personally like the Express Bus Terminal underground shopping mall more than the Yeongdeungpo one. The clothes are cheaper in Yeongdeungpo, but they have lower quality and many shops in Yeongdeungpo sell similar clothes.
Address: Yeongdeungpo Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 5.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Visit Korea- Top 5 Underground Shopping Mall http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=2411991
E-mart (Food and supplies)
(2017) Update on Dec.12 : I went to Korea again this Winter and actually spent almost five hours at E-mart. The photo above is taken at the Wangsimni bench. Located next to the Wangsimni subway station, this E-mart has less tourist and has two floors. Besides kimchi and local Korean snacks (along with Ajumma who stands in front of a small counter and kindly ask you to try their food), there are also small appliance and clothes.
It is quite nice that they actually have fitting rooms and they are quite clean. My mom brought pants here with a discount, it costs around 9,900 won, which is a really good deal when you can even try it on. Since there isn’t a lot of people during the weekday, there isn’t a crowd and it makes everything a lot of peaceful.
Yep, I brought two boxes of food at E-mart. E-mart is one of the biggest local grocery stores in Korea. Instead of Lotte market, I actually prefer E-mart. There are many branches in Korea and most of them are quite close to the subway station. You will be able to find basically all kinds of food and products in E-mart, almost like Target and Walmart.
Olive Young (Cosmetics)
Olive Young is a must go for people who love skin care and make up products. Olive Young have many different brands and discounts. With many branches around Seoul, they offer “Tax free” service for customers. (Dr. Jart is a good brand for skin care product, it is quite expensive and hard to find if you don’t purchase it from Olive Young)
There is a really huge Olive Young in Myeongdong, (I believe there is actually two branches there). Really easy to find, there is also one in Ewha as well I think.
Address: 53 Myeongdong-gil, Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Olive Young website: http://www.oliveyoung.co.kr/store/main/main.do
More about Korea!