Traditional Market with 600 Years of History
“Namdaemun” (formerly “Sungnyemun”) refers to the southern gate of the four gates leading to the castle town during the Joseon Dynasty. As the oldest remaining wooden structure in Seoul and National Treasure No. 1, Namdaemun symbolizes the history of Seoul from the past to the present and is cherished by Koreans everywhere.
Namdaemun Market is located in the east of Namdaemun and in the area between Seoul Station and Myeongdong. As the largest traditional market in Korea, Namdaemun Market used to sell mainly crops, fruits, and sundries, but now deals in textile goods, utensils, electronics, local produce, traditional crafts, imported goods, and much more. It distributes more than 90% of the children’s clothing sold nationwide.
Over 5,400 smaller stores sell goods either directly or wholesale relatively cheap and can be sold at majorly discounted prices, depending on the whims of owners. More than half-a-million visitors from Korea and other countries (mainly Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States) daily stop by the market.
Rather than fancy storefronts, visitors face humble stores and stalls that speak of a bygone era. The market teems with life, filled with commerce and consumers from all over the country. Foods beloved by Koreans--such as kimchi, pork hocks, and hairtails (beltfish)—further add to the market’s colorful atmosphere.
There are no language barriers here, as owners have a long history of interacting with international visitors. Even though it can be crowded and hectic, visitors are strongly encouraged to visit the market if they want to experience the feel of a Korean traditional marketplace and/or purchase a variety of goods at cheap prices.
Because Namdaemun-ro (Jung-gu) has numerous financial centers and is one of the busiest places in Seoul, shopping streets and tourism sites (and the market itself) are crowded at all times. Visitors are advised to plan their shopping trip ahead of time and obtain shopping information before going to the market.
Located 50m from Exit #5, Hoehyeon Station, the center offers information on shopping, lodging, and public transportation. Assistance is available in English, Japanese, and Chinese. Tourist information on specific spots in Seoul (such as the Namdaemun Market) is also available.
Located between the Burdeong Children’s Clothing Shopping Center and the Jungang Shopping Center, the center provides tourist information in English and Japanese. Operated by the Namdaemun Market itself, visitors can receive detailed information about the Namdaemun Market.
• Fees are charged every four hours up to 12 hours, after which fees are charged once every 12 hours.
• Accepted forms of payment: T-Money Card (electronic transit card), credit cards, cash
• Near Exit #1, 2, 6, or 7 of Hoehyeon Station