Seoul's Largest and Most Historic Market

Namdaemun Market


Namdaemun Market is the oldest, largest, and one of the busiest markets in Seoul. It's home to over 10,000 shops, selling anything from clothes to food to electronics, and sees an average of 400,000 visitors each day. Its roots go all the way back to 1414 as a government-run marketplace near Namdaemun, or 'southern gate'. It was originally known as Chilbijang, and began to flourish at the beginning of the 17th-century when it became the main site of trade in Seoul, with meat and produce from every corner of the Korean peninsula, along with cotton, linen, silk, paper, leather, etc. being sold there.


But the modern market we know today didn't take shape until 1897. During the colonial era, Namdaemun Market came under the control of a Japanese trading company but after independence in 1945, was taken over by the Namdaemun Market Merchants Association. However, since then Namdaemun Market has suffered many hardships. It was completely devastated during the war and nearly wiped out by three fires that took place in 1954, 1966, and 1978. Yet after each incident, the shop owners came together to rebuild in lightning quick speed, emerging from the ruins better than before. 


Situated between some of Seoul's busiest areas, such as Seoul Station, Myeongdong, Namsan, and Euljiro, Namdaemun Market attracts about 400,000 visitors each day to its wide array of stores and restaurants. There are a number of alleys within the market specializing in certain goods, such as a street of glasses shops known as 'Glasses Street', an alleyway filled with stationery stores known as 'Stationery Alley", and even an alleyway specializing in military surplus goods known as 'Military Goods Alley'.


It's also home to two famous food alleys, Galchi Alley, which hosts a number of restaurants specializing in galchi, or cutlassfish, dishes, and Kalguksu Alley, which specializes in kalguksu and various other noodle dishes. There's also plenty of street food available, the most famous being hotteok, a grilled sweet pancake filled with either red bean or vegetables, and wangmandu, or king-sized dumplings. 


Company NameNamdaemun Market (남대문시장)
Category Fashion & Beauty Food, Drink & Nightlife Shopping Tour & Sightseeing
Languages Available Japanese Chinese English

21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Namchang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea Namdaemun Market

Take Line 4 to Hoehyeon (Namdaemun Market) Station and go out Exit 5. -> Turn right and you'll be in Namdaemun Market.

Nearby Destinations