Dongdaemun is a head-spinning, eye-opening experience that should not be missed. Shopping here belongs to the night and once you enter you'll forget that time exists and maybe even shop till dawn.
Dongdaemun is one of the biggest fashion retail and wholesale areas in the world. This place is massive in terms of people, impressions and turnover. Thousands of small shops set in modern facilities stay open until daybreak attracting many fashionable night shoppers. You will find anything from second-hand ‘tat’ to vintage Chanel.
So If you’ve arrived in Seoul, but forgot to bring your God knows what...you can be pretty sure to find it in Dongdaemun. Not only is this where all the large-scale fashion shopping malls are situated - along with skyscraper malls such as Doota, Migliore and Hello APM, but it is also an area of street vendors and bargaining in the more traditional sense.
Individual designers come here to buy fabrics and subsidiary materials for garments, making it a similar place to Manhatten’s ‘Meat Packing District’...so if you want to know what the next trends are or simply need inspiration, surely Dongdaemun is a good place to start. But keep the following in mind: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a reasonable amount of patience as this place gets really crowded, especially on weekends and around midnight.
The area consists of 30 shopping centers and some 30,000 stores. Try Doota Mall first, well known for being a gathering place for the stylish and for selling a wide range of fashion goods such as clothing, bags, shoes and an incredible range of accessories.
The nightly dance and music performances on the outdoor stage will certainly help set the mood for a fun evening of shopping and there are plenty of cafes where you can get a quick caffeine fix, re-energize yourself and get ready to tackle some more shopping.
How to get there: Take subway line 4 or 1 to Dongdaemun Station and walk out exit 8. Cross Cheonggye Stream as soon as you walk out and walk about 100 meters. Main open square is on your right.