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Traditional Markets, Seoul

Traditional Markets, Seoul

Although many markets are primarily wholesale markets, it is possible to buy retail in all of them, while some are orientated equally toward both retail and wholesale. Prices here are much better for everything from produce to clothing to fish to flowers to shoes to everything in between.

Garak Market (가락 시장) is a wholesale produce market in southeastern Seoul (Songpa-gu) where you can buy fresh produce (fruit and vegetables) and seafood at much lower prices (and often fresher quality) than in the supermarkets.  Open 2:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily, except for the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. To get there, you can take the subway to Garak Market Station on the pink #8 line (stop 817) Exits 3 & 4. Website:  Korean only

Gyeongdong Market (경동시장) is located in the Jaegi-dong area of Dongdaemun-gu (1036 Jegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul) and is one of the largest herbal medicine and ginseng market of South Korea. There are more than 1,000 related shops and oriental medicine clinics in the area. Gyeongdong Market also serves as a wholesale and retail markets selling agricultural product and fish. To get there, go to Jaegi-dong subway station(stop 126) Stations on Line 1and go out exit 2. Open 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.. Closed 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month.
Dongdaemun Market (동대문시장) is located to the east of central Seoul and is the largest market (area-wise) in Korea. Before venturing on your own, you may want to stop by the Dongaaemun Market Information Center located on the west side of the Dongdaemun Stadiums and get a free map. The staff there can also answer many of your questions.  You name and you can probably find it in Dongdaemun. It is especially known for its fabric markets. Website: Click on English for the market layout in English (also Chinese, Japanese) but the rest of the information is Korean-only.) To get there: Dongdaemun Station (stops 129 or 421) on lines 1 and 4. Many of the exits will get you into the market depending on where you want to go. Try exits 1, 4, 5, 13 or 14.
Gwangjang Market  (광장시장) is located east of Dongdaemun Market ( 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul) and is a delightful old market. You will find everything from food stalls to a fish market; also available on this floor are bedding, clothing and ready-made hanbok. A large fabric market and the renowned ‘button alley’ are located on this block. Closed Sundays. To get there, Jongno 5-ga subway, Stop 129, Exit 8. 
Express Bus Terminal (고속버스터미널) offers both the Underground Market that runs the length of a city block and a huge flower market located on the third floor of the terminal where you can buy fresh cut flowers and artificial flowers/plants along with plastic food/produce, ceramic pots, gardening supplies and seasonal decorations. The underground market features a large number of discount shops and is a great place for winter or rainy day shopping. Individual merchants sell clothing, home décor accessories, holiday decorations, flowers (more expensive though than the bus terminal flower market) and cosmetics. The underground market closes at around 9PM and is open every day except the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. Technically, the shops open at 9AM, but in reality they open much later. To get there, take line 3 (orange) or line 7 (olive) to the Express Bus Terminal Station (stop 339 / 734). To get to the flower market, go out exit 8, turn right and walk to (and into) the bus terminal. Inside turn right and head for the escalator.  For the underground market, follow the signs for the underground market. There's a small one on the same level as top floor of the subway station, but there's another bigger one below it.
Hwanghakdong Flea Market (황학동 벼룩시장) / aka Dokkaebi Market (도깨비시장) is a great place for bargain hunters. A wide range of secondhand items can be found here including used appliances (fixed up like new), computers, phones, sewing machines, cameras, record albums, musical instruments, and lots more. There are also low-priced 'antiques' and reproductions here. Open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. - as is usual in the markets, not all vendors will be there all the time. To get there, go to Sindang Station on lines 2 or 6 (stop 206 and 635) and go out exit 2.

Jungang Market (서울 중앙시장) was once of the major markets in Seoul and in the last decade has reinvented itself with some of the stalls having been transformed into art studios and boutique spaces for local artisans. The market still features food stalls, small storefronts selling housewares, furniture, meat, fish, produce and more. To get there, take the subway to Sindang Station (Line 2 Stop 206 or Line 6 Stop 635) and go out Exit 2.
Majang Meat Market (마장 축산물시장) located in central Seoul, at the eastern end of Cheonggye Stream, it is the largest meat market in the country. The market is a cluster of a hundred or more butcher stalls, dealers and meat-processing shops. Only pork and beef are sold here. The freshness and the low prices are difficult to find anywhere else. Also, if you´re looking for harder-to-find meat products, this is the place to come. No matter what cut of meat you want, you can get it here; if you can´t see what you need, ask for it and the butcher will find it or cut it for you! Before going to Majang, you’ll want to prepare. First, the market is very Korean and there are very few English-speaking butchers. If you want a specific cut of meat find out what the name is in Korean and write it down to show the butcher (you can also bring an image as well). Second, you will find ALL body parts from pigs and cows there, including heart, liver, heads, brains, ears, intestines, tails, feet, etc.  To get there, take Subway line 5 to Majang Station, Stop 541, Exit 2. Go left at Majang-an Street and continue and you will find the market on your left.
Namdaemun Market (남대문시장) is located in central Seoul near the Great South Gate. This  large traditional export market has been in operation for over 500 years and is well-known for it’s clothing merchants, wrapping paper, flower market, fashion accessories, art supplies, china and glassware, and much more. Namdaemun is also an excellent place to find ginseng, medicinal mushrooms, seaweed, beans and local herbs and spices. There’s also a large ‘import’ food market, as well as a small fish market and produce vendors. There are a number of entrances to the market. If you get lost, there are 2-3 information booths staffed with people who can help you find your way. To get there, walk down from the Hilton Hotel and go in one of the gates there (8, 7 and 1) or take the subway to Hoehyeon Station on Line 4 (stop 425) and go out Exit 5. Open 7 days a week (although some vendors don't open on Sundays)
Noryanjin Fish Market (노량진수산시장) is located near the 63 Building and is operated by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. This is a great place to get fresh fish/seafood as well as frozen varieties. Almost everything you can think of can be found here at quite reasonable prices. Independent retail and wholesales vendors ply their trade at Noryanjin. The small produce market located alongside the fish market building is one of the places in the city where one can find some fresh produce (brussel sprouts, green beans, etc) that are not stocked in most supermarkets. To get there, go to Noryangin Station on subway line 1 (stop 137). Open 04:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (auction time: 1:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.). Closed Sundays & Holidays.
NOTE: The Korean word for market is 'shijang' so, for example, if you're going to Garak Market by taxi, ask to go to Garak Shijang.

At the time of this posting, the market websites were in Korean only.
K4E Editor: Korea4Expats wants to provide the most accurate and complete information possible, so if you noticed an error or omission in the contents above, please contact us at

Last Updated on 2021-11-10

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