This, however, could also mean that it might put a dent in your bank account, especially if you’re a careless spender. After all, who could resist all the delicious street food and retail deals that line this ever-so-busy district?
So if you’re on a tight budget, or just want to spend reasonably during your trip, then read up because we’ve got some tips to give you on how to conquer Myeongdong without breaking your budget.
Getting To Myeongdong
Take the Seoul Subway Line 4 to Myeong-dong Station. To get to the shopping area directly, take Exits 5, 6, 7, and 8.
Alternatively, you may take the following buses to the Myeong-dong Station Bus Stop:
-Green Bus: No. 7011
-Blue Bus: No. 104, 105, 421, 463, 507, 604
-Express Bus: No. 1005-1, 1150, 5000, 5005, 5007, 5500, 5500-1, 5500-2, 8800, 9000, 9001, 9003, 9007
-Red Bus: No. M4101, M4102, M4108
-Airport Bus: No. 6001, 6015
Make sure your T-Money card is charged for a hassle-free commute to Myeongdong!
Pay In Cash
While most establishments in Seoul accept card payments, it would be best for you to pay in cash, so you can monitor and limit all your expenditures. So, before you go to Myeongdong, set an amount that you are ready to spend and then add a buffer for back-up. To give you an idea, 50,000KRW is more than enough for a decent meal and small purchases along the way.
Buy Only What You Need
This is the universal rule when it comes to shopping, but people still take it lightly. In Myeongdong, though, if you really want to save some money, then keep this in mind! Bring a checklist of the items you want to buy for yourself or as gifts for your loved ones back home and stick to it! This will help you avoid impulse purchases that you might later regret.
Keep An Eye Out For Discounts And Bargain Deals
If you’re a thoughtful traveler and have several groups of people to give souvenirs to after a trip, opt for items you can buy in bulk. Myeongdong has a lot of them and at reasonable prices, too! Here, you can buy a pack of 10 sheet masks for 10,000KRW and get another pack of 10 for free! Or, score 10 cute and comfy socks for 1,000KRW each and get a pair for free! Discounts and other deals are everywhere—just keep your eye out for the best ones!
Avoid The “Freebies” Being Handed Out On The Streets
Picture this: You are walking down the busy district, and out of nowhere, a store staff reaches out a product to you for “free.” Tempting, yes, but don’t take it if you are not ready to drop some good cash at their shop! There may be a language barrier between you, but these employees can be very pushy and convincing. Be polite in turning them down and carry on with your way.
Hit The Underground Mall
Myeongdong has two parts: The actual streets where the Myeongdong Subway Station and the Euljiro 1(il)-ga Stations intersect—this is where you will find most of the boutiques of mainstream and upscale brands—and the underground shopping area.
Now, if you are on the lookout for bargain hunts, the underground mall is the place to be. From trendy fashion pieces to city souvenirs to K-Pop goods, it will help you cover all your shopping needs in one place. Prices here are comparably lower, too, so that’s another good reason to visit!
Street Food or Dine-In?
This could be a real dilemma, especially for the big foodie. So, what should you pick? It really depends on how much you can spend.
Myeongdong has a vibrant street food scene that shouldn’t be missed. The labyrinth-like lanes of the district are lined with countless vendors selling a plethora of bites—from grilled meat skewers to cheesy scallops to chocolate-coated strawberries. However, they can be quite pricey, and sometimes, the price of one item could be enough for a full meal somewhere else.
If you just want to have a taste of Myeongdong’s famous street food scene, do try the light and fluffy egg bread for 2,500KRW or devour 6 pieces of assorted mini kimbap for 5,000KRW.
When it comes to dining in, you can get a decent solo meal for 6,000-10,000KRW. Pigging out on Korean barbecue or samgyupsal may set you back to some 40,000KRW and up, but if you’re traveling with friends, you can split the cost to ease your budget worries. Not a barbecue person? Give chicken and beer, locally known as chimaek (a combination of chicken and “maekju” or beer in Korean), a go!
Don’t forget these money-saving tips on your visit to Myeongdong!