Traditional souvenirs are a great way for tourists to keep a memory of Korea even after they leave. For items that contain the culture, history and beauty of Korea, we recommend hanbok (traditional Korean clothes), pottery, fans, bokjumeoni (good luck pouch), or other handmade crafts. These have been the popular picks by tourists for many years. They all make beautiful gifts and are readily available throughout the country for purchase at reasonable prices.
Hanbok, Korea’s traditional clothing, features a beautiful harmony between curves and straight lines. Many female celebrities opt to wear hanbok to award events for the beauty and dignity that hanbok designs create.
Hanbok has gained a lot of attention from international fans thanks to many hallyu dramas and films featuring beautiful hanbok. The designs are endless but can largely be divided into the two major styles of formal and lifestyle. The styles further vary by adult and child, female and male, and also seasonal. Modern hanbok are gaining popularity for their comfortable take on traditional elements. Both styles of hanbok can be found at shops in Dongdaemun, Insa-dong, and Samcheong-dong. Prices vary greatly by designer, brand, and fabric.
Korean pottery is known internationally for its beautiful color and design. Teacup sets or dishes make for great souvenirs; for something a bit smaller, display accessories and ceramic key chains are also available. There are many shops dedicated to selling pottery in Insa-dong and Icheon Ceramics Village. Prices can range from under 10,000 won to in the hundreds, depending on the size and quality.
Arts and crafts
Along with dojagi, Korea has a proud history of excellence in arts and crafts; for example, najeongchilgi, folding fans, and luck pouches. There’s no better way to remember your time in Korea than by taking home one of these lovingly-crafted, traditional pieces.
Najeonchilgi is a traditional mother-of-pearl craft in which beautiful patterns made of shells are inlaid into wood and coated with a lacquer finish. Folding fans are essential items during the summer and excellent souvenirs to consider. Bokjumeoni luck pouches, mini-quilts, knots, or charms embroidered with traditional Korean patterns are also widely found in many shops at Namdaemun, Dongdaemun and Insa-dong.
This page was last updated in September 11, 2019, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.