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Unleash Your Inner Shopaholic in Korea - Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide to Myeongdong


Samia Shamim •  Sep 08, 2015


You have to visit Myeongdong when you're in Seoul! Myeongdong is termed as the heart of Seoul’s shopping district. The area is very popular with tourists as there are branches of all the Korean cosmetic shops, clothes, accessories, restaurants and coffee shops too! Shopkeepers speak English, Chinese, and Japanese for the convenience of the tourists, so you will feel quite at home. [caption id="attachment_2016" align="alignnone" width="862"]
Myeongdong Skin Food
Skinfood Cosmetics outlet in Myeongdong[/caption] Myeongdong is the heaven for street shopping too! :)
Bags Street Shopping Myeongdong
What you must not miss:
1. Shopping for skincare and cosmetics
cosmetics haul myeongdong
General rule of thumb - get all your cosmetic and skin care products at Myeongdong as it's a huge tourist attraction which means that you'll be likely to get more free samples! The staff are also familiar with tax refunds should you have to apply for it.
2. More shopping! (This time for the guys too :P)
For the girls, be prepared to shop your hearts out as you can find everything your heart desires at Myeongdong! From your Korean chain clothing stores like SPAO and Bean Pole to international brands such as Uniqlo and MANGO. As for the guys, don't worry! You can do a fair bit of shopping in the Korean clothing stores too ;) If Myeongdong is not enough to satisfy your inner shopaholic, check out a list of other places in Korea where you can shop till you drop!
3. Catch a NANTA performance
Take a break from your shopping and catch NANTA, a fun and comedic non-verbal play set in a kitchen, at the Myeongdong NANTA theatre!
4. For the cat lovers - our favourite cat cafe is also in Myeongdong ;)
5. Street Food (Not halal certified unless otherwise stated)
Get your Korean food fix with the various street food in Myeongdong! As you wander around Myeongdong, you will notice there are vendors with stalls selling goods along the main street. You will be surprised with the variety of food these stalls have to offer, starting from very typical Korean snacks to Turkish Doner Kebab and Shawarma! If you don't have time to sit down for a proper meal, street food will probably be your next best option. [caption id="attachment_2023" align="alignnone" width="925"]
Korean Street Food - Egg Bread
Egg Bread with sunflower and pumpkin seeds[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2024" align="alignnone" width="837"]
Korean Street Food Dried Squid and Octopus
Dried Squid and Octopus[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2043" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Street Food Japchae
“Japche” or Korean vegetable stir fried noodles[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2044" align="alignnone" width="960"]
“Pajeon” or Korean pancakes with seafood and vegetables[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2045" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Korean Street Food Watermelon Juice
Fresh Water Melon Juice - so delicious![/caption] As you walk down the central street of Myeongdong, you will notice a large Forever 21 outlet on your right side. There is a stall selling Doner Kebab sandwiches and Grilled Octopus. [caption id="attachment_2050" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Forever 21 Myeongdong
The Halal Stall right in front of Forever 21[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2049" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Korean Street Food Kebab 4
Grilled Octopus[/caption] A little further down, you will see a similar stall, which is on the center of the street (you will see a huge ABC shoes store to your left here). The Ajusshi and Ajumma here sell each shawarma for 3,000 Won and it’s the best that I have tasted so far in Korea!! [caption id="attachment_2048" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Korean Street Food Kebab 3
Prepping the Delicious Shawarma[/caption] Made from sugar and flour, this Korean candy stall sells Halal candy, it is just next to Forever 21 too. The candies come in various flavors and make a nice souvenir from Korea! [caption id="attachment_2051" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Dragon Beard Sweet
Korean Halal Candy[/caption] #HHWT Tip: The street vendors in Myeongdong usually open after 5pm, so if you want to enjoy these delicacies make sure you visit Myeongdong in the evening! Directions: To get to Myeongdong, take the subway line 4, and get off at Myeongdong Station. Leave the station from Exit 6 or 7 and it will lead you straight to the entrance of Myeongdong shopping area. [caption id="attachment_2021" align="alignnone" width="879"]
Myeongdong Exit 6
Myeongdong Exit 6[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2022" align="alignnone" width="878"]
Myeongdong Exit 7
Myeongdong Exit 7[/caption] Main Entrance: You'll see Uniqlo on the right and Nature Republic cosmetics will be on your left.
