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Namdaemun is comprised of over 10,000 stores, stalls and vendors. Here you can buy anything from fishing gear to stationery, clothes and children’s toys. Even if you’re not looking to spend, Namdaemun is a colorful place to explore and soak up Korean culture. Mingle with locals doing their shopping, taste traditional food from street stalls and pick up souvenirs to take home.
The market was named after the nearby Namdaemun (Great South Gate). It has been operating in its current form since 1964, although there’s been some form of market here since the 15th century. The market is busy at any time of the day and night, so come when you’re in the mood for a little jostling and haggling. Allow at least a couple of hours to explore the market fully.
Namdaemun is a mixture of permanent stores housed in buildings and pop-up stalls lining the streets. Its lack of vehicle access means many goods are transported by bike or cart; keep your wits about you when wandering the streets.
Getting lost is part of the fun, but be sure to visit the underground arcade beneath Namdaemun-no to the north of the market.
You can find clothing, fabric and jewellery at wholesale prices throughout the market. Bargaining with vendors is widely accepted. That said, levels of English can be quite basic, so be prepared to spend some time agreeing on a price.
Namdaemun is a great place to eat. Dozens of stalls offer cheap and simple meals like mandu gook (dumpling soup) and bindae duk (mung bean pancake).
To get to the market, take the subway to Hoehyeon. Namdaemun Market is open Monday through Saturday. Retailers are generally open during the day. Wholesalers operate from late at night through to the early morning. If you have children with you, watch them closely, as it’s easy to get lost.
There are plenty of unique ways to get the most out of Namdaemun Market. Here are some of some of the most popular:
For more things to do, have a look at our Seoul things to do page.
Located in Jung-gu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sungnyemun Gate and Deoksugung Palace. Cheonggye Plaza and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park are also within 3 mi (5 km). City Hall Station is 6 minutes by foot and Seoul Station is 11 minutes.
This family-friendly Seoul hotel is located in the business district, within a 5-minute walk of Seoul City Hall and Lotte Department Store. Deoksugung Palace and Cheonggyecheon are also within 10 minutes. Euljiro 1-ga Station is only a 2-minute walk and City Hall Station is 5 minutes.
Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Myeongdong Street and Lotte Department Store. Namsan Park and Seoul City Hall are also within 10 minutes. Myeong-dong Station is only a 4-minute walk and Euljiro 1-ga Station is 6 minutes.
Located in Jung-gu, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Namdaemun Market, Postal Museum of Korea, and Bank of Korea Museum. Seven Luck Casino Millennium Seoul Hilton Branch and Sungnyemun Gate are also within 10 minutes. Hoehyeon Station is only a 2-minute walk and Myeong-dong Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is steps from Myeongdong Nanta Theatre and Myeongdong Street. Namsan Park and Lotte Department Store are also within 10 minutes. Myeong-dong Station is only a 3-minute walk and Euljiro 1-ga Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Jongno, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cheonggyecheon, Myeongdong Street, and Lotte Department Store. Jogyesa Temple and Seoul City Hall are also within 1 mi (2 km). Jongno 3-ga Station and Euljilo 3-ga Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Myeongdong Nanta Theatre, Namsan Park, and Myeongdong Street. Namdaemun Market and Sungnyemun Gate are also within 15 minutes. Myeong-dong Station is only a 2-minute walk and Chungmuro Station is 8 minutes.
This family-friendly Seoul hotel is located in a regional park, just steps from Seven Luck Casino Millennium Seoul Hilton Branch and Namsan Park. Sungnyemun Gate and Namdaemun Market are also within 10 minutes. Hoehyeon Station is only a 5-minute walk and Seoul Station is 10 minutes.