I’ve always loved shopping. I can’t help it, one mention of the word and I’m there. But, in Korea it’s more challenging that at home. Because, although I’m a normal person, some of the clothes here wouldn’t fit my left leg let alone my entire body, “free size” my eye. So here is my top 5 places to go shopping in Korea;
5. Myeongdong; I literally almost got into a fight with my friend when I refused to put his higher up. It’s a great place to find clothes to fit us normal people. Especially Forever 21. This store is the business. Clothes that fit and shoes that fit. I have american size 10 feet and it’s almost impossible to find shoes, but Forever 21 has them. In Myeongdong you can find everything from your brand labels, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Hilfiger, to the fakes. You should be prepared to fight your way through the always present crowd and shopping here cannot be done in a hurry, hence the number 5 spot.
4. Shinsegae Centrum City- Busan; If you’re in Busan you MUST go here. This place is 14 stories of heaven. It’s the largest department store in the world (don’t know if that record still exists). It’s got everything and it’s a one stop shop. It’s go every label you can think of and there isn’t anything that you couldn’t find here.Even the food stalls had are great! If you hate shopping there’s so many other things to keep you entertained like screen golf and ice skating and a cinema and it goes on and on. I love this place. Fact.
3. Insadong; Whenever I ask my mother what she wants as a gift she usually replies “something Korea”. Excellent, that narrows it down. So off I head to Insadong and I come home all pleased and feeling slightly like a tourist. Insadong has every gift you could hope for. If you spend long enough here you’ll find anything you’re looking for. You must be prepared to spend the day though, there are some quality little independent stalls and shops in the alleys and back streets so you should always spend times here.
2. Westerdom and La Festa- Ilsan; Ilsan is forgotten about if you live in Seoul. And it’s such a shame too because the shopping here is great. It’s on the Orange Subway line at Jeongbalsan station. Lining the Westerdom shopping area are all those great little shops with the usual/unusual clothes and accessories. There are also a ton of cafes and the shooting place and department stores and so much more. Definately worth spending the day exploring.
1. Paju Premium Outlets; I had to give first place to my own doorstep. The premium outlets here are nothing short of brilliant. These days I rarely shop anywhere else. I’m not rich by any standards and that’s the beauty of these outlets, you can get really nice clothes at really affordable prices. Just to be clear Paju has 2 outlets. One is Shinsegae and the other is Lotte. They are within 10km or so of each other so if you have a car it would be really easy to do the two in the one day. They have stores like GAP, Hilfiger, Lacoste, Club Monaco, Banana Republic, Juicy Couture, Elie Tehari, DKNY, and the list goes on and on to the more expensive brands like Michael Kors, Coach, Hunter, Kate Spade and TODS. I find that the sports brands like Adidas, Puma and Nike here are dirt cheap. Nike also have shoes that fit size 10 feet.
Eating here is great and the place (especially the Shinsegae one) is very entertaining with a band playing at the weekends and the grounds are really beautiful and well-kept. Also really close to the Shinsegae outlets is Heyri Art village and Paju English Village. Heyri is where artists, musicians and architects come together to display their work so there are cafes and restaurants and displays there. If you have children or if you just want to take a look yourself Paju English village is also close by and it’s open on weekends.
Can’t help myself must add a 6th. but it also shares number 1 spot;
D- Cube City Plaza ; If you’ve never been shopping here then get over there quick! This place is a mecca. It’s got all the Western brands that we love and more. It also has one of the only Charles and Keith stores in Korea. What is Charles and Keith you might ask? It’s a handbag and shoe store. But the shoes are generally a big enough size to fit normal people. D-Cube also has a Frank & Frank store (apologies if the name is wrong) which is the only place to buy the coolest houshold items at a great price. It’s also got loads of things to keep the children entertained and there are plenty of restaurants if you get hungry. To get there, just hop on the subway,Shindorim station on lines 1 & 2
As I mentioned, if anyone ever needs a shopping assistant, I’m sure I could find the time to help you out…………