Dongdaemun is well-known for its late-night shopping places, where you can shop for affordable clothes till 5 in the morning. It's something every tourist has to experience when visiting Seoul! But do you know that there are cheap shopping places that don’t just sell clothes? Here's what they don't tell you about shopping in Dongdaemun ;)
1. Dongdaemun Toys and Stationeries Street
Well, if you’re looking for cheap and cute stationeries or toys and think that the prices at Artbox is a little too steep, here’s the place to do your shopping! (Perfect if you're bringing your kids around too ;))
Toys and stationeries here are very cheap and are of good quality. Multi-coloured pens can be as cheap as 1.000₩! They are even cheaper if you buy in bulk – the number depends on the different shops. Of course, this is nothing compared to stationery shopping in Tokyo but it's still pretty fascinating and definitely worth a trip down!
#HHWT Tip: Pay in cash to get more discounts!
Trust me, both children and adults would not be able to stop themselves from wanting to buy something!
How to get there: Get off at Dongdaemun Station (동대문역) and get out from Exit 4. Walk straight ahead and turn in to the second alley on the right.
2. Dongdaemun Shoes Market
Shoes! Who doesn’t need them? Although you might already have a cupboard full of them! Hehe.
You definitely have to visit this place if you love shoes! Especially when they are pretty and cheap! Price ranges from 5,000₩ to over 50,000₩. There is a wide range of footwear available too – shoes, sandals… You name it, they have it! In case you're wondering, yes they have shoes for the guys as well.
#HHWT Tip: Know your feet in Korean size before coming here. Mine would be 250 cos the length of my feet is 250mm :))
How to get there: Exit from Exit 7 of Dongdaemun Station and turn left just before Cheonggyecheon Stream. You’ll see an underground Daiso and you’ll know it’s the place!
Maxtyle is one of the newer shopping centres which offer seven levels of shopping underground and eight aboveground levels! You’ll definitely be spoiled for choice, especially when they are all affordable.
Mon - 20:00 to 05:00 (the next day)
Tue to Fri - 11:00 to 05:00 (the next day)
Sat - 11:00 to 10:00 (the next day)
Sun - 11:00 to 09:00 (the next day)
How to get there: It is located just in front of Dongdaemun Design Plaza!
After all the endless walking, you’ll definitely feel tired and hungry right?
4. Dongdaemun Grilled Fish Alley
If you’re looking for a hearty meal, head on down to the Dongdaemun Grilled Fish Alley! For just 7,000₩, you’ll get a complete meal consisting on a huge piece of your choice of fish and unlimited banchan (반찬) or side dishes. Oh, you’ll get free flow of ice cold water too! There are a lot of grilled fish restaurant in the whole alley; just choose one. I always go to the first one!
The one I had here is Samchi gui (삼치구이) or Japanese Spanish Mackerel and it’s my favourite as it is super crispy and easy to eat. Another one which I had tried would be Godeungeo gui (고등어구이) – that’ll be saba fish!
Price: Approx 7,000₩
How to get there: Exit from Exit 8 of Dongdaemun Station. Turn right and you’ll see JW Marriot Hotel right away. Just walk straight along the Cheonggyecheon Stream until you reach a bridge. From there, turn right into the lane and turn left at the first alley. You’ll see the whole alley lined with grilled fish.
Only feeling peckish and want a small bite before you continue with your shopping?
Hotteok is a popular street snack in Korea (especially in winter!) made with dough from glutinous (sticky) rice flour and filled with a spread made from sugar, peanuts, and cinnamon. Grab a hotteok at any of the street food cart that sells it. There are a lot of these carts all around the area!
They are sold at only 1,000₩ per piece and they’ll definitely give you the energy to carry on with your shopping with the sugar rush! :D
6. Gyeran bbang
Or… you can always grab a gyeran bbang (Egg Bread) from any of the street vendors as well. The prices can range from 1,000₩ to 2,000₩. So, take your pick!
#HHWT Tip: Change your money to ₩ here. The money changer here offers the most competitive rate so far (USD1 to 1,165₩ in September 2015). To get here, just exit from Exit 7 of Dongdaemun Station and you’ll see a money changer with a yellow signboard.
Do note that the food/eateries mentioned in this post are NOT halal-certified. We advise our readers to visit these places/consume at their own discretion.