Halal/muslim-friendly Eateries in Myeongdong
Time to take a break from your shopping and sit down for a meal? Check out these restaurants in Myeongdong! Unfortunately, you won't be able to find any halal local food places in Myeongdong, as they're mostly located in Itaewon.
1. Potala Restaurant
Potala Restaurant is one of the highly recommended Muslim-friendly restaurants located in Myeongdong. They serve Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan cuisine. The food is medium spicy but it is quite delicious.  You can order individual dishes and there are also set menus available. [caption id="attachment_2055" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Potola Restaurant
Tibetan ambience, Potala Restaurant[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2054" align="alignnone" width="839"]
Potola Restaurant 3
Bright and warm interior, so welcoming!! :D[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2052" align="alignnone" width="673"]
Indian Thali Lunch Set
Indian Thali Lunch Set for 17,000 Won per plate.[/caption]
Indian Thali
Indian Thali includes: Fresh green salad with honey dressing, Tomato chicken curry, Daal, quarter chicken tikka, rice and plain Naan bread. How to get there: As you walk along the main street of Myeongdong, you will find a huge Zara outlet on your right. Follow the lane just after Zara towards your right. As you come to the end of the lane, go left and you will see this small lane:
As you can see Potala restaurant is on the fourth floor of the building in view. Contact: 02 -775-8860. Address:  Jung-gu. Myeong-Dong, 32-14 4F, Seoul Opening Hours: 12PM to 10PM Official Website:www.potala.co.kr
2. Arabic Cuisine :  Saffron Restaurant
saffron restaurant
If you are looking for some authentic Arabic cuisine, then Saffron Restaurant located in Myeongdong is the place for you to go! Saffron has received great reviews from Arab tourists visiting Seoul. It is located in the first floor of Ibis Hotel (SK Myeongdong Building) opposite Lotte Department store. Address: 59-5 Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea Contact: 02-6361-8644
Bonus - Hello Kitty Cafe! Every little girl who has grown up with Hello Kitty will never want to miss a visit to the Hello Kitty Café in Myeongdong! The soft baby-pink interior might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you love Hello Kitty I’m sure you will love this café too!
Hello Kitty Cafe Myeongdong Storefront
Hello Kitty Cafe Myeongdong Interior 4
Hello Kitty Cafe Myeongdong Interior 3
[caption id="attachment_2066" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Hello Kitty Cafe Myeongdong Toys 2
Lots of pretty stuff you can buy! :)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2067" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Hello Kitty Cafe Myeongdong Toys
The whole Sanrio cast[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_2070" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Hello Kitty Cafe Myeongdong Coffee Cake
Strawberry Mousse cake for 11,000 Won, Café Latte 4,000 Won each[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2071" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Hello Kitty Cafe Myeongdong Coffee
Hello Kitty in your coffee so cute![/caption] [caption id="attachment_2068" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Hello Kitty Cafe Myeongdong Wifi
And there is free WiFi too![/caption] How to get there: As you walk through the main street of Myeongdong, you will see Dunkin’ Donuts on you left, Turn left here and take the lane alongside Dunkin Donuts and at the end of it you will find the Hello Kitty Café. [caption id="attachment_2072" align="alignnone" width="960"]
Hello Kitty Cafe Card
Map showing the way to the café in Korean[/caption] Address: 28 Myeongdong 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul Korea Contact: 02 318 6570 Opening Hours: 10 AM to 10 PM If you visit Myeongdong and spend the whole day there, I think you will be able to cover all the places I mentioned here today. But then, you will have to go back there again to discover more places on your own! You can never just go to Myeongdong once!! :D *The street food listed in this post are not halal-certified. Do purchase at your own discretion.