Exploring Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market (남대문시장) is located in the very center of Seoul and is the largest traditional market in Korea.

It sells a variety of things, including clothes, kitchenware, souvenirs, miscellaneous items, and local/imported products.

Namdaemun market on a busy day
Namdaemun market on a busy day

Something for everyone

If you’re not into eating from food stalls or browsing for other items, I would highly recommend going just to experience the atmosphere of a traditional market. There are people everywhere, shop owners are shouting about the items they are selling to those who may be interested, and deliverymen are swerving in and out of the crowd.

The crowd at Namdaemun market
Look at the crowds! There’s something for everyone

Out-of-this-world street food

If you are tempted to try the food – you most definitely should!

Despite wanting to try many different things, I opted for only eating a Hotteok. Although you can buy savoury Hotteoks (which can contain fillings such as Japchae), I went for one that contained a brown sugar and cinnamon syrup filling.

An ahjumma making hotteok at Namdaemun market
An ahjumma making hotteok

And BOY OH BOY was it ever delicious! I wish these were sold on the streets of Canada!

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More information for visiting

Hours of operation

To be completely honest, I’m not sure exactly what the hours are because I’m pretty sure they vary by shop and also by the weather. For example, when I went at around 3:00/4:00pm, some shops were starting to close up because the weather was too cold.

Can my wallet afford this?

This depends on you! However, the majority of things at this market are quite cheap. For example, I bought my Hotteok for ₩1,000 (~$1).

How do I get there?

You can take the subway to Hoehyeon Station (Exit 5). I personally ended up walking from the location where I was staying at.

For more information, please check out Visit Korea’s information page about Namdaemun Market!

Interested in more stories about Korea or places to visit in Seoul? Check out this link!