Gwangjang market is over 100 year old fabric and textile market where you can also buy your own custom made Hanbok (Korean traditional clothes).
However, Gwangjang market is popular for its Korean food. you can witness a lot of tourists eating at the stalls in the middle of the market. A lot of tourists come here to experience traditional Korean street food and culture all under one delicious roof. Even though Gwangjang market is mainly dedicated to prepared food, you will come across some stalls selling clothes, fresh vegetables, and some other market goods.
The most famous dishes are Mungbean pancakes (빈대떡), which is a good combination with a bottle of soju or Makgeolli. Another famous dish is called Mayak Gimbap (마약김밥 aka "drug" gimbap (Korean 'sushi' roll). It sounds terrifying at first, but it got the nickname because it is SO addicting. You won't stop eating it.
Raw beef (Yukhoe,육회)
You might see raw beef (Yukhoe) and live octupus (Ssannakji), if you can't handle those, please be aware of it. But I would like to recommend you to try some. It could be weird to see at first but you will get used to it. They are not THAT bad.
As Gwangjang market is known to be the oldest continually functioning market in all of Korea, a lot of stores/restaurants has passed through many generations. This market still remains authentic and retains its Korean cultural heritage, style, and charm.
*Credit cards: available but most merchants accpet only cash.
General stores : 8:30 -18:00
Restaurants : 8:30 - 23:00
Clothing stores : 21:00 - 10:00 (next day)
* Subject to change
* Restaurants and vintages clothing stores open all year round, other stores closed on Sundays.
Address: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
How to get to Gwangjang Market
Line 1, Jongno 5-ga Station, Exit 8 or 9
Line 2 & Line 5, Euljiro 4-ga Statiom. Exit 4
Namdaemun Market opened in 1964 and it one of the largest traditional Market in Korea with over 10,000 retailers, vendors, and wholesalers.
Namdaemun Market is named after nearby Namdaemun Gate (Sungnyemun Gate) which was designated the first National Treasure of Korea.
Merchants have been selling items near this area since 1414 in the early days of the Joseon Dynasty (1382-1897). Over times, the market expanded more and commercialized. You can find almost everything at this market, Jewerly, Clothing, luggage, toys, stationary, carpets, flowers, electronics, and street foods.
Source from a blogger
Open 24 hours a day. Many retailers are closed on Sundays.
* Hours of wholesalers and retailers vary. Wholesalers generally operate over night from midnight until dawn. Most retailers open at dawn and operate all day and into the night. If you want to have the best shopping experience, plan on visiting the market during the day.
Address : 21, Namdaemunsijang 4-gil. Jung-gu, Seoul
How to get to Namdaemun Market
Line 4 : Hoehyeon Station, Exit 5
Noryangjin Fish Market was openeing in 1927 and is one of the Korea's largest seafood markets. The auction happens early in the morning when the market comes alive with amazinf and interesting seafood. The official name is Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market.
The unique thing about this marekt is that you can experience the true lifestyle of how some Koreans used to live and are living. You will experience soggy concrete from stall, bubbling tanks full of fresh octopus, fish, lobsters, clams, salmon, tuna, shrimp, mussels, crabs and etc.
Steps of buying seafood at the Market
Step 1: Choose your seafood
Step 2: Ask for the price and bargain with the merchant
Step 3: Pay for the seafood, if you want you can ask them to prepare the food (extra charge may occur)
Step 4: follow the restaurant usher if you asked to prepare for the food
Step 5: Enjoy your seafood!
* Hours may vary depending on the stores.
Address : 674, Nodeul-ro, Dongjak-gu, Seoul
How to get to Noryangjin Fish Market
Line 1 or Line 9: Noryangjin Station, Exit 1
Magwon Market is a great place if you want to experience traditional market near Hongik University (Hongdae) area. As other traditional markets, Mangwon Market has a lot of good cheat eateries, veggies, and other goods.
Another interesting thing that Mangwon Market offers is that visitors can pay with T-money Cards just like they would on the subway, bus, or taxi. Some merchants even offer discounts to those using their T-Money cards after using public transportaion. It is a great place if you want to experience Korea thorugh a local's perspective.
Sources from a blogger
Open 24/7 but may vary
Address : 403-21 Mangwon 1-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
How to get to Mangwon Market
Line 6 : Mangwon Station, Exit 2
Garak Market is the main and the first wholesale market of Seoul. This market was opened in 1985, and sells a large selection of meats, fresh and cheap seafood and fruits and vegetables.
The best time to visit Garak Market is between 18:00 and 21:00 during the wholesale auction for meat.
Agricultural & fishery section : 00:00-24:00
Livestock section : 04:00-22:00
Address : 932, Yangjae-daero, Songpa-gu, Seoul
How to get to Garak Market
Line 3 or Line 8 : Garak Station, Exit 8