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16 Must-Buy Korean Souvenirs

Not sure what kind of souvenirs and gifts to get during your trip? Check out this list!

Yeong
2 years ago

A big part of traveling is the fun and memorable souvenirs you can get! There are lots of cool souvenirs you can get in Korea as well! Here's a list of some Korean souvenirs we recommend you get during your trip! You can find a lot of these snacks and souvenirs in Myeongdong. If you're heading to Myeongdong, we recommend getting the Myeongdong Pass for special discounts!


Myeongdong Pass

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1. Korean Packaged Food

Korea's pre-packaged food industry is huge! There are plenty of easy-fix meals in Korea and they usually come in nice, convenient packaging. You can buy almost anything you can think of, from canned foods to soup, tteokbokki, and even rice bowls!


The concept of these packaged food products is similar to instant noodles. However, these packages have a much wider of variety of choices that are similar to real Korean cuisine.


You can easily find these pre-packaged food from all small, medium and large supermarkets. They are extremely cheap, and they make a perfect gift for you and your friends!


2. Korean Instant Noodles

Of course, you have to check out the selection of instant ramen noodles in Korea! There are so many different types to try, and you may be able to find some newer flavors that are only available in Korea. 

When you are purchasing instant noodles as souvenirs, we recommend trying to find new releases or flavors that you can only find in Korea! Keep in mind that the ones that are very popular are sold out sometimes!

If you're not sure what types of instant ramen to get in Korea, check out our blog for some recommendations!

Must-Try Korean Cup Ramens

3. Korean Snacks

Korean snacks are simple, convenient, and delicious souvenirs! Before you purchase South Korean snacks, make sure you go to the local supermarket first. The local supermarkets usually have better promotions and you can get multiple snacks for less!

One of the most famous Korean snacks is Choco Pie! This chocolate coated marshmallow cake is one of the best-selling Korean snacks of all time. They are constantly coming out with new flavors as well, so be sure to check out a local mart to see what they have!

Sweet and salty Korean snacks are so addictive that once you start eating them, you won't be able to stop. The Honey Butter Almond snack series are especially addicting and they come in various flavors, such as wasabi, caramel almond, and roasted corn, and they're bite-sized so you can enjoy them as a side dish for beer!

Must-Try Korean Snacks

4. Dried Food Snacks

If you have a chance to visit a traditional Korean market, we recommend you purchase dried fruits, a very addictive snack. Since it is a natural snack made by drying fruits, it is healthier than regular snacks and they can be stored for a long time in the refrigerator!

The most popular dried snacks are these freeze-dried strawberries! They're crispy when you chew it at first, and then melts away in your mouth. Also, it doesn't taste sour at all and is sweet, so it's good to eat as a snack, and it's very good to eat with milk or cereal.

Freeze-Dried Strawberries | 10% Off

Dried sweet potatoes are also a very popular snack in Korea. This snack can be easily purchased not only in traditional markets but also in large marts. The sweet taste of sweet potatoes remains the same, and the chewy texture is added to it, making it a sweet snack that both children and adults like!

5. Ginseng

Ginseng is well known as a famous Korean specialty, and many people like to gift it to older relatives or parents. If you're looking for high-quality, authentic ginseng, we recommend the ginseng market located in Jegi-dong! 

You can purchase a variety of ginseng here, including raw ginseng, dried ginseng, and ginseng extract. It depends on your budget, but most tourists purchase products worth 50,000 KRWR to 80,000 KRW.

You can take ginseng purchased here back home without any problems because they are vacuum-packaged. There are various ways to eat ginseng. You can eat it raw, make it into a drink with honey, ginseng, and milk, or grill it and eat it using various recipes. Click on the links below to read more about the Jegi-dong Ginseng Market and more famous ginseng markets in Korea.

Jegi-dong Ginseng Market

5 Ginseng Markets in Korea

If you find it difficult to buy ginseng at the market, you can buy Hong Sam Jung (홍삼정), a brand that sells red ginseng extract in plastic packs. It can be purchased at marts, department stores, and online, and it is a simple health food.

6. Korean Cosmetics and Skin Care Products

Of course, you have to buy K-beauty products while in Korea! Korean beauty products are really affordable and are known to have very high-quality products. Consider buying some skincare or makeup from a local Korean brand, also known as road shop brands. You'll be surprised by the quality!

Korean Road Shop Stores

Need some base cosmetics that enhance skin moisture and colored cosmetics that enable various styles? There are many high-quality products at reasonable prices in Korean cosmetic stores, so we recommend you buy them when you come to Korea.

