Namdaemun Market is an open-air market with over 10,000 shops located in the centre of Seoul. In fact it is located just around the corner from Namdaemun Gate. Namdaemun Gate is an old fortress wall gate that is listed as a National Treasure No.1 of South Korea. Namdaemun Market was used during King Taejong’s reign of the Joseon Dynasty over 500 years ago. It was developed over the years and taxed by the government. Under Japanese Occupation, the local Japanese government took control over the market. After liberation it was run by local merchants again, however it was destroyed during the Korean War and fires over the years. In recent years the market has undergone huge renovations.
At Namdaemun Market, virtually anything you want to buy can be found here. The whole area is a labyrinth of street vendors and buildings. The most common products at Namdaemun Market are clothes, shoes, houseware, food, electronic appliances, gifts, sporting goods etc.
The market is open 24 hours a day and at night shop retailers stop by to pick up products for their shops at wholesale prices. A lot of the shops at Namdaemun Market produce their own products and sell them for wholesale prices to stores. For individuals, the price is still cheaper than department stores.The market is open 24 hours a day but each store makes its own hours. A lot of shops close on Sundays.
Even if it’s raining it’s worth a visit to Namdaemun Market. The new Messa Shopping centre is located in Namdaemun Market. Mesa was the first shopping mall to be built in Namdaemun Market. It has 32 floors with 9 of them underground. The shopping area spans floors B2 to the 7th Floor. You can purchase many items here and visit one of the 50+ restaurants located inside the building. There is also a restaurant on the 16th floor that offers great views of Namsam Mountain and Seoul Tower. The great thing about Mesa Mall is the opening hours. It is open from 10:00am ~ 5:00am, yep 5 in the morning (8:00pm on Sundays). It is closed on only the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month.
How to get to Namdaemun Market:
Take line 4 to Hoehyeon Station and leave exits 5, 6 or 7. The market is right in front of the station.
Alternatively, take line 1 or 4 to Seoul Station, leave exit 7 or 8 and follow the map below.
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