Seoul: Nandaemun Market (南大門)

Streets in Nandaemun market
Streets in Nandaemun market

Our hotel is just 5 minutes’ walk away from Nandaemun Market so needless to say, this is a place we frequent when we were in Seoul. Nandaemun Market has almost everything we need. Food? Check. Clothes and shoes? Check. Facial products and skincare? Check. Socks? Check. Why socks you may ask. Well, socks must be the most common thing we see selling in Seoul. We see it everywhere. In markets, at malls, underground subway….. We figured that Koreans must really like their socks. Or wear them out very fast. I digress.

Donuts and steamed buns offered at a stall
Donuts and steamed buns offered at a stall

The market is huge and was almost like a maze with is seemingly endless rows of shops selling similar items. Throughout our Seoul trip, we frequented the market and had some good buys including sunglasses, strawberries and local snacks. My advice is to bargain and look around. They may not have the lowest prices and it is possible to find the same sunglasses in Myeongdong going for a fraction of what you bought at the market. My absolute favorite snack at the market was definitely the fried jap chae cake. Enclosed in the impossibly thin batter was a heap of delicious jap chae. Slightly on the oily side, but it was so good! There is a choice of sweet fried cake as well, I think that was filled with cinnamon and sugar. I didn’t try it though. You can see the popularity of this stall from the snaking long queues of people hovering around daily. Surrounding Nandaemun market are also a myriad of  restaurants and bakeries, perfect for tired shoppers to take a break before continuing. This is definitely one of the must visit places when visiting Seoul as it satisfy most shoppers’ needs.

Lots of socks
Lots of socks
Hat stall
Hat stall
Fried jap chae cake, MUST EAT!
Fried jap chae cake, MUST EAT!
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