Lip balm, simple beauty tools, etc. are also very high-quality and come in cute packaging, so they're easy to carry and use. You won't be able to find better gifts for girls than Korean beauty items.

Korean face masks are a great gift to give to anyone as they are affordable and great to use! Many Korean facial masks provide rich hydration and are in unique designs. You can buy cheap facial masks from Daiso, Artbox, and many road shop stores. You can also buy lip balms, hand cream, and brushes from a beauty store like Olive Young and LaLaLa!

Korean Face Masks

Korean beauty items are indeed must-buy gifts in Korea. The packaging of many Korean beauty products has cute and girlish designs. These beauty items will make great gifts for your friends and family!

7. Korean Beverages

*You must be over 19 years old to consume and purchase alcohol in Korea.

Alcohol (Soju)

Soju is the most famous alcoholic beverage in Korea, and is relatively inexpensive. There are many different types of soju, including flavored soju! It has indeed become one of the top must-buy gifts in Korea.

Best Korean Soju To Try

Soju used to be sold only in glass bottles, but now many manufacturers use light plastic bottles. Soju in plastic bottles makes a perfect souvenir because you don't have to worry about the glass breaking or about weight!

Just as the shape and size of the glass used are determined by the type of alcohol you're drinking, there is a separate glass dedicated to soju. Some people who fall in love with soju on their trips to Korea buy soju glasses as souvenirs, especially special soju glasses with cute paintings, which are very meaningful souvenirs for soju lovers. 

Makgeolli

Source: 복순도가 (Boksoondoga)

Another famous Korean alcoholic beverage is Makgeolli, which is a traditional Korean rice wine. It is also a great gift that can only be bought from Korea! The taste of Makgeolli is very soft and especially popular among women. If you're interested in exploring more about Makgeolli in Korea, check out this special tour!

Tour Mate | Hongdae Makgeolli Tour

Coffee

It's no secret that Koreans love coffee. KANU is known for selling more than 10 billion coffee mix sticks every year! This coffee mix is famous for having a rich coffee aroma and taste despite being an instant coffee!

Gong Yoo, who starred in the famous Korean drama, "Goblin", has been a model for KANU for years. KANU is known for its sugar-free latte. FRENCH CAFE's three-in-one coffee is also famous too.

Korean Citron Tea

Korean citron tea is made with honey and Korean citrons. This tea is delicious! Even if you buy a small and medium-sized bottle, you can use it to make tea for a long time. I usually buy a big bottle of citron tea at the beginning of the winter. This would be a perfect gift for those who love honey and lemon tea. This would be the perfect gift especially for the elderly. 

The original citron tea is a great gift for the elderly, but it weighs a lot. If you want to reduce your luggage, I'd recommend you to buy tea bags. You can buy tea in many different flavors!

8. Korean Socks

Another candidate for the perfect souvenir are socks! Wherever you buy socks from Korea, you will be surprised by the variety and cheap price! Korean socks are so cute and made with high-quality cotton. You can use them for many years. Many tourists buy colorful socks with cute characters.

The price of socks in Korea is super cheap, and you can find them in unique designs. These socks usually cost between 1,000 KRW to 3,000 KRW.

If you have cold hands and feet, we strongly recommend you to buy fuzzy sleeping socks! They are basically 2,000 to 3,000 won per pair, and like regular socks, they come in various colors and patterns. As the name suggests, they're especially good to wear when you sleep and your feet will be very warm and cozy!

9. Korean Traditional Souvenirs

There are many tourists who would still prefer traditional souvenirs. Bookmarks, postcards, and stickers with Korean traditional patterns and designs can make great souvenirs. There are many symbols for the Korean traditional culture. Korean traditional cuisine, clothing, and patterns can be occasionally found in many souvenirs. Some of them are in cute designs.

There are many places where you can buy traditional souvenirs. You can get them from museums, souvenir shops, and shopping malls (Daiso and ArtBox are great for buying souvenirs). You will be surprised by the variety of different souvenirs.

The Korean traditional markets (Gwangjang Market, Namdaemun Market, and Insadong) are great shopping venues where you can get these traditional souvenirs. When you shop at these markets, I would recommend you to compare prices before making the purchase. The stores usually have overlapping items and sell them at different prices.

10. K-Pop Goods

If you have friends and family members who are crazy about K-pop and idols, there is no other gift better than K-Pop goods. Nowadays, K-Pop is gaining worldwide recognition, and it is easy to buy official CDs and goods items in Korea.

