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COEX – Shopping In The Underworld
COEX – Shopping In The Underworld

Located in the business district of Samseong-dong, the underground complex of the COEX Mall is Seoul’s largest shopping center. Its colossal size, over 85,000 square meters, comes complete with everything from restaurants, two food courts, a 16-screen multi-cinema complex, a world-class aquarium, and a video arcade, to a large-scale bookstore, nail shops, hair stylists and a fitness center. There is even a gaming area that plays host to computer game tournaments and both indoor and outdoor stages used for public appearances by celebrities and seasonal events.

Even if you didn’t come here to shop, the COEX Mall has something for everyone. Its proximity to the COEX Convention & Exhibition Center, where numerous international events take place throughout the year, the World Trade Center and two hotels also adds to its overall character, cementing its global appeal. Much different from the city’s myriad other outdoor markets of, say, Dongdaemun and Hongdae, the COEX Mall is a nice retreat for those looking to get in from the heat of summer or the chill of winter and comfortably stroll around through the endless shops and boutiques. Essentially, it’s a great way to spend the weekend, and, in fact, many do, getting here early and then capping the day off with a movie. Whatever the itinerary, you’ll find everything you need at your fingertips.

COEX – Shopping In The Underworld

Shoppers will be happy to know that such internationally recognized brand names like Adidas, Nike, Levi’s, and Mango are all here together with several stylish Korean clothing stores, and a host of shops selling traditional souvenirs. However, if it’s exclusive designer clothing you want, you will need to head over to Hyundai Department Store, which is connected to COEX Mall a short distance away from the central food court.

COEX – Shopping In The Underworld

For families, there are numerous stores selling both children’s clothing and a wide selection of toys. You may even consider a visit to the Kimchi Museum to learn more about the traditions of this much heralded food. If you’re after the latest bestseller or even study material, you will find it all in the impressively large Bandi & Lundi bookstore, just around the corner from Evan Music, one of the country’s largest distributors of CDs and DVDs. Technology aficionados will want to head straight to “A#” where they can find all the latest Apple software and hardware, as well as camera equipment, video games, mp3 players and speakers.

Quite simply, the list of things to see and do at COEX Mall is far too long to list in one column. It is better to mark a weekend off on your calendar and head down to experience it for yourself.

Getting There
The COEX is located south of the Hangang River. The easiest way to get there is by taking subway Line 2 all the way to Samseong Station.

[Find out more!]
- COEX Mall
- COEX Aquarium

Written & photographed by Gregory Curley

Date 10/14/2008