Markets in Korea are everywhere! If you are going to Korea you can’t miss one because they are in every city. When I first came in Korea I visited some markets because it’s really different from my country. However, once you started to live there, markets are just places where you can find cheap products and in your quotidian life.
So, what’s inside these Korean market? Everything !
Most of the time, you’ll find food. A lot of food. A lot. It’s usually not the main Korean dishes that you can eat in restaurants but more street food which is usually Gimpab, Tteokbokki, Udon skewer, Korean pancake…
The advantage of eating them is that you can try a lot of Korean food without ordering a whole meal. Moreover, the food in markets is really cheap (between 1000 and 2000 for one piece so between 0,86 and 1,72 $).
In bigger markets, you will also find people eating their meal seated just next to or in front of the seller. Sometimes, Koreans actually take their meal in these crowdy and noisy markets. Eating like this is normal for Koreans because the time spent to eat is really short. They eat fast and right after they finished they go.
Speaking of food, fish markets are also really popular in Korea. Because seafood is accessible there, people go into fishes market to get their future meal.The most famous one is the Noryangjin fish market in Seoul.There is also another big one in Busan that I already talked about in : https://travelwithtinablog.com/2016/07/04/a-day-in-busan/
What is different from a normal fish market is first its size: so much bigger than what we are usually used to. Moreover the variety of species. You can find everything you imagined there (and also weird things that you never imagined before).
The last food street market that you can find in Korea is the independent shoppers on the streets. There is a lot of old people, most of the time seated on the floor selling their vegetables/fruits. Sometimes they have a carriage but most of the time they are selling their products on the streets.
Korean markets are also composed of clothes. There is a lot of places where you can find cheap clothes in the markets made for it. One of the most famous ones in Seoul is the Dongdaemun market.
However, in these kinds of places, it’s better to know some basic Korean if you want to buy something because sellers don’t speak English. If you can’t speak Korean you can always make some signs.
One thing in the clothing area in Korean markets that I loved was the socks part. They really get crazy with socks and have incredible patterns…. they are all so cute… You can find animals, princesses, heroes… everything !
Finally, the last part in Korean markets are gadgets and toys. This is one thing that there is in Asia. You can find in street markets all kind of stuff for cheap. It’s really useful when you want to buy something but you also want it cheap. Also, don’t hesitate to negotiate if the prices are not on the objects.