Korea's Shopping Mecca



Dongdaemun is the shopping mecca of not just Seoul, but all of Korea. It's constantly jam-packed with people looking for the best deals on all types of clothes, accessories, and textiles. Both wholesale and retail shops open late in the evening and stay open all night long until the next morning, with some shops even staying open 24/7. Dongdaemun Market was established in 1905 as a traditional marketplace, but by 1970 had transformed into a massive textile market, exporting textiles overseas and contributing to Korea's rapid economic growth.


During the 1970's and 1980's, Dongdaemun Market was home to numerous sweatshops. The working conditions in these markets were horrid, but nothing was done by the sweatshop owners to fix this. This caused worker and activist Jeon Tae-Il to commit self-immolation in protest of the horrible conditions workers in Dongdaemun were subjected to. His actions galvanized the labor movement and workers began to organize and receive better treatment. The activities of Jeon Tae-Il and working conditions at Dongdaemun Market in the early 1970's were portrayed in Park Kwang-Su's award-winning film, A Single Spark. His statue is a local landmark and the bridge next to Pyeonghwa Market was named after him.


As Korea's economy started to prosper, massive malls and shopping complexes began to pop up in the area to take advantage of the cheap textiles available, stocking the latest fashion trends at affordable prices. Nowadays Dongdaemun is the premier shopping destination in Korea. Wholesalers from around the country occupy the market at night, looking for the best deals on textiles and clothes, while retail shops and outlets cater to casual shoppers searching for bargains on the latest trends. There are thousands of stores in the area, selling clothes, fabrics, shoes, accessories, bedding, sewing materials, etc. There are also many stores that do wholesale custom orders for clothes, usually uniforms, jackets, hats, and t-shirts for organizations or clubs. Some of Korea's largest conglomerates have even opened up shopping complexes in the area, most of which are open throughout the day and night. 


Company NameDongdaemun (동대문)
Category Fashion & Beauty Food, Drink & Nightlife Shopping Tour & Sightseeing
Languages Available Chinese Japanese English

Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea 266 Jong-ro

Take Lines 1 or 4 to Dongdaemun Station and go out Exit 9. >> Walk straight 70 meters and you'll see the entrance to Dongdaemun Market on your left.

Take Lines 1 or 4 to Dongdaemun Station and go out Exit 8. >> Walk straight and cross the Cheonggyecheon. Doota Mall and Pyeonghwa Market will be in front of you. There are also other malls in the immediate vicinity.

Take Lines 2, 4, or 5 to Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station and go out either one of Exits 11, 12, 13, or 14. Shopping malls will be right in front of you.

Nearby Destinations