Skip to Content

Dongdaemun Market In Seoul: Everything You Need To Know

Dongdaemun Market has been a top tourist destination for decades. It has a very long history since its inception in 1905.

This large market district in Seoul, South Korea, was completely destroyed in the Korean War.

Over the years it has been rebuilt to what it is today, a bustling marketplace, including eateries, shopping malls, specialty shops and 50,000 manufacturers .

A trip to Dongdaemun Market is one of the must-do thing when visiting Seoul.

Of the many things to do in Dongdaemun, sampling of the many delicious foods is not something you’ll want to miss at Dongdaemun Market.

Some of the most amazing street foods can be found at Dongdaemun Market, and many of them will, no doubt, become your favorites.

The vendors don’t speak English, but they have a sample of all the things they serve so all you need to do is point and smile to indicate your choices.

Just a few of the delicious things you’ll find while shopping in Dongdaemun Market are listed here:

What To Eat In Dongdaemun Market


Korean sweet street pancake Hotteok

NavyBank / Shutterstock

There are savory and sweet versions of this pancake-like delicacy.

The sweet version may contain a mixture of brown sugar or honey with peanuts or sesame seeds. The savory version may have some noodles and vegetables.

The Kimichi pancake is a popular recipe most tourists who try it love.

Different vendors have different recipes, and you’re sure to find your favorite at Dongdaemun Market.


Dumplings Mandu

VittoriaChe / Shutterstock

Another popular Seoul Street food you can find in Dongdaemun Market is Mandu, a version of the dumplings Americans are used to eating, but prepared slightly differently.

They may be steamed, pan-fried, boiled or deep-fried.


Korean spicy food tteokbokki

steven KJ Lee / Shutterstock

Tteokbokki is very spicy, cylinder-shaped, rice cake.

The spicy zing makes you go back again and again until you’ve completely finished your order, leaving you wondering whether or not to go back and get another.

Whether you try them at Dongdaemun Market or another of the many food kiosks in Seoul, once you have them you will look for them on every street corner they are selling food.

Shopping In Dongdaemun Market

There are two main sections in the Dongdaemun Market shopping district.

One is retail and the other is a combination of wholesale and retail, but in the wholesale/retail section most items are sold in bulk.

The operating hours for retail are 10 AM to 5 AM of the next day.

The Dongdaemun hours for the other section are usually 8 PM to 8 AM of the next day, but some stay open to 5 PM, closing only for a total of three hours a day.

This is a large part of the night market, making shopping in Seoul a never-ending experience that you won’t find in markets in the states.

Some Great Buys

Dongdaemun Pyounghwa Clothing Market is in the wholesale/retail section.

Because the items must be bought in bulk at wholesale, you will need to buy from their retail outlet at a slightly higher price.

However, the selection of goods is second-to none at Dongdaemun Market, and the retail prices are still better than you’ll find in most other shopping areas of Seoul.

It is a part of the night market so shopping is just about any time it suits you.

Some useful tips for shopping in Dongdaemun Market include knowing how retailers there prefer cash, and how you can get them to give you a better bargain if they know up-front that cash is what you have to pay them.

Another tip for shopping at Dongdaemun Market is not to allow them to sell you something at a higher price just because they know you are a foreigner.

If you think the price of an item is too high, just bargain for a lower price. Haggling can often get you an item at 20% less than you were planning to pay for it.

If you’re looking for what to do in Dongdaemun besides all that shopping in markets and malls, and, of course, eating, the Dongdaemun (Heunginjimun) Gate is a monument that is beautifully captured by camera in the night hours when it is lit.

Heunginjimun Dongdaemun gate in Seoul

vichie81 / Shutterstock

Address (Heunginjimun): 288, Jong-ro, Jongno-guSeoul 03119, South Korea

The Dongdaemun Design Plaza is another place which is known for its curving domes and architectural uniqueness that you most likely will want to include in your sightseeing itinerary.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza at Night

CJ Nattanai / Shutterstock

Address (Dongdaemun Design Plaza): 281, Eulji-ro, Jung-guSeoul 04566, South Korea

Hopefully you will enjoy your time in Dongdaemun Market. Share this useful guide with your friends!