NAMDAEMUN MARKET | Creatrip Locals' Guide

The Largest Traditional Market In The City Of Seoul That Offers A Truly Local Experience
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Minha Kim 김민하
3 years ago

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Traditional markets are a must-visit for any country around the world. If you are coming to Korea you must wonder which traditional markets to visit.

Namdaemun Market, located on Seoul Metro line 4 just outside Hoehyeon Station, is a definite must! You'll have extensive options of street foods to entire alleys dedicated to one dish, as well an endless shopping experience here.



INTRODUCTION


Address:서울 중구 남대문시장4길 21

Hours:00:00~23:00
Sun: Closed
Hours may differ by store.

Public Transportation:
Hoehyeon Station Exits 5 & 6

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

You'll find Namdaemun Market straight outside exits 5 and 6 of Hoehyeon Station. Also, it is located near Seoul Station, Myeongdong and Chungmuro, so it is easily accessible to those who have plans in the areas.

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

There are about 10,000 stores inside and an average of 300,000 people visit Namdaemun Market every day. 

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Seoulites say, "If you can't find it at Namdaemun Market, you won't find it in Korea!" So you know the market sells everything you can possibly imagine.

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

You'll find over 1,700 types of items here including clothing, children's clothing, accessories, kitchen supplies, craft items, food, shoes, and more here.

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Let's break down the things worth checking out at Namdaemun Market by category!



FOOD


Kalguksu Alley (칼국수 골목)

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Address: 서울 중구 회현동 남대문시장4길 42-1

You'll find the alley right outside of exit 5 of Hoehyeon Station. Once you enter the alley, you'll see a long line of tables and chairs on either side. Simply grab any empty chair and place your order

All the stores have the same set price of ₩6,000 which includes bibimbap, cold noodles and kalguksu. What a steal!


Galchi Alley (갈치골목)

namdaemun market | creatrip locals' guide, kalguksu alley, galchi alley, hairtail alley, clothing, shopping

Located next to the Kalguksu Alley, you get delicious grilled galchi (hairtail) dishes here. If you want a humble, but a truly local and satisfying meal, stop by this alley!


Hotteok (호떡)

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Time for some Korean pastries!

Hotteoks generally have sugar and nuts in it and have very sweet taste to them. But, Namdaemun is famous for its savoury vegetable hotteok which can be found all around Namdaemun Market, but the best one is right outside Hoehyeon Station Exit 3.

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

This food stall is really famous and you are bound to see a lineup. The good news is that they are really quick, and you wouldn't have to wait for too long. 

The vegetable hotteok is also super delicious, with a generous amount of vegetable filling inside and soy sauce spread on top. Plus, it only costs ₩1,000 each. No wonder people queue for hotteoks around here!

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Japchae hotteok is packed with glass noodles, which is rich in flavor. Stores use corn flour which goes well with the japchae. It's a must have snack in Namdaemun Market, so don't miss it!

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Aside from these special hotteoks, there are normal hotteoks with sugar in it. If it is freshly cooked it has really hot sugar in it, so be careful when you take a bite!


Hot Bar (핫바)

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Hot bar in Korea means 'fishcake bar'. It is made of sausage, rice cake and many different types of ingredients that you can choose from. 

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

It's similar to other fish cakes, but the skewers make it a lot easier to eat. Plus, the sauces add to the many flavours! Hot bars are really common street food in Korea and you'll find them in many places.


3. Dumpling (만두)

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Dumplings are one of the most famos street food, and there are two rivaling stores in Namdaemun Market that attract big crowds.

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

The first one is 효자손 왕만두 (Hyojason Dumpling) which serves up steamy kimchi, meat, and fried dumplings. It's always bustling with patrons.

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

The other place is 가마골 왕만두 (Gamagol Dumpling). You will have to wait in line to taste their delicious dumplings. Try them while they're hot!


4. Doughnuts (도너츠)

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Another special snack you should try in Namdaemun Market is these doughnuts. It is not really a traditional food but definitely worth a try. 

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

These doughnuts have fried dough with red bean paste inside and sugar on top. The crispy layer outside and the soft fillings inside make them great desserts!


Eomuk Hot Bar (어묵꼬치)

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Eomuk is a type of fish cake different from "hot Bar" mentioned above. Eomuk is the most famous in Busan, and Namdaemun Market's eomuks are made in Busan style. 

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

This cheap, but tasty snack is especially great in cold weathers, with a bowl of hot soup.


Dried Strawberries

Dried strawberries are crunchy and flavourful, making them great snacks for you to munch on. If you're travelling in Seoul and looking for souvenirs and gifts to take back home, these are popular ones loved by many visitors!

There are a number of places where you'll find dried goods at Namdaemun Market. Some of our suggestions are:

1. Donggyeong Food (동경식품)

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

In Namdaemun Market there is「Donggyeong Food (동경식품)」, which specializes in dried food. Many tourists stop by to pick up some dried souvenirs to take home.

Store is run by kind old man, so many tourists call this place "Granpa's Store".

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

You can take home large bag of strawberries home. It's a great snack to have alone or with other food. Visit Donggyeong Food for dried goods like strawberries and ginseng.

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!


2. Seoul Sanghwae (서울상회) 

  • Address:서울 중구 남대문시장4길 2 
  • Hours:09:00-18:00

map

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Seoul Sanghwae is a place you can purchase dried goods and hand towels that tourists love. You can buy same dried strawberries from Donggyeong Market but 10% cheaper here. Also other items are really cheap. 

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Seoul Sanghwae was designated as "Oraegage", which means an old store, and "Namdaemun Market's first store" which are hard titles to win. 

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!

You can find lots of dried fruits here, other than strawberries. All are really tasty and sweet. You don't need to worry about the quality here. 

Enjoy unforgettable time in largest and most unique traditional market in Korea!


3. Jangan Store (장안상사)

Address: 서울 중구 남대문시장4길 3 C외 8호

Hours: 09:00-18:00

Dried strawberries are the most popular, but you can also find other delicious dried snacks including dried fish fillets and dried figs.


The store is operated by a nice couple who are bilingual in Korean and Chinese. You can also inquire in simple English, too.


The vacuum packs make carrying these strawberries back home clean and compact!



SHOPPING


Military Uniform Alley

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You'll find military goods from jumpers to boots and bags here. Those of you who are into the cool military looks, you've got to shop here!


Kid Wear Shopping Street

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Great news for parents, the Kid Wear Shopping Street at Namdaemun Market offer a variety of children's clothing of decent quality at affordable prices. If you're looking for souvenirs and gifts for little ones, make your way over to this alley!



VLOG


Check out our experience around Namdaemun Market!


Namdaemun Market is great if you want to spend a day or so near Seoul Station, Myeongdong and Chungmuro surrounded by food and a countless number of items you can shop for.

Let us know what you guys think and share your own experience at this great market. Happy travels!

icon Reviews
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Hoey Chan
2019-04-15 17:46:17

Tokyo Food. On the day I went, the grandfather only sat in the shop the most. The shopkeeper was an uncle about 30 years old. When he asked him questions, he seemed unwilling to answer them. Haven't seen me face to face, maybe I'm busy unpacking and replenishing it. The biggest problem was seeing the "Made in China" printed on the dried squid carton ...

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여정영
2019-04-16 11:16:48

The Seoul Chamber of Commerce and the Chang'an Chamber of Commerce are the Nandaemun merchants we cooperate with. The quality is better and they also have a 10% discount. For your reference, you don't have to go to the stores that are speculated online.