Many entertainment companies have their own souvenir shops. Some of the stores hold flash sales. If you are lucky, you might be able to see your favorite artist during your visit to these entertainment companies.

In addition to collectible CDs, pins, and posters, practical goods such as indoor slippers embroidered with BTS BT21 characters can be meaningful gifts for K-pop fans.

Source: YG select shop

Official idol goods can be purchased at official offline stores or Myeongdong underground shopping mall goods shops, and if you plan to stay in Korea for a long time, it is also a good idea to order online.

11. Starbucks Goods

Of course, Starbucks is not a Korean brand, but Starbucks enthusiasts will definitely be interested in the limited Korean Starbucks goods that can only be purchased in Korea. 

Starbucks is one of the most beloved coffee franchises in Korea, so you can easily find stores anywhere. Starbucks goods are always sold in the store, and you can purchase unique limited items that can only be purchased in Korea, such as tumblers with Korean letters, mugs with Seoul landscape illustrations, and Starbucks cards.

12. Korean Postcards

Next, I recommend Korean postcards! This souvenir contains beautiful scenery or image about Korea. You can write a handwritten postcard to your friend. Buy local stamps, and send them with a lot of love. This postcard could be a personal gift for your loved ones.

Seoul Metropolitan Library, one of the best South Korea's sightseeing spots, sells many exquisite Korean souvenirs. In addition to buying handmade cards and postcards, you can also find pretty bookmarks. You can make unforgettable gifts by leaving your personal messages to your friend. Send a gift with class!

I recommend this "Hanbok Postcard" series. These postcards are thin, light and full of Korean atmosphere. Reminder:  if you want to send out postcards in Korea, you must go to the post office and buy stamps during the office hours. Usually, post offices close at 5 pm.

13. Stationery

If you get souvenirs at Korean stationery store, you can choose souvenirs that can impress your friends at a relatively low price.

Washi tape, pens, laptop pouches, etc. are decorated with adorable pictures, so you can't fail if you give stationery to people that like these items!

If you are not familiar with your friends' tastes, why don't you buy illustration design products produced by Korean designers? It's a little more expensive than regular products, but thanks to its neat and well-loved designs, people who receive these gifts will be satisfied.

14. Kakao Friends

One of the most beloved characters in Korea is Kakao Friends, and if you like cute things, you should visit the Kakao Friends Store.

Kakao Friends characters, which were released as emoticons available in the KakaoTalk chat app, are now being released in various types of products such as dolls, household goods, and home appliances thanks to their huge popularity.

Aren't they just so cute? They're not only cute, but also very useful as they have released various products such as socks, mouse pads, humidifiers, toasters, cushions, and bags. There are official stores in major tourist areas in Seoul such as Hongdae, Gangnam, Dongdaemun, Myeong-dong, Jamsil, COEX, and Yeongdeungpo, so you can easily visit while traveling to Seoul.

15. Phone Accessories

Young Koreans use iPhones and AirPods a lot, so you can see many pretty and cute accessories that Apple product users can use. You can easily find products with unique designs in various road shops on the street.

Korean AirPods cases are really cute and inexpensive, and there are many styles you can't see anywhere else. If you use Apple products, find your own unique case when you come to Korea! It is a great souvenir that can be gifted to family and friends.

Of course, you can easily purchase accessories for Samsung  productsin addition to Apple products. Samsung Galaxy phone cases and Galaxy Buds cases are also being released with various character and illustration designs, so look out for them when you visit Korean road shops! Click the link below to see where to find phone cases.

Phone Cases in Hongdae

16. Summer Items

For those who visit Korea in the summer, Korean summer goods will be good souvenirs and must-have items for travel. It's a good idea to carry a light fan when you go outside in the humid and hot summer in Korea.

You can use it to cool down, and if you spread out the fan and cover your face, you can prevent it from burning in the blazing sunlight. Also, when these fans are not used, they can be easily folded, so they don't take up much space.

The fan I explained earlier is attractive because of its traditional style, but if you want something more effective, I highly recommend a hand-held electronic fan. 

It is very essential for summer trips because it is operated by batteries or USB rechargeable, and you can get cool air anytime outside when you turn it on. In addition, it has a strap so that it can be hung around the neck, so you can carry it easily without worrying about losing it.


Myeongdong Pass

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We hope this blog helps you find the best souvenirs during your trip in Korea! If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below or send us an email at help@creatrip.com. You can follow us and see video content about our services on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook to stay updated on all things Korea!

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