How to get there
Located at the heart of Jung-gu’s commercial district, Dongdaemun Market can easily be reached by car or via the subway, and the Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station is the area’s own designated subway stop. When leaving the train be sure to use exits 11 and 12 to be close to the top shopping spots. Most stores are open from mid-morning and close very late so there’s no need to set your alarm too early.
The must-visit malls
There are so many shopping centres in Dongdaemun Market it can be hard to know where to start. Lotte Fitin is one of the first you’ll reach after exiting the subway and is a great place to begin your day, before heading to Doota for famous sportswear shops and Korean streetwear brands. Next, why not pay a visit to Hello APM to get a true taste of Korean street style? Teenagers flock to this mall because of its trendy clothing so even if you don’t purchase anything it’s a great way to get a feel for the city.
Enjoy the extras
Alongside the hundreds of stores, Dongdaemun Market’s shopping centres also have plenty of great additional features. The ninth floor of Lotte Fitin mall has the KLive concert hall, where you can watch hologram shows of leading K-pop performers. GoodMorning City features the Megabox Dongdaemun entertainment complex, complete with a cinema offering complimentary blanket rental, and is also home to the Sparex traditional Korean spa.
Where to eat
At the rear of Dongdaemun Market you’ll find the entrance to Mukja Golmok, which literally means Let’s Eat Alley, offering endless pojangmacha – small stalls selling Korean street food. Head here when you need to refuel and be sure to sample all the local delicacies, including fried chicken, rice cake skewers and ice cream waffles.
When to haggle
The outdoor stalls with bright yellow canopies are the only places where you are truly permitted to haggle in Dongdaemun Market. They are usually open from 9pm and visitors should be sure to bring cash as most of these vendors don’t accept cards. Visit in the evening and practice your Korean while picking up trinkets and souvenirs for your friends back home.